It’s Tulsa Time: Camping in Northeast Oklahoma

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April 1, 2021

The Boathouse in Tulsa's Gathering Place. Getty Images A patio with white canopy illuminated with green light.

It’s always Tulsa time in northeast Oklahoma. One of the Sooner State’s most dynamic cities treats visitors to great food, camping and fun. Check out the surrounding region for Pioneer Woman treats, and you’ll never want to leave this cool corner of Oklahoma.

Gather Here

Has a playground ever inspired you to put a town on your RVing bucket list? The new 465-million-dollar Gathering Place riverside park just might make you consider camping near Tulsa. The Gathering Place is just 18 months old, but in that time, it’s already won many awards and wowed the thousands of visitors who have jumped, paddled, skated, or relaxed on its 100-acre grounds.

Kids scurry around a play structure in the shape of an elephant.

An elephant play structure in the Gathering Place. Getty Images

The Gathering Place offers dozens of unique playscapes and hundreds of things to do, with offerings tailored to the tiniest tots all the way up to adventurous teens. Plus, parents and grandparents can enjoy the views of the Arkansas River. Did I mention that it is free? This new sparkling jewel is just one of many in Tulsa’s crown.

A giant statute of an oil driller next to a picture of downtown Tulsa.

The 76-foot-tall Golden Driller Statue (left), Shelbytwest/Pixabay. Right: Tulsa skyline around downtown, Getty Images

Tulsa has amazing museums (such as the Philbrook and the Gilcrease), quirky attractions (like the Center of the Universe and the 76-foot-tall Golden Driller statue), and a revitalized downtown area that manages to capture Tulsa’s past while pointing toward its future. Many of the town’s buildings the art deco architecture style that was all the rage in the 1920s and ’30s. Check out the clean lines on the Boston Avenue Methodist Church and Tulsa Union Depot. The Decopols, the Tulsa Art Deco Museum, explains how the city’s oil boom fueled architectural inspiration.

Ornate statues line the wall of a Methodist church.

The Boston Avenue Methodist Church, located in downtown Tulsa, is considered by many to be the finest Art Deco church in the United States. Getty Images

With all of these offerings, it’s no wonder RVers are taking a look at Tulsa as a travel destination. If it’s on your list, here are some places you can go camping near Tulsa.

Mingo RV Park

Mingo RV Park puts you close to the action in Tulsa, with only a five-minute drive downtown. And yet, you’ll still find a relaxed campground setting. This park offers full hookup sites, with room for big rigs.

Free WiFi and free cable will be appreciated during your downtime at the campground. If you are looking for something to do, this park offers a playground, horseshoes, and a rec room. An on-site dog park is available.

An ornately carved tree in front of a row of RVs.

Mingo RV Park.

Visitors will also appreciate Mingo’s restrooms and shower house, which earned a full 10-star Good Sam rating. The laundry facility is located in the charming rec room, making it a great place to relax while getting chores done.

Reviewers appreciate the friendly staff, the large trees, and the ample greenspaces, even though the space between sites is on the tight side. Don’t miss the coffee and donuts offered free each morning!

Hanging with the Pioneer Woman

If you are combining your visit to Tulsa with a stop at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in nearby Pawhuska, then Riverside RV Park is a great campground option. The “Merc” is just 30 minutes away and features a restaurant that serves up comfort foods and desserts made by Ree Drummonds, star of the Food Network’s popular show, “The Pioneer Woman.” Browse the shop stocked with her signature goods. The drive to Tulsa is a little longer, at 45 minutes.

A silver bullet travel trailer amid a landscape of gnomges and rocks.

Creative landscaping at Riverside RV Park.

Riverside RV Park is aptly named and located on the Caney River. Reviewers appreciate the mature trees and quiet nature of the park, as well as the clean facilities. On hot summer days, the pool is a great amenity. Campers can easily hop on the 12-mile Pathfinder Parkway biking trail that runs through some natural areas and the town of Bartlesville.

While in Bartlesville, check out Price Tower, the only skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that was ever constructed. After its completion in 1956, it served as the headquarters for the H.C. Price Company and later became a designated National Historic Landmark in 2007. Today, the tower hosts architecture exhibitions and displays an excellent collection of modern art. Go inside, take in the amazing views and view plans, models and artist renderings of more than 3,000 objects by Wright and his team.

You’ll find a mix of pull-thru and back-in sites, all with full hookups, as well as cable and WiFi. Clean bathhouses and laundry facilities round out the offerings at Riverside RV Park.

Keystone Lake State Park

Owl perched on a tree branch with eyes closed.

A barred owl sleeping on a branch at the Keystone Wildlife Management Area.

If you’re looking for natural beauty to enjoy while visiting Tulsa, then check out The 26,000-acre Keystone Lake is the gorgeous centerpiece of this park, making it easy to forget you are less than 20 minutes away from the city.

Fishing, skiing, and boating are popular activities to enjoy on the water, while 16 recreation areas provide space to play on the shore. Marinas offer boat rentals — or bring your own and use one of the many boat launches. To the northwest, the Keystone Wildlife Management Area provides a home for owls, eagles, turkeys and other creatures that inhabit this stretch of the Arkansas River.

RVers will find an onsite restaurant, a children’s fishing pond, a nature trail, and a grocery store. Wi-Fi is not available.

Tulsa RV Ranch

Corregated steel building with General Store and RV Ranch written on the side.

Tulsa RV Ranch

Located just 15 minutes from Tulsa, the Tulsa RV Ranch is a convenient option, offering over 100 full hookup sites. Campers will find a fitness room and rec room to enjoy, as well as a small playground and fenced dog area.

The Ranch Bar & Grill is located next door and features a full menu of classic American favorites from Thursdays through Sundays.

If Tulsa, Oklahoma, is not already on your list of camping destinations, it’s time to check it out.