Ponca City is in the Red Carpet Country region of Oklahoma. It's a city rich in oil lore, at least as it pertains to one person, E.W. Marland, who was like a titan of the plains, tapping into vast oil reserves with his Continental Oil Co. and largely building the town from the ground up single-handedly, with Spanish Colonial style structures and things that were to his liking. His company would go on to become Conoco and then ConocoPhillips after a merger with <ding> Phillips, which later split up.
But there were other inspirations in the history of Ponca City. For one, Bill Picket was an African American cowboy/Wildwest performer who gained fame for his 'bulldogging' theatrics, grabbing bulls by the horns basically to wrestle them to the ground, an activity that cost him his life one day. And Poncan Chief Standing Bear won recognition for civil rights for Native Americans by filing a writ of habeus corpus when he was wrongly detained for leaving Ponca City to bury his father on ancestral Nebraskan land. The Poncas and other tribes in general of this area strive to share and maintain their identity and culture with annual events like pow-wows.
- E. W. Marland Mansion, 901 Monument Rd. The estate of the former oil tycoon and Oklahoman governor E.W. Marland, modeled after the Palazzo Davanzati of Florence, Italy, which became his personal art gallery of sorts to satisfy his insatiable appetite for extravagance with a nearly unlimited income to support it. Tel: +1 580-767-0420. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. $10 Adults, $8 Seniors, $5 Students.
- Conoco Museum, 501 W S Ave. Covers topics on the oil and gas business, like its history and the extraction process. Next door is the stinky refinery. Tel: +1 580-765-8687. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Free.
- Standing Bear Museum and Education Center, 601 Standing Bear Parkway. Displays Native American history/ways of life, particularly for the Ponca tribe which was forced to resettle here from their native Nebraskan homeland. Outside is a tall statue of Standing Bear, and the property is the site of pow-wows and other cultural events. Tel: +1 580-762-1514. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. Free.
- Pioneer Woman Museum, 701 Monument Rd. Depicts the saga of the pioneer woman, and vanishing ways of life. On the esplanade in front is the statue of Confidence, a pioneer woman, which E.W. Marland felt was the real endangered persona of his day, ironically, not a Native American as was initially proposed. Tel: +1 580-765-6108. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. $7 Adults, $5 Seniors, $4 Students.
- Osage Casino Hotel, 64464 State Highway 60, ☏ .
- 1 B&B Sun N Fun Recreation, 8900 Lake Rd., ☏ . Water park.
- Poncan Theater, 104 E Grand Ave. A historic theater built by the Boller Brothers in 1927 for philanthropy, with velvet seats and that kind of thing, still hosting productions. Tel: +1 580-765-0943.
- Lake Ponca and Kaw Lake east of town provide water recreation and beaches, even camping.
- Danny's BBQ Headquarters, 1217 E Prospect Ave, Ponca City, OK 74601, ☏ .
- Fairfield Inn Ponca City, 3405 North 14th Street, ☏ , fax: .
- La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham, 3413 N 14th St, ☏ . A seasonal pool and also a fitness room can be found here. Otherwise it is pretty practical. $67 (Dec 2021).
|Routes through Ponca City|
|Enid ← Jct ←||W E||→ Pawhuska → Vinita|
|El Dorado ← Winfield ←||N S||→ Guthrie → Oklahoma City|
|Ends at ← Blackwell ←||N S||→ Jct W E → Stillwater|