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North America > United States of America > Great Plains > Oklahoma > Frontier Country > Shawnee


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Shawnee is in the Frontier Country region of Oklahoma.

While normally not on the sight-seeing itinerary of those who do not know someone already living there, Shawnee could prove to be an interesting day trip.

In recent days, Shawnee has become increasingly known for its numerous Native American casinos.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Practically the only method of getting in or out of Shawnee is on the highway. Taxi cabs can be hired by calling a taxi service to have them pick you up, although doing so from another city could prove expensive.

There is an Enterprise rent a car in Shawnee and Shawnee Airport, so car rentals must be made before hand. Many times this is done at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

Most traffic enters and exits Shawnee via Interstate Highway I-40, although State Highway 3 and US Highway 177 pass through Shawnee as well.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound buses make daily stops in front of the American Colony motel on the far north side of Shawnee.

From there you will have to either call a taxi or arrange another form of pickup.

By train[edit]

Originally established as a railroad hub, Shawnee still has many infrequently used rail tracks. While logistically difficult as well as illegal, it could be feasible to stow aboard a freight car inbound to Shawnee. Not recommended.

By plane[edit]

Chartered flights can be acquired to fly you in to Shawnee airport, most likely originating from Oklahoma City or Tulsa. There are no commercial flight charter services based in Shawnee, so arrangements for your eventual pickup would have to be made as well.

On foot[edit]

While towns in Oklahoma are quite spread out, some have been known to hitchhike especially along I-40. Not preferred.

Get around[edit]

If you are a tourist, getting around in Shawnee means either calling a taxi cab service to pick you up or using a rental car.

Shawnee is very, very spread out and you will quickly abandon any thoughts of walking if you ever want to get where you're going.


  • Heart of Oklahoma Shawnee Expo Center (fairgrounds and outdoor arena), 1700 W. Independence, +1 405 275-7020.
  • Log Cabin. 19th century log cabin built by early settlers. Has been moved from original location. Partially demolished.
  • Burial Plot of Brewster Higley, 1500 North Center Ave, +1 405 878-1529. The now deceased author of the western epic "Home on the Range" has his final resting place in Fairview Cemetery located next to McDonalds on Harrison Street.
  • [dead link] Downtown Shawnee. Many old buildings from Shawnee's early years still remain, although most have changed facade and/or fallen into disrepair.

Notable Downtown Shawnee Buildings[edit]

In recent years, Shawnee has spent over a million dollars revitalizing a three block section of Bell Street, one of Shawnee's oldest roads and site of the Aldrige Hotel and former Round House Building.

  • Aldrige Hotel, 20 East 9th St, +1 405 275-9500 (Apartments), +1 405 273-3030 (Barber Shop). Once renowned hotel tower that has been internally restored by federal funding as housing for the indigent elderly.
  • Round House. Three story manufacturing site of Round House bib overalls for over 80 years. (Business moved outside city limits in 1995 when city code enforcement precluded expansion.) Round House slogan still visible on side of building.
  • Santa Fe Depot, East Main St, +1 405 275-8412. Old railroad station turned museum. Has working railroad tracks.



  • Shawnee Golf and Country Club, 2501 Augusta, +1 405 273-4076, +1 405 273-2764 (Golf Shop), +1 405 273-0784 (Greens Keeper), +1 405 273-1763 (Office). Collared shirt and appropriate golf attire required. 18 hole course, Pro Store, and Club House dining available.
  • Fire Lake Golf Course, 1901 South Gordon Cooper Dr, +1 405 275-4471. 18 hole course; usually considered to Shawnee's budget golfing: "Golfing for the price of a gordita", Miniature Golf located nearby.
  • The Elk's Golf Course (Shawnee Lodge 657), +1 405 275-1060. Driving range and batting cages also available.

Public Parks[edit]

Since Shawnee's many public parks are used infrequently by locals, a quiet and serene environment can usually be expected.

(Exceptions noted below)

  • KidSpace. Children's outdoor play equipment (adult supervision strongly recommended)
  • Lions Club Park. (has baseball field)
  • Briscoe Rotary Boy Scout Park. (lighted public tennis courts, great place for pick-up style basketball games) (not recommended after dark)
  • Weigant Park. Aka "Slide Park" (not recommended after dark)
  • Woodland Park. (public swimming pool available in Summer months) (lighted public tennis courts)

Shawnee's Twin Lakes[edit]

Shawnee's Twin Lakes offer enjoyable avocation and adventure to anyone who likes to experience the outdoors and water related leisure.

One lake is reserved for fishing and angling.

Its counterpart lake is for those who wish to swim or take part in non fishing related activities such as water skiing, jet skiing, or drinking. (Consuming alcohol while fishing can be dangerous to yourself and those around you; it is strongly discouraged.)

(Note: Due to pervasive droughts and low water levels, Shawnee Twin Lakes are often closed during the summer)


In recent years, Shawnee has been surrounded by gaming establishments who advertise to be "just like Vegas". For smokers, these establishments offer the convenience of having their own smoke shops, which are not subject to local tobacco tax statutes.

Since the passage of the 2005 passage of a Tribal Gaming Amendment, Native American casinos can now offer card games along with their slot machine mainstays.


As a classic example of middle sized town Americana, Shawnee boasts a variety of shopping opportunities, both budget and luxury oriented.

Books & Magazines[edit]

  • Bibliotech Books & Comics, 123 East Main St, +1 405 275-9494. Specializes in sci-fi and fantasy literature,
  • Book Barn. Used book exchange
  • Waldenbooks (Shawnee Mall), +1 405 273-1599.


Like most towns of any size in Oklahoma, Shawnee is inundated with most of the fast food restaurants you can think of and also has many all-you-can-eat buffets (mostly Chinese food).

Most places to eat are located either on the northern edge of town along interstate highway I-40, sprinkled along Harrison and Kickapoo Street, or downtown on the south side of Shawnee.

You cannot go very far in Shawnee without running into a Sonic Drive-In of which there are 5, Braum's hamburgers and ice-cream (3), McDonald's (3), Arby's roast beef (2), Pizza Hut (2), or a Taco Bell (2).

Shawnee is home to what has been labeled as "Sonic number 3000". This label is up for debate however, as some state that it was not the 3000th Sonic drive-in to be erected.

Other fast food chains set up around town include Wendy's, KFC, and Taco Bueno. Higher-end chains include Cracker Barrel, Red Lobster, and Chili's.

Shawnee also has many pizza kitchens, although many of these are carry-out/delivery only.

  • Frateli's. If you're wanting something more special, authentic Italian cooking with menus that go way beyond pizza and spaghetti can be found at Frateli's, just south of OBU on Kickapoo.
  • Jay's Classic Steakhouse (On south US 177).
  • Abuelita's (at the corner of Harrison and Independence). Perhaps the best Mexican menu in town is at Abuelita's.
  • Vans, Highland Street. A local BBQ favorite.
  • Hamburger King (downtown). A fun diner. Orders are placed using phones located at each booth.
  • Robb's Smokehouse, 2321 N. Kickapoo (across from OBU). The 2nd most popular BBQ place in town.




Go next[edit]

Shawnee's surrounding area can offer almost as much to see as the city itself, if one knows where to look:

  • Cowtown USA, bar and dance hall with country/western theme, a little outside of town on Hwy 177 South, +1 405 275-0108
  • Jim Thorpe's burial site located between Shawnee and nearby Prague.
  • Fireworks stands Just outside city limits in almost every direction,(Usually open around the Fourth of July)
  • Buddhist Temple located approximately 20 miles outside Shawnee off I-40, an extreme rarity in the Oklahoma area.
  • Curtis Watson's Restaurant can be found off of I-40 between Shawnee and Oklahoma City.
  • Carl Hubbell Museum and burial site are north on Highway 18 in Meeker, Oklahoma, a treat for fans of old-time major league baseball.
Routes through Shawnee
Oklahoma CityMidwest City  W I-40.svg E  → Jct N US 377.svg SOkemahVan Buren
Stillwater ← Jct W Oklahoma State Highway 66.svgRoute 66 E  N US 177.svg S  → Jct W Oklahoma State Highway 9.svg ESulphurJct US 70.svg
Oklahoma CityMidwest City  W US 270.svg E  SeminoleMcAlester
Chandler ← Jct W US 62.svg E  N Oklahoma State Highway 18.svg S  END

This city travel guide to Shawnee is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.