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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.

Shawnee is known for its numerous Native American casinos, maybe lesser-so that it is where Brad Pitt and Jim Thorpe hailed from or the origin of Sonic restaurants.

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. Many visitors will rent 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 also pass through Shawnee.

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]

Shawnee was established as a railroad hub, and still has many infrequently used rail tracks.

By plane[edit]

Chartered flights can 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.


  • 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 next to McDonald's on Harrison Street.
  • Pottawatomie County Museum (Santa Fe Depot), 614 E Main St, +1 405 275-8412. Old railroad station turned museum. Has working railroad tracks. Also with a 19th-century log cabin built by early settlers and caboose.
  • Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, 1900 W MacArthur Dr (on the St Gregory's campus acquired by Oklahoma Baptist University in 2019), +1 405-225-0363, . Includes works covering different periods and cultures like Egyptian, Renaissance, and Native American. Also be sure to see the St. Gregory's Abbey on the campus as well, with its elaborate interior design.
  • Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center, 1899 S Gordon Cooper Dr, +1 405-878-5830. Showcases exhibits about this proud nation.


Many old buildings from Shawnee's early years still remain, although most have changed facade or fallen into disrepair. However, Shawnee has revitalized 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 Manufacturing (Shawnee Garment Building), 113 1/2 North Bell St. Three-story manufacturing site of Round House bib overalls for over 80 years. (The business moved outside city limits in 1995 when city code enforcement precluded expansion.) The Round House slogan still visible on side of building.
  • Santa Fe Depot from above, at 614 E Main St.



  • 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. It has a baseball field.
  • Briscoe Rotary Boy Scout Park. Lighted public tennis courts, great place for pick-up basketball games (not recommended after dark).
  • Weigant Park. Aka "Slide Park" (not recommended after dark).
  • Woodland Park. (mPublic 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.

Due to pervasive droughts and low water levels, Shawnee Twin Lakes are often closed during the summer.


Shawnee is 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.

Native American casinos 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 and magazines[edit]

  • Bibliotech Books & Comics, 123 East Main St, +1 405 275-9494. Specializes in sci-fi and fantasy literature.
  • Book Barn, 413 W MacArthur St. Used book exchange.


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 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.

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.
  • Bandana Reds Steakhouse, 37808 Old Hwy 270 (On south US 177), +1 405 273-7977.
  • 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 between Shawnee and nearby Prague.
  • Fireworks stands Just outside city limits in almost every direction (usually open around the Fourth of July)
  • Buddhist Temple about 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  E  → Jct N SOkemahVan Buren
Stillwater ← Jct W Route 66 E  N  S  → Jct W ESulphurJct
Oklahoma CityMidwest City  W  E  SeminoleMcAlester
Chandler ← Jct W E  N  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.