Club Wyndham Grand Lake
Club Wyndham Grand Lake is right in the heart of Afton, OK. Founded in 1886, Afton, Oklahoma is a small town boasting several examples of classic Route 66 roadside architecture, small town, and water-based fun.
Day One Arrival at Club Wyndham Grand Lake
Since I am on the East Coast in Virginia going to be OK was exciting mostly because I have never been and have not had this chance to see the state of some of the parts of Route 66 in the area. Travel here meant a flight from Norfolk to Tulsa. With flight time and one-stop, in either direction, the entire travel time to Tulsa is less than 6 hours.
From Tulsa to Afton, it was about another 1.5 hours, so I grabbed a rental car at the airport. It would also be nice to have the rental car for an around-town near the resort too.
The drive was almost a straight shot and traffic almost did not exist. You take I44 East and it is very easy to find your way. I did not even turn on my smartphone for the navigation app. I just looked once before I left the airport and I was good to go.
When you arrive at the resort, you find a nice clean resort that seems like it is stuck in some kind of time zone that does not age. The custom wood paneling where the lobby is appeared old in design but looks like it is brand new. Some of the recreational rooms still had the hung ceilings that reminded me of a home the family once had.
The construction of the building’s exterior was stone and wood and looked like it fit perfectly into the surrounding environment.
The staff made checking in the breeze even letting me check in a little early since the room was ready. I know they can not always do that, but it is nice when you have been traveling and they can.
I think if I managed a resort, I would post the check-in time a full hour later than I planned, just to always be able to tell folks that I can check them in early. Kind of like when I was 17 and hosting until I was old enough to wait tables. I would say the wait was going to be longer than it was, then seat the customers earlier. That always made people smile.
Here you can stay in Studios, or 1-2- or 3-bedroom units based on availability.
My room was a one-bedroom unit that was a nice 800 SQ FT in size and had a host of amenities.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center
- BBQ Grills
- Fitness Room
- Picnic Area
- Hot Tub
- Owner Lounge
- Internet Access
- Outdoor Pool
- On-Site Security
It is always nice to have a fireplace in a unit. I have a wood stove at home but while nice in winter wood stoves just never seem romantic, or heartwarming to me.
The kitchen is a good size and you do have the washer and dryer in the unit. Staying at these resorts from the hotels, I think having the washer and dryer in the units is one of the things I like the most. It is silly, but when you travel a lot; they are such a convenience. I also confess to preferring to wash and dry a bathing suit before wearing it again. Too many days of getting into cold bathing soon at the start of a day when I was younger.
After checking in, it was time to tour the area and look for some diner.
I found Shangri-La (not that one) and one of that site’s restaurants Doc’s Bar and Grill I liked both parts of the Doc’s name there at the moment and hoped to take advantage of the Bar and the Grill. Here all the apps looked so good that I just ordered two of those and two drinks to start. I was making up for all that travel time.
Their BBQ Nachos were great, and the Cajun BBQ Shrimp was even better. They had a Brisket Mac and Cheese I wanted to try, but I knew I could not eat it all. The signature items looked even better, and I may have to come back here again on this trip. The bartender treated me like she knew me and took care of me. Wow, a few nice drinks and food later and I was ready to head back for some sleep.
Day Two at Club Wyndham Grand Lake
Is started my day off looking for a great breakfast spot near the resort. It was a bit of a drive to find a breakfast spot that looked like what I was in the mood for. I should have just looked, but I felt like driving and seeing more of the area. I ended up in a nearby local down at Clanton’s Cafe for some reason even at great locations like this, I always want the best of both worlds. I want an Omelet and I want pancakes.
These kinds of desires for certain foods and the lower level of exercise now are certainly the reason behind my current waist size. That or I am secretly prepared for a major 2-year long food shortage. Hey, I love food what can I say. This was the kind of place where you know the main cook has been doing their thing for 20 years or so. Everything came out perfect and tasted great. If you look at their menu, you will see they claim to have the world’s best chicken and dressing (chicken and dumplings fans will have to decide). It was breakfast or I would have called them on it and tried them.
After breakfast, I started my day at a local museum, the Darryl Starbird Museum. The owner and namesake is a custom car and hot rod maker that has been hard at work since many years before my birth. He started building custom cars in 1956, and some of the models on display here will blow a car guy’s mind.
One of the things he is known for is an alien starship-like glass roof on many of his cars that was way ahead of its time. I really like some of his roadster models. The museum includes 50 custom cars from multiple makers and they are very impressive designs.
If you have ever read a travel blog by me before, you know I am crazy about history and love to tour local spots and learn. After the great car museum, I wanted to learn more about local OK history. This meant going to Har-Ber Villiage. Yes, that is the way they spell it.
This is a Pioneer-focused museum that has over 100 exhibits that you can take your time to view and see at your own pace. This was a nice little historic spot. I did not walk the 2-mile trail also available, but it looked like a good little hike around for those that love a stroll or easy hike.
It was time for some more food. So far on this trip, the food had been, so I wanted to stick with that streak of luck. Driving towards Grove I stopped at Chickanellas someone at the resort had said they had great sandwiches for desserts.
The menu also had soups and salads I could see this place being a favorite for the local ladies’ groups and seniors from all over. Great service, food, and nice local staff that seemed to care. No wonder the online reviews were the near-perfect 4.7.
If you want breakfast, salad, soup, or sandwich, this is a place to mark on your list of must-visits. It was that good, and it was downright affordable, which is always nice too.
I had a meatloaf sandwich, which was the best version of that I have had in 20 years. The last one I had that tasted that good was in a place in Atlanta, Georgia that baked their sourdough bread in clay pots. This won you over with the meatloaf and not the bread. After that, I ordered a Milkshake to go and entered some kind of heavy guy nirvana state for at least 15 minutes.
Next, it was back to the resort to lying around a little and digest and rest.
Day Three, what else can I do but hit the water here?
This area has some of the most amazing waterways and views. So different from the east coast, but the Neosho River is a great spot. I started my day at the Shangri-La Resort if I was a golfer, I would have had a tee time here in a heartbeat. It is a scenic course and environment right on the water. Also being inland like this, I imagine much of the time they have less wind here to interrupt and challenge your game than at locations on the coast.
Instead, I was here to rent a wave runner and hit the river. They gave me a rate on a half-day or 4-hour rental. Thanks, guys, and I grabbed the biggest life jacket I could find, breathed in, and made it fit. Well, I was not going on a river I did not know without one, and I figured maybe wearing it for a few hours would reduce my appetite.
Man, that was fun! I forget how fun those wave runners are. The sense of speed you get from even 30 miles an hour on a wave runner is amazing. Feels like you are doing 60 on a normal boat. They turn so fast as well. That was fun. I went to the other side of the river in the thing. When I came back, I think the guy that checked me out had turned green since I went so far out of their site. I made it back in time, however, so I did not have to fork over more for an additional hour.
I found out in the spring of 21 this location will have a giant indoor virtual activity building with VR bays that allow you to play golf, hunt, shoot, and much more. That is something worth checking out when you visit the area.
Next, it was back to the resort to shower and change, then I wanted to go to Oklahoma City for the day before catching my nighttime flight from Tulsa. I had planned for the last flight leaving so I could spend as much time in the area as possible before I had to leave.
I first went to see the Oklahoma Museum and Monument. They had recently completed a 10-million-dollar renovation and update, so I wanted to see what they had put together. I recalled seeing the aftermath of the attack on TV, but nothing would prepare you to see some of the evidence and items up close. It was moving and impressive, but I understand if it is not everyone’s ideal spot to visit.
After that tough look at history, I wanted to do something fun stat. This desire took me to the Oklahoma City Zoo which was a very large zoo it reminded me of the National Zoo in Washington DC. The zoo is open from 9 AM–5 PM and it is large enough to spend the day or at least a full half-day at this zoo just to see what you were interested in.
I liked the park so much that I stayed until it closed and even ate in the park at the Lotus Pavilion at Sanctuary Asia. It was a great experience from start to finish. If you take the time to go to Oklahoma City, you must visit the zoo. If I was a wealthier man, I would offer to pay for every child’s ticket to the zoo because it would be so amazing for kids. But I have not won the big game yet, so fingers crossed for that cause and like 20 others I would love to support.