In Tahlequah Oklahoma, many of the street signs and storefronts are written
in Cherokee. This
town northeast of Oklahoma
City has been the capital of the Cherokee Nation since the 1840s. It's also
the home of Northeastern State University, taking this community of 20,000 from
small town to a thriving place to experience art, history,
the vibrant Cherokee culture, and even a festival in Tahlequah or two.
Today, visitors have many ways to experience the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah as they explore the museums, take part in a festival, and view performances. Just outside of Tahlequah Oklahoma lies the Cherokee Heritage Center, the design of which incorporates the remaining pillars of the Cherokee National Female Seminary, one of the earliest places of higher learning for women located west of the Mississippi. This history site also includes Tsa-La-Gi, the ancient village, as well as the Adams Corner Rural Village that shows what life was like a century ago, the Cherokee National Museum, and an exhibit about the Trail of Tears, the removal of the Cherokees from their home in Georgia.
In the spring, the list of Tahlequah events includes Indian Territory Days, which takes place in the historical village and Adams Corner. Visitors can experience what life was like for the Cherokees in the late 1800s by playing games, learning how to weave, and joining in a class in the little red schoolhouse during this festival in Tahlequah.
In the summer, the Cherokee Heritage Center sets the stage for exciting Tahlequah events, and performances of Under the Cherokee Moon. This outdoor performance brings history to life with music and drama. Visitors also can enjoy a meal before the show begins. And in the fall, another festival in Tahlequah takes place, the Cherokee National Holiday Arts & Crafts Show.
Visitors to Tahlequah Oklahoma also can step into its casinos for gaming and excitement. The Keetoowah Cherokee Casino has been a favorite for more than 20 years; those who come and play will find 500 electronic gaming machines to choose from as well as a well-stocked snack bar and complementary beverages. The new Cherokee Casino Tahlequah weaves Cherokee art and design into its 20,000 square feet of gaming space. It's part of the network of casinos across the state that includes a resort in Tulsa, other hotels, and the Will Rogers Downs.
Perched along the Illinois River, Tahlequah is known for its recreational offerings, including golfing, canoeing, hiking, and trout fishing. Many local outfitters lead canoe, float, and rafting trips, and several resorts provide share hospitality and beautiful views. The river winds through the Cookson Hills to Tenkiller Lake, were vacationers enjoy scuba diving, skiing, boating, and other water sports.
When there's a festival in Tahlequah, visitors flock to the lake to enjoy the festivities. Throughout the year, Tenkiller Lake State Park and other places along the lake host Tahlequah events, including eagle watching, bluegrass concerts, fireworks, and the Illinois River BalloonFest. Downtown Tahlequah also hosts a number of events, especially at Christmas.