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Main Street in Guthrie

Just a short gallop from Oklahoma City, Guthrie offers a humdinger of an Old West experience.

Quick, what’s the capital of Oklahoma? If you are at least 101 years old, you might hit the buzzer and blurt out, “Guthrie!” since it was this picturesque little hunk of Americana that served as the state’s capital until 1910. If you’re a mite younger, then you probably know that Guthrie — only two ax handles and a Clark bar down the pike (32 miles, to be exact) from the current capital of Oklahoma City — is chock-full of old-fashioned enchantment. The historic downtown area is a postcard come to life, packed as it is with eateries, entertainment and oddball museums, and the town’s Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival attracts droves of devotees each fall. It’s worth risking the saddle sores to visit.
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The Lazy E Arena

Perhaps Guthrie’s greatest feat was transitioning from a tent city resulting from the Land Run in 1889 to an architectural oasis of Victorian splendor that stands proudly today as a National Historic Landmark. The downtown business-and-residential district is awash in charm, and you can soak it in with a stroll through ?Country Corner, an antiques shop, and Sorrell Custom Boots, which sells Old West collectibles.

At Stables Cafe, the Broken Wheel BBQ churns continually in an antique atmosphere with family friendliness, and the steaks and homemade fried onion rings are blue-ribbon grade. But do not — repeat, do not — rile the proprietors by coming here without an appetite. For breakfast, dig into the Which Came First omelet (it’s loaded with chicken — get it?) at Katie’s Diner. Lunch on a burger at Barb’s Cowboy Cafe, and then mosey over to Missy’s Donuts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
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Stables Cafe

You probably didn’t know there was such a thing as a Frontier Drugstore Museum & Apothecary Garden. But there is. In Guthrie. In fact, Guthrie is full of interesting museums and points of interest, including the State Capital ?Publishing Museum, the Oklahoma Territorial Museum & the Carnegie Library, the wondrous Scottish Rite Masonic Center and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Museum. You can also tour the city in a trolley, catch some fiddling at the Double Stop Fiddle Shop — the Byron Berline Band kick it most weekends at the on-site music hall — and enjoy some rodeo at the Lazy E Arena.

Smack-dab in the middle of downtown, atop a building constructed in 1902, is the quaint Rosa Bella, which features cozy rooms and a fully equipped kitchen. But there are plenty of other B&B-style options in the area that offer homespun hospitality at a reasonable price, including Aaron’s Gate Country Getaways, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Railroad House.

If You Go …

Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival
(405) 282-4446
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Country Corner
101 W. Oklahoma Ave.
(405) 282-8156

Sorrell Custom Boots
217 E. Oklahoma Ave.
(405) 282-5464
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Stables Cafe
223 N. Division St.
(405) 282-0893
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Katie’s Diner
120 W. Cleveland Ave.
(405) 282-2462

Barb’s Cowboy Cafe
223 S. Division St.
(405) 282-6363

Missy’s Donuts

1122 N. Wentz St.
(405) 260-0603

Frontier Drugstore Museum & Apothecary Garden
214 W. Oklahoma Ave.
(405) 282-1895
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State Capital Publishing Museum
301 W. Harrison Ave.
(405) 282-4123
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Oklahoma Territorial Museum & the Carnegie Library
406 E. Oklahoma Ave.
(405) 282-1889
Visit Website Scottish Rite Masonic Center
900 E. Oklahoma Ave.
(405) 282-1281
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Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Museum
315 W. Oklahoma Ave.
(405) 260-1342
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Double Stop Fiddle Shop
121 E. Oklahoma Ave.
(405) 282-6646
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Lazy E Arena
9600 Lazy E Drive
(800) 595-7433
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Rosa Bella
117 W. Harrison Ave.
(405) 282-9776
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Aaron’s Gate Country Getaways
328 E. First St. Edmond, Okla.
(405) 282-0613
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Breakfast at Tiffany’s
314 E. Noble
(405) 306-6911

Railroad House
316 W. Vilas Ave. (405) 282-1827