National Historic Landmarks in the Oklahoma City Area

If you're a history buff, you're no doubt aware of the National Historic Landmarks, sites designated by the United States government as being particularly significant in a historical context.  For example, the list includes the Empire State Building, Paul Revere's house, Mount Vernon, Hoover Dam, Graceland and the Alamo. 

In total, though ours aren't quite as famous as those noted above, the state of Oklahoma has 22 such landmarks, many that would fit nicely into a nearby day trip itinerary.  If you're looking for something close, there are several within an easy driving distance from the Oklahoma City metro.  Here are the National Historic Landmarks closest to OKC. 

  • 01 of 05

    Bizzell Library

    Bizzell Library - University of Oklahoma
    Photo: Brett Deering / Stringer / Getty Images

    Located on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, the Bizzell Library was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001.  Built in 1929, the building is noted for its beautiful Gothic architecture standing tall over the South Oval.  Its historical significance stems from the racial desegregation case of George McLaurin, an OU student admitted only under the separate but equal doctrine.  He was not allowed to use the university's reading room, instead given a desk in the library, and his case went all the way to the Supreme Court.  It helped pave the way for Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka.  

  • 02 of 05

    Boley Historic District

    This one's a bit of a drive east of the metro, past Shawnee, but its history is significant.  Boley, founded in 1904, was the largest of the all-black towns established due to discrimination in other areas of the United States.  

  • 03 of 05

    Fort Sill

    The Wichita Mountains near Lawton are an excellent, nearby spot to visit, and while you're there, take in the history of an Army base built in 1869 during the American Indian Wars.  It's the only fort from the period still active.  Visit the museum for free, and see exhibits on artillery, frontier life, Native American traditions and much more.

  • 04 of 05

    Guthrie Historic District

    Up north of OKC, in the state's first capital city of Guthrie, is a historic district downtown.  The area contains multiple structures built in the late 1800's and early 1900's and represents a variety of architectural styles.  For example, the Logan County Courthouse was the state's capitol building after it was constructed in 1907.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Platt National Park Historic District

    Another popular vacation spot south of the metro is Lake Murray State Park south of Ardmore.  Well, just before you get there, get off the interstate at Sulphur, Oklahoma.  There you'll find the Platt National Park Historic District, a recreation area of the Arbuckle Mountains. Represented on a United States Quarter in 2011, the beautiful 640-acre area belonged to the Chickasaw Indian Nation after being forcefully relocated from Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee in the 1830s.