students playing ping pong

Best of Both Worlds: Claremore and Tulsa

When it comes to describing Claremore, an apt description might be: The Best of Both Worlds.

Claremore retains the friendly, small-town atmosphere that native son Will Rogers would certainly recognize today. But as one of Oklahoma’s fastest-growing communities, Claremore (population 25,000) and Rogers County (population 80,000) also offer an array of amenities that you would expect from a larger city.

Located on historic Route 66, Claremore strikes a balance between the charms of urban and rural life. Nestled in the green, rolling hills of northeastern Oklahoma, residents are only minutes from the outdoor recreation provided by Claremore Lake and nearby Lake Oologah.

Yet, residents are also only 25 minutes from Tulsa – a major metropolitan area of more than 800,000 people. In fact, many people consider Claremore an extension of Tulsa. And with the rapid growth of RSU, Claremore is quickly becoming a “college town” with all of the benefits that come from that distinction.

What’s there to do in Claremore? Plenty.

  • Shop antiques and charming boutiques in our quaint, recently revitalized downtown, the Lilac District
  • Boat or ski at one of our many area lakes, featuring hundreds of miles of shoreline.
  • Eat at one of our many restaurants. Claremore boasts of a variety of local eateries as well as about every national chain imaginable, many of which are located near campus.
  • Even more retail and food establishments are located just a few miles away in Owasso – a major shopping hub of northeast Oklahoma.

Museums and Historic Sites

While your visiting Rogers State University, take some time to visit some Claremore’s historic sites.

Oklahoma Military Academy Museum
You don’t have to travel far from the RSU campus in Claremore to visit several nationally recognized historic sites. In fact, you don’t have to leave the campus. The museum is located on the second floor of Meyer Hall and tells the story of the more than 10,000 cadets who attended the esteemed institution (the predecessor of RSU) from 1919 to 1971.

Will Rogers Memorial & Museums
Located just across the street from the campus, the museums are one of Oklahoma’s top tourist attractions. This is the seminal museum on America’s favorite son and features exhibits of art, artifacts, and memorabilia (including original paintings by Charles Russell, Charles Banks Wilson, and others); internationally recognized library and archives; the Rogers family tomb; statues of Will Rogers; theaters; and a special children’s museum. The Will Rogers Birthplace and Ranch are located nearby in Oologah, Okla. (RSU and the Will Rogers Memorial and Museums are presently discussing a merger of the two institutions.)

J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum
Home to the unique collection of J.M. Davis of over 12,000 firearms and thousands of non-firearm artifacts ranging from Old West saddles and spurs, John Rogers statuary, Toby mugs and Beer Steins, World War I posters, and local Claremore and Rogers county history. Multi-media exhibits for a family-friendly walk through history.

Claremore Museum of History
The Claremore Museum of History showcases multiple collections of artifacts from Claremore’s notable individuals, including Lynn Riggs, Andy Payne, Patti Page, Stuart Roosa, and Helen Robson Walton. The museum’s mission is to create engaging experiences that celebrate history, connect community, and inspire creativity.

More Around Claremore

There are historic and quirky tourist destinations nearby, especially along the famous Route 66.

Blue Whale
One of the most recognizable icons on Route 66, the attraction was built by Hugh Davis in the early 1970s as an anniversary gift to his wife Zelta, who collected whale figurines. An absolute must stop!

Bartlesville and Pryor

RSU also has campuses in Bartlesville and Pryor, which are both unique and interesting communities in their own rights. For more information on attractions in those communities, visit these chamber of commerce and tourism sites: