Lake Texoma, Oklahoma
Ross Perot has a ranch on this most beautiful of lakes, which makes a great summertime retreat. You can sail, fish or swim here, and it's large enough that you can find a small island and claim it as your own for a day.
Lake Texoma is one of the largest man-made lakes in the country. It is located on the Texas-Oklahoma border. The lake is about a two-hour drive south from Oklahoma City, or an hour's drive north from Dallas. There are so many opportunities for adventure on and off the lake. It will be easy to plan a long vacation filled with new activities each day.
The 89,000-acre lake is a man-made reservoir. After horrible floods in the early 1900's Texas Senators helped pass legislation for the $5.6 million project. In 1944, water from the Red River started filling the reservoir.
Lake Texoma is an angler's paradise. The lake is filled with crappie, bluegill, catfish, sand bass, black bass and striped bass. Any avid fisherman knows striped bass are salt water fish; but stripers were introduced to the lake in the late 1960's. Before you hit the banks or the boats to fish, you will need to buy a fishing license. Because the lake is on the Oklahoma-Texas border, it is probably easier to buy a Texoma license, than worry about purchacing a fishing license from both states. You can buy a one at most local marinas. The marinas will also be able to rent you boats, sell tackle and bait, or even suggest a guide. If you are not familiar with the area, a guide might be a good idea, since the lake is so large.
Lake Texoma is so large, it lends itself perfectly to boating. No matter how many sail boats, racing boats, fishing boats and houseboats leave marinas, the lake is still not crowded. Many people also enjoy water skiing, wind surfing and jet skiing. If you do not have your own equipment, you will find plenty of places to rent gear. If you are not familiar with the gear, several companies provide charter services.
If you are an avid sailor, you might want to enter competitions. They have several throughout the year, but you will need to register early for the races. They also have one of the largest boat building companies along the lake. If you love to sail, you might want to drop in and see how they make them.
While you are out in the water, do not forget to look around. Some of the world's rich and famous own homes along the lake. Politician Ross Perot has a ranch. You can ask a local to point it out. And, basketball star Dennis Rodman has been known to frequent restaurants and marinas. You never know who you might see.
If fishing or boating is not your dream, you can plan a whole day on one of the lake's many beaches or islands. There are several shallow areas set aside for children. You can buy lake maps from any local business to find the perfect beach getaway.
The Texoma area has five public and eight private golf courses. The private courses do allow visitors, but you will need to call the golf pro to make reservations. And if you plan to come during peak season, you will want to call ahead for a tee time at the public courses, as well.
You have a wide selection of lodging at Lake Texoma. The two wildlife refuges and two state parks offer camping and places to hook up campers. Resorts line the lake. You can easily find cabins, hotels, or bed and breakfasts to stay in, all located within 30 minutes of the lake.
Dining and Shopping
After a long day at the lake, you will have plenty of places to shop and eat. A wide variety of restaurants line the lake. You can order off menus serving food from prime rib and catfish to hamburgers and hot dogs. Most marinas and resorts have their own gift shops. If you want to travel, you will find shops in all of the surrounding cities, including many antique stores.
Many successful artists choose to live around Lake Texoma. A man who blows colored glass lives in Pottsboro. If you have the time, he gives lessons and you could learn how to blow glass yourself. In Denison, the artists' guild is strong. They can help you locate nearly anything, from painters to musicians.