Great Small Cities: Tahlequah, OK

Author: Lauren Ross


Tahlequah has quite a bit to do and see, even for a small city. Nestled beneath the foothills of the Ozarks, Tahlequah’s beauty and rich history make it an exciting place to live – oh, and don’t forget about the affordable apartments! From scuba diving and kayaking on Lake Tenkiller to hiking along the Illinois River, Tahlequah is full of hotspots for outdoor leisure and recreation!

Tahlequah’s history dates back to the early-mid 19th century after the Trail of Tears. Established in 1843 by the National Cherokee Council, Tahlequah became the first incorporated city in the state before Oklahoma even entered statehood – hence its moniker “City of Firsts”. Tahlequah is federally recognized as the capital of the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.  Residents and visitors alike can learn about the land, the Trail of Tears, and the people of that time at the Cherokee Heritage Center or John Hair Cultural Center and Museum.

Because it’s acknowledged as the oldest city in the state, Tahlequah also has the oldest main street. While walking along the brick-lined sidewalks of Main Street, residents will find boutiques, antique shops, food markets and more. The city is also a college town. Northeastern State University is located here and offers students a collection of undergraduate and graduate curriculums.

Avid hikers may take on the rugged Ozark Mountain trails, but people who prefer to stroll may want to consider the History Trail. The city trail goes through parks, passes along creeks and historical structures, and into Downtown Tahlequah. It’s a great way for newcomers to discover their new city, while getting some fresh air.

The Red Fern Festival, Arts on the Avenue, Good Food Festival, and Wines of Winter are wonderful events to check out. Norris Park is the venue for a majority of city festivals, as well as the summertime-favorite Movies in the Park.

As you can see, Tahlequah is a great place to call home – and it’s just about an hour and a half outside of Tulsa! From rich heritage to popular outdoor fun destinations, Tahlequah has it all to be your new home. Find your apartment in the “City of Firsts” today!