KGOU

tourism

A hilly road in Rocinha.
chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons

While beach-side resorts and events such as Carnival have long made Rio de Janeiro a hot spot for international tourism, in recent years more and more visitors are venturing outside the glamor of Rio’s wealthy Zona Sul region to explore Brazil’s sprawling slums, known as favelas.

Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Editor's Note: This story originally aired December 10, 2015.

The stories go back for generations. Reports of something not quite human in the wooded hills of far southeastern Oklahoma. The legend of Bigfoot is growing in McCurtain County — and attracting tourists.

Bigfoot Getting Bigger

Charles Benton says he knows what he saw five years ago a few miles north of Broken Bow, deep in the woods near Hochatown. It’s where he says a turkey hunt turned into the scare of a lifetime.

Charles Benton, who claims to have seen Bigfoot, stands with a statue of the creature in front of Janet's Treasure Chest in Honobia, Okla.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The stories go back for generations. Reports of something not quite human in the wooded hills of far southeastern Oklahoma. The legend of Bigfoot is growing in McCurtain County — and attracting tourists.

Bigfoot Getting Bigger

Charles Benton says he knows what he saw five years ago a few miles north of Broken Bow, deep in the woods near Hochatown. It’s where he says a turkey hunt turned into the scare of a lifetime.

“Behind me I could hear this moaning, this grunting. And I could feel it almost,” Benton says.

Tucker Tower is an 80-year-old landmark along the shores of Lake Murray.
lake-murray.org

State tourism officials are considering plans for an outdoor sports shooting complex at Lake Murray State Park, the oldest, largest and most popular state park in Oklahoma.

The proposal has generated some complaints that a gun range could disturb the ambiance of the park.

The shooting range, modeled after one being built in South Carolina, would be located next to a new state lodge now under construction in the 12,500-acre park.

Justin Stratford and several of his nieces and nephews play in Lake Thunderbird on a road trip from Arizona.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The $7.1 billion state budget Governor Mary Fallin signed in June 2015 included deep cuts to the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation — the agency that runs the state park system. That could mean some parks will have to be closed or transferred to new operators, and some eastern Oklahoma lawmakers are fuming.

Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has released a 75-page guide highlighting the state's black history and culture.

The brochure, "Long Road to Liberty: Oklahoma's African American History and Culture," explains the influence black history had in shaping the culture of Oklahoma dating back before statehood.

Copies of the brochure are free and can be ordered online.

TravelOK.com

Gov. Mary Fallin has named Tourism and Recreation Department Director Deby Snodgrass as the new head of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Fallin announced Wednesday that she will combine two cabinet-level posts and make Snodgrass her Secretary of Commerce and Tourism.

Snodgrass will step down as executive director of the Tourism Department and be replaced with a director selected by the agency's governing commission.

Fallin says combining the two cabinet positions makes sense since both departments have complimentary roles.

Cory Moates, owner of Moates Excavating, left, and Tim Kent, environmental director of The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, inspect ongoing chat disposal from a site near Quapaw. The pit is the top of a collapsed mine near Picher.
Rip Stell / The Journal Record

Monday The Journal Record published its Tribal Economic Impact issue, a deep dive into how Oklahoma’s federally recognized Native American groups fund their services and contribute to Oklahoma’s economy.

Oklahoma City skyline at night
katsrcool / Flickr

Last month National Geographic Traveler unveiled its annual Best Trips list online – 20 places editors say travelers have to see next year.

Oklahoma City and three other American locales appear in the December/January issue on newsstands Tuesday – alongside destinations as diverse as Choquequirao, Peru, Esteros del Iberá, Argentina, and the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar.

Couple Embraces Nomadic Retirement

Aug 13, 2014

Living out of a suitcase may not be your ideal type of retirement, but for two retirees, it’s paradise on earth.

Four years ago, Lynne and Tim Martin decided to sell everything they own and start a global journey together. They sold their house, gave away their belongings and set out on an adventure that has led them from California to Portugal, Mexico, Morocco and beyond.

Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

A new report from the National Parks Service shows that more than 1 million people visited Oklahoma's national parks in 2013 and spent $17.2 million.

Oklahoma has thee national parks: Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Chickasaw National Recreation Area and Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Sue Masica is the director of the Nationa Parks Service Intermountain Region, which includes Oklahoma. She says the report shows that parks tourism is an important factor in Oklahoma's economy.