All Aboard! 13

Girlfriends’ Weekend on a Luxury Houseboat

Take five old friends (who have traveled the world and are on the prowl for new experiences close to home), and you have a recipe for fun.


Beth found The Red Pony while searching for unique experiences on, and knew it would be the perfect place for a weekend away. “We wanted somewhere that none of us have tried, but within an easy drive of dining and destinations,” she said. “The Red Pony has every luxury amenity we wanted with all of the extras we never expected.”


Thirty minutes away from Tahlequah and home to the Cherokee Nation, this charming Oklahoma community offers informative museums, unique eateries, gaming and tons of nightlife.



The Red Pony Party Barge and Continual Soiree

OK-100, Vian, OK 74962,,;

The destination? A 14-by-68-foot houseboat and floating condominium docked on beautiful Pine Cove Marina in scenic Lake Tenkiller State Park. Sleeps 10 people with all of the features of a five-star hotel. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, full kitchen and bar.


Cherokee Gift Shop

17725 S. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah, OK 74464; Hours: 9-5 M–F, 11-4 Sunday;

The Cherokee Gift Shop, located at the tribal offices, is the hot spot for original Cherokee artwork, Pendleton blankets and clothing, books and gifts. The star of the shop is the gallery in back featuring one-of-a-kind artwork by Cherokee artisans.


Sam and Ella’s Pizza Palace

419 N. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah, OK 74464; open every day until 10 p.m.;

Not to be confused with a disease (salmonella), Sam and Ella’s Chicken Palace serves the best and most renowned pizza in Northeastern Oklahoma, or according to its fans, anywhere. Customers rave about the “Big Sloppy” and “Artie”choke dip.


Aboard The Red Pony

The Red Pony at Lake Tenkiller

Though The Red Pony is a great choice for a girlfriends’ getaway, it would also work well for couples looking for a unique romantic getaway, a one-of-a-kind vacation or other special occasion.