May 10, 2010 by Kendra Hendren
Someone once said, "If you have a really good idea, plant it, nourish it and watch it grow." Well, that’s exactly how Bridle Creek Horse Ranch & Resort got started – a simple vision that grew into a 128-acre family business that might just be the perfect setting for your special event or family outing.
It all began a few years ago when my father and uncle bought 400 acres just outside downtown Tulsa. Being real estate developers, they planned on building homes on this scenic ranch land overlooking the Osage Hills. I had also been in the real estate business since college – that is, until I planned my own wedding and just loved it! I also thoroughly enjoyed planning a number of events for my family and friends, so I sold my family on developing the land into an event venue. Today, my mother and I plan the events, and the ranch and stables are managed by Mike Thoendel.
The domino effect began when we first built a 54,000 square foot indoor arena. Next came the 26-horse stable and 84-horse event stall. Then, we built 12 log cabins and finally, the 7,500 square foot rustic lodge with a gorgeous view of the Osage Hills as a back drop for a western theme party or the most elegant wedding. We’re also very excited about breaking ground on our new steakhouse which will soon be open to the public.
Our guests often tell us, "This is what Oklahoma is all about!" And, Bridle Creek really does have it all…the ranch, scenic view, horses, oil wells, cabins – even a horse-drawn stagecoach that my grandfather built. Most of all, you and your guests will enjoy Oklahoma hospitality at its very best from a family that lives right here at the ranch.
For your next wedding, party, family reunion or just a weekend in the country, consider the scenic elegance and country charm of Bridle Creek Horse Ranch. We’re just 15 minutes from Tulsa and looking forward to meeting you, soon!
Bridle Creek Horse Ranch & Resort
by Jenny Lewis
You can search the entire state of Oklahoma and not find a more romantic, relaxing and perfect destination than Indian Creek Village. Nestled in northern Oklahoma’s cross timbers between Ringwood and Cleo Springs, this is a very special choice for a private, relating destination wedding, romantic get-away, fun agritourism visit or even the perfect "Chick Trip."
Hello, my name is Jenny Lewis, owner of Indian Creek Village. My late husband and I
began our dream by planting a vineyard in 1997. Next, we put in a winery. Then, we found a three-story home built at the time of statehood which was about to be destroyed.
So, we moved it, in its entirety, on to our beautiful property just outside Ringwood, Oklahoma north of Enid. It took two days to move the historic home all nine miles. We lovingly restored it and just recently opened it as a bed and breakfast. Next, we found an old country church – and, yes, we moved it onto the property as well. Perfectly restored, that church is now the Indian Creek Wedding Chapel.
Running a winery, bed and breakfast and wedding/event venue is a lot of work, but definitely a labor of love. Since I also teach special education, I am lucky to have a wonderful staff to assist.
At Indian Creek Village, we make our own wine, including a sweet "Cross Timbers" white, dry "Eagle Chief" Merlot, "Cowboy Blush" and the fruity "Sooner Spirit," which makes the perfect tailgate or picnic wine. Plan to tour our winery and visit our tasting room and gift shop where you can sample the wines, purchase a gift basket, hand crafted item or wine accessories. We’ll also be happy to prepare in intimate, private dining experience.
If you’re searching for an stylish country wedding, Indian Creek Village is a fabulously quaint and romantic setting. Our restored historic wedding chapel and lovely outdoor reception area will accommodate 150 guests. Smaller group events can be held inside the main house. The Bed and Breakfast has four beautifully decorated and comfortable rooms with private baths, including our honeymoon suite complete with a kingsize bed and Jacuzzi. Children and pets are welcome.
Indian Creek Village makes a wonderful gal get-away, often called a "Chick Trip." Get in touch with your creative side by taking an art lesson from a certified art teacher or a stitching lesson in the quilting parlor. We also host gourmet food classes, have a stable with horses, swimming pool, campfire cookouts and a picnic area with public restrooms.
On Sunday afternoons, guests enjoy live entertainment while sipping their favorite glass of wine. We’re also happy to arrange a fishing or hunting trip or suggest nearby attractions, including Alabaster Caverns, the Little Sahara sand dunes and many
For the perfect wedding, event or get-away, make your destination Indian Creek Village.
the jewel of Oklahoma’s lush northern cross-timbers. Lasting memories begin here – for you and your guests.
Jenny Lewis, Owner
Indian Creek Village
Route 2 Box 174
Ringwood, Oklahoma 73768
by Sam Bracken
What would you call an Oklahoma venue that leaves you and your guests feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in a way that respects the environment? When you understand the meaning behind the name The Canebrake, it’s easy to see it was a natural choice.
Hello, my name is Sam Bracken, owner of The Canebrake Resort and Restaurant in "Green Country" Oklahoma – just outside Wagoner. Many people are surprised to learn that a species of native Oklahoma bamboo once commonly grew here at the end of waterways. It served as a filter, so that the water on the backside was calm, clear and clean – much how our guests feel after their visit.
When my siblings and I were young, my parents bought this beautiful piece of land as a family retreat and later a horse and cattle ranch. Even when we all went our separate ways, this was always "home" for holidays and family get-togethers. There was a lodge on the ranch (a converted dairy barn) which we were happy to let others from our church use for marriage retreats and other events.
About six years ago, the family needed to consider the future of this beautiful and special place, knowing we wanted to keep it forever. None of us were ranchers and farmers, but we had experience in the hospitality industry and knew how much people loved to come here. So, we converted the 12,000 foot, 17-stall barn into a 17,000 square foot resort that was built on an earth-friendly philosophy. We used recycled and sustainable materials, insulated the walls with recycled denim and painted them with non-V.O.C. paints. Radiant heat warms the rooms while plenty of natural light creates a warm, inviting atmosphere. The cottages, fine dining restaurant, organic and locally produced food selections all reflect the same commitment to provide exceptional surroundings and service in a way that pampers our guests and honors the earth. Even our guest activities, including yoga, birding and ropes challenge encourage guests to relax and become more their "natural" selves.
The Canebrake is available for individual/couple get-a-ways or groups, such as weddings, business conferences and retreats. We can accommodate up to 40 overnight guests and our conference/banquet facilities are a natural for groups of 10 to 100 people.
Sit-down or buffet catering choices can be customized or suggested. A per-person price includes a three-course meal, linens, tea and water – even a flower and candle at each table. Audio/visual equipment is also available. We often arrange cooking demonstrations, wine testing’s and other group activities in our restaurant area.
At The Canebrake, we aspire to get the most out of life and to share that same desire with our guests. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff provides personal service and attention to every detail, allowing guests to participate as much or as little as they like.
We invite you to experience the joy of life and enjoy the earth’s abundance at The Canebrake – the premier boutique resort in the region. Stop in for dinner or call us to reserve your cottage or group event.
33241 E/ 732 Road
Wagoner, Oklahoma 74467
by Rany Kchao
Only minutes from the University of Oklahoma and Lake Thunderbird is one of our state’s best kept secrets. You won’t fully appreciate Whispering Pines until you drive up the beautifully landscaped drive shaded by towering pine trees and experience for yourself all this lovely and distinctive event venue has to offer.
Hello, my name is Rany Kchao. I and my family cordially invite you to Whispering Pines, a truly elegant special event venue, bed and breakfast, restaurant and lounge. I first came to this country in 1982 from Cambodia and began working in restaurants washing dishes. I worked my way up to cook and eventually prepared individual dinners and catered events at prestigious restaurants such as Oak Tree Country Club, Coach House Inn and The Metro in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1999, I bought Whispering Pines as a family business. It is run by eight members of my family including my wife, sons, sister-in-law and nieces. For four years, Whispering Pines was solely a bed and breakfast with seven romantic guest rooms. Among other amenities, our guests choose from six items on our full-breakfast menu at no additional charge which is delivered to their room.
The main house is a magnificent two-story mansion reminiscent of those from the early 1990s complete with a grand staircase, large wrap-around porch and gazebo. It’s nestled in 20 acres of lovely trees and rolling pastures. I learned gardening literally from the ground up and take great pride in the lovely, seasonal landscaping which makes Whispering Pines the perfect setting for outdoor events.
Over the years, we have had more than 100 outdoor weddings and parties here at Whispering Pines for 10 to 250 guests. Guests will thrill at the towering trees, lovely grassed open areas, outdoor gazebo, large Koi pond and waterfall. We offer all-inclusive packages for added convenience and a lower overall cost.
In recent years, we have opened a fine dining restaurant and lounge in the main house. The menu is primarily French continental, but we also serve other entrees which include pork tenderloin, seafood specialties and Black Angus steaks. Seating is limited and by reservation only, so be sure to call early. The restaurant won first place in the International Wine and Food society.
Most recently, we created an eight-acre vineyard. After the grapes have more time to mature, we will be making our own wine and opening the winery to the public.
The next time you’re driving down Highway 9 between Norman and Lake Thunderbird, watch for the Whispering Pines sign. We look forward to having you as our overnight guest in the bed and breakfast. We also hope you will join us one evening for dinner and consider us for your next party, wedding or other special event.
Rany Kchao, Owner and Chef
7820 East Highway 9
Norman, OK 73026