Did you know that Oklahoma has a master-planned resort community? One that serves as home to a few, and a vacation retreat to many more.
Just a short drive from Oklahoma City on Lake Eufaula sits a tiny town inspired by some of Florida's most popular vacation destinations.
In 2007, members of the Humphreys family wondered why Oklahoma couldn't have a version of towns like Seaside and Rosemary Beach, Florida, where they had vacationed for many years.
The family had some property at Lake Eufala that they had been enjoying since the 1970s, so it seemed like the perfect place to assemble enough parcels of land to create a community where other families could gather for years to come.
The Humpherys knew that the Andrés Duany, the world-renowned urban planner responsible for both Seaside and Rosemary Beach, Florida should head up the project. In 2008 and 2009, the team of urban planners, architects, engineers, and designers assembled to create a community unlike any other in the region, and homes began to take shape in 2011.
By 2012, the town was ready to welcome the first residents, Grant and Jen Humphreys, and their family. Today, about 25 families live at Carlton Landing full-time, and numerous other families spend their time off in their own lake homes, or in one of the many beautiful homes available for single-visit rental or a time-share ownership option.
The community features multiple parks, two swimming pools, a community garden, boat club membership options, a local farm, and Carlton Landing Academy, the local public charter school that serves students from Pre-K through 8th grade.
Six members of my own Oklahoma City family share a lake home that they built together in 2016. It is the perfect place for the two sets of grandparents to spend time with two of their grown children and three grandchildren, and the entire family can gather for holidays and celebrations.
We've shared a Christmas fish fry with fresh crappie from the lake, bonfires on the porch, and bike rides to the local park and garden. The home is large enough for each couple to have their own personally designed bedroom and the kids to have their own space.
My brother-in-law Jeremy Burt, shared with me that initially, they only decided to build a second home after hearing about the Carlton Landing community. "We weren't even looking for a lake house. Eufala is nice because of its proximity to us. I can leave work on Saturday and be there in two hours."
When asked about his favorite part about spending time at their second home, he shared that it is the ability to focus on the important things. "Life can be going 200 miles per hour, but as soon as you get to Carlton Landing, it just all slows down, and the most important part of the day switches from answering e-mails to finding bugs on our family critter crawls."
The Bocce Ball Park offers three bocce courts, as well as an outdoor ping pong table. You can grab a bite at the food truck park, or enjoy a swim at either the boardwalk pool or the newly opened salt-water Tower Court pool. You can also swim at the community beach at the town green.
Mama Tig's Wood Fired Pizza is conveniently located near the boat dock and Firefly Park and offers specialty pizza, salads, subs, appetizers, and calzones. The Meeting House is a great place to enjoy a casual dinner or cocktail before retiring for the evening or exploring one of the community activities Carlton Landing has to offer. Visit the community events calendar at CarltonLanding.com/events/. Please check restaurant hours in advance, as they vary by season.
Mornings are the perfect time to connect with nature on a walk or gentle hike through the Carlton Landing Nature Center. In partnership with the Nature Conservancy, the center provides miles of trails as well as outdoor amenities for residents and visitors alike.
After a brisk walk, head down to the marina and enjoy a boat tour. Whether you are interested in tubing behind a ski boat or bringing your fishing gear to show off your cast on a family-sized pontoon, they've got you covered. Boat tours come with a private driver and can be arranged at the time of your home rental booking or by e-mailing hospitality@CarltonLanding.com.
On Saturdays during the summer season, you can stop by the neighborhood farmer's market and pick up some fresh produce from the local community farm. The rental homes feature beautiful kitchens perfect for an evening in, creating a memorable family meal. Groceries are also available in nearby Eufala, or by pre-arranged concierge services through the hospitality department.
An evening sharing a bottle of wine under the stars on your deck or patio is the perfect way to wind down a weekend getaway at Oklahoma's premier master-planned community.
For more information on home rentals, sales, or the Carlton Landing Residence Club, visit CarltonLanding.com, or call/e-mail Katie Chapman at 918.452.2509 or katiechapman@KWElevate.com.
Article by Amanda Jane Simcoe
Photography by Photos courtesy Carlton Landing and Keller Williams
Originally published in Historic District Lifestyle