Alva was established in 1893 as a land office from the Cherokee Outlet Land Run, the largest of the land rushes that settled western and central Oklahoma. The site was chosen for its location on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and likely named for a railroad attorney, Alva Adams, who had become governor of Colorado.

Alva is home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University, founded in 1897. The college’s main building for a time was the “Castle on the Hill,” a huge, fanciful brick building, modeled after a Norman castle, that towered over much of the town. The Castle burned down in 1935, to be replaced by Jesse Dunn Hall, which was dedicated in 1937 by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Today, the city council is actively soliciting murals -- one of the most recent is of the storied Castle. One can find marvelous murals throughout the downtown area, which is centered around a town square. Alva is a destination city for numerous northwest Oklahoma attractions, such as Little Sahara State Park, Great Salt Plains Lake and State Park, Alabaster Caverns State Park and the Twister Museum in Wakita.

Upcoming Local Events

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Local Attractions

Alva Mural Tour

Various Alva Locations
Alva, OK 73717
The Alva Mural Society has placed 25 historical murals on buildings and two water towers throughout the city.
Arts , Culture, Mural, Photo Op, Point of Interest

Alva Recreation Complex

1887 Goldbug Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717
Thanks to the generosity of the Alva community, the Alva Recreation Complex has now become the center of numerous youth, adult, and even collegiate activities.  Currently, the Alva Recreation Complex consists of four softball fields, a five-field…Learn More
Family Friendly, Outdoor Activity, Park, Playground, Recreation, Sports Venue

Alva Regional Airport Museum

2875 College Blvd
Alva, OK 73717
The Alva Regional Airport Museum showcases local aviation history while providing an historic glimpse into the past. Located within the Alva Regional Airport terminal just south of the city of Alva, this museum features artifacts from the area's…Learn More

Bradt's Menagerie Petting Farm

Alva, OK 73717
We can't wait for you to visit our petting farm and hay maze! Whether you are looking for a fun outing with the family, an educational field trip for your class, or a birthday party destination, Bradt's Menagerie is the perfect place. It's not just for…Learn More
Family Friendly, Nature, Outdoor Activity, Playground

Cherokee Strip Museum

901 14th Street
Alva, OK 73717
The Cherokee Strip Museum    Housed in a vintage 1932 hospital building, museum boasts one of the best collections of pioneer exhibits and Indian art & artifacts in the state. Features 40 rooms displaying history of Alva & the Cherokee…Learn More
Family Friendly, Museum, Photo Op, Shopping

Graceful Arts Center

523 Barnes Ave
Alva, OK 73717
Please join us in encouraging artists, supporting the arts and humanities in Oklahoma, and making a commitment to freedom of expression and the nurturing of the human spirit.
Arts , Family Friendly

Hatfied Park

14th Street
Alva, OK 73717
Hatfied Park in Alva.
Hiking, Nature, Park, Photo Op

Museum of Natural History

709 Oklahoma Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717
Currently the museum has more than 6,000 accessioned items, including a mounted bird collection that is one of the largest in the state. This collection includes two whooping cranes, Grus americanus, and more than 20 mounted eagles.
Museum, Nature

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd
Alva, OK 73717
Northwestern Oklahoma State University is a public regional university that has received national acclaim for its combination of high quality academic program and affordability. While Northwestern primarily serves the vast geographical area of northwest…Learn More
Arts , Event (Venue), Historical Site, Museum, Photo Op, Shopping, Statue, Swimming Pool, Theater

Rialto Cinema & Video

516 Flynn Street
Alva, OK 73717
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Arts , Family Friendly, Movie Site, Theater

Runnymede - Community Building

Downtown Alva
Alva, OK 73717
The Runnymede is located in Alva, Oklahoma, and functions as a community meeting place, a place to hold parties, weddings, banquets, club meetings, and many other functions. The Runnymede has a very colorful past. it was built in 1889 in…Learn More
Arts , Event (Venue), Historical Site, Mural, Museum, Photo Op, Statue