Below, I’m going to link you to a bunch of websites, possibly places you’ve already checked out. But before I do, I just want to share a few things.
If you’ve read reviews or forum posts about Lawton and you’re getting nervous, I totally understand, but please remember how important reasonable expectations are, and take it from me: Lawton just isn’t that bad. It’s not great. It’s not a place I would have picked on my own as somewhere to settle down. But we’ve been here since January 2013 and in four years, I only have three significant complaints:
- I wish city government would invest a little more in updating old infrastructure without forcing residents to threaten lawsuits;
- I wish the guy who drives our trash truck was less of a whiny brat who doesn’t like to do his job;
- I wish the lights on Cache weren’t set to 36 mph when the speed limit is 40 mph.
So here are the links I’d use if I were helping someone research moving here.
Want to know where to live? Start with this map. If you’re not planning to live on post, sticking to the edges of town is the best idea, and for the best value, safest neighborhoods, and quickest commute to Fort Sill, you really can’t go wrong with the east side.
Want to know about the weather? Start with the climate data. It averages things out, so you don’t see specifics, but Weather Underground lets you look at data from a custom date range. Winter is cold and sometimes snowy, spring is wet and windy and stormy, and summer is hot and windy.
Fun things to do? There’s enough locally to keep you busy for a while, like the Wildlife Refuge, Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area, Lake Lawtonka, Museum of the Great Plains, and Comanche National Museum & Cultural Center. Or just check out this page.
Grocery shopping? Just the commissary, Country Mart, Walmart (inlcuding a Neighborhood Market), and one Aldi. But if you’re willing to go out of town, OKC has a Trader Joe’s and Wichita Falls has several options, including a Natural Grocers and a Market Street. Oh! I forgot about the farmer’s market.
Clothing and home goods are a little better; there’s Walmart, of course, but there’s also Target, Ross, TJ Maxx, department stores like Dillard’s and JC Penney in the mall and Kohl’s. The nice thing is that Lawton is expanding and building. We’re getting more and more each year, better variety and nicer things.
Curious about cost of living? Go here. We can support a family of four comfortably on VA benefits.
And that’s the thing. When my husband was medically discharged last year, we were all set to move to Ohio this summer, but we decided to stick around for a while. We’re comfortable here. We’re not unhappy with the place. There are opportunities for us–we close on a house next week that we’re planning to have back on the market by the end of the summer, he’s building a network of partners and customers for a renovation and construction business, he can start an engineering degree at Cameron University. There are worse places we could live.