Tahlequah, Oklahoma is the Cherokee county capitol. It is located along the Illinois River and a short distance from Lake Tenkiller. Among an ever growing list of annual events, Spring in brings the annual Red Fern Festival to downtown Tahlequah. The city hosts a diverse group of national, regional, and local shops and restaurants. The main campus of Northeastern State University is located here. Tahlequah is the Cherokee Nation capitol. The Cherokee Nation is the City's largest employer. The city features two hospitals and an urgent care center. The population is 16,496, which does not include the residents of 8 communities within 3 miles. Those communities expand the Tahlequah area's available workforce. Tahlequah is 75 miles (Apprx. 1 hour drive via toll road) from the Tulsa metro area.