Route 66 Oklahoma

Route 66 in Oklahoma: All the Attractions Along the Route

February 11, 2022 /

Warning: Due to COVID 19 some information in this article (e.g. operating hours) may not be up-to-date.

For the fourth installment of our itinerary along Route 66, today we will discover what one of the states with the most Mother Road-related sites, Oklahoma, has in store for us. As usual, we will offer you a selection of the most interesting attractions that you can find in the Sooner State so that you can organize your road trip by the stages that you consider to be most fascinating and maybe tell us what you have discovered. You can also help yourself with our Route 66 Road Trip Planner and read our article on the best places to visit on Route 66.

The main cities we will encounter along Route 66 are presented here east to west. If for some reason you prefer to move from west to east, all you have to do is start from the end. So… what are the best places to stop along Route 66 in Oklahoma? Take note of these attractions: your road trip will be an amazing experience.

Route 66 Oklahoma: Attractions Map

Miami

Route 66 Oklahoma Attractions

The first interesting city you’ll encounter here along Route 66 is Miami, which, although not as charming as its Florida counterpart, can still offer you some special attractions.

The most famous building is undoubtedly the Coleman Theatre (103 N. Main) with its peculiar architectural style that recalls the Spanish missions. It’s worth a visit to the Marathon Oil Gasoline Station that has been completely restored.

Motorcycle enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the Route 66 Vintage Iron (128 S. Main), a museum that houses one of the largest collections of motorcycles owned by none other than Steve McQueen. Walking around downtown, you may come across a replica of the Statue of Liberty, but it is only one of two hundred built by the Boy Scouts of America to celebrate the organization’s fortieth anniversary.

Vinita

Route 66 Oklahoma attractions map

You’re passing through one of Oklahoma’s oldest towns, and if the history of this small town intrigues you, why not take the opportunity to visit the buildings that belonged to the founding families on the Historic Homes Tour?

You can start from the Eastern Trails Museum (215 W Illinois Ave) where you will also find a lot of information about the local history, especially relating to the Civil War and the influence of Native American tribes, as well as a section dedicated to Route 66, of course. In addition to this, the city of Vinita is famous for hosting the largest McDonald’s in the United States.

Foyil

Along the streets of Foyil you will find a rather curious pace to visit, the Totem Pole Park where, as you may guess from the name, the typical structures made famous by Native Americans are the main attraction. The most imposing structure is more than twenty meters high.

Catoosa

Route 66 Oklahoma sights

In this small town on the outskirts of Tulsa you can find one of the most famous attractions of Route 66, the Catoosa Whale: a giant blue whale 24 meters long that emerges from the waters of a pond, restored thanks to the work of many volunteers in 2002.

Tulsa

Route 66 Oklahoma travel guide

You are passing through one of the most important cities in the state, where in 1921 a number of racially motivated clashes took place in which more than thirty people lost their lives and which left the African American district completely in ruins. If you want to learn more about the history of this sad and painful episode you can visit Greenwood Cultural Center (322 N Greenwood Ave) and the nearby Mabel B. Little Heritage House.

Motor enthusiasts may find Mac’s Antique Car Museum interesting, with its collection of classic cars, including the Hudson used in the filming of the famous Driving Miss Daisy.

Route 66 Oklahoma Places to visit

To underline the importance of oil for this territory, there is a giant sculpture of a worker in charge of its extraction, better known as the Golden Driller (4145 E 21st St), that you can’t fail to notice as you pass by the International Petroleum Exhibition.

Also worth noting is the Admiral Twin, a drive-in still in operation. As Oklahoma is the birthplace of the famous folk singer Woody Guthrie, here you can find a museum dedicated entirely to his life and the legacy of his works (102 E Mathew B. Brady St).

Stroud

Attractions Route 66 Oklahoma

The most famous place here is undoubtedly Rock Café (114 West Main Street), which was built using stones quarried during the construction of Route 66 itself. Although it was partially destroyed by fire in 2008, it was promptly restored and within a year reopened its doors.

Its owner’s determination and dedication to work is such that it is well known among lovers of Route 66, so much so that he provided inspiration to the authors of the Disney movie Cars for the character of Sally Carrera. Another place known by the Mother Road’s frequenters is the Skyliner Motel with its characteristic neon sign.

Arcadia

Route 66 Oklahoma Arcadia

The town of Arcadia is home to the well-known Old Round Barn (107 OK-66). This particular structure was built back in 1898 and has become known to all Route 66 enthusiasts. For that reason alone, it’s a must-see stop.

Arcadia is also renowned for its newly built POPS restaurant (660 OK-66), which, as you might guess from its name, owes its fame primarily to its huge selection of sodas. It is dominated on the outside by a soda bottle-shaped structure over twenty feet tall, making it instantly recognizable.

Oklahoma City

Route 66 Oklahoma route

In 1995, the capital of the state of Oklahoma suffered what until 2001 was the most serious act of terrorism committed on American soil, when Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh carried out the destruction of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building, causing the death of 168 people including 19 children. Dedicated to the events of that day is the National Memorial Museum (620 N Harvey Ave), where outside you will find the Symbolic Memorial, consisting of the same number of sculptures of empty chairs as there were victims of the attack.

Things to see on Route 66 Oklahoma

If you want to take a relaxing break, a good idea would be to visit the Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno Ave), a true green oasis in the city. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 N.E. 63rd Street) may be worth a visit if you’ve always been fascinated by life on the American frontier. Want to immerse yourself in a cultural tour? Then don’t miss a visit to the Omniplex (2100 NE 52nd Street), a collection of museums including the hands-on Science Museum, the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, the Red Earth Indian Center, and the Air Space Museum.

Things to Do on Route 66 Oklahoma

Walking through the center of Oklahoma City you will come across the characteristic Bricktown (a very famous district that takes its name from the red bricks used to construct most of the buildings) that will surprise you with its bars, restaurants, and clubs with live music. There are also waterways that can be navigated by taking advantage of a boat tour.

Military history lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit the 45th Infantry Division Museum (2145 NE 36th St), which bears witness to the role Oklahoma played during the War of Secession and the events related to the Indian tribes. There are also artifacts from Hitler’s bunker recovered by the 45th Division during the last days of the war in Berlin.

The Oklahoma Railway Museum (3400 NE Grand Blvd) is an open-air museum highly recommended for families where, among the many attractions, you can take a ride on a real train. For those who are fond of kitschy curiosities, you might consider a visit to the American Pigeon Museum & Library (2300 NE 63rd St) which, as you can guess from its name, is dedicated to the cultural heritage of pigeons. The state capital could not miss out on having a drive-in that is still in operation: the Winchester has been open since 1968.

El Reno

Route 66 Oklahoma Things to see

If you find yourself around these parts in May, it may be helpful to know that on the first Saturday of the month, a giant 750-pound onion burger is grilled and you can try some of it for free, at least while it lasts. This is all because El Reno is considered the home of onion burgers with dozens of restaurants that specialize in making them.

If you want to experience a piece of U.S. history you can visit Historic Fort Reno, a U.S. Army military outpost used to control and protect the area from the Indians. During World War II, the place was used to house German and Italian prisoners of war. The fort’s church was built by soldiers from the Afrika Korps.

Weatherford

If you are fascinated by space, I think that the Stafford Air & Space Museum (3000 Logan Rd) is well worth a visit, as inside you will find moon artifacts, space suits and permanent exhibitions on the Apollo expeditions.

Even though it only opened its doors in 2007, the Heartland of America Museum (1600 S Frontage Rd) is a must-see as you will find a diner there, once located along Route 66, which is said to have been visited by Elvis three times.

Clinton

The city of Clinton is the home of the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum (2229 W Gary Blvd) which is obviously worth a stop on its own. Full of Mother Road artifacts and with various well-constructed exhibitions, it will strike you from the outside with its peculiar structure designed by the same architect as the POPS in Arcadia.

Elk City

Route 66 Oklahoma Map

If your thirst for the history of Route 66 has not been quenched by visiting the Clinton Museum, then you’ll have to make another stop at the National Route 66 Museum (2717 W 3rd St), which traces the events of our beloved road through all eight states and also contains a collection of various vintage cars.

Also worth a visit is the adjacent Old Town Museum, which houses remarkable reconstructions of a pioneer village including a police station, school, courthouse, train station, and more.

Texola

route 66 through oklahoma

What better farewell could Oklahoma offer you than to say goodbye to a quaint ghost town?

Where to Stay Along Route 66 in Oklahoma

If you want some advice on the best hotels and motels along this stretch of Mother Road you can read the section dedicated to where to stay along Route 66 in Oklahomain our in-depth article.

Discover quaint accommodations along Route 66

Travel resources

Here are some guides you can rely on

If you want to delve into the individual attractions of each city, each one has its own institutional site, that are in most cases very well maintained, where you will find all the additional information you need.

Let’s continue the journey…

Here’s what not to miss in other states:

See you next time!


Our Tip:
Looking for accommodations for your trip from California to other parts of the Southwest? Read our guide that contains reviews of hotels and strategic tips for finding accommodations near major attractions: Where to Stay: Our Tips for the SouthWest Area

Warning: Operating hours can change and closures for extraordinary events can occur, so we strongly suggest to check the venues official websites.

filippo nardelli
Filippo Nardelli

I have a degree in History of North America and have always been fascinated by the United States.

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