Motor Thru Oklahoma, The Sooner State, driving on the most drivable part of the original Route 66. There are so many towns on Route 66 in Oklahoma, that it would take several pages to highlight them all. I have chosen to highlight a few, and let you explore the rest on your own. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure and include the most popular attractions!
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The first Oklahoma town you drive into will be Quapaw. Named for the Quapaw Indians Quapaw was a major hay shopping center at the turn of the century. The area was also popular for cattle because of the tall prairie grass that grew there. Many of the buildings in Quapaw have beautiful murals painted on them reminding all of The Mother Road.
Commerce, Miami, Afton, Vinita, Chelsea, Bushyhead, and Foyil are towns that you pass through.
In Claremore, you will find the Will Rogers Memorial. Will Rogers was Oklahoma’s favorite son, rising from a career in Vaudeville to starting on The Great White Way! Be sure and check out The Will Rogers memorial and museum. Even though it’s known as Will Roger’s hometown, Will Rogers stated he was born somewhere between Claremore and Oologah, and considered Oologah his hometown. Time to motor on to the next town.
One of the most popular attractions on Route 66 is The Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK. Created in 1970 by Hugh Davis, the big blue whale was the highlight of an animal-themed park. As an anniversary present for his wife, he created this park. Eventually, over time, the Blue Whale was left to rot, a forgotten symbol of days gone by. Fortunately, the family took control and restored the Blue Whale. In April of 2020, the City of Catoosa purchased the Blue Whale from the Davis family. This is my absolute favorite attraction on Route 66. I don’t know why I love it so much, but I do, and I have a selfie or two in the mouth of big Blue! Be sure to get your selfie in the mouth of The Blue Whale!
Passing through several cities and driving into Arcadia you will see the Round Barn. Built in 1898, the Round Barn was restored in 1992 after standing for 90 years. This is the only barn of its kind with a perfectly round circumference and is still one of the most photographed attractions along Route 66.
Several motels along Route 66 still exist. The Western Hotel is still operating. A 1960’s postcard tells us “The newest and most modern motel in Sayre. Refrigerated air conditioning – Family Units – Vented Heat – Wall To Wall Carpets – Combination Tub & Shower – Tile Baths – Storm Shelter – 25 Units – Telephones – Playground. Ollie & Ruby Elliott, Owners & Managers.”
The hotel and neon sign still remains! There are many other attractions to see in Sayre and you can check them out here!
The westernmost town of Oklahoma is Texola. The last Oklahoma city before you enter Texas. There are many old buildings from Route 66, but they are in various states of disrepair and not recognizable from the days gone by. Thankfully old pictures remain, and we can still see what Route 66 was like.
Now that we’re through Oklahoma, get ready for Texas and as they say, ‘Everything is bigger in TEXAS” and that included Route 66 attractions!