Oklahoma Route 66 Attractions: Recommended Places to Stop

Small town murals, historic sites, giant whale statues, and big-city attractions in Tulsa and Oklahoma City are among the best Oklahoma Route 66 attractions.

If you’re planning a drive on this classic Americana road, check out our list of fun, quirky, and interesting places to stop along the way.

route 66 sights

We’ll guide you through the important stops in Oklahoma, starting in the eastern end of the state at Quapaw and traveling west, to the town of Erick near the Texas border.

All photos taken by Quirky Travel Guy.

NOTE: If you’re seeking more tips, we recommend this extensive Route 66 Travel Guide on Amazon.

Oklahoma Route 66 Attractions Map & List of Towns

Here’s a look at the basic route of Route 66 through Oklahoma.

oklahoma route 66 map

List of towns on OK Route 66, from east to west:
-Quapaw
-Commerce
-Miami
-Afton
-Vinita
-Big Cabin
-Chelsea
-Catoosa
-Tulsa
-Sapulpa
-Bristow
-Stroud
-Davenport
-Chandler
-Wellston
-Luther
-Arcadia
-Edmond
-Oklahoma City
-Yukon
-Bridgeport
-Hydro
-Weatherford
-Clinton
-Elk City
-Sayre
-Erick
-Texola

acadia round barn
The famous Round Barn in Acadia, one of the Route 66 highlights in OK.

Oklahoma Route 66 Points of Interest, From East to West

Here’s our list of recommended stops on the Oklahoma portion of Route 66. This guide starts on the eastern end of the state, under the assumption that you’re entering Oklahoma from Kansas.

We’re not mentioning every single town, just the main points of interest for road trippers.

Note that we’re including a few must-visit places that everyone should visit, even if they’re not directly on the classic Route 66 path.

Quapaw, OK

oklahoma route 66

If you enter Oklahoma via Route 66 from Kansas, the first town you will encounter is Quapaw.

Quapaw is a town of 800 people that serves as the capital of the Quapaw Nation. Here you’ll find the Downstream Casino Resort and the Quapaw Tribal Museum, which is open to the public.

The Ghost Town of Picher, OK

Just five minutes off Route 66 sits one of the freakiest ghost towns in America. Picher had to be suddenly abandoned in 2006 due to immediate danger of sinkholes from old mines, as well as toxic lead contamination.

christian church abandoned

Families quickly relocated, leaving behind a town with businesses, schools, and churches. You can still drive through Picher. I found the experience visiting this place to be eerie and surreal.

Miami, OK

The town of Miami claims to have the longest Main Street on all of Route 66. Miami has a number of affordable hotels. I spent a night here on my own road trip.

coleman theater miami
The Coleman Theater in Miami, Oklahoma.

In Miami, look for the century-old Coleman Theater, and seek out the Ribbon Road, one of the last original pieces of Route 66 pavement.

Big Cabin, OK

The giant Native American statue called Standing Brave resides at a truck stop travel plaza in Big Cabin, Oklahoma. He stands 46 feet high.

oklahoma route 66 attractions - standing brave

Chelsea, OK

A highlight in Chelsea is the world’s largest concrete totem pole. If you had no idea that concrete totem poles existed, you’re not alone. Head to Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park to see it.

This is actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as it was created between 1937 and 1948 and stands 90 feet tall.

Catoosa, OK (Blue Whale)

The Catoosa Blue Whale might be one of the most famous roadside attractions in the country. Hugh Davis’ wife likes whales, so in 1972 he built her a giant one that measures 80 feet long.

It’s among the most recognizable Oklahoma Route 66 attractions, so be sure to stop by and get pics there.

Tulsa, OK

oklahoma route 66 attractions - tulsa skyline

Route 66 leads right into Tulsa, best known (at least to me) as the home of those MMMBoppin’ Hanson brothers.

I’ve heard people say that Tulsa is cooler and more “east coast” than Oklahoma City, and that seemed accurate during my brief time in the city.

The main quirky attraction in Tulsa is “The Golden Driller,” a huge statue of an oil driller. At 76 feet tall, it made the Keeper of the Plains statue I saw in Kansas seem tiny.

tulsa-golden-driller-statue

The Golden Driller is one of the tallest statues in the U.S. This guy ranks right up there with the Statue of Liberty! I don’t know whether that’s tragic or awesome.

Other Tulsa attractions include Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios, which features a muffler man statue out front, and Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, which features a statue of the original creator of Route 66.

I also recommend spending some time in the Blue Dome District, a cool entertainment area that has a lot of bars, restaurants, and street art.

tulsa-blue-dome-district

Sapulpa, OK

Visit this town to see a couple Route 66-related attractions, including the world’s tallest gas pump, a vintage-style pump that stands 74 feet tall. It’s right next to the Heart of Route 66 Museum.

sapulpa oklahoma

Sapulpa has a busy downtown with a number of restaurants, so it’s a good city to stop for lunch. Suggested eateries: Sami’s Southern Kitchen, Lopez Grill Mexican, and Sugar Llamas Donuts.

Chandler, OK

Chandler, Oklahoma has this kooky little mural on the wall of one of its main street buildings.

chandler-oklahoma-mural

Chandler also has the Route 66 Interpretive Center, one of the many visitor center-style museums along this old highway. This one is well-done — it has video content, photo displays, and a gift shop.

Luther, OK

I found an odd historic marker that mentioned the Run of ’89 without fully explaining what it was. And it used the word “peopled” as a verb. Strange!

The full story is that on April 22, 1889, new lands in Oklahoma were opened up by the U.S. government for settlement. They literally held a “land rush” in which whoever got to a piece of land first got to keep it.

run-of-89-historic-marker

As this property was highly valued, a crowd of 50,000 people lined up at the starting point on their horses and took off at high noon. The marker reports that “tent cities sprang up before nightfall.”

The Run of ’89 literally looked like this. Chaos, I tell you!

Arcadia, OK (Pops and Round Barn)

I was excited to get my fix of bizarre sodas at Pops Soda Ranch.

pops-route-66
Pops Soda Ranch is one of the top Oklahoma Route 66 attractions!

I posted an in-depth piece on Pops Soda Ranch not too long ago. That’s the store that sells more than 600 varieties of pop, including crazy flavors like sweet corn, buffalo wing, coconut cream pie, and peanut butter & jelly.

pops-route-66-flavors

Pops is one of the oddest (read: coolest) Route 66 attractions in Oklahoma, so don’t miss it.

Also in Arcadia: The famous Round Barn museum and gift shop, another historic structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Edmond, OK (Abandoned Gas Station)

I ran into this interesting roadside attraction on Route 66: An abandoned gas station from 100 years ago.

abandoned-gas-station

The story behind this place is that it was built in the 1920s. You would bring a quart can, stick it under the spigot of a 50-gallon drum, and walk the gas back to your vehicle to insert into the motor.

The place also had a kerosene fill-up station, which came in handy for local residents since they did not have electricity in these here parts back then. The station also sold pop, hard candy, and chocolate.

route-66-abandoned-gas-stat

A note on the property indicates that the station was done in by a shyster who conned the owners into buying money plates that could be used to print up counterfeit $10 bills.

The owners thought they had a way to get rich quick, but it didn’t quite work out that way. One of them was arrested for using the phony dough, and the station was shuttered.

Oklahoma City, OK

cowboy museum

Now we’re back in the big city, and all of the attractions of Oklahoma City. One of my favorite points of interest here is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Here, you can learn about everything related to the wild west, rodeo, cattle branding, and cowboy apparel. Yee-haw!

Another of my favorite quirky attractions in Oklahoma City is the American Banjo Museum, which teaches you more than you could possibly ever want to know about the goofy but awesome stringed instrument.

banjo museum

I also really liked the Osteology Museum, which displays complete skeletons of dozens of animals, ranging from small critters to large whales and elephants.

Visit the Wheeler District to see the “OKC” sign and the Wheeler Ferris Wheel, which was relocated here from its original home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles.

A more sobering attraction is the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the site of the 1995 federal building bombing that claimed more than 150 lives.

Finally, the state capitol building here is worth seeing, as it features a striking Native American warrior statue on top.

The statue is called “The Guardian.” It is not modeled after any specific individual, but is meant to represent all Native Americans of the state.

oklahoma city capitol building

Yukon, OK

Route 66 Park contains 148 acres of land near Lake Overholser. There’s an observation tower here and a sidewalk path designed to emulate the path of Route 66 from state to state.

The park is essentially located in Oklahoma City, but it has a Yukon address.

Clinton, OK

The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton really embraces the kitschy history of the Mother Road, with displays about the old neon signs, vintage cars, and diners of the highway.

Elk City, OK

Here’s yet another museum aimed at Route 66 road trippers! The National Route 66 Museum differs from the others in that it covers the entire road, from Illinois to California.

Texola, OK

The final town before reaching Texas is Texola. Here, you’ll see the remains of a single-cell Texola Jail from 1910, and a couple abandoned structures: the Friendly Cafe, and the Magnolia gas station.

car-junkyard

Tips for Traveling Route 66 in Oklahoma

Note to Route 66 Oklahoma road trippers: If you want to save money, don’t bother booking a hotel in advance. Stop at one of these cheapo motels and get a room for $50 or so.

I passed a ton of roadside motels that apparently don’t have websites. I had booked a room in Miami, Oklahoma for $80, since that was the cheapest I could find online, but it turns out the small hotels that didn’t have websites were a lot cheaper.

route-66-lincoln-motel

Beyond that, just take your time and enjoy the sights. Even if it’s just cattle in a field. Every piece of the scenery is part of the journey and part of the atmosphere of driving on Route 66!

oklahoma-cattle

If you continue your road trip through Kansas, see our posts on the exact geographic center of the United States in Lebanon, Kansas, and our itinerary for a Kansas road trip.

What’s your favorite of the Oklahoma Route 66 attractions?