Oklahoma's Nostalgic Route 66
Morning – We begin today on Route 66 in northeast Oklahoma at the Coleman Theatre in Miami, where we will tour this elegant theater from the 1920s and see the original pipe organ, “The Mighty Wurlitzer,” which has been completely restored and refurbished to its original splendor (allow 1 hour). Then tour the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum to see a large collection of Evel Knievel memorabilia. Also at the museum are over 40 vintage motorcycles and a collection of Evel Knievel memorabilia (allow 30 minutes).
Afternoon – Enjoy lunch at Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger the last of a fast food chain popular in the 60s (allow 1 hour). We depart Miami and travel west to Afton for a stop at the Afton Station a renovated 1930s D-X filing station filled with Route 66 memorabilia and a vintage car collection of Packards (allow 30 minutes). Continuing on to Chelsea, we see Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park where Galloway spent his retirement years building as a monument to the American Indian. The centerpiece is a giant Totem Pole building which is supported by a concrete turtle (allow 30 minutes).
Evening – We arrive in Claremore for our dinner and overnight.
Morning – We begin today at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum which pays tribute to the life of Will Rogers, humorist and entertainer. The grounds contain the tomb of Rogers while the twelve galleries feature art and artifacts of Rogers’ life as an author, trick roper, radio commentator, philanthropist, newspaper columnist, and Ziegfeld Follies Star (allow 1 ½ hours). Next, we arrive at the JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum the largest privately owned gun collection in the world. For years the guns of J. M. Davis, known internationally as a gun expert, were displayed in the lobby, ballroom, and café of the Mason Hotel in Claremore on Route 66 which Davis owned and operated (allow 1 hour).
Afternoon – After lunch we will make a stop at the Nut House on Route 66 before departing Claremore. Here we find a rustic log cabin made from real pecan logs that offers a variety of pecans, nuts, homemade fudge, jams, and jellies for sale (allow 30 minutes). We continue our journey on Route 66 today to visit a unique Rt 66 landmark in Catoosa, The Blue Whale. This former water park remains open for photographing and picnicking and is one-of-a-kind on the Mother Road (allow 20 minutes). In Tulsa we will make a stop at the Cyrus Avery Plaza that honors Cyrus Avery who pushed for the development of Route 66.
Evening – Enjoy dinner in a mom and pop atmosphere at Ollie’s Station Restaurant where the menu offers everything from sandwiches to steak. The restaurant is decorated with railroad memorabilia and ten model trains that run through and around the dining room ranging from G-scale to Z-scale (allow 1 hour). Our overnight this evening will be in Tulsa.
Morning – We depart Tulsa and continue west on Route 66 with a stop this morning in Sapulpa at the Waite Phillips Filling Station. This filling station, restored by the Sapulpa Historical Society, was built in 1922 by Waite Phillips, and today is home to a collection of automobiles from the 1920s. In Stroud we will enjoy a wine tasting at Stableridge Vineyards & Winery housed in an old Catholic Church.
Afternoon – Lunch today is at the Rock Café in Stroud, a Route 66 landmark, which has been feeding hungry travelers since 1936. When Pixar was traveling Route 66 for inspiration in writing the movie Cars, they met Dawn Welch, owner of the Rock Café, and patterned the character Sally Carrera after her (allow 1 hour). Continuing west we arrive at the Chandler Route 66 Interpretive Center which is housed in a historic rock armory building. The center offers a unique interpretationof the sights and sounds of Route 66 with various video screens (allow 1 hour). In Arcadia lies one of Route 66’s oldest landmarks, the Round Barn. Built in 1898 and restored by volunteers, the barn is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places (allow 30 minutes). Arcadia is also where we find one of Route 66’s newest icons, POPS. Our first glimpse of this ultra-modern gas station, café and convenience store is the 66-foot soda bottle with straw that stands out front of the store. Inside, select from over 400 different kinds of soda to purchase then sit on the back patio to view the 66 red bud trees (allow 30 minutes). We arrive in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma History Center which gives us a wonderful view of the Oklahoma State Capitol from the atrium. On a self-guided tour of the museum we find Smithsonian quality exhibits on transportation, Route 66, and much more in five different galleries (allow 1 hour).
Evening – Our overnight and dinner this evening will be in Oklahoma City.
Morning – After breakfast we depart the hotel for Fort Reno, a military post which was established in 1874 and served as a remount depot during the early 1900s, then as a German POW camp during WWII (allow 1 hour). Weatherford is the birthplace and childhood home of astronaut General Thomas P. Stafford, and at the Stafford Air & Space Museum we will tour an amazing collection of aircraft and artifacts from space missions. This center houses one of the most comprehensive collections of rocket engines in the world (allow 1 ½ hours).
Afternoon – After lunch we travel to Clinton to tour the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum which will take us on a journey through six decades of Route 66 history with an audio tour that was written and narrated by Michael Wallis, author of Route 66 (allow 1 hour).
Evening – We arrive in Elk City to check into our hotel before dinner at a local restaurant.
Morning – This morning we visit the National Route 66 & Transportation Museum which pays tribute to all eight states that the “Mother Road” passes through. We will see artifacts, murals, and vintage automobiles that are symbolic to those that traveled and those that worked along Route 66 (allow 2 hours). Our last stop is the Roger Miller Museum in Erick. This museum gives a unique insight to Rogers life and accomplishments. Plus, how can you leave Oklahoma’s Route 66 without seeing the “King of the Road.”