Route 66 in Oklahoma City
Route 66 in Oklahoma City delivers unique photo-ops, world-class attractions and plenty of family fun opportunities along the way.
|Photo: Jennifer Pitts|
Travel east along Route 66 and you’ll eventually drive right through Oklahoma City, a hot bed of delicious restaurants, kitschy roadside attractions, outdoor fun, history, culture and much more. Take a trip down America’s highway and see Oklahoma’s capital city in a new light.
Destinaton 1: Lake Overholser
Lake Overholser in western Oklahoma City is flanked by fun on every side. The lake sits directly along Route 66 and offers plenty to do along its seven miles of shoreline. Grab a fishing pole and cast a line off the pier, bring your soccer ball for a quick game or pack a picnic for a relaxing lunch in the shade. The area also features tennis courts, nature trails and a duck pond on the south side of the lake, as well as one of the most photographed historic dams in the state. Cross the dam via the popular walkable bridge and take in great views of the entire surrounding area.
If your pit stop takes you to the west side of the lake, your family is sure to enjoy everything Route 66 Park has to offer. Kids love this playground, which comes complete with the Route 66 Skate Court, Cyrus Avery Observation Tower, amphitheater and ponds with boardwalks. The Route 66 Boathouse on the east side of the lake offers kayak and bicycle rentals so you can really stretch your legs. Explore the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge to the north, which is ideal for birding and hiking, or check out Flat Tide paddleboat rentals for a new adventure.
Destination 2: Ann’s Chicken Fry House
Further along Route 66, Ann’s Chicken Fry House serves up nostalgia and Southern favorites like nowhere else. It is known for the pink Cadillac that sits outside, retro memorabilia and messages from visitors all over the world written on the brick walls. Order their classic chicken fried steak covered in creamy white gravy – just be sure to leave room for some tasty fried peaches!
Destination 3: Oklahoma City Asian District & NW 23rd St
The Oklahoma City Asian District, also known as the city’s “Little Saigon,” is a unique section of old Route 66 filled with Vietnamese culture and distinctive architecture. You can’t go wrong with a meal at Grand House Asian Bistro that prides itself on its traditional dim sum service or a bowl of the city’s famous pho at Pho Lien Hoa. The area is also home to the Milk Bottle Building, a wedge shaped structure topped by a giant milk bottle. This beloved Route 66 attraction was created in 1948 as an advertising gimmick for dairy companies in the high traffic area.
On 23rd Street, you’ll also find the Gold Dome Building. Snap a few pictures of the geodesic dome that was built in 1958 and has remained a Mother Road landmark ever since. A dose of the 1950s can also be found at Tucker’s Onion Burgers where food is served hot off the grill and the milkshakes are decadently rich. Just down the road, Cheever’s Café serves a unique menu of “contemporary comfort food” including Yukon Gold Bleu Cheese Potato Chips and grilled ribeyes.
Destination 4: Oklahoma State Capitol Complex
The Oklahoma State Capitol is another piece of interesting architecture situated along the Oklahoma City stretch of Route 66. Known as the only state capitol complex to have working oil wells on-site, the capitol's dome also features The Guardian, a three-ton, 17 ½ foot tall bronze American Indian statue that depicts characteristics from all 39 native tribes of Oklahoma. The building also features stained glass, murals and art exhibits that you can see on a guided tour.
The luxurious Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion, which was built in 1928, is also available for tours. View the exquisite ballroom, chandeliers and art for yourself, or visit during Septemberfest, an annual picnic and festival held on the mansion’s lawn.
Located in the Capital Complex, the Oklahoma History Center tells the story of the Sooner State. Whether you want to learn about the history of aviation in Oklahoma, Route 66 or how the Dust Bowl of the 1930s coined the term “Okie,” there’s an interactive exhibit full of fun and information.
Destination 5: Oklahoma City’s Adventure District
In northeast Oklahoma City, the Adventure District is home to some of the state’s best attractions located just off Route 66. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum holds impressive collections of Western and Native American art. You’ll want to explore the Hall of Western Entertainers and take the kids to Prosperity Junction, a replica frontier cattle town. Just across the highway, Remington Park Racetrack & Casino is one of the few places to watch live horse racing in the state.
Science Museum Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden sit proudly beside each other as pillars along the Mother Road. Kids have a blast at the hands-on stations located within Science Museum Oklahoma and will enjoy seeing movies projected onto a 70-foot tall screen at the Dome Theater. The Oklahoma City Zoo is the third most family-friendly zoo in America featuring nearly 2,000 animals and a popular Children’s Zoo. You can even pet live stingrays before taking a paddleboat ride around Zoo Lake.