With the longest stretch of Route 66 in the country, Oklahoma is naturally home to many roadside oddities. Landmarks and attractions began to pop up along the Mother Road back in its heyday. The route was affectionately known as America’s Highway when it was paved back in the 1920s. For many years, it served as a major thoroughfare for millions of drivers between Chicago and Los Angeles. Although it’s now been replaced by new highway systems, Oklahoma’s stretch of Mother Road still features many unique roadside oddities. Here are some great ones to visit with kids throughout the state, both on and off famed Route 66.
Rte. 66 in Catoosa
The Blue Whale in Catoosa is an iconic piece of Route 66, greeting travelers since 1972. The 80-foot whale was hand crafted and took two years to complete. While swimming is no longer available, families can take a break from the car and explore the cheerful concrete mammal, drop a line in the pond or enjoy a roadside picnic. An on-site gift shop is open seasonally.
Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger
Hwy. 69 in Miami
As the last remaining stand of the 1960s drive-in chain, Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger is a Route 66 landmark, famous for its giant yellow fiberglass cuckoo bird and the huge, green-and-yellow neon sign just as much as the burgers, fries and desserts they have served to hungry travelers for decades.
The Center of the Universe
Boston Ave. in Tulsa
An old vehicular bridge turned pedestrian pathway has become the site of a mysterious acoustic phenomenon. At the center of a circular brick pattern sits a worn concrete circle. The circle’s location is an amplifier of sorts. If you stand in the circle and make noise, your echo returns much louder. Many experts have offered their theories, but whatever the reason, Tulsa’s Center of the Universe is worth the stop!
Hwy. 66 in Arcadia
A visit to this iconic Rt. 66 attraction is a fun stop for families looking to experience something unexpected. Explore classic historical farm equipment as you learn about the unique landmark.
The barn’s beautiful ceiling is a sight to see in itself. Admission is free and the barn is open daily.
Childhood Home of Mickey Mantle
Quincy St. in Commerce
Baseball fans will relish visiting the place where the baseball star hit pitches and played catch with his dad near an old tin barn that still stands today.
John’s Place OK County 66
Hwy. 66 in Arcadia
Experience all of the best of the Mother Road in one place. From the Twin Arrows to a Wigwam Motel and more, there is plenty to discover at this roadside stop filled with miniaturized versions of the most famous Route 66 attractions.
Lucille’s Service Station
Rte. 66 in Hydro
Stop in for a piece of Americana at Lucille’s Service Station. Built in 1929, the mom-and-pop gas station is a historical marker that recounts the story of the family that lived at and ran the station for many years. After your stop, grab a bite to eat at Lucille’s Roadhouse, a Route 66 themed restaurant in Weatherford inspired by the original
Twister the Movie Museum
Main St. in Wakita
Discover behind-the-scenes videos, an original “Dorothy 1” (a tornado research device from the movie), autographed memorabilia and more at the Twister Museum. The unique museum is housed in
the iconic film’s location office.
W. Charles Page Blvd. in Tulsa
Originally built as a restaurant and used as a speakeasy in the 1920s, the Cave House is a piece of Tulsa history. Guided tours let visitors explore the halls and steep staircases inside this architectural attraction with a colorful history.
Alien Landing Yard Art
Rte. 66 in Stroud
Nothing says quirky quite like yard art! Stroud Resident Craig McGuire’s back yard is home to an artistic representation of a UFO landing site. Constructed from an assortment of used satellite
dishes, metal scraps, aluminum foil, CDs and more, travelers can get an up close view of an alien invasion. You can view this yard art from Route 66 and there is a gravel parking where you
can pull in to get a closer look.
World’s Largest Peanut
Evergreen St. in Durant
While the claims may not be exactly accurate, Durant’s 3-foot long aluminum peanut was supposed to put the town on the map. Dedicated to area growers in 1974, the realistic looking legume sits in front of city hall.
Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
Hwy. 28 in Chelsea
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, Totem Pole Park showcases a large collection of environmental folk art created by Nathan Edward Galloway. The largest piece on the property is a 90-foot, heavily-carved totem. Nearby, Galloway’s Fiddle House is filled with other hand-crafted treasures to discover.
Sooner Park Play Tower
Madison Blvd. in Bartlesville
Designed by famed architect Bruce Goff, Bartlesville’s Play Tower is a unique play structure from a by-gone era. The space-age climbing tower was restored in 2014 and today families can scale a spiral staircase that leads to an observation deck 50 feet above the ground.
Spider VW Bug
Hwy. 77 in Lexington
A classic Volkswagen Bug turned black spider, complete with red eyes and fangs makes a fun stop for the whole family. Metal poles hoist the creatively painted spider car 15 feet off the ground.
Winganon Space Capsule
E. 300 Rd. between Talala & Winganon
On the stretch of road between Talala and Winganon (in Northeast Oklahoma not far from Bartlesville) sits an old cement mixer, left behind after a crash. Too heavy to move, the mixer has been
painted to look like a NASA spacecraft.
Looking for other great ways to explore Oklahoma? Find hundreds of ideas here.
Born and raised in the Oklahoma City metro and a graduate of the Gaylord College of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma, Lindsay Cuomo has worked for MetroFamily since 2014 covering local stories, people and events. Lindsay is a mom to three school-aged boys and calls Moore, Oklahoma home.