This post is part of a series I’ve done on Route 66. In 2022, I drove the entirety of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. 2500 miles, 8 states, countless stories, and an endless stretch of small towns, neon, diners, motels, and roadside attractions. Read through all of my Route 66 posts here. They’re also linked at the end of this post. If you’re planning your own Route 66 road trip, either the whole thing or just a part, I hope these help you out. Enjoy the drive!
Welcome to Oklahoma…where the wind comes sweeping down the plains! Seriously though, I’m actually from Oklahoma. And 90% of the time when people find this out they start singing the song.
So here’s the deal…apparently you’re missing out on a great pop culture reference if you don’t watch the movie Oklahoma! based on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s play before your trip.
Anyways, things really start to flatten out as you leave the rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma behind and head towards…the plains.
This stretch of Route 66 is arguably one of the best in the country. At least in terms of the actual road. It’s almost 100 miles of uninterrupted road through small towns and countryside leaving you with the feeling of how it might have been to travel across country along Route 66.
So let’s get truckin’!
Route 66 Tulsa to OKC
Read this post for a full rundown of all the Route 66 stops in Tulsa.
Leaving Tulsa as you’re going west towards Sapulpa on I-44, there’s a clear exit for US-66 and it’s a very well marked road all the way to Edmond (a suburb north of Oklahoma City).
Sapulpa has always been a solid Route 66 town, but they’ve done a LOT in recent years to really embrace their spot on the Mother Road.
Here are some spots you won’t want to miss:
One of the coolest spots in these parts actually just opened a few months ago, but it has some real Route 66 history. Gasoline Alley is a Route 66/car-centric shop specializing in more high end decor (for game rooms, man caves, garages, etc.).
And the place really feels more like an attraction than a shop. Housed in a restored building that used to be an old Model T assembly plant and dealership, this place is a real passion project for owner Michael Jones.
And he loves to visit with Route 66 travelers. So stop in and pick up some local Route 66 gifts, Gasoline Alley merch, or a cold soda and talk shop for awhile.
Sapulpa Historical Museum & Waite Phillips Filling Station
The museum was closed for the holidays last time I was in Sapulpa, but you’ll definitely want to take a peak around the restored Waite Phillips filling station.
Tee Pee Drive-In
Another new addition to Route 66 in Sapulpa, I can’t wait to go to a movie here when they open up next season. What a sign!! And the whole place looks really nice with a playground, picnic tables, and even some vintage trailers that they rent out on Airbnb.
Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum
Check out over 30 classic cars AND the world’s largest gas pump! Plus the museum is expanding and they’re breaking ground on a huge new addition in the summer of 2023.
Downtown Sapulpa has gotten pretty charming with its local shops and restaurants and vintage murals. But they’re really knocking it out of the park lately.
For the Christmas 2022 season they closed down a couple of blocks to traffic and created the Route 66 Christmas Chute (“Drive the Route, Cruise the Chute!) and it’s been such a hit drawing big crowds that I expect it’ll be an annual occurrence.
I know winter isn’t a major cruising season for Route 66, but if you’re in the area, or you’re one of the brave few that takes on this trip over the holidays, then you for sure don’t want to miss this.
Rock Cafe: Stroud, OK
The Rock Cafe has a long history, but its current proprietor (Dawn Welch) is probably most notable for being the inspiration behind the “Sally Carrera” character from the Pixar movie Cars.
You know…the little blue Porsche who wasn’t from Radiator Springs, but loved the town and the road and the people so much that she relocated and dedicated her life to trying to revive it?
The restaurant has some fun memorabilia inside including notes and drawings from the movies’ director and Pixar chief John Lasseter and “Buzz and Woody.”
It’s a popular spot with locals as well as Route 66 travelers and you really can’t go wrong with any of the southern style diner food.
Closed on Sunday and Monday.
Skyline Motel: Stroud, OK
I can’t say much as to whether or not it’s a great place to stay (I would say probably meh?), but their neon sign sure is cool!
66 Bowl: Chandler, OK
Gosh, this place looks fun! I was drawn in by their neon sign, but want to go back for bowling and some dive food soon. It’s definitely a place that celebrates the Route 66 heritage.
Lincoln Motel: Chandler, OK
Another roadside motel that I’m not quite sure about staying at (???), but they’ve got a fun neon sign.
Chandler Route 66 Interpretive Center: Chandler, OK
I haven’t stopped in here yet, but it looks nice and well run from the outside.
Ioway Casino: Chandler, OK
As a tribal member, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about (maybe?) the only casino on historic Route 66 ; )
Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum: Warwick, OK
This former filling station turned motorcycle museum is a fun place to check out if you have a few minutes. The original Seaba Station was built in the early 1920s (before Route 66 was an official road!) and houses an impressive collection of vintage motorcycles.
Round Barn: Arcadia, OK
Built by a local farmer way back in 1898, the Round Barn (yes, it’s actually a round barn) is one of the most popular roadside attractions on Oklahoma’s Route 66. The barn is on the National Register of Historic Places (added in 1977) so it’s been fully restored and it’s kept up really well. It’s only 7 days a week (unless it gets too hot in the summer…and yes it was actually closed due to heat when I went last summer) and admission is free. There’s also a small gift shop.
Pops 66 Soda Ranch: Arcadia, OK
Pops is a primetime example of renewed interest in Route 66 in Oklahoma. Just east of Edmond, this newly built roadside diner features a gas station, and over 100 kinds of bottled soda! You can’t miss the 66-foot tall (heh, get it?) LED soda bottle out front. It’s a perfect modern attraction that pays tribute to the old diners and filling stations.
Pops is always hopping so if you go around mealtime (there’s also a convenience store set up where you can buy bottles of pop and other goodies) expect a wait (especially in the summer). Now you just have to decide if you want to try a new soda or go with an old favorite.
Route 66 Stops in OKC
Read my full post about Route 66 in OKC here.
Planning a Route 66 road trip? I’ve got all of the info you need!
I’ve written about my cross country road trip pretty extensively section by section. Read them all here: Part 1 (Chicago), Part 2 (Chicago to St. Louis), Part 3 (St. Louis), Part 4 (St. Louis to Springfield MO), Part 5 (Springfield, MO), Part 6 (Springfield, MO to Tulsa), Part 7 (Tulsa), Part 8 (Tulsa to OKC), Part 9 (OKC), Part 10 (OKC to Amarillo), Part 11 (Amarillo), Part 12 (Amarillo to Albuquerque), Part 13 (Albuquerque), Part 14 (Albuquerque to Flagstaff), Part 15 (Flagstaff), Part 16 (Flagstaff to San Bernardino), Part 17 (Los Angeles).
I’ve got the scoop on where to stay including the best Route 66 motels recommendations.
And finally, my final trip recap where I spill the beans on how many days you need, the best itinerary, my favorite don’t miss spots, and other tips.