Ready the playlist: Oklahoma is a state you’re going to want to visit by car.
This is your chance to take an all-American road trip down Route 66, as you experience both the natural beauty and man-made wonders of Oklahoma.
Get Your Kicks
Flyover state? To truly appreciate the beauty of Oklahoma, you should drive through it. Oklahoma has a ton to see, including the largest remaining stretch of Route 66, one of the US Highway System’s first roads. The full route, which once ran from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, has now been decommissioned, but 600 kilometers of it still run through Oklahoma, with plenty to see along the way.
Photo-op hunters, this is for you. Kitschy oversized landmarks are a Route 66 mainstay, featuring everything from the largest concrete totem pole (Totem Pole Park in Chelsea, Oklahoma) to “The Blue Whale”, a giant, cartoon-ish whale floating atop a roadside pond in Catoosa. If you get thirsty, look for the 20 meter soda bottle outside the entrance to “Pops” in Arcadia, a restaurant, gas station, and purveyor of over 700 kinds of soda, all arranged by color. Experiment with unusual flavors such as bacon, mustard, dirt, or keep it classic with one of over 70 root beer varieties on offer. If it’s close to sun down, stick around Pops for the neon light show that happens after dark on the world’s largest pop bottle.
Take a break from the open road to experience the “cowboy culture” of Oklahoma City. Yes, you can see real-life cowboys (and cowgirls!) wrangle and ride at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds or at one of the many other rodeo events that take place around the state. Or, for a calmer version, explore the state’s wild-west history at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
After your history lesson, visit some of the city’s more modern attractions, such as the Wheeler Ferris Wheel. Purchased on eBay in 2008, the Wheeler Wheel is THE historic Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, refreshed with over $1 million in renovations and operating in its new home of Downtown Oklahoma City (OKC). For another modern must-see, visit Factory Obscura, a 550-square meter immersive art exhibit created in partnership with over 30 Oklahoma City-based artists.
Once you’ve seen the city, venture just an hour south of OKC to experience the state’s largest waterfalls, Turner Falls in Davis. Besides the 23-meter falls, you can enjoy natural swimming areas, sandy beaches, bath houses, waterslides and caves. Make a night of it, by renting one of 12 cozy cabins that are available on the grounds.
“If You Go” Hit List
- AC Hotel by Marriott - Oklahoma City Bricktown
- Courtyard Oklahoma City Downtown
- Ambassador Hotel, Oklahoma City
- Factory Obscura
- Wheeler Ferris
- Wheel Turner Falls
- Neighborhood J.A.M.
- Stone Sisters Pizza Bar