Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma ... "The Oil City of the World"

After traveling through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs, Kansas, Route 66 entered Commerce, Oklahoma, and headed southwest through Miami, Chelsea, Claremore and into Tulsa.

Once inside Tulsa, Route 66 traversed the city east-to-west on 11th Street into downtown, crossed the Arkansas River, and headed westbound to Sapulpa, Davenport, Chandler, Arcadia and Oklahoma City.

As other segments of Route 66, alignments around Tulsa varied and improved over the years.

In general, it followed the route of present-day Interstate I-44.

The city is known for its art deco architecture in the central Deco District. Landmarks like the Philcade and Philtower buildings reflect a 20th-century construction boom fueled by the prosperous local oil industry. It is often called "The Oil Capital of the World". The city is home to Oral Roberts University, the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa.

Tulsa International Airport (TUL) is located about five miles northeast of downtown and provides non-stop flights to cities across the country. Also located at the airport is the global maintenance headquarters of American Airlines.

Map of approximate Historic Route 66 path through the Tulsa, Oklahoma area
Map of approximate Historic Route 66 path through the Tulsa, Oklahoma area


360 Degree Aerial View of Tulsa courtesy of AerialSphere, LLC

XP360 from AerialSphere combines 360-degree aerial imagery with precise location data to provide a new way to visualize the world.

AerialSphere, with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, captures its own high-resolution aerial imagery so viewers always have a detailed perspective of the world below. 

The company's high-resolution aerial imagery spans 68 of the largest markets in the United States, as shown in this AerialSphere coverage map, with more being added. Each market is flown on a yearly basis, providing the most up-to-date experiences for the imagery needs of their clients.

Included below is an aerial visualization of Tulsa, provided by AerialSphere, including views of downtown, the Historic U.S. Route 66 bridge over the Arkansas River, and adjacent areas.


Highlights of the attractions to see in Tulsa

Route 66 sign at the east side of Tulsa, Oklahoma, seen during a November, 2018 road trip

Route 66 sign at the east side of Tulsa, Oklahoma, seen during a November, 2018 road trip

There are dozens of fun and interesting places to see and visit in Tulsa, both along and outside of Route 66.

Tulsa is an exciting, bustling city, an attractive destination for travelers.

The city offers a large array of museums, night life, events at the BOK Center, sports, lodging options and historic venues for visitors.

Tulsa has attractions ranging from trendy nightlife to first-class art museums, family fun destinations, shopping, Route 66 stops, and much more.

Listed below are but a few of the popular attractions in the Tulsa area.

Visit TripAdvisor for a full list of things to do
in Tulsa along with travelers reviews


Historic U.S. Route 66 sign, downtown Tulsa at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza
Historic U.S. Route 66 sign, downtown Tulsa at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza

East Meets West: Symbolic Route 66 Midpoint

The Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza is named for the Tulsa resident who is known as "The Father of Route 66".

East Meets West: Symbolic Route 66 Midpoint, in Tulsa Oklahoma

The park and sculptures are an artistic representation of the use of automobiles and highways spreading across the country in the late 1920s and 30s. Highly recommended for Route 66 fans!

The scene consists of two statues, one of a horse-drawn carriage and one of a family in a car. East Meets West: Symbolic Route 66 Midpoint, in Tulsa Oklahoma

 

The East Meets West sculpture is located at the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, 760 West 13th Street, at the Arkansas River.

Route 66 Bridge Over the Arkansas River

Directly west of Cyrus Avery Plaza is the original Route 66 bridge built in 1915 over the Arkansas River. Located between newer bridges on Southwest Boulevard and Interstate 244, it is no longer open to vehicular or pedestrian traffic. The old bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and named the Cyrus Avery Memorial Bridge.

Cyrus Avery Memorial Bridge over the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma


Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa Oklahoma

1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road

Website of the Gilcrease Museum

Gilcrease Museum

This popular museum houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. 

Tulsa Botanic Garden

Website of the Tulsa Botanic Garden

Tulsa Botanic Garden

3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive, 8 miles northwest of downtown Tulsa

Philbrook Museum of Art

2727 S. Rockford Road

Website of the Philbrook Museum

Philbrook Museum of Art

The Philbrook Museum of Art is housed in an Italianate villa that was once the home of a local oil magnate.

BOK Center in Tulsa Oklahoma

BOK Center

200 South Denver Avenue West

Website of the BOK Center

 

The Golden Driller

The Golden Driller at the Tulsa Expo Center in Oklahoma

 

Located at 4145 E. 21st Street in Tulsa.

The Golden Driller is a 76-foot, 22-ton statue of an oil worker in Tulsa, located outside the Tulsa Expo Center. It is the 6th tallest statue in the United States.

The plaque at the base reads "The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God’s abundance a better life for mankind."



Boston Avenue Methodist Church

Completed in 1929, the Boston Avenue Methodist Church is considered one of the best examples of ecclesiastical Art Deco architecture in the United States, and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Boston Avenue Methodist Church, 1301 South Boston, in Tulsa

Located at 1301 South Boston, in Tulsa

Website of the Boston Avenue Methodist Church


CityPlex Towers

CityPlex Towers is a complex of three high-rise office towers located at 81st Street and Lewis Avenue in Tulsa.

CityPlex Towers in Tulsa Oklahoma

 

The complex was originally constructed by Oral Roberts University as the City of Faith Medical and Research Center and meant to be a major charismatic Christian hospital. The tallest tower is 60-stories in height.

The Healing Hands sculpture, on the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa
It is the largest bronze sculpture in the world, and towers 60-feet high.
The Healing Hands sculpture, on the campus of Oral Roberts Univeristy in Tulsa Oklahoma



Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

The museum is located near the Tulsa International Airport and features a series of historical aviation exhibits, hands-on activities, and vintage aircraft.

 

A full-dome planetarium was added in 2006.Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

Website of Air & Space Museum


Route 66 Historical Village located at 3770 Southwest Boulevard in Tulsa
Route 66 Historical Village located at 3770 Southwest Boulevard in Tulsa


The Blue Whale
Catoosa, Oklahoma

Built in the early 1970s by Huge Davis as an anniversary gift, the 20-foot tall iron and cement Blue Whale turned into a swimming park, and closed in 1988.

Route 66 Roadside Attraction: The Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma

Today, travelers can walk through the whale, and shop at a nostalgic gift shop on site. Free admission and parking.

Located northeast of Tulsa in Catoosa, OK

Lodging Options in Tulsa

Hotels in Tulsa, Oklahoma

TripAdvisor

 

Vintage Views of Route 66 and Tulsa

What was Route 66 like in its prime? What did all the service stations, motels and diners look like when they were new? What did the traveling public experience on the Mother Road? We wonder such things when we travel Route 66 around Tulsa today.

Those earlier times in the 1930s, 40s and 50s were not always captured on film. But the use of colorful postcards was common in those decades.

We have included below a sampling of our collection of vintage travel postcards showing scenes on Route 66 and other scenes from earlier days in Tulsa. These portray the historic road in its prime and help us to visualize "yesterday" as we drive Route 66 in Tulsa today.

Bishop's Driv-In, 10th and Boston Streets, on Highway 66, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Bishop's Driv-In, 10th and Boston Streets, on Highway 66, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Will Rogers Motor Court at 5827 East Eleventh Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Will Rogers Motor Court at 5827 East Eleventh Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Tulsa Motel, 5715 E. 11th Street, East Side of Tulsa, Oklahoma on U.S. 66
The Tulsa Motel, 5715 E. 11th Street, East Side of Tulsa, Oklahoma
Bordens Cafeteria, at Sheridan Village in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Bordens Cafeterias, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Molder Court, Highway 66, 5 miles east of City Limits, Tulsa
Molder Court on Highway 66, 5 miles east of City Limits, Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

Interactive Map of Tulsa Oklahoma


Route 66 Road Trips in Oklahoma

Kansas to Tulsa
Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Kansas to Tulsa

Tulsa to
Oklahoma City
Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Tulsa to Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City to
Texas
Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Oklahoma City to Texas

More About Tulsa

Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau

More Things to Do on Route 66 - at the Oklahoma Tourism Department

More Route 66 and Travel-Related Resources

 


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