Road trip season is in full bloom, and although going out of state has its of pros, Oklahoma itself offers landmarks and roadside attractions a’plenty. Below you’ll find a list of entertaining, iconic and downright wonderful locations to help you start planning your multi-stop, Okie-centric route.

Pops 66

Photo courtesy Pops 66

660 OK-66, Arcadia

Opened back in 2007, Pops 66 is a roadside attraction, gas station and restaurant all rolled into one, located in Arcadia off Route 66. A giant neon structure in the shape of a soda bottle greets customers, and the glass walls of the building are lined with soda bottles, aesthetically arranged by beverage color. The sign itself, which is 66 feet tall and over 4 tons in weight, is lit up by rainbow LEDs each night. The establishment has won several architecture awards and has over 700 different beverages on sale, many of which are hard to find. There’s plenty of good food as well, from burgers and quesadillas to hand-dipped floats.

Photo courtesy Visit Tulsa

The Golden Driller

4145 E. 21st St., Tulsa

Standing at 75 feet tall and weighing over 43 thousand pounds, The Golden Driller is the sixth tallest statue in the United States. Located in Tulsa in front of the Expo Center, the figure was originally built in 1952 by the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth, Texas, for the International Petroleum Exposition held in Tulsa from 1923 to 1979. After erecting the statue again in 1959, the company donated it to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds. In 1979, the Oklahoma Legislature actually adopted the Golden Driller as the state monument. 

Photo by G. Rice courtesy Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park

Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park

21300 OK-28 A., Chelsea

Consisting of eleven unique objects and one building on 14 acres of land, Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park is located in Chelsea about 3.5 miles east of Route 66. Constructed by the titular Galloway in 1948, the totem pole towers at 90 feet tall and include six tons of steel and 28 tons of cement. It is covered in Native American iconography, including portraits, symbols and animal figures. Restoration efforts have been performed several times since the ‘90s, most recently in 2020. An eleven-sided “Fiddle House” is also on the property, which is now a museum/gift shop and houses some of Galloway’s fiddles, furniture and portraits of U.S. presidents. 

Photo courtesy The Outsiders House Museum

The Outsiders House Museum

731 N. St. Louis Ave., Tulsa

Located in Tulsa, the museum aims to maintain and preserve the house that was used for the film adaptation The Outsiders, based off the book by Tulsan S.E. Hinton. Estimated to have been built in 1920, the house was a private residence – other than its use in the film in the early ’80s. Danny Boy O’Connor, an American rapper, rediscovered the home while on tour in Oklahoma in 2009 and purchased it in 2016. With the help of friends, local businesses and even some celebrities, the house was slowly restored to its former glory, and was officially opened to the public in 2019. The collection includes clothes worn by the actors as well as over 500 editions of the book in several languages. 

Photo by Rhys Martin

The Blue Whale

2600 OK-66, Catoosa

Originally created by Hugh S. Davis, The Blue Whale of Catoosa took two years – and plenty of cement and metal – to construct. The whale was originally created as an anniversary gift for Davis’ wife Zelta, who collected whale figurines. But after noticing interest from passersby, Davis opened up the area for families to eat, swim and take photos. After Davis died in 1990, the attraction fell into disrepair and was closed. However, people in Catoosa and employees of a nearby hotel launched a fundraiser, and now the picnic area and whale itself have been restored for picnics and fishing. 

Honorable mentions:

  • The Center of the Universe – Tulsa
  • Buck Atom – Tulsa
  • World’s Tallest Gas Pump – Sapulpa 
  • World’s Largest Peanut – Durant 
  • Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World – Beaver
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