Route 66 in Tulsa
If you’re entering Tulsa from the east (Catoosa) be sure to take 193rd E Ave by the Hard Rock Casino. Drive south until you reach 11th Street (about one mile from the interstate) then turn right. If you’re entering Tulsa from the west (Sapulpa) Historic Route 66 merges onto I-44 at the city limits. Take your IMMEDIATE first exit (49th W Ave), turn left at the bottom of the off-ramp, and then turn right onto Southwest Blvd. You’re back on 66!
Enjoy a trip down Tulsa’s stretch of the Mother Road, arranged east to west.
Note: the current alignment of Route 66 in Tulsa is 11th Street. The 1926-1932 alignment is Admiral Place (for the most part).
East Gateway / Historic Markers
11707 E 11th St
Route 66 is book-ended by Gateway Arches on each end of town. They were built in 2014 to bring attention to the city’s heritage. There are also nearly 30 historic markers on both Route 66 alignments throughout the city. Keep an eye out for them!
Mingo Greenway / Plaza
11th and Mingo
At the intersection of 11th Street and Mingo Rd, there’s a sign pointing right that refers to the detour as the Mingo Greenway. This is how you get to the original 1926 alignment of Route 66, which features a few stops that I outline below. If you take a left, there’s a small plaza with a few historical markers and informational plaques.
Route 66 Rising (original alignment)
Admiral and Mingo Traffic Circle
Route 66 Rising is an art installation in the middle of the traffic circle at Admiral and Mingo. This site is also where Cyrus Avery’s tourist court and service station once stood. Parking can be a challenge but the local businesses on the NW and SW corners of the circle don’t seem to mind.
Admiral Twin (original alignment)
7355 E Easton St
The Admiral Twin opened in 1951 (as the Modernaire) and was featured in the film ‘The Outsiders’. It burned down in 2010 and was rebuilt in 2012 with a wealth of local support.
5220 E 11th St
The Desert Hills Motel is a classic Route 66 motel with a fantastic neon sign that is worth a stop to see! They also have some beautifully restored rooms with a Route 66 theme if you want to stay the night. There's even a cool 1957 Chevrolet parked out front!
1102 S Yale Ave
Tally’s has been serving Tulsans since the late 1980s. It’s nostalgia overload inside, just like a good diner should be. Their cinnamon rolls are as big as a Buick.
Golden Driller (Side Trip)
4145 E 21st St
One mile south of the Route stands Tulsa’s most famous landmark: the Golden Driller. He was built for the International Petroleum Exhibition in the 1960s and is the tallest free-standing statue in the world.
The Campbell Hotel
2636 E 11th St
A boutique hotel right on the Route, taking advantage of a beautifully restored vintage building. Each room has a theme and the on-site restaurant is great. Recommended if you want something a little more special!
Mother Road Market
1124 S Lewis Ave
Oklahoma's first food hall! This innovative space houses over 20 shops and restaurant concepts that showcases a host of what Tulsa’s culinary community has to offer. There’s also a nine hole Route 66-themed mini golf course on the back patio!
Kendall-Whittier District (original alignment)
10 S Lewis Ave
In addition to being the first ‘suburban’ shopping district in Tulsa, the Kendall-Whittier district is on the original 1926-1932 alignment of the Route. It boasts Tulsa’s only independent movie theater, the Circle, and several local-owned shops.
El Rancho Grande
1629 E 11th St
El Rancho Grande has good Mexican cuisine and a GREAT neon sign out front! When it originally opened here in the early 1950s, it was one of the first brick-and-mortar restaurants that travelers from Chicago could enjoy authentic Tex-Mex food on Highway 66!
Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios
1347 E. 11th Street
Local entrepreneur Mary Beth Babcock renovated an old service station on 11th Street to open a gift shop offering unique Route 66 gifts and other items. A custom Muffler Man statue and vintage-style neon sign make for a great photo op in the heart of the Meadow Gold District, which includes many more shops.
Meadow Gold Neon Sign
1306 E 11th St
One of the biggest neon signs on the entire route, the Meadow Gold sign towers above the street on a custom pavilion, built when the original home of the sign was demolished. Underneath the awning are several informational podiums that talk more about the sign itself and the history of Route 66 in Tulsa.
Warehouse Market Building
421 E 11th St
This Art Deco building originally housed a Warehouse Market grocer and also spent years as a famous local nightclub. The building was facing demolition but was saved by Home Depot, of all companies. If you take the nearby traffic circle north on Elgin Avenue, you’ll find yourself in the Blue Dome District (part of the original downtown alignment).
Blue Dome District (original alignment)
202 S Elgin Ave
The Blue Dome District is on the original Route 66 alignment in downtown Tulsa, named for the old service station at the corner of 2nd and Elgin. The surrounding few blocks are full of restaurants & shops and offers some of the best views of downtown in the city.
22 W 10th St
Cathedral Square is a small park that sits in the shadow of four beautiful churches, all showcasing their own unique architectural styles. Foolish Things Coffee is also just a block away.
Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza
1324 Southwest Blvd
Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza features a skybridge, a sculpture, several informational plaques, and a view of the 11th Street Bridge, the original Route 66 crossing of the Arkansas River. Check out the Route 66 Travelstorys audio tour while you're here!
Avery Park Southwest
1450 Southwest Blvd
Three replica neon signs grace the southwestern side of the Cyrus Avery Memorial Bridge. This pocket park represents three eras of the road in Tulsa (Admiral Blvd, 11th Street, Skelly Bypass) as the road evolved. There are also a few small historic markers here to tell the story of these old motels.
Howard Park Monuments
2500 Southwest Blvd
A trio of limestone carvings commemorating Tulsa’s transportation history, which is deeply rooted in Route 66.
Route 66 Village
3770 Southwest Blvd
The jewel of Route 66 Village is the Meteor Frisco 4500 locomotive that has been lovingly restored. The park also features an oil derrick, a few train cars, and a replica Phillips 66 Station. Plans are ongoing for further expansion.
Ollie’s Station Restaurant
4070 Southwest Blvd
Ollie’s Station is in the heart of Red Fork, the community that gave Tulsa its first oil well. The restaurant is train themed and features model railways throughout the building.
4261 Southwest Blvd
The West Gateway not only features an arch like the east side but there's also mosaic sculpture dedicated to the transportation history of the city.
This is the end of Route 66 inside Tulsa’s city limits. Off the route, there are many things to see and places to experience. Check out the Other Sights in Tulsa page to learn more! There’s some great neon & architecture in this town that isn’t on the Mother Road.