Touring historic Route 66 has become an international pastime during the last few decades. People from around the globe genuinely want to experience the nostalgic golden age of automobile travel in person. Route 66 is like a living time capsule from an age gone by and anybody that tours this old highway actually helps to preserve the Mother Road heritage. The Mother Road runs from Chicago to Santa Monica, so doing the complete Route 66 tour can take several weeks. Since relatively few working class people have that much time on their hands, the better vacation plan is to just tour sections of the Mother Road that peak the interest.
By choosing to follow Route 66 through a few select states or just a few particular counties, managing the travel itinerary will be much easier. The best approach is to use some modern technology when planning the trip, so the eyes can take in as much as possible along the way. By plotting the Route 66 points of interest in a GPS system, a visitor can follow hands free directions with ease, instead of wasting time fiddling around with smart phone signal reception or paper maps.
The big cities that are located along Route 66 are major attractions in their own right. Many of these big cities were not exactly major metropolitan areas when Route 66 was first built, so it is possible to experience several decades of development and progress when visiting such a place. Tulsa, Oklahoma is a prime example of city that was just a tiny dot on a map when the Mother Road first rolled through back in the 1920s, but that quickly changed as the popularity of automobile travel increased.
Tulsa was basically just a vast oil field that came into fruition at a perfect time in history. The dawning of the age of automobile travel required fuel to make progress happen and the oil tycoons of Tulsa made it possible. One local oil company in particular focused on the Mother Road and good old Phillips 66 was headquartered in Tulsa. This solitary corporate entity basically put Tulsa on the map and shaped the development of this city during an age when fashionable style was first and foremost. The classic 1920s and 1930s Art Deco architectural style in Tulsa was a result of the personal taste of the Phillips Brothers oil tycoons.
Since the city of Tulsa was shaped around Route 66, a visitor does not have to look far to find historic points of interest. A true Route 66 fan can spend several days exploring all that Tulsa has to offer, but that is not what most Route 66 tourists do. Casually cruising Route 66 in a westward direction is the preferred travel mode, since Route 66 traditionally is the gateway to vacation adventures in the wild west. Therefore, there is no turning back and no u-turns are made, because there is always something new to see just a little further ahead on the Mother Road.
The Route 66 points of interest that are featured in the photos were compiled while heading west through Tulsa while in a cruising mode. My intention was not to do a comprehensive tour of Tulsa, but to just feature a few interesting Tulsa Route 66 sites along the way. Tulsa was a place where eastern civilization met the wild west and this factor adds insight into the local Mother Road tour.
The Hard Rock Casino is one of the first landmark sites to seen when entering Tulsa on Route 66 from the east. Casinos are a great place to take a break from the road to change gears for what lies ahead, even though “lady luck” may not always be on one’s side. The character of a casino is a reflection of the community and for many the Hard Rock is reflection of Tulsa being one of the music capitols of the world. Tulsa is the land of jazz, ragtime, country music, metro-billy and good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, so one can expect to be thoroughly entertained when indulging in this city’s night life.
Some of the historic Tulsa Mother Road points of interest that should be checked out include the Cherokee Nation Welcome Center, Admiral Twin Drive-In, dozens of old historic Route 66 motor inns, the gigantic Golden Driller Statue, Cain’s Ballroom, the Center Of The Universe and the East Meets West Plaza by the Arkansas River waterfront. There are plenty more Route 66 sites to see in this town, but these are the best places to check out when just casually passing through, if one does not want to waste time battling heavy traffic. These landmarks require parking and walking, so these destinations offer a chance to stretch the legs before tackling the next long open road section of Route 66 going west.
As far as big cities along Route 66 are concerned, Tulsa is as pristine as it gets, so the eyesores are few and far between. Tulsa is pure Route 66 eye candy and the Mother Road experience in this city will create memories that last a lifetime. If there ever was a place that should be considered to be the “Capitol Of Route 66” then Tulsa would definitely get the top bidding. Tulsa is Route 66 culture at its finest and this is reason enough to place this city high on the Mother Road touring destination list!
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