Exploring Route 66

Nothing captures the freedom of summertime like a road trip. If you have a four-legged friend who enjoys the freedom of the open road, there is ample fun to be found on a road trip to northeastern Oklahoma. So get ready to hit Route 66 with your furry friend, head toward Tulsa and enjoy many dog-friendly places along the way.

Oklahoma offers more drivable miles of historic Route 66 than any other state in the nation (nearly 400 miles!), making it a perfect “off-the-beaten-path” summer getaway. So, set the GPS, grab a leash and get ready to take Fido on a weekend adventure to Tulsa.

●       Leaving the OKC Metro: Visit the Arcadia Round Barn (107 OK-66, Arcadia, OK 73007, ArcadiaRoundBarn.com) If your pup needs to stretch his legs before you leave the metro, take a walk around the exterior of Arcadia’s Round Barn. More than 100 years old, this unusually circular barn is a Route 66 icon. While Fido can’t explore inside, there is ample green space for a nice walk or a game of catch. Open daily 10 a.m-5 p.m.

●       Along the Way: Movie magic at the Rock Cafe (114 W Main St., Stroud, OK 74079, RockCafert66.com) Stop in Stroud for a delicious meal at the Rock Cafe, named for the local sandstone that makes up the building. Enjoy traditional diner fare al fresco on the Rock Cafe’s pooch-friendly patio. The Rock Cafe’s proprietor, Dawn Welch, was the inspiration for the character of Sally in the Disney Pixar movie Cars. Fans of the movie franchise will enjoy the Pixar and Disney memorabilia that decorate the cafe’s walls and exterior. Open daily, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

●       In Tulsa: Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza (Southwest Boulevard & Riverside Drive, Tulsa, OK 74127) Located on the bank of the Arkansas River, the plaza features a walking path, park, bronze sculptures, a pedestrian skywalk featuring the iconic Route 66 logo, flags of the eight states that Route 66 passes through, and plenty of art deco design from decades past. Open daily.

●       In Tulsa: Blue Dome Service Station (202 S. Elgin, Tulsa, OK 74120) This historic Tulsa landmark dates back to 1924 and was once known as the White Star Gulf Oil Station. The service station, located at the corner of 2nd Street and Elgin, was open 24 hours a day, and the attendant lived inside the iconic blue dome to help road trippers around the clock with food and fuel. While it is no longer in operation, the building now serves as the visual anchor for an arts and entertainment district in downtown Tulsa.

●       In Tulsa: Tally’s Good Food Cafe (1102 S. Yale Ave., TallysCafe.com) This retro diner on Route 66 features lots of neon, ‘50s diner flair and a dog-friendly patio (including special water dishes for your pup). Tally’s serves more than 100 dishes of traditional American fare for lunch and dinner and offers up award-winning breakfast choices all day. Open daily, 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

●       Continuing the Journey: Big Blue Whale of Catoosa (2600 Rte 66, Catoosa, OK 74015)  One of the most recognizable roadside attractions on Route 66 is just a 20-minute drive east to Catoosa. Built in the early 1970s, the iconic blue whale was once a popular family-friendly swimming hole and fishing spot. While swimming is no longer allowed, the whale offers fun photo opportunities with ample picnic tables, a gift shop, food trucks during peak visitation times and a great view from a platform on top of the whale’s tail.

Wishing you and your dog a tail-waggin’ good time in T-Town!

On the Road Playlist

●       Hound Dog—Elvis Presley

●       Who Let the Dogs Out—Baha Men

●       I’m Gonna Buy Me a Dog—The Monkees

●       Holiday Road—Lindsey Buckingham

●       I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)—The Proclaimers

●       Route 66—Chuck Berry

●       Tulsa Time—Don Williams

●       On the Road Again—Willie Nelson

●       Every Day Is a Winding Road—Sheryl Crow

●       Life Is a Highway—Rascal Flatts

●       Go Your Own Way—Fleetwood Mac

Dog-Approved Road Trip Essentials

●       Sealed gallons of water

●       Sturdy bowl

●       Ice cubes (an easy way to keep Fido well-hydrated while traveling)

●       Leash/collar

●       Dog food

●       Favorite chew toy

●       Treats

●       Blanket or dog bed 

●       Balls or Frisbees to chase