Sapulpa: The Best Route 66 Town In Oklahoma?

Oklahoma is full of road trip-worthy Route 66 towns and sights, but we can easily argue that Sapulpa has curated the best collection of museums, historic structures, landmarks, and other oddities worth seeing.

Starting on the West end of town you’ll find approximately 3 1/4 miles of original Route 66 alignment that has been touched just enough over the years to keep it usable for local traffic. This original piece of the mother road dates back to the first 1926 alignment before it was later bypassed entirely to the South. On the road you’ll see a railroad bridge date stamped with 1928, the remains of the TeePee Drive-In Theatre, and the iconic Rock Creek Bridge from 1921.

Pulling onto the modern, expanded Route 66 going into town you’ll soon pass by the Heart of Route 66 Museum with it’s landmark World’s Largest Gas Pump. The museum houses a variety of antique cars and other artifacts from Route 66 heyday.

Just before entering the historic downtown, you’ll pass by Sapulpa’s Bartlett-Carnegie Library, one the few remaining Carnegie libraries still operating in Oklahoma. If you look down the other street, you’ll also notice the impressive and historic Elk’s Lodge building as well, which was obviously built when the fraternity was at the height of its popularity.

Finally, you’ll enter Sapulpa’s downtown, which is easily one of the nicest small town downtowns in the state. Unlike many towns, Sapulpa spared the wrecking ball on many of it’s old downtown buildings, so the one of a kind brickwork buildings and historic details have survived for a new generation to revive and restore. An impressive collection of murals is scattered across downtown as well, reflecting a number of antique advertisements from Sapulpa’s boomtown days. There are several historic and interesting sights to see, such as the restored Waite-Phillips service station, Fire museum, Sapulpa Historic Society Museum in the historic YWCA building, and the Gulf Oil building that is now used as a private office. That’s all not to mention the nice selection of antique and boutique stores, and for the men there’s Pat’s Bar.

On the other side of downtown you’ll pass a cluster of historic municipal buildings, starting with the impressive century-old county courthouse. Across a small pedestrian mall from it you’ll see Sapulpa’s historic post office, which now serves as the county sheriff’s office. Next to that, but facing the other side of the block away from 66 is the original Sapulpa Masonic Lodge, which is a very impressive structure for such a group with tall roman columns, stonework details, and large cathedral windows on the ends. It now serves as a county office building.

Heading out of the main downtown area you’ll see the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway headquarters with a small historical trolley park sponsored by the historical society. As Route 66 turns and heads out of town, the final piece of nostalgia is the renowned Happy Burger, a tiny burger and shakes restaurant in a retro diner straight from the 50’s or 60’s era.

That’s well over a dozen historic sights in a stretch of less than 10 miles! Few towns along the mother road have preserved or celebrated their history as much as Sapulpa, and word continues to spread about what a destination Sapulpa truly is.