National Route 66 Museum

Where is it?

On Route 66, of course! Actually, it’s on a stretch of the original Route 66 in Elk City, Oklahoma. We plan to drive the entire route someday, but we’re settling for bits and pieces for the time being. This turned out to be a nice little piece of the route.

What’s it about?

It is a complex of five great museums all in one place. They include:  the National Route 66 Museum, National Transportation Museum, Farm and Ranch Museum, Blacksmith Museum, and the Old Town Museum which contains the Beutler Rodeo Hall. All sections are worth the stop. Below are some shots from the Route 66 Museum where there are different vignettes depicting what travelers would have seen in each of the eight states along the Mother Road.

We suspect there may still be some places like this one in New Mexico and Arizona, live rattlesnakes and all!
Crusin’ through the great state of Missouri. Gotta love those vintage cars!
“Are we there yet?”

Who napped in the back window on family vacations? Was the motel pool your entire reason for living? How about stopping at Stuckey’s for a pecan roll and a cheap souvenir? A&W root beers and burgers in the car anyone? Remember when motels had stationery and post cards in the rooms? And then there were those real live “trading posts” with that horrible-tasting rock candy and “authentic” turquoise jewelry. Oh, and Reptile Village, but our dads wouldn’t ever stop. Those were fun times, and this museum really brought back the memories for us, although some of it was way before our time.

Outside in the sunshine, we walked around the “old town” exhibits and looked in all the windows. Below are a couple of shots.

Wonder what the gas prices were back in this gas station’s heyday?
More of the old town. Each building is furnished with items the businesses would have had way back when, and all can be viewed through the storefront windows. There’s even a country doctor’s office complete with creepy medical instruments.

We fell in love with the sculpture (below) in front of the Old Town Museum. The museum building had once been the home of a family who owned department stores in western Oklahoma. The first floor depicts how some of the early residents would have lived. The second floor is dedicated to the the Beutler family who own a ranch north of Elk City and have raised champion rodeo stock for almost 100 years. This museum was worth the admission fee by itself.

His name was Commotion, and he was the Beutler brothers three time world champion bucking horse.
“Commotion” from a different angle. It is a beautiful bronze sculpture by T.D. Kelsey of Guthrie, Texas.

Click here for an interesting read about this multi-faceted artist: https://www.tdkelsey.com/the-artist

The museum complex admission is (currently) $5.00 for adults and $4.00 for children 6-16. Children 5 and under are admitted free. For AAA members and people over 60, it is $4.00. (We paid $4.00 each, but we’re not saying which discount we got!)

In closing, we would recommend a stop here for travelers who have a couple of hours to spend. And if you’re already traveling the Mother Road (or even I-40), a stop here is a great way to get out of the car for a time, take a relaxing stroll through the complex, and learn something new while you’re at it!

Thank you for stopping by our site, and we hope you come back again for more road trip stops, Quick Stops, Wish We Were There Wednesdays, and lots of other good stuff. We appreciate you more than you know, and we would love to hear from you so feel free to comment below. We can also be found on Facebook and on Twitter @KellyeHefner.

Until the next trip…

Travel safe, travel smart, and we will see you down the road.

Mike and Kellye

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As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.

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14 thoughts on “National Route 66 Museum

  1. Oh what a great piece of Americana! I drove bits of Route 66 in Arizona and New Mexico. But I’m like you in that one day I want to drive the entire stretch of it. Love the museum, putting that on the top of my list of places I want to visit in Oklahoma 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  2. I wasn’t aware of this place! We would only have to pay $4, too. 🙂 Does that $4 cover all 5 museums? And would a couple of hours be enough time for all 5 museums? Your paragraph about napping in the back window and living for the motel pool (that was me!) was very sweet and nostalgic. Wasn’t that a great time to grow up? Thanks for your post, and I will put this on our bucket list. My son lives in Dallas, so maybe it would be a stop on a trip there.

    1. Hi Betty! Yes, I think two hours would allow plenty of time to see all of the museums and the $4 covers all of them! Yes, the nostalgia – it was a great time to grow up – and just so you know, the motel pool was my reason for living back then! Happy, safe travels!

  3. Ah we would probably spend more than two hours at this place. Route 66 is the stuff of dreams and firmly on our bucket list. Sadly though we are non-drivers, so not sure how that’s gonna go, ha ha. Love all the old cars featured here and the gas station. Think we’d also enjoy the museum with the Beutler family exhibit. Thanks for brining us a slice of retro Americana.

    1. You probably would enjoy this – it is definitely retro Americana – however not driving would pose an issue. I’ve never looked, but I bet there’s a great tour you could take all the way from Chicago to Santa Monica. That would be one great way to see a lot of the US! Thank you for reading our post and for your comment!

      1. Thanks for the tour tip, we’ll definitely see what we can find out about that. After our current UK trip our priority will be settling down in Serbia for a bit. We really need some stability. Once we are settled, a few years down the line, I’m sure we will start planning a U.S. trip.

      2. Priorities and stability are good. Besides, if you were driving (at least here) right now, gasoline is off the charts expensive. It’s definitely limiting and changing our travel plans this year.

  4. Dating myself here. I have some memories of a family road trip from Indianapolis to LA in 1958 when I was five. We picked up Rte. 66 in St. Louis I believe and followed it all the way to LA and back. This museum brings back memories and should be seen by anyone who gets a chance. Thanks for sharing.

    1. John, thank you for taking the time to view our post! I (Kellye) think a lot of us like a little nostalgia now and then because it’s fun to remember things we did as kids. The good memories stick with us.

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