One of the ultimate American road trips is traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles on Old Route 66. Of course, this is on my list, but I haven’t been able to drive it start to finish yet. However, I have managed to see some Route 66 highlights over the last few years. When Matt and I were on our way home from Texas we decided to finally make a stop I’ve been wanting to see for a couple of years – The Blue Whale of Catoosa!
A Bit About the Blue Whale:
The Blue Whale of Catoosa is located in, you guessed it, Catoosa, Oklahoma. This quirky, kitschy stop is actually a token of love. The man who built this, Mr. Hugh Davis, created this 80-foot whale as an anniversary gift to his wife, who collected whale figurines. (I bet she was surprised to find this in their yard!) Shortly after its completion, it changed from a pool for his grandchildren to play in to a park where all the people in the area could swim and play in and around the Blue Whale. However, the park closed when the couple got older and after Mrs. Davis passed away in 2001, it fell into disrepair. 10 years later there was a fundraiser in Catoosa that brought the beautiful, heartfelt gift back to its former glory and it’s now a Route 66 attraction once again!
Our Visit To The Blue Whale of Catoosa:
As silly as it sounds, I was absolutely giddy when we pulled up! After being on the road for almost ten hours, making a quintessential Route 66 stop made me so excited! We pulled into the park and we were the only ones there. Although it isn’t massive, and there’s not that much there, it’s still fun to see.
I love this fun little interactive map to help you make your Route 66 trip through Oklahoma fun-filled!
I was honestly expecting to it be a bit bigger based on the description – I’m awful with picturing things based on measurements. Here’s a photo with me in it [above] for scale.
The whale is sort-of like a dock on a lake. The tail extends out into the water and you enter from the mouth. The side fins have s small step, and are actually little waterslides! It’s now just a photo op/picnic stop, but you can imagine that it would’ve been a hoot back in the day!
There’s even a small ladder that comes up the tail so that kids could come up and slide over and over!
Of course, you have to see the whale in its entirety. I’ve heard if you come during the spring, the water gets up to the line you see across it.
I think his random, little hat is one of my favorite parts! Haha!
This little picnic area is just darling. I think that this will be a must-stop again when we drive Route 66 from beginning to end eventually. This picnic area is one of the things that Mr. Davis added when he turned his gift into a park.
In the parking lot, there are these two darling little food vendors. Perhaps, instead of a picnic, we could get some tasty food here and bring it over to the picnic area.
Although a short visit to a silly roadside attraction may seem a bit pointless to some people, I loved it. It was a great place to stretch your legs on a long journey and even more than that it put a smile on my face and it left me feeling those amazing road trip feels!
Have you driven all or part of Route 66? What was your favorite stop along the way?
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