Blue Whale of Catoosa

Catoosa, Oklahoma

OklahomaRoadside Attraction

The Blue Whale of Catoosa in Oklahoma is one of the most recognizable and popular roadside attractions on Route 66.

Hugh S. Davis, a retired Tulsa Zoo zoo keeper, built this big blue whale as a gift for his wife Zelta on their 34th wedding anniversary in 1972. It was an appropriate present as she loved collecting whale figurines. The giant whale roadside attraction is 20 feet tall and 80 feet long. It was constructed from an iron frame and concrete and took Davis, with the help of his friend Harold Thomas, two years to complete. It quickly became a popular spot for friends and family to picnic and swim, it soon after became a local, national, and even an international celebrity, attracting travelers from around the globe.

The Blue Whale of Catoosa wasn’t just a giant sculpture, it was a place to play. Inside the mouth and belly is a slide that once allowed visitors to shoot out into the water and on the tip of the tail is an old diving platform. Though neither of those features are still in use, you can climb the steel ladders that are still inside to look out the portholes built into the top.

Davis and his wife maintained the giant whale roadside attraction throughout the 1970s and 1980s. They also opened an adjoining attraction called Nature’s Acres, which featured the roadside attraction alongside a swimming hole and Animal Reptile Kingdom (A.R.K.) complete with a giant wooden Noah’s Ark.

As the couple grew older and their health began to decline, they could no longer keep up managing the attraction, and it was closed in 1988. Hugh passed away in 1990, and Zelta in 2001. Unfortunately, after the stop was closed and Hugh was gone, the roadside attraction fell into disrepair due to weather damage, age, vandalism, and neglect. The paint peeled, the whale damaged, the surrounding foliage became overgrown.

Luckily, the importance of the Catoosa Whale did not go overlooked. Due to efforts by the couple’s son Blaine, the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce, the Hampton Inn, and other volunteers, money was raised and the whale was able to swim once more. A group called Fins of the Blue Whale now work on long term improvements and daughter Dee Dee Belt maintains the big whale and a small onsite concession stand.

Last modified: April 21, 2024
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Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Blue Whale of Catoosa

5 based on 1 reviews

Address:
2600 OK-66, Catoosa, OK 74015

Hours:
8am-6pm, daily

Cost:
Free

Phone Number:
(918) 266-2505

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Photos of the Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma

Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Know Before You Go

To make the most of your visit to the Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma, here are some things to know before you go.

  • An on-site gift shop is sometimes open to pick up Blue Whale souvenirs.
  • This roadside attraction is home to one of the most unique bathrooms on Route 66. With two toilets next to each other you can bring a friend.
  • There are plenty of tables if you want to have a seat or bring a picnic lunch.
  • Remains of the shuttered Nature’s Acres can also be seen on site.

Where to Stay Near the Blue Whale of Catoosa

Complete your travel itinerary and get a good night’s rest at one of these hotels near this Route 66 attraction. While there are a couple of options for hotels in Catoosa, nearby Tulsa has many hotels to choose from and is just a short drive away.

Catoosa Inn & Suites

Catoosa Inn & Suites boasts of beautiful interiors, private balconies, American breakfast, and a 24-hour front desk.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa features 454 rooms and suites and access to many on-site entertainment and dining options. Fall asleep in a triple-sheeted, high thread count bed or relax at the resort pool (there are ones for adults only and for families).

Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo is a boutique hotel located on Santa Fe Square in the Blue Dome District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Blue Dome District is one of Tulsa’s most popular entertainment districts with a wide variety of local restaurants, bars, and venues. The interior of this Tulsa hotel pays homage to the surrounding area with an industrial-inspired modern look. Murals and artwork throughout the hotel are inspired by local attractions and history.

The Campbell Hotel

The Campbell Hotel offers a luxury experience in lavish and historic accommodation that is on National Register of Historic Places. Originally opened as the Casa Loma Hotel inside the Max Campbell Building in 1927, the property was conveniently located at the end of the trolley line that ran from downtown to Delaware Avenue on 11th Street.

Enhance your visit to Tulsa with a tour! Whether you love history, architecture, or family-friendly adventures, there are plenty of options for everyone.

Attractions Near the Blue Whale of Catoosa on Route 66

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Reviews & Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

1 Review of Blue Whale of Catoosa in Catoosa, Oklahoma

  1. One of my favorite Route 66 roadside attractions! I always have to stop when I’m driving through Oklahoma. Don’t forget to stop in the…interesting…bathrooms!

    Reply

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