The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma plays homage to the “Main Street of America.” While the National Route 66 Museum may not be as grand as the name suggest, it is a lovely little museum that is relatively cheap at $5 per person and not only gives some information on the “Mother Road” but there is also a recreated early 20th century main street, a farming museum that is full of antique machinery, and a Old Town Museum. I would say that this museum is worth the stop because you get to see a lot of interesting things there, it gives the visitor a chance to get out of the car and stretch their legs, and the price really could not be any better.
There are actually two areas in this museum complex that deal with Route 66. They are the Transportation Museum and the Route 66 Museum. The Transportation Museum is the entrance to the museum. When paying the entrance fee you can choose to either go to one museum for three dollars or see the entire complex for five. I highly suggest you shell out the two extra dollars to see the whole thing. After paying the fee you will walk through the gift shop to see the vehicles on display. There are a few cars, some really nice looking motorcycles, a fire truck, and a small plane. There is also a nice short video that covers the history of Route 66. A very unique but not very fitting part to the museum was a room full of Popeye memorabilia, which was interesting to see, but I’m still trying to figure out why it was in the transportation building.
The Route 66 Museum took me from Chicago to Los Angeles. On the route through the museum there are some audio kiosks that give some personal accounts and history of the road. This part gave a good overview of the highway by using antique cars, and murals along with other artifacts from the hay day of the “Mother Road.” While it is not the most informative museum on the famous road in the country it does do a good job celebrating the national characteristics of Route 66.
Going in I did not have high expectations for this museum which is probably why I enjoyed it as much as I did. I thought the Old Town Museum and the Farm and Ranch Museum were also interesting and I will do a more in-depth review of those in the coming weeks. For being in a town with around 10,000 people I thought this museum was really well done. Are there better museums out there? Of course there are, but if you looking for a good place to stop to stretch your legs, and learn a little bit about Route 66 as well as frontier life then you will not find a much better place than the National Route 66 Museum in western Oklahoma.
National Route 66 Museum
Located at Old Highway 66, Elk City, Oklahoma
Hours of Operation- Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost of admissions as of this posting- $5 for all three museums that are there, $4 for 65 and up and students aged 6 to 16, $3 to access just one museum
For more information visit their website at http://www.elkcity.com/Pages.asp?s=Mus&id=7
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