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Oklahoma City

Increasingly known simply by its airport code "OKC", Oklahoma City is the largest city in Oklahoma as well as its capital, and the most recent city to score a major league basketball team, the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder. And, according to the famous Route 66 song, it looks "so, so pretty."

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Route 66 heads into Oklahoma City on Kelley Avenue, then a short sort-of junction with Interstate 44 sends you to Lincoln Avenue, a wide boulevard Route 66 follows to the State Capitol. From there, it heads west on 23rd Street, accessible via an exit ramp heading due west from the capitol complex. A ride down Interstate 235 south, which shows up shortly, gives you access to downtown Oklahoma City and many of its sights.

Sights in downtown Oklahoma City include Bricktown, a re-emerging cultural district and the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, site of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. The site of the Memorial today includes fragmented sections of the Murrah Building itself, an overlook, information displays, a long reflecting pool where the building once stood, and the "Field of Empty Chairs."

Back up I-235 to the NW 23rd Street exit, turn west to follow Route 66 through Oklahoma City neighborhoods. Down NW 23rd Street, you traverse a busy retail and commercial district including some classic older buildings like the Tower Theater, built in 1937. Nearby at the corner of NW 23rd & Hudson is Cheever's Café, a newer restaurant in an older building that once served Route 66 travelers as a flower shop. Try Juan's Queso Chihuahua or the Mixed Seafood Tamale. As you may have guessed, this isn't your traditional café or diner.

Turn right at May Street, and then turn left at NW 39th Street, which rides along I-44 for a spell. Look for Ann's Chicken Fry House if you're still hungry and want a true helping of Route 66 nostalgia. This is the place to come if you're up for some fried okra, fried peaches, mashed potatoes and gravy and, of course, fried chicken. Once a gas station, you can spot Ann's today not by the pumps but by a pink Cadillac and vintage police car out front.

At night, there is plenty of neon. Heading west out of OKC, you stay on a broad boulevard lined with businesses of all stripes, knowing that this was once the way west from Oklahoma's capitol and largest city to California.

Best Western PLUS Memorial Inn & Suites
1301 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73114-1406
(405) 286-5199
Best Western PLUS Broadway Inn & Suites
6101 N. Santa Fe Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73118-7526
(405) 848-1919
Best Western PLUS Saddleback Inn & Conference Center
4300 SW 3rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73108-1024
(405) 947-7000
Best Western PLUS Midwest City Inn & Suites
6701 Tinker Diagonal
Midwest City, OK 73110-2960
(405) 737-6060
Best Western PLUS Greentree Inn & Suites
1811 N. Moore Avenue
Moore, OK 73160-3668
(405) 912-8882
Best Western PLUS Barsana Hotel & Suites
7701 C.A. Henderson Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73139-2422
(405) 601-1200
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