Discovering Route 66: From Tulsa to Arcadia

Rock Cafe Sign in Stroud, Oklahoma

Last weekend my family and I took a day to explore Route 66 along Tulsa to Arcadia. Our first stop was for lunch and a little sightseeing in Stroud, Oklahoma. There were a few places that we found interesting, but finally decided on lunch at the Rock Café, a well known historic Route 66 landmark that was an inspiration for the movie Cars, and it was also featured in Southern LivingGourmet Magazine, and the Guy Fieri show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.

Rock Café in Stroud, Oklahoma

It was cold and sprinkling outside, but warm and very hospitable inside, and decorated to the hilt with Route 66 and cars memorabilia. Along with the usual diner fare of burgers and sandwiches, patrons can also get southern favorites like fried green tomatoes and Indian tacos, as well as a delicious savory jägerschnitzel & spätzle dish with bacon mushroom gravy that was featured on Diners, which is what I had.

Rock Café in Stroud, Oklahoma

Stroud is the perfect example of small town Americana, modest yet dotted with these colorful Route 66 icons, which makes them stand out even more, and the Rock Café sign and building are no exceptions.

Skyliner Motel

After lunch, we stopped by another Route 66 landmark in Stroud, possibly best known for its wonderful vintage sign design, the Skyliner Motel.

Front View of the Round Barn

The next place on our list was the Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma. Built in 1898, the barn is famous for its unusual round top, which was designed by William H. Odor, who had the idea to soak oak boards until they were bendable to create a round building.

Back View of the Round Barn

When we walked inside, we were greeted by an extremely friendly older gentleman who worked as a guide and was more than eager to tell us everything we would want to know about the barn, including the fact that restoration efforts over the years used much of the original wood.

Round Barn Ceiling

We climbed up to see the top, which was spacious and echo-y, and had a central area for visitors to stand in for maximum acoustic effect. For those who have visited Tulsa’s Center of the Universe, it sounds much like that. Every second Sunday, visitors can hear live music in the Round Barn, and it is open from 10-5 daily.

Round Barn Top

Pops 66 Soda Ranch, the Arcadia restaurant and gas station famous for having hundreds of kinds of soda, was only a few minutes from the Round Barn, and our last stop on this adventure.

Pops Entrance

The building has won several architectural awards for its beautiful modern design by Elliott + Associates Architects. The glass walls of Pops are lined with different kinds of soda, and they also have shelves and coolers full of more choices! We each picked out four flavors – mine were watermelon, caramel apple, chocolate, and some kind of interesting looking Hawaiian soda.

Soda Lined Walls of Pops

Outside of Pops is a 66-foot tall soda bottle, which is lit up with a rainbow of colors at night. Here is a view from our overcast afternoon.


On the way home, we drove through Chandler and spotted a few more cool 66 signs, including an old Phillips 66 sign and a 66 Bowl sign that was moved from Oklahoma City and recently resurfaced in Chandler at the location of a planned bowling alley.

Phillips 66 | Route 66
66 Bowl in Chandler