by Ron Stahl, courtesy OK Tourism
Published July 06, 2018
Elk City embodies some of the best traits of small-town America. It is a prominent stop along Route 66, the historic highway that came to define the classic American road trip, and home to a thriving local culinary scene. In the city’s diverse downtown shopping district, travelers can pick out a pair of cowboy boots or browse through boutique jewelry and home decor. It is also one of the top rodeo destinations in the country. For groups looking for a classic, Old West vibe, Elk City is just the place to visit.
The National Route 66 Museum Complex encompasses four museums that highlight different aspects of Oklahoma’s diverse history. At the National Route 66 Museum, groups can learn more about the iconic highway that immortalized Americana like mom-and-pop shops, country diners and quirky roadside attractions. Based inside a two-story Victorian house, the Old Town Museum explores the history of early Oklahoma settlers and cowboys. The Farm and Ranch Museum showcases an extensive collection of agricultural equipment through exhibits on barbed wire, tractors and windmills. In the Blacksmith Museum, visitors will discover how blacksmiths forge everyday tools from iron or steel.
Unique Group Experiences
Ackley Park is a beautiful 220-acre park with six picnic pavilions, a miniature golf course, a children’s train ride and a vintage carousel with 36 hand-carved wooden horses. During the holiday season, Ackley Park sets the stage for the annual Christmas in the Park celebration, one of the most spectacular light displays in the state. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, groups can tour the festive decor on the Mistletoe Express or an English double-decker bus or take a ride on a classic horse-drawn carriage. For a special souvenir, visitors can pick up a limited-edition Christmas ornament from Santa’s gift shop.
Festivals and Events
At the beginning of June each year, Elk City locals gather in town for Route 66 Days, a three-day, fun-filled event that includes a Route 66 car show, stock car races at Elk City Speedway and a citywide garage sale. On Labor Day weekend, Elk City hosts one of the best-known rodeo competitions in the state, the PRCS Rodeo of Champions, attracting thousands of visitors to watch top-ranked cowboys and cowgirls compete for national titles.