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Blue Whale of Catoosa, Catoosa

3.6
#8 of 56 in Sightseeing in Oklahoma
Landmark Tourist Spot
The Blue Whale of Catoosa is a waterfront structure, just east of the town of Catoosa, Oklahoma, and it has become one of the most recognizable attractions on old Route 66. It is home to the third location of the Spectacles launched by Snapchat in 2016.CreationHugh Davis built the Blue in the early 1970s as a surprise anniversary gift to his wife Zelta, who collected whale figurines. The Blue Whale and its pond became a favored swimming hole for both locals and travelers along Route 66 alike.Originally, the pond surrounding the massive Blue Whale was spring fed and intended only for family use. However, as many locals began to come to enjoy its waters, Davis brought in tons of sand, built picnic tables, hired life guards, and opened it to the public.Public attractionOriginally calling it Nature’s Acres, Mr. Davis continued to add to the roadside attraction until it eventually included The Fun and Swim Blue Whale and the A.R.K. (Animal Reptile Kingdom). The attraction also featured Hugh’s brother-in-law, Indian Chief Wolf-Robe Hunt, a full blooded Acoma Indian, who was famous in his own right for his Indian paintings and as a highly skilled silversmith. Chief Wolf-Robe Hunt once ran the Arrowood Trading post across the highway from the Blue Whale attraction.By 1988, the Davises were not able to continue managing the attraction, so they closed it to the public. Davis died in January 1990, followed by his wife Zelta in 2001. The park soon fell into disrepair, crumbling from neglect and weather. However, after a decade the people of Catoosa and employees of the Hampton Inn launched a fund-raising and volunteer effort to restore the Route 66 landmark. The Blue Whale was restored and repainted to its original brilliant blue. The adjacent picnic area has also been restored.
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  • In my opinion this is one of those must see tourist traps on 66. The story of the whale is cute and charming. The staff were helpful and friendly. It is free to get in and look around and the spot mak...  more »
  • We've always wanted to see this television icon and made the journey. Great fun. Kids were fishing and people walking. It would be a great picnic stop.  more »
  • Glad we stopped. Very cute. My son enjoyed climbing on the different levels inside the whale, the fish, & the turtles. Suggest bringing a picnic lunch.  more »