Picture yourself cruising down the highway. A warm breeze blowing in the window as the miles of pavement roll by under your tires. Each new town and city brings another chance to explore the wonders of Americana. This is just the kind of experience you get when traveling along the path of the old Route 66. We have chosen to digest this 2448-mile path a little at a time, which allows more freedom for in-depth study. During our 24 hours in Weatherford, Oklahoma, we found educational attractions, delectable dishes, and plenty of friendly locals.
First Taste of Weatherford, Oklahoma
Cruising the road can create quite a hunger. It’s easy to get distracted by all of the eye candy one finds along the Mother Road. By the time we rolled into Weatherford, we were famished from a morning of exploring. Our first stop was Lucille’s Roadhouse, which has existed since 1937. In 2006, they relocated from Hydro, Oklahoma to their current location. The creation of the interstate highway system marked a slow death for many roadside stops along the original Route 66. Fortunately, some, like Lucille’s, have found a way to survive. It certainly made us feel like we were stepping back in time to the golden age of road tripping.
History in the Heartland
Speaking of the golden age, our visit to Heartland of America Museum offered us a peek back in time to a variety of ages. While a lot of the artifacts were familiar to us, there were just as many that were completely foreign. We have to think way back to remember some, and others are just part of stories that we heard from earlier generations. These types of history collections are slowly losing their audience, so it’s important to help support them. Perhaps we will see a revival of the days when you would stop by the local drugstore for a sundae at their soda fountain.
Stafford Air & Space Museum
With only 24 hours in Weatherford, Oklahoma, it meant that we had to make the most of our time. One of our main purposes for selecting this city, was a chance to see the Stafford Air & Space Museum. We weren’t sure what we would find, but seeing an aerospace museum in a city of 10,000 residents certainly intrigued us. From our research, we knew that they had some unique exhibits on-site. It’s not everyday that you have an opportunity to see some of the artifacts found in this space. Walking beside a Titan II missile helps put its size in perspective. .
Studying the “Space Race”
Many of us can remember learning about the “Space Race” between Russia and the United States. At the Stafford Air 7 Space Museum you can see a V-2 Rocket from World War II. This is the first long-range guided rockets, which reached into space in 1944. Once the military war ended, the “Cold War” began ratcheting up. Inside this Weatherford museum, we found a nice selection of exhibits about this new age of travel. What began with the launch of satellites, soon progressed to the goal of putting a human on the moon. You can learn all about this race in this museum.
Little Italy Comes to Town
As the day drew toward evening, it signaled the time for the attractions to close. We drove around the downtown area and checked out a few of the shops. Much like we find in many small to mid-size cities, the majority of the commercial outlets are found on Main Street. We popped into a couple of boutique shops and antique stores. Soon it was time for these to close, as well. We realized that dinner time had arrived and made our way to a local Italian cuisine destination. Luigi’s Italian Restaurant is clearly popular with the locals, who happily welcomed us into their space. After so much exploring, we had worked up quite an appetite, but this place offered plenty to satisfy it.
A Comfortable Stay
Now that we had full bellies, we were ready to check into our lodging for the evening. Just off Main Street we located the Comfort Inn & Suites. They were currently changing from their ownership, but it didn’t really impact our stay. We chose this location because it offered a place near downtown and it has a pool. We both enjoy taking a dip, but rarely get an opportunity during our blogging sessions. Forgoing any evening entertainment, we chose to stay in and check out this amenity. Once we finished our dip in the pool, we were ready to hit the sack for a good night’s rest.
Breakfast with the Locals
Our 24 hours in Weatherford, Oklahoma were running low, but we still had time for a couple quick stops. We know that breakfast sets the tone for the day, so we try to have a hearty meal when traveling. With more road to explore, we chose to keep in our Route 66 mode by visiting Jerry’s Restaurant. This chain grew to fame in the western states starting in 1964. Walking through the door, we knew it was a hangout for locals. After sizing us up, they warmed to our visit. It can be interesting to see how they react to a couple with a camera. Of course, being a Mother Road attraction means that they are used to being in pictures.
Fueling Our Morning
Our morning dining choice came with a slew of options. Benedicts, scrambles, omelettes, French toast, pancakes and even more choices were making it hard to select. Our server pointed out that everything is cooked to order, so the whole menu is delicious. With little guidance, we just pointed and picked our breakfasts. We discovered that she was right, as my Eggs Benedict was delectable. Once again we had replenished our body fuel and were preparing to head back out on the open road.
Our final stop in Weatherford was at The Cup. (pictured at the beginning of this article) We had spotted this cute boutique coffee shop during our exploration on the previous day. Since it was past coffee time in the evening, we chose to double back for a morning visit. We chose a couple of specialty lattes for the road and said our goodbyes to Weatherford.
24 Hours in Weatherford, Oklahoma
As you can see, there is plenty to fill 24 hours in Weatherford, Oklahoma. It’s in cities like this that we find some of the most unexpected surprises. With just under half of Route 66 under our belts, we are curious to see what the other half has to offer. The open road is fun to explore and really brings the feeling of Americana to life. If you are looking for some nostalgia, you will definitely find plenty along the Mother Road. Make sure to plan plenty of extra time for unexpected excursions, as there is so much to see and do. Have you ever explored portions of Route 66? We’d love to hear some of your favorite stops along the way.