Midway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City is the town of Chandler, OK. Here, you can learn about Oklahoma’s past, as well as decades of history of Route 66.
In the summer, you can attend the annual Chandler Ice Cream Festival and the Stone River Music Festival. This town of about 3,000 residents may be small, but it provides endless opportunities and activities for travelers.
Let’s learn more about why you should plan a trip to Chandler, OK!
About Chandler, OK
Chandler, OK, is located right in the middle of the Sooner State. It was established in the late-1800s during the time of the Land Run.
Known as “The Pecan Capital of the World,” Chandler, OK, was given this title by the Oklahoma legislature in 1949. Businesses flourished thanks to traffic from Route 66, but much of it died out once the Turner Turnpike was built in the early 1950s.
Today, agriculture, oil and gas services, and manufacturing drive the economy. There are 20 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places that include the Chandler Baseball Camp, which was opened by pro baseball player Bo Belcher in 1958.
Other historic sites include the Boston Store (built in 1900) and the St. Cloud Hotel (built in 1904).
Traveler’s Tip: Yes, you can still get your kicks on Route 66, and we can show you how!
Located along the intersection of I-44 and Highway 18, and right on historic Route 66, Chandler, OK, is easily accessible. From Oklahoma City, you’ll take I-35 north to I-44 east. The drive is only about 45 minutes.
From Tulsa, it’s a straight shot down I-244 to I-44 west. This drive is about an hour. You can always follow The Mother Road for a more nostalgic drive.
Things to Do in Chandler, OK
Chandler, OK, is only a few miles from Bell Cow Lake and Chandler Lake, two great locations for outdoor recreation. With its location on historic Route 66, there are also numerous museums and restored buildings and murals dedicated to preserving The Mother Road.
Although the list below includes four great places to visit, there are so many more. So don’t miss out on visiting Chandler, OK!
Visit the Route 66 Interpretive Center
Address: 400 E 1st St, Chandler, OK 74834
About The Route 66 Museum: If you’re looking for a great Route 66 Museum, you’ll want to stop here. Not only does it have cool memorabilia and photos from decades ago, but it also shows the experience of Oklahomans of today.
Sit down and watch a video montage of Oklahoma’s critical role in developing Route 66, the Mother Road. The hours vary based on the time of year, so make sure to call ahead or check the website before heading out.
Learn About Pioneer History
Address: 719 Manvel Ave, Chandler, OK 74834
About The Museum Of Pioneer History: Admission is free to the Lincoln County Historical Society and Museum of Pioneer History. You’ll see photographs and artifacts of this area’s history throughout the museum, dating back to 1891.
Experience what life was like during the early pioneer life through exhibits that showcase the cyclone of 1897, an old outhouse, Native American history, and old Lincoln County newspapers. You can also step into an apartment, medical office, and schoolroom from the early 1900s.
View Art at McJerry’s Route 66 Gallery
Address: 306 Manvel Ave, Chandler, OK 74834
About McJerry’s Route 66 Art Gallery: The gallery isn’t open for set hours. Just call ahead, and the owner will open McJerry’s Route 66 Art Gallery for you.
At the gallery, you’ll see watercolors, oils, and pencil artwork created by Jerry McClanahan. He spent numerous summers journeying down Route 66 with his family and pays tribute to those memories with his gallery.
He explains, “Preserving and restoring Route 66 scenes through my artwork is another way I can contribute to this commemoration and celebration of our highway heritage.”
Play a Game at the Route 66 Bowl
Address: 920 E 1st St, Chandler, OK 74834
About The Route 66 Bowl: You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time when you walk through the doors of the Rt66 Bowl. With arcade games, laser tag, and mini-golf, it’s more than just your standard bowling alley.
Plus, the Route 66 diner and memorabilia create a nostalgic atmosphere the minute you enter the building. It’s open daily, but check the website or call for updated hours.
Where to Stay Near Chandler, OK
Instead of searching for a hotel room for a few nights, enjoy these affordable accommodations through Airbnb. Both options provide everything you need for a cozy, relaxing stay. And they’re close to anything you’re planning to do in town.
Amenities: This entire two-bedroom, one-bathroom house can be your home during your stay in Chandler, OK. Relax on the covered back porch in the mornings with a cup of coffee before you start the day.
You also have access to a washer and dryer and a full kitchen with all the essentials for cooking your own meals. Pets are allowed but need to be in a crate when inside.
This is an excellent option for families as one bedroom has a queen-sized bed and the second bedroom has two twin beds.
View this stay on Airbnb →
Cozy Three-Bedroom Home with Hot Tub
Amenities: This house is a bit more expensive but a lot bigger. The three bedrooms can sleep up to seven people.
You’ll enjoy the private backyard and screened porch as you sip wine in the evenings after a day of exploring Chandler, OK. From May to October, you also have access to the hot tub.
Cozy up by the electric fireplace and watch a movie on the 65-inch HDTV with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Roku. The entire family will be comfortable here. Pets are also allowed.
View this stay on Airbnb →
Is Chandler, OK, Worth a Visit?
If you’re taking a bucket list road trip down Route 66, you’ll pass through Chandler, OK, anyway. Why not make plans to take a pit stop here for a few days? There are plenty of opportunities to embrace the old way of life through Route 66 museums and decor.
You’ll find yourself taking as many selfies as you want as you stand before the town murals and numerous road signs. It’s one of the small towns along the drive with more to offer than you think.
Even if you’re not into the history of Route 66 and don’t really care about driving the trek from Chicago to Santa Monica, Chandler, OK, has more to offer than just nostalgia. Embrace the outdoor recreational activities, learn about the pioneer history of Oklahoma, or take the kids out for a fun evening of arcade games and bowling.
You don’t have to do the Route 66 thing. But why not? It’s part of our nation’s history. And Chandler, OK, has it all tied up neatly in a bow for travelers.
When will you stop in for a visit?