Tulsa is regarded by many Route 66 travelers — especially those from the eastern part of the United States — as the point in the journey at which they really start to feel as if they are On Vacation. The black farmland of the Midwest starts to give way to the iron-red dirt of the Southwest. The sky seems bigger and bluer, the clouds fluffier, the sunsets more fiery. Ranches, Western wear stores, Native American art galleries, billboards advertising Cherokee and Osage casinos, and images of Will Rogers in his hat and boots evoke images of the Old West, with its cowboys and Indians. The landscape changes, and with the change comes a sense of freedom and adventure as the road disappears into the sunset over an endless horizon.
Travelers who savor the sights and sounds of the Southwest will want to spend an extra day in Tulsa, wandering through the galleries at the Thomas Gilcrease Museum.
Founded in 1949 by prominent oil baron and art collector Thomas Gilcrease, this unique museum gives visitors a chance to experience the works of Frederic Remington, George Catlin and Charlie Russell – three of the most celebrated artists of the American West — among many others, and the museum’s grounds are home to several dazzling gardens.
According to the museum’s Web site, American art historian Richard Saunders referred to the Gilcrease as “a kind of Smithsonian Institution of the American West.”
The museum inspired our Gilcrease Skyline Room, which offers a stunning view of the Tulsa skyline from the comfort of a room decorated in Southwestern and Native American colors and motifs.
The Gilcrease Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. It is closed Mondays and Christmas Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and active-duty military, and $5 for college students with valid ID. Kids get in free. For more information, call (918) 596-2700 or visit gilcrease.org.
To book our Gilcrease Skyline Room for your trip to Tulsa, call (918) 744-5500 or visit www.thecampbellhotel.com. We’ll look forward to seeing you!