Oklahoma’s Big Blue Whale Remains A Top Tourist Destination
While it started off as a normal, neighborhood swimming attraction in a small suburb of Tulsa, the Big Blue Whale of Catoosa has lived up to a legacy of legendary proportions.
When I first saw it, it was an eyesore and a thing of nightmares. No denying it, your creepometer would peak too... but since the renovation, Oklahoma's Blue Whale has become larger than anyone thought.
It's Americana, world-famous, and now a mandatory stop on the Route 66 Mother Road Trip everyone must experience as they take the historic drive between Chicago and Los Angeles.
The history of how it came to be is interesting enough. The story starts in the 1970s when a man named Hugh Davis was looking for the perfect anniversary gift for his wife. Together they shared an affinity for animals.
They had traveled the globe together seeking animals to bring home. Their efforts became the Tulsa Zoo. After a long thought, he finally settled on an idea that would contribute to his wife's hobby of collecting whale figurines... He would build her a giant blue whale.
Included in this kooky and creative thing, plenty of thought went into making it something the entire family could enjoy. Room for sunbathing, a diving platform and a slide for the kids. As time went on and more people found out, Hugh had a beach installed, picnic tables, and even hired lifeguards when he opened it to the public. Years later, a small town accessory has become something of worldwide fame.
Skip to the here and now, this roadside attraction has been restored. It's less creepy than ti used to be. Swimming is now strictly prohibited in the pond but everyone is welcome to fish. It's a perfect place for young anglers to experience the fun of catch and release fishing. Beyond that, everyone is welcome to pop in to see the sight, have a picnic, and take selfies to prove you've been there.
Since the renovation, it's been in tons of television shows and millions of photos. Search "Big Blue Whale" on YouTube, it's all over that site and it's right here within a few hours of Southwest Oklahoma.
If you find yourself somewhere around Tulsa, you might have to carve out some time to visit the world-famous Blue Whale of Catoosa.