Blue Whale in Catoosa, Okla.
Arguably one of the most recognizable roadside attractions along U.S. Route 66, the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Okla., has that particular blend of charm and melancholy that comes from classic, fading Americana. Looking at the giant, cartoonish whale sculpture, one can't help but be amazed — and grateful — that things like this exist.
Hugh Davis built the whale in 1972, an anniversary gift for his wife Zelta, at the edge of a pond on the couple's property. Painted bright blue, the 80-foot whale had a toothy smile, a diving platform on its tail, and a water slide in its head. It doesn't get much better than that.
The Blue Whale was originally intended just for family use, but it quickly caught on with the public, and Davis built a little park around it, complete with a sandy beach and picnic tables. The Davis family eventually got too old to manage the park, and it fell into disrepair in the '80s. Luckily, the whale had become so popular that the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce, along with countless volunteers, began refurbishing and maintaining the Blue Whale beginning in the late '90s, and continue to do so.