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Catoosa is a city in Green Country, Oklahoma, on historic Route 66. It had a population of about 7,000 in 2018. It is home to a large statue of a blue whale, Oklahoma's largest casino, and a huge Native American art market.


It is home to the Port of Catoosa, part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas Navigation System (MCKARNS) which connects Northeast Oklahoma to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.


The Cherokee Nation controlled the region during the 19th century. After the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad laid tracks in the early 1880s, the community became a cow town, with the establishment of William Halsell's Bird Creek Ranch.

The name of the city is derived from the Cherokee language, phonetically pronounced "Ga-du-si" or "Ga-tu-si". Various interpretations of this word exist, including: "between two hills", "on the hill", "into the hills", and possibly signifying a prominent hill or place thereon.

Catoosa was home to Bluford "Blue" Duck, the infamous outlaw depicted in Lonesome Dove. He is buried in Dick Duck Cemetery at the intersection of 193rd and Pine street.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]


Blue Whale of Catoosa
  • 1 Blue Whale, Rt. 66 (6 miles south of Claremore). Large blue whale in a swimming hole as novelty architecture. Picnic area. Blue Whale of Catoosa (Q4930019) on Wikidata Blue Whale of Catoosa on Wikipedia
  • 2 Tulsa Port of Catoosa, 5350 Cimarron Road, +1 918 266-2291. 8AM-4:30PM weekdays. Maritime Education Center with videos and a small artefact collection describing the Port’s history and economic impact on Oklahoma. The furthest inland, ice-free international seaport in America serves as head of navigation for the 445-mile McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which leads to the Mississippi River. A self-guided driving tour of the port is permitted (M-F 8AM-4:30PM) but you must remain in your vehicle. free. Tulsa Port of Catoosa (Q7852349) on Wikidata Tulsa Ports on Wikipedia
  • D W Correll Museum, 19934 E Pine St, +1 918 266-3612. Collection of minerals and bottles and automobiles.
  • Catoosa Historical Museum, 217 S Cherokee St #201, +1 918 266-3296. Caboose and vintage recreated buildings holding displays on past.


  • Hard Rock Casino and Resort (Formerly the Cherokee Casino) (Off Highway 51 and I-44, You'll know it when you see it), toll-free: +1-800-760-6700. 24 hours. Billed as Oklahoma's largest casino, this Neo-Art-Deco-styled monolith is always under construction.
  • 1 Redbud Valley Nature Preserve, 16150 Redbud Dr, +1 918 596-9054. Nature Conservancy center, with hiking and natural habitat. Rock cliffs and caves make for interesting views.


  • Cherokee Art Market (inside the Sequoyah Grand Ballroom in the Hard Rock Casino and Resort). 10AM-5PM. The largest annual Native American art market in the Great Plains. (1st-2nd weeks October) Free.
  • Catoosa LibertyFest (turn off Route 66 into a park along the Verdigris River). Patriotic sort of carnival/festival with fireworks.





Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Coal mining history and more at the Historical Society in Broken Arrow.
  • Tulsa for its oil barons, history and the architecture they left behind.
  • Claremore is the historic hometown of Will Rogers and home to numerous museums.
Routes through Catoosa
Oklahoma CityTulsa  W I-44.svgWill Rogers Turnpike.svg E  ClaremoreJoplin
TulsaBroken Arrow  W Creek Turnpike.svg E  END
Oklahoma CityTulsa  W US 66 (historic).svgOklahoma State Highway 66.svg E  ClaremoreJoplin
EnidTulsa  W US 412.svg E  → Jct N US 69.svg SLocust GroveSpringdale

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