Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oklahoma Route 66 - Part 3 Vinita and Chelsea

This segment finds us traveling from Afton  through Vinita and on to Chelsea.  Between Afton and Vinita we'll pass through farm land.  Vinita is the second oldest town in Oklahoma and is a thriving community.  We'll find our first winery on Route 66 here, a restaurant that was judged to have the best 'chicken fried steak' on Route 66 and Vinita is home to the THE WORLD'S LARGEST CALF FRY FESTIVAL And COOK-OFF....if you don't know what that is....well....clicking on the link will explain and also provide you with the winning recipe from Parade Magazine in 2009.

First thing up is the Summerside of the top 2 winning wineries of the 50+ wineries in the State.

The photo on the left is the small vineyard in front of the tasting room...Chambourcin. The main vineyards are at Grand Lake.  The photo on the right are the type of barrels used in making their multi-award winning Cream Sherry.

At the first stop light coming into town from Afton, take a left, go past WalMart to the end of the road and you can go in the World's largest McDonalds.  It spans I-44 and I remember it as a Howard Johnson's (tho' originally a Glass House).

Next up is Clanton's Cafe.  It is purported to have the best Chicken Fried Steak on Route 66.....but......I, personally, think the Main Street Diner in 'Downtown' Chelsea (2 blocks off Route 66) has the best.  I've eaten both. :) 

Left: City Hall and Chamber

Right: Down-town and first run movies :)

Left:Craig County Courthouse Annex. Rock is typical of buildings throughout Eastern OK

Right: Vinita Hotel, build in 1930 and now used for various business.

Just down the road 20 miles is the little town of Chelsea....once a much larger town but the department store and other shops yielded to Claremore, Vinita and Tulsa.  Today it is a very active town full of pride. :) There are Historical things to see and just a short drive West and  you can see the very first oil well in the State of Oklahoma.   If you are a rodeo fan  you will surely know the name (and voice) of Clem McSpadden, who called Chelsea home AND  for years called the National Finals Rodeo held in Oklahoma City, then Las Vegas.   

I have several photos and must say that it was on a Sunday prior to noon when I photographed downtown so it appears a bit empty...but it isn't by a long shot during the week and on Saturday.   The photos are small so you won't get tried looking but a click on the photo will make it larger. :)

 First stop before entering town....highway marker at the turn...

Coming into Chelsea from Vinita....population 2,136.....located on the highway....
New, clean lodging  :)
A remnant from the past - National Register

Just out of town, going South, you'll see a Marker to the First Oil Well in the Great State of Oklahoma

Across the railroad tracks into DOWNTOWN.  :)

The Main Street Diner...The BEST Chicken Fried Steak on Route 66
Re-purposed by a couple out of town as a weekend retreat upstairs
Re-Purposed an old hotel as apartments
Re-Purposed the Auditorium as a Dollar General

Around the town......
This is the Hogue House..National Register ..First Sears & Roebuck House built in Oklahoma
 3 miles South of Chelsea Oak Hill Winery...the second on Route 66...westbound  Award winning Blackberry Wine and a white wine called Chardonelle that's good.
To reach this winery, you have to turn left at Hwy 28 (at the new Dollar General) and drive about 10 minutes toward Adair.  There is a sign to turn off Hwy. 28 to the winery.  I like their Red Table Wine

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