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After a stunning time travelling Route 66 in Texas we had high hopes for New Mexico. Here’s some of what we enjoyed and the best Route 66 New Mexico attractions:
After stopping for a bite to eat at a service station just over the border in to New Mexico and having a Taco Tuesday we arrived in the small town of Tucumcari.
Route 66 – New Mexico attractions
Tucumcari and the Blue Swallow Motel
Tucumcari is quite a well preserved town on Route 66 with quite a few nice ‘mom and pop’ motels to choose from including the very popular and iconic Blue Swallow motel.
We didn’t stay there as we found the Motel Safari just across the road for a better deal and good reviews (we always checked the reviews on trip advisor or other blogs we searched online for – some of the hotels can change hands and go down hill quickly) and what I really liked about this motel is that it just looked like a classic motel from movies – all the rooms arranged around the car park. Just needed a swimming pool 😉
It was getting late when we arrived and the sun was just going down. I remember hearing crickets and it just feeling so warm. It felt like a beautiful setting.
Not everything is in a great restored state in Tucumcari – there’s plenty of old abandoned buildings about the place too including the Ranch House cafe (some great pics on this site of it).
Later on the neon lit up the main street of Tucumcari and we went to explore more. It is such a beautiful little town with murals all over the place all pointing back to a time gone by and classic americana.
The next day we travelled further across New Mexico, marvelling at the changes in scenery and the different kinds of buildings that kept cropping up. I even had a go at driving our rental car myself – normally I got James to do it, but I figured if I couldn’t do it driving along a straight and quiet road like this I’d never do it. And I could finally say I’d driven a part of Route 66 myself – had to be done!
We stopped for breakfast at a lovely cafe in Santa Rosa which is called, aptly, the route 66 cafe and it was incredibly retro! We loved it there and it was a nice change to eat out for breakfast instead of dinner!
Petroglyph National Monument
Later on and after stopping off for some lunch supplies in a grocery store in Albuquerque we found our way to our first national park in the US – the Petroglyph National Monument
It was warm but not as hot as it had been and we started to walk around the Boca Negro trails. The petroglyphs were fascinating – so interesting to see the insight in to people from such a long time ago. We loved walking and looking round. The view from the top of the Mesa point trail was spectacular!
Continental Divide in NM
Further on, this is the continental divide – apparently on one side of this point water drains in to the Pacific ocean and the other side will go to the Atlantic.
After our time out in nature we retired to our hotel in Gallup. We ended up in a motel slightly on the outskirts of the town which wasn’t the best plan really, but it was clean and quiet which really is all we needed!
Interested in Route 66? Check out my other posts from our road trip:
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