Exploring the Charm of New Mexico on a Route 66 Adventure

1/18/20244 min read

beige desk globe on white desk
beige desk globe on white desk


New Mexico, located in the southwestern United States, is a captivating destination for those embarking on a Route 66 adventure. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture, this state offers a multitude of attractions and experiences that will leave travelers in awe. From the quiet town of Tucumcari to the bustling city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Tucumcari: A Glimpse into the Past

As you journey from east to west on Route 66, the town of Tucumcari welcomes you with its nostalgic charm. Built alongside the iconic highway, Tucumcari offers a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved historical sites. One must-visit attraction is the Tucumcari Historical Museum, which serves as a time capsule, showcasing the town's rich heritage. Explore the exhibits and artifacts that depict the early days of Tucumcari, immersing yourself in the stories of the pioneers who once called this place home.

For those intrigued by the wild west's railroad history, the Railroad Museum in Tucumcari is a must-see. Learn about the significance of the railroad in shaping the region's development and gain insights into the challenges faced by early settlers. The museum's collection of locomotives and historical displays will transport you back in time, offering a fascinating perspective on the past.

After a long drive, Tucumcari provides a range of comfortable accommodations, including hotels and motels, where weary travelers can rest and rejuvenate. Take advantage of the town's hospitality and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation before continuing your Route 66 adventure.

Santa Rosa: Revving Up at the Route 66 Auto Museum

Continuing westward, the town of Santa Rosa awaits with its own unique attractions. Car enthusiasts will be delighted by the Route 66 Auto Museum, a haven for vintage automobile lovers. Marvel at the impressive collection of beautifully restored cars that tell the story of America's automotive history. From classic muscle cars to iconic roadsters, this museum is a testament to the enduring fascination with automobiles.

Immerse yourself in the nostalgia as you wander through the exhibits, admiring the craftsmanship and design of these timeless vehicles. Whether you're a seasoned car aficionado or simply appreciate the beauty of vintage automobiles, the Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Albuquerque: Where Adventure Awaits

As you reach Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, you'll be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere and an array of exciting attractions. One of the city's most popular landmarks is the Sandia Peak Tramway, an aerial tramway that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Ascend to the top of the Sandia Mountains and witness panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. Whether you visit during the day or at sunset, the beauty of the natural scenery will leave you in awe.

If you happen to be in Albuquerque during the holiday season, be sure to experience the River of Lights. This annual event transforms the city's Botanic Garden into a mesmerizing wonderland of dazzling lights and festive displays. Stroll through the illuminated pathways, savoring the enchanting ambiance and the joyous spirit of the holiday season.

Another highlight of Albuquerque is the famous Balloon Fiesta, a nine-day event that takes place in October. Watch as the sky fills with colorful hot air balloons, creating a spectacle that is truly awe-inspiring. Whether you choose to participate in a balloon ride or simply observe the mass ascension from the ground, this unique event promises an unforgettable experience.

No visit to Albuquerque would be complete without indulging in the local culinary delights. Stop by a chile roaster and savor the flavors of New Mexico's signature ingredient. At a chile roaster, you can find many different kinds of Hatch chile products available. There will also be a bunch of different souvenirs to give as gifts to the southwest lover you know.

Grants: A NM Mining Town

West of Albuquerque is the city of Grants. Here, you can visit the New Mexico Mining Museum, which has a replica mineshaft. You can learn more about the mining industry, which shaped the wild west in many ways. Additionally, you can drive through the Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign. Be sure to stop by Junkyard on 66 Brewery to see some old cars while getting a refreshment.

Gallup: A Native Trading Town

Gallup is a great place to get all kinds of stuff. If you are interested in southwestern or Native American art and jewelry, you can certainly find it in Gallup. It is a city in western New Mexico that is dotted with many different trading posts. Ranging from cheap to super high end, you can certainly find what you are looking for here. The Saturday flea market is a big attraction aimed at anyone looking to do some affordable shopping. Whether you want to find jewelry, art, food, used goods, Native American medicine, or something else, odds are you can find it here. People travel from many small communities every week to buy and sell here.


New Mexico, with its captivating towns and cities along the Route 66, offers a truly memorable adventure. From the nostalgic charm of Tucumcari to the automotive wonders of Santa Rosa, and the vibrant attractions of Albuquerque, the mines or Grants, or the traders of Gallup, this state is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Immerse yourself in the rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture of New Mexico, and create lasting memories on your Route 66 journey.