Tucumcari is the largest city between Amarillo and Albuquerque so it’s always been a popular stop for travelers. Although there are no longer 2000 motel rooms as touted on old billboards there are still plenty of places to stay overnight, either at the newer motels along the interstate or at the classic 1940s motels along Route 66. This is one detour off of the interstate that every traveler should make.
We stayed at the Cactus RV Park so that we could see the neon signs at night. The RV park is located in the courtyard of the closed Cactus Motor Lodge. The RV park is very well tended and the motel buildings still look fairly sturdy even though they’re not in use. The park is an overnight stop for most people and doesn’t have many amenities but each site does have full hookups. We had very fast WiFi at our site.
Most of the motel signs have not been restored so we didn’t get many night pictures.
The Blue Swallow Motel has been in business since 1940.
Tee Pee Curios, built in 1944, was a gas station, grocery, and souvenir shop. When Route 66 was widened in 1959, the tepee entrance was added and the pumps removed
The Americana, originally the 1935 Desert Air Motel, has a great neon sign.
The Palomino opened in 1953 and unfortunately the sign isn’t completely light any more.
The Motel Safari was built in 1959
The Buckaroo Motel, with another great sign, opened in 1952
La Cita has been serving travelers Mexican food since 1961.
A lot of cool old stuff is on display at the Tucumcari Trading Post.
Even the closed business have interesting signs.
Most of the gas stations have been restored and some are being used for other businesses.
The city has three small museums. The historical museum is housed in an old schoolhouse and several other buildings. The museum contains a large variety of artifacts but has very little historic information. After visiting all of the buildings we still knew little about Tucumcari’s history.
The second floor and basement of the schoolhouse are not accessible. Some of the paths on the grounds are surfaced with rough gravel.
RVs can be parked on the street.
Two gorgeous antiques – a 1940’s Wurlitzer jukebox and an Owl slot machine from the early 1900s.
Mesalands Community College's Dinosaur Museum is a nicely done small museum with great fossils and casts of dinosaur bones.
The museum is accessible.
Small RVs will fit in the main lot. Larger RVs will fit in the additional lot across street.
The Route 66 Museum was supposed to be opened but it wasn’t. :-(
The parking lot is large enough for any RV.