Nowadays Route 66 cuts New Mexico in half in one straight line. Before 1937 the route made a bend through Santa Fe.
Tucumcari is the largest town between Amarillo and Albuquerque. There are still a few motels that survived the end of Route 66, like Royal Pallacio and the Blue Swallow Motel. For lunch or dinner you can stop at La Cita.
Tucumcari, New Mexico
Silver Moon Café
The Silver Moon Café is an authentic Route 66 diner. You can taste the Mexican-American cuisine in an nice Mexican setting.
2545 Historic Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Route 66 Auto Museum
Bozo Cordova is started restoring old classic cars a long time ago. Now he has a collection of 30 classics in his own museum. Besides the cars there is also a large collection of advertisement sign from the heydays of Route 66.
2866 Will Rogers Ave., Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and was founded in 1610. This makes it the oldest capital in the USA. Santa Fe is Spanish for ‘Sacred belief’. The city is known for its buildings in Spanish Pueblo style.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is an area of 134 square km with lots of petroglyphs and cave dwellings near Santa Fe. The ancesters of the Indians lived here 11000 years ago. The 2 km long Main Loop Trail takes you past some petroglyphs and cave dwellings. Since 2015 it’s no longer possible to drive to the park yourself. You need to park at at parking lot outside the park and take a shuttle bus.
15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, New Mexico
Bradbury Science Museum
The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos is part of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Santa Fe. The National Laboratory was founded in 1943 as site Y of the Manhattan Project to create an atomic bomb. Twenty months later, on July 16th, 1945 the first atomic bomb was detonated on a test site in Alamogordo. Little Boy and Fat Man, the two bombs that were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were built here. Nowadays the laboratory is still researching technologies to secure the safety of the USA. These technologies include nanotechnology, new weapons and state-of-the-art computer systems.
1350 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, New Mexico
Gallup is a city on Route 66 and is also called the ‘Indian Capitol of the World’, due to the many Indian tribes that are represented, like Navajo, Zuni and Hopi. The city is home to the historic El Rancho Hotel & Motel, where famous actors like John Wayne, ronald Reagan, Doris Day and Humphrey Bogart stayed when the were starring in a western movie being filmed in the neighbourhood.
Gallup, New Mexico
If you are willing to make a detour, you can also visit the next locations.
Ice Cave & Bandera Volcano
The Bandera Volcano erupted 10000 years ago and left an impressive crater. A 20 minute hike takes you to the top of the volcano. Another path leads to a collapsed lavatunnel. The water in the tunnel is frozen yearround. The temperature is a constant -0,5 degrees celsius.
12000 Ice Caves Road, Grants, New Mexico
El Morro National Monument
El Morro National Monument is situated on an centuries old route that crossed New Mexico from east to west. Highlight of the monument is the sandstone rock that is towering above the plain area. At the base of the rock there is a little pond. That’s why it used to be a great place to rest during the tough trek from east to west. The 3,2 km long Headland Trail takes you tot the top of the rock. We highly recommend to visit the site.
Ramah, New Mexico