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Exploring the Charm of New Mexico on a Route 66 I-40 Adventure

Tucumcari

As you embark on your Route 66 adventure along the I-40 in New Mexico, the town of Tucumcari is a must-visit destination. Known for its rich history and vibrant culture, Tucumcari offers a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved Route 66 landmarks.

Take a stroll down the town’s Main Street and you’ll be transported back to the heyday of the Mother Road. Admire the vintage neon signs, classic motels, and nostalgic diners that line the streets. Don’t forget to snap some photos to capture the essence of this charming town.

While in Tucumcari, be sure to visit the Tucumcari Historical Museum. This treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits provides a fascinating look into the town’s past, from its Native American roots to its role as a bustling stop along Route 66.

Santa Rosa

Continuing your journey along the I-40, make a pit stop in Santa Rosa and rev up your engines at the Route 66 Auto Museum. Car enthusiasts and history buffs alike will be delighted by the impressive collection of vintage automobiles on display.

From classic muscle cars to sleek convertibles, the museum showcases the evolution of automotive design throughout the years. Marvel at the craftsmanship and ingenuity that went into creating these iconic vehicles.

After exploring the museum, take a drive down Route 66 and soak in the picturesque landscapes that surround Santa Rosa. The open road and breathtaking views will make you appreciate the beauty of New Mexico even more.

Clines Corners

As you venture further along the I-40, you’ll come across Clines Corners, a unique roadside attraction that has been a favorite stop for travelers since the 1930s. This iconic rest area and gift shop offers a variety of amenities, making it a convenient place to take a break and stretch your legs.

Browse through the extensive selection of souvenirs, Native American crafts, and New Mexico specialties at the gift shop. Indulge in some delicious homemade fudge or grab a refreshing drink to recharge before continuing your journey.

Don’t forget to snap a photo with the iconic Clines Corners sign, a symbol of the enduring spirit of Route 66 and the travelers who have passed through this historic spot.

Albuquerque

As you approach Albuquerque, get ready to immerse yourself in a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and outdoor adventure. From exploring the Old Town’s adobe buildings and vibrant art scene to hiking in the nearby Sandia Mountains, there’s something for everyone in this bustling metropolis.

Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to learn about the rich Native American heritage of the region. Explore the exhibits, watch traditional dances, and sample delicious Native American cuisine.

For outdoor enthusiasts, a visit to the Sandia Mountains is a must. Take a scenic tram ride to the mountaintop and enjoy panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes. Hiking, mountain biking, and skiing are popular activities in this outdoor playground.

The two coolest events in Albuquerque are certainly the Balloon Fiesta and the River of Lights, though there are many other cool reasons to visit Albuquerque. While here, be sure to check us out at 2010 Eubank Blvd NE 87112. A chile roaster is a must see attraction for anyone visiting New Mexico, and Albuquerque is the best place to get Hatch chile along I-40. While at our store, you can certainly find some great southwestern souvenirs, such as chile ristras, roasted green chile, or some other delicious thing to take back home and share the feeling and flavor of the southwest with your loved ones.

Be sure to check out our guide to Albuquerque for more in depth travel ideas in the biggest city of New Mexico!

Grants

As you continue your journey westward on the I-40, make a stop in Grants, a town with a rich mining history. Explore the New Mexico Mining Museum and learn about the region’s coal and uranium mining industries.

Take a guided tour of the Grants Mining Museum and discover the tools, equipment, and stories of the miners who worked in these challenging conditions. Gain a deeper understanding of the impact mining had on the local economy and the lives of the people who called Grants home.

After your visit to the museum, take a drive through the nearby El Malpais National Monument. Marvel at the volcanic landscapes, lava flows, and unique rock formations that make this area a geological wonder.

Gallup

As you near the Arizona border, make a stop in Gallup, a vibrant town known for its Native American art and culture. Explore the numerous galleries and trading posts that showcase the work of local artisans.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and intricate designs of Navajo rugs, Zuni jewelry, and Hopi pottery. Learn about the traditions and techniques passed down through generations and take home a unique piece of Native American art as a memento of your journey.

While in Gallup, don’t miss the opportunity to try some authentic Native American cuisine. Sample fry bread, green chile stew, and other traditional dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. If you go on Saturday, the flea market is a great option, as people come to buy and sell from many different small communities all around the Four Corners area.

As you conclude your Route 66 adventure along the I-40 in New Mexico, you’ll have experienced the charm and diversity that this state has to offer. From the nostalgic towns and landmarks along the Mother Road to the natural beauty and cultural treasures, New Mexico is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories. Check out our blog about things to do on I-25, in case you are planning to make a turn in Albuquerque!


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