Tucumcari

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States New Mexico Tucumcari

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Introduction

Tucumcari, Route 66, New Mexico

Tucumcari, Route 66, New Mexico

© Utrecht

Tucumcari is a city in norteast of New Mexico, USA. It's located along the old historic Route 66 and there are lots of points of interest regarding the Mother Road. The city has around 6,000 inhabitants. Founded in 1901 as Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad construction camp Six Shooter Siding, it was renamed for Tucumcari Mountain in 1908. The USS Tucumcari (PGH-2), one of two prototype US Navy hydrofoil patrol vessel boats (1968-1972), was named for the town. Many scenes in Rawhide (1959–1966 Clint Eastwood TV series) were shot in the town; a modified version of Tucumcari Mountain (with the hand-painted 'T' changed to 'RS') appears in Radiator Springs in Pixar's 2006 Cars (film).

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Sights and Activities

  • Tucumcari Historical Museum, 416 S. Adams St., ☎ +1 575 461-4201, e-mail: museum@cityoftucumcari.com. Memorial Day-Labor Day: M-Sa 8AM-6PM; Labor Day-Memorial Day M-F 8AM-6PM. Includes a Route 66 exhibit. Adults $2, children $0.50.
  • Mesalands Community College's Dinosaur Museum, 222 East Laughlin St, ☎ +1 575 461-3466. March 1 - Labor Day: Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM; Labor Day - February 28/29: Tu-Sa noon-5PM. Adults $5.50, seniors $4.50, children 5-11 $3.50, college students $3.00, children under 5 free.
  • The Gallery Etc, 201 S 2nd St, ☎ +1 575 461-9908. Eastern New Mexico Art Space
  • New Mexico Route 66 Museum, 1500 West Historic Route 66. M-F 9AM-2PM. On convention centre grounds, near back of parking lot. 1930s-1960s memorabilia and classic motorcars.
  • Ostrich Ranch, 3705 Quay Road 64.5, ☎ +1 575-461-1657.
  • Wall murals. Tucumcari has over 30 wall murals throughout town. Each one celebrates a different facet of the city's culture. Wall mural maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Historic Downtown Main Street.
  • Tucumcari Train Depot.
  • Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory, 823 E Main St, ☎ +1 575-461-4045.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

Tucumcari has a semi-arid climate with dry, sunny and generally warm conditions. It's location at higher elevation means it is not extremely hot and in winter it can be cold at night and very occasionally snow is possible. Absolute highs and lows are 43 °C and -28 °C. Average highs in July, the warmest month, are around 34 °C and nights around 18 °C, while January average around 12 °C during the day and around -5 °C at night. Average annual precipitation is around 400mm, most of it falling during the wetter summer months.

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Getting There

By Plane

The closest airport with commercial flights is in Amarillo, Texas. More options from Albuquerque.

By Car

Tucumcari is one of the historic wide-spots-in-the-road along Route 66 across the United States, which is followed by Interstate 40 in this region. It is about 1 hour and 40 minutes west of Amarillo, and 2 hours and 40 minutes east of Albuquerque by way of I-40. This section of I-40 was one of the last Interstate highway sections to become 4-lane. Tucumcari is accessed via any one of four exits off Interstate 40. Exits 329 and 335 both connect to Tucumcari Boulevard (Route 66), which runs east-west. Exit 332 and 333 connect to First Street and Mountain Street (respectively), which both run north-south.

By Bus

Check Greyhound for options, schedules and prices.

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Getting Around

By Car

A car is useful hear, although most of the places are along the main drag that crosses town.

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Eat

  • Cornerstone's First Edition, 711 E Route 66 Blvd, ☎ +1 575-461-3326. Pizzas, pasta, salad, sandwiches, and ice cream!
  • Del's Restaurant, 1202 E Route 66 Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-1740, fax: +1 575 461-8418, e-mail: dels@plateautel.net. Lunches & dinners $8-12.
  • K-Bob's Steakhouse, 200 E Estrella Ave, ☎ +1 575 461-0002.
  • KIX on 66, 1102 E. Route 66 Blvd., ☎ +1 575 461-1966, fax: +1 575 461-8418, e-mail: dels@plateautel.net. Wifi café. Lunches $4-7.
  • Loretta's, 624 S 3rd St, ☎ +1 575-815-0056. Tex-Mex food truck.
  • La Cita, 812 Tucumcari Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-7866. Mexican, on Route 66 with large neon sombrero.
  • Pow Wow Restaurant & Lizard Lounge, 801 W Route 66 Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-2587.
  • Watson's BBQ, 502 S Lake Street, ☎ +1 575 461-9620. Family-run BBQ.

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Drink

  • Lizard Lounge, 801 W Route 66 Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-2587.
  • Branding Iron, 3716 E Route 66 Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-3780.

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Sleep

Neonskilte ved Tucumcari

Neonskilte ved Tucumcari

© FamMai

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“Tucumcari Tonite!” A town of 2,000 motel rooms!" Billboards on Route 66 in its heyday invited travelers for hundreds of miles to spend the night in this tiny town.

As US 66 (Tucumcari Boulevard) was bypassed by Interstate 40, prime spots for billboards on the new road were few and far between due to highway beautification acts, independent family-owned motels were forced to compete with huge chains who built hotels on the new freeway's offramps and the number of rooms is now closer to 1200, but Tucumcari's position along Interstate 40 and Route 66 still means that it has far more motels and motor lodges than most towns its size.

  • Historic Route 66 Motel, 1620 E Hwy 66, ☎ +1 575 461-1212. Mid-century modern, curtain wall, floor to ceiling windows. Color TV. Cash, credit card, travellers cheques honoured. Some rooms pet-friendly, some rooms with microwave and refrigerator.
  • Blue Swallow Motel, 815 E. Route 66 Blvd., ☎ +1 575 461-9849, fax: +1 575 461-9905, e-mail: blueswallowmotel@gmail.com. Check-in: 3-9PM, check-out: 10AM. Non-smoking, wi-fi, elaborate neon signage. Twelve rooms and two suites restored to 1940s era with rotary-dial phones. On national historic register; this motel's neon '100% Refrigerated Air' slogan appears on the 'Cozy Cone Motel' in Cars (film). $70-130.
  • Motel Safari, 722 E Route 66 Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-1048, e-mail: motelsafari@smalltown-america.com. Check-in: 3PM-10PM, check-out: 11AM. Restored vintage/classic 1959 independent motel, wi-fi, 32-inch LCD HDTV, patio, BBQ, no smoking, no pets. $55-100.
  • Best Western Discovery Inn, 200 E. Estrella, ☎ +1 575 461-4884.
  • Comfort Inn, 2800 E. Tucumcari Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-4099.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriot, 1901 S Mountain Road, ☎ +1 575 461-7915, fax: +1 575-461-7915.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 2624 S. Adams, ☎ +1 575 461-3459. Free breakfast & Wi-Fi.
  • Microtel Inn Tucumcari, 2420 S. 1st St, ☎ +1 575 461-0600.
  • Rodeway Inn East, 1023 E. Tucumcari Blvd, ☎ +1 575 461-4444.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Accommodation in Tucumcari

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Tucumcari searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 13:24 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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