Things to do in Tucumcari New Mexico

Things to do in Tucumcari New Mexico

Tucumcari is a small town with lots of Wild West history. A railroad intersection, historical landmarks along with the legendary Route 66 and famous gunfight western town. Tucumcari is the largest town on the road between Amarillo in Texas, and Albuquerque in New Mexico.

One of the biggest attractions is the Mesalands Community College Dinosaur museum and natural science laboratory. The museum has more than 10,000 feet of exhibit space with lots of original fossils, including a 40’ long skeleton of Torvosaurus, a carnivore similar to Tyrannosaurus rex from the Jurassic period.

Tucumcari is home of the New Mexico Route 66 museum. You can find loads of memorabilia, antique cars, and learn about the history of this vital road. Another museum in this small town is Historical Museum with wagons, farm equipment, and the memory lane to the Wild West phase.

Hotels in Tucumcari nm

Tucumcari has a compelling accommodation offer. No big hotels, but there are family inns, campsites, and motels. The Roadrunner Lodge is a vintage hotel along the highway that offers a taste of the Route 66 most glorious days. Bright Morning Motel is an excellent cheap place to stay with positive reviews and clean rooms. Tristar Inn Xpress is a similar establishment with not many amenities for travelers. Another nice place to stay in Tucumcari is the Americana Motel that offers affordable prices and friendly service.

The population of Tucumcari New Mexico

Tucumcari is situated in high altitude, on 4,091 feet. It was named after nearby Tucumcari Mountain that got the name after Comanche word for an ambush. Tucumcari got its name in 1908. Before that, it was known as Ragtown and Douglas. Because of the numerous gunfights, it was known as Six Shooter Siding. The town has a small population of under 5,000, with more than 50% of inhabitants have Hispanic roots. There are a small Native American and African American minority in the city.

Tucumcari New Mexico weather

Tucumcari has a cool semi-arid climate with hot New Mexico summers and cold winters with light snowfall. In the summer months, you can expect thunderstorms as part of the North American monsoon. Although the area is mostly arid, you can find yourself in heavy downpours.

Tucumcari restaurants

There are no Michelin stars in Tucumcari restaurants, but you will find great local cuisine offerings. One of the best spots to grab a meal in Tucumcari is Watson’s BBQ that offers breakfast, BBQ pork plates, and apple pie, among other snacks.

Kix on 66 has vintage style from decoration to waiter uniforms. It offers classic American dinner recipes, but with vegetarian and vegan options.

Del’s restaurant is another Route 66 establishment opened in 1956. A huge salad bar, homemade soup, and a choice between Mexican food, Fish, Steak, or Chicken meals will satisfy your hunger.

Other notable mentions are Pw Wow restaurant and lounge with a Mexican food offering, Cornerstone’s First Edition pizza place, Denny’s with classic meals, and Loretta’s Burrito Hut.

Exploring New Mexico or just riding down the historic Route 66, you should plan your visit in advance. Forgoing to Tucumcari, you will need a usa travel estapermit. This is part of the process for tourists or business visitors to the USA from Visa Waiver countries. After filling the online form and verifying data, you will need to pay a small fee. The administration will check your answers and see if you are eligible to visit the US. The approvals are sent over email, so check my ESTA status should be your routine when planning the visit to the US. The ESTA provides a permit for 90 days or less stay in the United States of America, and once you get the approval,it is valid for two years.

Bottom line

New Mexico is a spacious state with a diverse landscape, and the area around Tucumcari has a great history with Native American legends about Apache and Comanche chiefs. Nearby Tucumary Mountain is a scenic town getaway, while the small town itself is a place where you can explore the vibrant history of Route 66. The city has several impressive museums and lots of authentic motels and dinners along the historic American road that led thousands of Americans from Chicago to California. Now, the tourism is blooming around the whole historic Route 66, and Tucumcari is part of that history. Do not forget to check out the Dinosaur museum.