One night in Tucumcari, NM–Big Trip #4

We were in Tucumcari in early November 2022, as part of Big Trip #4.

Bugsy in front of a Route 66 mural in Tucumcari

After we hiked in White Sands we were ready to leave Alamogordo, and the next interesting town to the east was Tucumcari, an old Route 66 town, so we moved there for a night. Wikipedia says it’s the largest city on Route 66 between Amarillo TX and Albuquerque NM, is that true?? It’s small, but it’s a sweet little town, and we enjoyed our stopover.


the Airstream at sunset at the campground
sunset at Blaze-In-Saddle

We stayed at Blaze-In-Saddle RV Park, in a large campsite. The campground is well-located, just off the main drag through town, otherwise known as Route 66.


neon sign at night
old Texaco station in Tucumcari
Tee Pee Curious in Tucumcari

Our main reason for visiting Tucumcari was to see the old neon signs from the Route 66 heyday. The signs are fantastic, as are the murals on the old hotels and gas stations, but it didn’t seem like there’s much else going on in town–although we heard it’s a very different scene when the wild and crazy snowbirds pass through in late Fall.

margarita at Lizard Lounge
Lizard Lounge marg, with Pow Wow in the background

After walking around town a bit, we popped into Lizard Lounge, tucked into the the side of Pow Wow Restaurant. They have a full bar and some New Mexico beer, old Route 66 photos on the walls, and karaoke on Saturday nights.

pastries at Carlson Coffee
Carlson Coffee House also has a cool exterior that I failed to photograph

The next morning we hit Carlson Coffee House for wi-fi and caffeine and apparently it’s the place to be in Tucumcari! Lots of regulars came through for their coffee and baked goods and to chitchat about local happenings.

Donut Pro menu and drive thru

On our way home from Carlson, we couldn’t resist getting a donut from Donut Pro; the glazed donut was super light and fluffy and really good.

Cadillac Ranch roadside attraction
a thrilled dog at wacky Cadillac Ranch

We packed up the Airstream and headed east to a gorgeous location in West Texas, with a quirky stop along the way: an hour and a half east of Tucumcari you’ll pass Cadillac Ranch. It’s free, it’s just off the interstate, with easy roadside parking even for a big trailer, it’s hard to beat for a leg stretch and photo op.

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