By Diana Blidy
Route 66 travels through a variety of landscapes in New Mexico – from beautiful mountain ranges to sandstone mesas; dessert sagebrush to ponderosa pines and ghost towns. Here are a few interesting sites you’ll encounter on your way:
- Acoma Pueblo, Cibola County: Known as Sky City, this Native American pueblo sits atop a 367-foot sandstone mesa.
- Old Town Albuquerque: Old Town is the birthplace of Albuquerque, founded in 1706. The historic buildings and dark alleys conceal long-forgotten secrets of battles, murders, hangings, and hidden cemeteries, making the city famous for its Ghost Town Tours.
- Mesalands Dinosaur Museum: Located in Tucumcari, this 10,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall features dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and replicas of prehistoric creatures
- Route 66 Auto Museum: Located in Santa Rosa, this is the place to see real retro-road-trip icons. Over 30 classic/vintage cars in pristine condition are on display.
- Teepee Curios: Located in Tucumcari and built in 1940, this old Gulf Station with its large concrete teepee is a place to stop for Route 66 curios.
- The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari: This icon of Route 66 features a neon sign that is still in good condition and is one of the most photographed signs along the entire route.
- The Blue Hole: This circular, bell-shaped pool in Santa Rosa is one of the most popular dive destinations in the U.S. The beautiful natural wonder is a lake unsurpassed for its clear, pure water, and the visibility is an astonishing 100 feet and the temperature is a constant 62 degrees due to the fact that the water completely renews itself every six hours.
- San Miquel Chapel: This Spanish Colonial Mission in Santa Fe was built between approximately 1610 and 1616, making it the oldest known church in the U.S. It’s still a beautiful building inside and out and still in use for worship services. It is also home to the oldest sweet bell in the U.S., which is often rung by visitors.