The spring and summer seasons are when Route 66 tourism goes full swing. Route 66 has been America’s vacationland corridor since this road first broke ground, even though long sections of Route 66 have now been bypassed by high speed interstate freeways. While on vacation there is no strict timetable to keep and leisurely cruising the roads less traveled becomes more appealing. Interstate freeway travel offers very little in the way of enriching the vacation experience, other than getting to mainstream destinations a little bit quicker. When weighing the checks and balances, a far better experience can be found on the old two lane highways where local heritage and traditions have been preserved. This is what travelers find appealing about Route 66, which has always been a road where the word “boredom” is seldom heard!
There are a few old historic Route 66 towns that are worth spending some extra time in and these are good choices for stopovers during a long vacation trip. Taking the time to shop for local artisan crafts and tour the local museums is a means for stretching the legs while on a long journey and the effort will enrich the overall experience. All it takes is getting off the Route 66 Strip in any landmark Route 66 town to find plenty of old fashioned local tourist attractions that are well worth checking out.
In Tucumcari, New Mexico, the Route 66 Strip is the main tourism corridor in town. Anything and everything that has to do with old historic Route 66 can be found on this short stretch of road. It is easy for a visitor to assume that the Route 66 Strip is all there is to the nostalgic past in Tucumcari, but this entire town actually used to be major vacationland hub back in the golden age of automobile touring.
Tucumcari once was a place where Southwestern cuisine was something brand new. This town was and still is a gateway to outdoor adventures at Ute Lake and the grasslands of the front range, so everything from boatyards to saddleries and tackle shops can be found off the strip. Tucumcari has a long old wild west history too and the old classic Spanish style Tucumcari Train Station still draws many folks in. Best of all, several interesting museums can be found in old Tucumcari just a few blocks off of the Route 66 Strip, which offer a chance to learn a little something while in town.
Attractions off the Route 66 Strip in Tucumcari to look for include the old historic Tucumcari Railrad Museum, New Mexico Route 66 Museum, Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and the Tucumcari Historical Museum. The main street section of town still suffers from hard economic times, but the old historic buildings still stand. This area is like a showcase of classic Spanish pueblo style architectural design. Many of the old buildings sit empty and some are dilapidated beyond repair, but this is the nature of towns that endured being bypassed by an interstate freeway. This atmosphere does attract artisans, so everything from hand crafted Navajo rugs to locally made cheese can be found in the shops in old historic downtown Tucumcari off the Route 66 Strip.
Tucumcari definitely is the perfect choice for planning an overnighter with a tour of the town the following day, because there is so much to experience off of the Route 66 Strip. Doing the local heritage tour is what visitors have traditionally done for many decades in Tucumcari and the charm of the local Southwestern food certainly keeps them coming back for more!
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