Our Route 66 Road Trip Day 9 was spent driving from Tucumcari to Santa Fe with a stop at the Tucumcari Historical Museum, some awesome vintage motels and signs in Santa Rosa, and the incredible Tinkertown Museum.
Route 66 Road Trip Day 9: Tucumcari to Santa Fe
We checked out of the Blue Swallow and I really wanted a donut for breakfast, but the Tucumcari donut shop is CLOSED. Much like the rest of the town. It truly baffles my mind that both the ice cream shop and the donut shop in town are permanently closed!
So we visited Tucumcari’s Historical Museum. I wish it had been an antique store and sold some of the amazing shit it had: yard long photographs, awesome antique posters, chauffeur badges, souvenir flags, etc. They even had an iron lung! I was disappointed that the museum didn’t cover the hey days of Route 66 and feature some of the awesome motels that the town once had. And then we hit the road out of Tucumcari, but we quickly stopped in Santa Rosa for some motels and vintage neon signs.
Santa Rosa has a nice little collection of vintage motels and neon signs along the route.
And the glorious Sun ‘n Sand Motel!
And, of course, we stopped at Clines Corners after seeing it advertised on billboards for miles and miles and miles. It wasn’t worth the stop.
And then we were on our way towards Santa Fe. But first, a stop at the amazing Tinkertown Museum.
Tinkertown is an awesome little museum of one man’s hobby: his little carvings and miniatures arranged into little villages and scenes. Plus a ton of hand written signs with great quotes, sayings, and messages including some from Mark Twain, Will Rogers, and E.B. White. My favorite was the E.B. White quote, “I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.” The building is also handmade out of bottles and random stuff. The Mister said it was the most organized hoarder’s house ever.
We stayed the night in Santa Fe, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. I would describe it as an old person’s vacation town, but old, rich, and resort-y. Like a not-very-much-fun Palm Springs. It just wasn’t my thing.
2020 update: Back when we went on our road trip, I could not recommend the hotel we stayed in for the night, the El Rey Inn was more expensive than it was worth; however, it has been completely re-done and is now the El Rey Court and looks absolutely fabulous and I would totally give it a second chance.
Planning your own Route 66 Road Trip? Follow along on the rest of our Route 66 trip: