Travel to Santa Rosa on Route 66

A Stopover in Santa Rosa

Greetings from Santa Rosa, New Mexico

We've had the opportunity to get out on the road and explore Route 66 in New Mexico on numerous trips. Santa Rosa is located west of Tucumcari and east of Albuquerque.

When Route 66 passed through Santa Rosa in 1930, numerous service stations, cafés and motor courts were built to accommodate motorists traveling the Mother Road.

Driving down Santa Rosa’s Historic Route 66 today, travelers see many old signs and buildings … remnants of the days when the bright neon lights were a welcome sight to weary travelers looking for great food and comfortable lodging.

Santa Rosa still delivers that down-home, Main Street USA friendliness. It offers classic Route 66 cars and neon, the best in fishing, boating and water skiing, camping, and a place for a cool swim in the Blue Hole.

Located on the Pecos River, between Albuquerque and Amarillo, you can see picturesque stone buildings in the historic district, enjoy down-home meals, chill out with our waterslide and pedal boats at Park Lake, walk or bike-ride along recreational trails or on level sidewalks connecting the downtown plaza where the grand Guadalupe County Courthouse is a central landmark, along the Route 66 corridor or on improved trails through an extensive but compact City parks system.

The Santa Rosa Information Center can assist with maps, event information, recreation opportunities, dude ranches, rodeos, local southwest history, the geology of the world-famous Blue Hole and in locating Route 66 alignments and remnants of the road.

Santa Rosa offers a variety of hotels, inns, RV parks and campsites for visitors to the area.

Map showing the location of Santa Rosa, New Mexico on U.S. Route 66
Map showing the location of Santa Rosa, New Mexico on U.S. Route 66

Route 66 Auto Museum

One of the popular local attractions is the Route 66 Auto Museum, which draws car buffs from all over the country and beyond. The museum houses a large collection of classics, low riders, muscle cars and motorcycles … plus, gas pumps and other auto memorabilia from the early days of Route 66.  

Route 66 comes to life as you tour this iconic collection of vintage cars, trucks, toys, gas pumps, and memorabilia, all brought together to celebrate and remember the glory days.

There’s enough chrome, fins, and colorful finishes to give any car buff an unforgettable experience. A gift shop and snack bar are part of the experience as well.

For more information visit the Website of the Route 66 Auto Museum or phone 575.472.1966

Mural at the Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa, New Mexico Entrance area at the Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
One of the many indoor exhibits at the Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa, New Mexico Indoor collection of cars at the Route 66 Auto Museum, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

The Blue Hole

The world famous Blue Hole offers all sorts of water-based sports, including diving, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving ... see photos below.

There’s nothing ordinary about Blue Hole, from its crystal clear water to its constant 61° temperature. Start your experience at the Blue Hole Visitors Center!

Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, New Mexico: Depth of 81 feet and a water temperature of 61 degrees
Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, New Mexico Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Santa Rosa Lake State Park

Nearby Santa Rosa Lake State Park is the place to be for camping, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, hiking, biking and so much more! Centered around Santa Rosa Lake, the state park is the best way to experience the beautiful desert scenery.

Santa Rosa Lake State Park in New Mexico
Santa Rosa Lake State Park

Veer off the Historic Route 66 to reach, where visitors can camp lakeside. Santa Rosa Lake is a man-made lake formed by the Santa Rosa Dam. The system creates a large reservoir with a surface area of 26 square miles. Visitors have plenty of room to explore the natural sights and wildlife living within the region.

The park has several hiking and walking trails. Visitors can walk through the desert landscape and grassland plains to see the flora and abundant wildlife. The trails are well-marked, making it easy to reach the points of interest, including incredible views of the lake and other natural scenery.

For more information visit the Website of Santa Rosa State Park

The Bridges of Santa Rosa

Several bridges cross over the Pecos River near Santa Rosa, including one that you can drive along Route 66. But there’s a lot of historical prominence to stopping by the original Pecos River Bridge. The Pecos River Bridge is a scenic railroad bridge built approximately 50-feet above the river. At one point, it was North America’s highest railroad bridge and still ranks among the top.

Pecos River Bridge is one of the most historical bridges in Santa Rosa and a famous local attraction.

Other Area Attractions

  • James-Wallace Memorial Park and Power Dam
  • Tres Legunas Golf course
  • Trail of the Forty Niners
  • James M. Casaus House
  • Historic Puerto de Luna
  • Pecos Theatre
Santa Rosa Scenic Historic Marker
Santa Rosa Scenic Historic Marker in New Mexico
Santa Rosa Campground & RV Park
Santa Rosa Campground & RV Park in New Mexico

More Scenes Around Santa Rosa

Approaching Santa Rosa on I-40
Approaching Santa Rosa, New Mexico on I-40
Santa Rosa Pre-1937 Route 66
Santa Rosa, New Mexico, Pre-1937 Route 66 Alignment

Park Lake in Santa Rosa

During the Great Depression, Park Lake was the site of a Federal Relief Emergency Administration project. Between 1934 and 1940, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) employed local men to construct a 25-acre municipal park focused on the lake. With its swimming pier, picnic ramada, and playing field, the park soon became the center of Santa Rosa’s outdoor recreation and welcomed Route 66 travelers who picnicked and swam in the natural spring-fed lake.

The Park Lake Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Read more at the website of the Park Lake Historic District at NPS

Park Lake, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Guadalupe County Courthouse

The Historic Guadalupe County Courthouse, or the Santa Rosa Courthouse, was built in 1909. It’s located within the Shelbyville Court Square, on the corner of Parker Avenue and S. Fourth Street.Historic Guadalupe County Courthouse, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Interactive Map of Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Sun 'n Sand Motel, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Sun 'n Sand Motel, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
La Mesa Motel, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
La Mesa Motel, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Hotels and Lodging Options in Santa Rosa

Click to review hotels and restaurants, read reviews and make reservations at TripAdvisor

Santa Rosa hotels, reservations and traveler reviews at TripAdvisor

Santa Rosa restaurant listing and reviews

Attractions and things to do in Santa Rosa


More Santa Rosa Information and Resources

 

Visit Santa Rosa

 

Santa Rosa on NewMexico.org

 

City of Santa Rosa

 

Santa Rosa Main Street

 

Park Lake Historic District at NPS

 

Guadalupe County

 

Weather Conditions at Santa Rosa: Weather Underground

 

New Mexico Route 66 Association

 

Earlier Times: Vintage Views along Route 66 in Santa Rosa

Earlier times on Route 66: Santa Rosa, New Mexico

 

We have included below a sampling of our collection of vintage travel postcards dealing with Santa Rosa and Route 66.

What was Route 66 like in its earlier years, as visitors drove around and across Santa Rosa? What did all the service stations, motels and public buildings look like when they were new?

What did the traveling public experience on the Mother Road? We wonder such things when we travel Route 66 today.

Those earlier times in the 1930s, 40s and 50s were not always captured on film. But the use of colorful postcards was common in those decades.

These portray the historic road in its prime and help us to visualize, and appreciate, "earlier times" as we drive Route 66 today across Santa Rosa.

Sun 'n Sand Motel
Sun 'n Sand Motel in Santa Rosa, New Mexico on Route 66, east end of town
Western Motel
The Western Motel in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, on Highways 66, 54 and 84
La Loma Motel
La Loma Motel in Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Jack's Cafe
Jack's Cafe in Santa Rosa, New Mexico ... Known From Coast to Coast, serving the finest foods, right in town on Route 66
Yucca Court
Yucca Court in Santa Rosa, New Mexico ... East on U.S. Highways 66, 54 and 84
Two Bridges Over the Pecos
Two bridges over the Pecos River in Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Rancho Motor Lodge
Rancho Motor Lodge in Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Route 66 near Santa Rosa
Earlier view of Route 66 between Santa Rosa and Tucumcari, New Mexico
Adobe Inn
The Adobe Inn, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
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