Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce
404 West Route 66
PO Drawer E
Tucumari, NM 88401
“Tucumcari Tonite!” We welcome you.
Tucumcari is located in the Heart of the Mother Road, is the Gateway to New Mexico and is also known as the City of Murals. Nestled on historic Route 66, and located at the crossroads of Interstate 40, US 54, and State Highways 104 & 209. We have over 1200 motel rooms and are within 30 minutes of two Lakes that include Ute Lake, the 2nd largest lake in New Mexico. We invite travelers to make it “Tucumcari Tonite, tomorrow, for a lifetime!”
Residents and visitors alike enjoy fishing, boating, hiking and watching wildlife at Conchas Lake and Ute Lake State Parks, just a short drive away Both lakes offer swimming, boating, water skiing, camping and excellent fishing. For entertainment we have two museums, the Mesalands Community College dinosaur Museum and the Tucumcari Historical Museum. The Dinosaur Museum houses approximately 11,000 square feet of exhibit space, a spacious paleontology/geology laboratory and a retail store. The Exhibit Hall houses replicated and original fossils, from tiny footprint casts to the 40’ long skeleton of a torvosaurus. Please check their website, by placing your cursor over the image, for more information The museum is also home to the world’s largest collection of bronze skeletons of fossils, and replicas of prehistoric creatures. Then there our Historical museum where you can take A Journey Through Time in Quay County with collections located on three floors of the 1903 schoolhouse, containing a wide variety of artifacts and memorabilia from the surrounding area. Various rooms are based on themes with thousands of items on display. There are five indoor and outdoor exhibits, located on our native landscaped grounds. You can also visit for hours of operation.
There are also many popular annual events in Tucumcari. They include the Rotary Club Air Show, Route 66 Rallies, Farmers Market, Horse Shows and Rodeos, arts and craft fairs, monthly Blue grass program that also includes an annual Bluegrass Festival. Visit our website to view our upcoming events, click Tucumcari. Tucumcari is home to over 35 murals located throughout the city, with more to come, establishing the title of “City of Murals”. Most of the murals were created by local artists Doug and Sharon Quarles.
But where did the name Tucumcari come from? Tucumcari is thought to be among the oldest place names in New Mexico. The real origin and meaning of Tucumcari is not known for certain. An English professor at the University of New Mexico researched the origin of Tucumcari. He says that Elliot Canonge, an Oklahoma linguist, has the most convincing explanation. Canonge believes that the name comes from the Comanche Tukamukaru which means to lie in wait for someone or something to approach. It seems that Tucumcari Mountain was frequently used as a lookout point since it can be seen from the Texas Panhandle, more than 50 miles away.
There is also the “Legend of Tucumcari” which was born out of a story created by a Methodist minister. A short version is as follows: the two finest warriors of an Apache tribe who made their home at the mountain met in combat to determine who would succeed their dying Chief Wautonomah. The survivor would also win the hand of the chief’s daughter, Kari. Tocom, the brave loved by Kari, was slain by Tonopah in the battle. Overcome by grief and rage, Kari seized her knife, killed Tonopah and then took her own life. Heartbroken at this tragic turn of events, the old chief took his own life and cried out as he died, “Tocom-Kari, Tocom-Kari.”
Tucumcari, the “City of Murals” and “Where Legends Begin”. Mild year round climate, lakes and golf courses, Route 66, Main Street, Rail Road Depot, historic motels, museums, and many restaurants. Tucumcari, where there is always something going on! “Tucumcari Tonite, tomorrow, for a lifetime!”
See our Video: click Tucumcari Tonite!