Tower Motel on Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Tower Motel on Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

The Tower Motel is located on Route 66 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Santa Rosa is known as “The Scuba Diving Capital of the Southwest” thanks to the Blue Hole, an 81-foot-deep natural artesian spring that—at 62 degrees—allows for year-round scuba diving. In 2012 Conde Nast Traveler recognized the Blue Hole in the top eleven “Best Natural Swimming Holes In the US.”

When we cruised through town in 2014 with The Ride for the Relay, we were really just there for the great roadside attractions and vintage neon signs! And we really got our money’s worth in this beautiful little Southwestern town. I also highly recommend Santa Rosa for the top notch Mexican food, Southwestern-style – that we were treated to.

Santa Rosa’s stretch of Route 66 is forever memorialized in American film history in Steinbeck’s epic novel, Grapes of Wrath with a memorable train scene, as a freight train steams over the Pecos River railroad bridge in the center of town. The grand dream of making the entire U.S. accessible was realized in 1926 with the creation of Route 66, America’s “New Main Street.”

The Tower Motel was built in 1949 and the Mid-Century sign has been updated several times since then. It appears that the name of the motel comes from the location which is just in front of two giant water towers!  An early postcard included the following invitation:

“Stop here a few days in the City of Natural Lakes at the Gateway to the Land of Enchantment – where the Conquistador Coronado crossed the Rio Pecos in his explorations over 400 years ago”

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