Kenan Irving Photography
KI (1 of 1)-3.jpg

Blog

Route 66 and the Historic Blue Swallow Motel

The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari New Mexico.

There is a lot to be said for doing things the old way. Whether it’s buying antiques, shooting Polaroid film or making something from scratch. Doing it the way it used to be done can be enjoyable, fun and sometimes better. That’s what Route 66 feels like today. A glimpse back to the old way of traveling. Is it better? Better depends on your viewpoint but stepping back in time has a certain charm in and of itself.

Route 66 has been an important part of American culture since it was built in 1926. Stretching from Chicago to Santa Monica California, families for years used it as a means of getting to where they wanted to go. Motels and roadside attractions popped up all along this “mother road". The country changed; however, with the construction of the interstate system. With these new roads, Route 66’s days of being a major throughway were numbered. In 1977, Route 66 lost its Department of Transportation designation as a United States highway. As traffic on Route 66 dwindled, so did the profits of the businesses along its way.

The Blue Swallow Motel

While many other businesses have been forced to close shop, the Blue Swallow has survived. In operation since 1940, the Blue Swallow Motel continues to take guests today. It offers up a view of what road travel used to be like. On our road trip of the southwest, we stayed one night at the Blue Swallow. We truly enjoyed our short stay. From the old cars to the rotary phone, this motel is a perfect snapshot of what Route 66 used to be. 

Current owners, Cameron and Jessica Mueller, have a done an excellent job of keeping the charm of this place alive. Each room is appointed with antiques and period details like old newspapers and pictures. There is seating outside, along with games and a fire pit. Cameron and Jessica even had coffee ready in the morning. Both of them were friendly and knowledgeable about the area.

Felt like an idiot when I tried to make a call on the rotary phone and couldn't figure it out. 

Not all Motels along Route 66 have been as fortunate as the Blue Swallow.

Pros

  • Charming and clean. Vintage but well maintained. Cleaner than many chain hotels you will encounter. 
  • Cheap. Our room for one night was only 75 dollars.
  • The owners were very friendly and offered dining recommendations.
  • Neon…Because neon is awesome. 

Cons

  • The rooms are small.
  • It is an old motel. So if your not looking to experience the past, the Blue Swallow might not be for you. 

Conclusion 

Charise and I really enjoyed our stay at the Blue Swallow. Cameron and Jessica have continued the great tradition of roadside motels. The rooms were immaculate and cozy. Our night here allowed us to see what road trips were like 75 years ago. We wouldn't give up the speed and convince of the Interstates but we can’t wait to go back and visit a bygone era at the Blue Swallow Motel.

Sitting outside our room and garage. I have absolutely no idea why we're posing like such goofs. lol

Contact

www.blueswallowmotel.com

Cameron and Jessica Mueller

815 East Route 66

Tucumcari NM 88401

kenan irvingComment