Driving down Albuquerque's well-preserved, 18-mile historic stretch of Route 66 will give you a taste of America's original “Main Street.” Albuquerque's Central Avenue follows the path of Route 66 and will bring you back into the days of neon decorating roadside motels and gas stations.
Route 66 was the nation's first “interstate” built in 1926 and ran for more than 2,400 miles between Chicago and Santa Monica. Today New Mexico has the longest intact stretch of the historic highway and the largest inventory of relevant roadside architecture. New Mexico's portion of the route is part of a national scenic and historic byway.
Route 66 was originally marked by roadside mom and pop businesses – gas stations, motels, kitchy attractions, restaurants and small cafes, where they offered gas, food and lodging in one stop. Many of these favorites still exist. While cruising the strip, check out some of Albuquerque's Route 66 attractions including the Historic Nob Hill district, a residential and commercial district made up of art deco style buildings housing boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.
The University of New Mexico , founded in 1889, is the state's largest university, which features Pueblo Revival architecture, relaxing ponds, gardens and several museums. The District, Albuquerque's downtown area, has restaurants, upscale retail shops, a 14-screen movie theater and dynamic arts and music scenes. Alvarado Transportation Center, built on the grounds and in the style of the majestic Alvarado Hotel, is the center for Albuquerque's ground transportation.
The Crossroads Mall commemorates the crossroads of Route 66 and US Highway 85. The KiMo Theatre (1927) Pueblo deco and Art Gallery , which recently underwent extensive renovation, was originally built to house vaudeville acts. Historic Old Town, the center of the original Villa of Albuquerque, Old Town's quaint streets now house a variety of Southwestern shops, restaurants and art galleries.
America's most infamous highway continues to be treasured by visitors from around the world. You don't want to miss this feel of true 1950s nostalgia.
Submitted by: www.itsatrip.org