A Route 66 stop in Albuquerque, NM

  • Post last modified:May 2, 2022
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Albuquerque in New Mexico is located along the famous Route 66. America´s Highway, or also known as the Mother Road, offers much to see and do as it stretches out from Chicago to Los Angeles. Many of the attractions along the road reflect on the glory days of the past when Route 66 was the most convenient highway to take. And we can catch a good glimpse of that nostalgia during a Route 66 stop in Albuquerque.

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Old Town of Albuequerque

One of the proudest areas of Albuquerque is the Old Town. It’s big enough to be entertaining but small enough to feel at home at even after just a few hours of exploring.

The neighborhood containing of 10 blocks is a living tribute to the city’s historic Native American and Spanish heritage

Enjoy the beautiful old mission church and have something to drink at the plaza. Here you also find museums and galleries that are well worth visiting. And of course it’s cactus guarantee when you stroll around in Old Town.

Route 66 Stop in Albuquerque Old Town
Charming Old Town of Albuquerque.

Nostalgia in Downtown

When Albuquerque got their railroad connection in the 1880s an expansion of the city took place towards the tracks, which were then located about a mile from Old Town.

The new area towards the tracks got the name New Town. This New Town area we today know as Downtown Albuquerque. Since the 1880s this has remained the city’s hub of activity.

The KiMo theatre is a theatre and historic landmark that is located in downtown Albuquerque. It opened its doors in 1927. It’s a truly unique place for film, musical performances and theatre.

And the theatre is still running, so check out the schedule for your visit.

But even if you’re not there for a performance it’s worth it to stop just to have a look at the historic venue. The public is welcome to come and visit during certain hours.

Route 66 stop in Downtown Albuquerque
The KiMo theatre in Downtown Albuquerque.

Route 66 Diner

When it’s time for a meal a very Route 66 option is to go to the 66 Diner. There you get a good meal of food and a nostalgic experience. When you enter the diner you enter a time machine back to the happy days of the 50s and 60s.

The dining venue includes typical rounded counters with checkered black-and-white tiles, classic diner bar stools, comfy booths and of course a vintage jukebox loaded with favorites from the past. And the staff is dressed to fit into the retro concept.

Don’t be afraid to try the cold and thick milkshake. It’s delicious!

Cross country road trip dining
Route 66 dining in Albuquerque.

Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque is closely associated with is the yearly International Balloon Fiesta that takes place here.

It’s a unique balloon festival that is arranged in October each year. Then ballooning is celebrated through various events. Hundreds of hot air balloons in different colors rise up over the New Mexico landscape during the festival.

Balloons over green trees and river during daytime
Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.

Where to stay during your Route 66 stop in Albuquerque?

For a convenient stay it’s preferable to stay at hotels in or near Old Town of Albuquerque. Then you have walking distance to the museums and restaurants in Old Town. And maybe most importantly of all, to the incredible atmosphere that you find there.

Select your dates and search for your hotel on the map below, or press search to get the hotels listed.


Other things to do in the Albuquerque area

It might come as a surprise, but the city of Albuquerque is a skiing destination during the winter months. The elevations in Albuquerque range from 5,000 to 6,000 feet (1500-1800 m). And the Sandia Mountains and its Sandia Peak which only is about a half hour drive away from downtown is at 10,678 feet (3255 m). There you during winter times can enjoy snow activities such as skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding.

Want to see more of Route 66?

The stop in Albuquerque is only one of four Route 66 stops included in the post “American cross country road trip from Los Angeles to New York”. Other Route 66 stops included in the route across the country are Amarillo, Oklahoma City and Springfield.

Read more: American cross country road trip from Los Angeles to New York >>