We explored Route 66 across the extent of New Mexico in April 2018. New Mexico is a beautiful state with lots of Route 66 history. We traveled from east to west across New Mexico and the first icon that you notice when entering the state is the fantastic Visitor’s Center.
The Visitor’s Center is full of Route 66 information and includes a great New Mexico Route 66 Map. I have inserted a photo of the map below. They have a signup sheet in the Visitor’s Center where if you provide them with your E-Mail address they will send you some Route 66 electronic files including a photo of the map and a spreadsheet of New Mexico Route 66 Attractions. You can get to a PDF of the spreadsheet here. Link.
New Mexico contains a lot of small towns who are very proud of their Route 66 heritage. The first town that we drove through after entering New Mexico was Tucumcari. This beautiful mural is found just a block off of Route 66 at the corner of McGee and Second streets.
My love for Route 66 started when I read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. In the novel the Joad family truck breaks down near the town of Santa Rosa, New Mexico. I always wanted to visit Santa Rosa. So, after Tucumcari, we drove through Santa Rosa. It is a very small town, but has an incredible Route 66 Auto Museum. It was a lot of fun to visit and they had a large amount of Route 66 memorabilia for sale.
Albuquerque was the next town we drove through and it has a great assortment of Route 66 icons on the landscape. Everywhere you look there is a refurbished motel or restaurant commemorating Route 66. The Route 66 Diner was not open yet when we drove by, so we took the next two photos in the parking lot
The El Rey Theater has become a great venue for music and theater and still looks iconic.
The Kimo Theater is old and beautiful and is in the center of downtown Albuquerque. We walked around this theater for quite a while soaking in the great southwestern architecture and the location. It looks magnificent.
There are several murals depicting Route 66 in Downtown Albuquerque
Just west of Albuquerque lies the Historic Route 66 Rio Puerco Bridge. This bridge was built in 1933 and is still standing today, although it is not open to highway traffic.