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Resident friends smiling while driving on Route 66 near Olympus Solaire in Albuquerque, New Mexico



Ever wondered just what’s so great about this state route that’s been memorialized in song? Route 66 was once celebrated as the shortest all-weather route from Los Angeles to Chicago, offering people an easy new way to explore our country and spreading economic prosperity. Today, much of the old Route 66 has been replaced by I-40, but one place it still flaunts its presence is along 18 miles of Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, where you can spot classic neon, cute old motels, and plenty of historical attractions. Check out our curated list of cool things to look at on a self-guided tour of this stretch of the iconic roadway.

Classic Motor Lodges

As you make your way along our self-guided tour, be sure to take note many classically designed and signed hotels and motels. Keep your eyes open for the colorful signs advertising Albuquerque’s El Vado Motel, Hiway House Motel, Tewa Motor Lodge, Luna Lodge, and De Anza Motor Lodge.

Outdoor Public Art

Albuquerque love art and you should, too. As you make your way down the ave, be sure to check out these outdoor public art installations, both contemplative and quirky. On the southern edge of Old Town Plaza, you’ll find the Fountain of Peace. Next, you’ll come across the Las Mesas, offering a shaded bench to cool off. Other Route 66 sculptures include the Formas Esperando Palabra de Otros Mundos, Blue Tile Walls, Kolowisi, and many more.

Traditional American Dining

No trip down memory lane would be complete without some classic, all-American and New Mexican grub. These restaurants all offer some historical significance, as well as something tasty to stick to your ribs – and all are currently open: The Dog House Drive-In, Loyola’s, Mac’s LaSierra, and Western View Diner & Steakhouse.

Hopefully this guide has given you a few sights to consider the next time a tour is in order. Visit Albuquerque has also put together this handy tour map. For more fun ways to spend a day, check out the Olympus Solaire blog.