Route 66 Information and History
Route 66 was first commissioned in 1926, picking up as many bits and pieces of existing road as possible. The first route alignment of 1926-1937 ran north-south through Albuquerque, part of a giant S-curve that linked Santa Rosa, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Lunas and several Indian reservations. This original section was 506 miles of mostly unpaved road. Albuquerque boosters began pushing for a straighter route, and in 1931, federal money was designated to realign the road to a more east-west direction. By 1937, the entire route from Chicago, Ill., to Santa Monica, Calif., was paved. The new road carried thousands of GI's longing for a better look at America and yearning to see what the country held in store for them. Route 66 was fixed in the memory of many by John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath and Bobby Troup's lyric "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" as well as CBS TV's "Route 66." Today I-40 runs over much of the original roadbed, but many parts of the old highway can be seen today just beside I-40.
Albuquerque grew up along Route 66. During your self-guided tour of the old historic Route 66 highway, you'll see the city in a whole new light...neon light. Just off Route 66, you'll find the the Albuquerque BioPark, Tingley Beach, Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Explora and Old Town. Walking or driving along Central Avenue in the downtown area, you'll enjoy the majesty of this vibrant district. Step into the Pueblo-Deco KiMo Theatre and the ambiance of diners and boutiques along the way. Stop for a bite at one of the revitalized diners and other restaurants that line the route. The revitalized Route 66 is a treat for all ages.
Route 66 Map & Information
Visit the Route 66 Tour
page for more Route 66 information
about the area. You will also find a Route 66 map
that will will guide you through the University of New Mexico
and the eclectic personality of the area. Further east in Nob Hill
, vintage neon signs glow alongside new neon signs as shops
and restaurants have kept up the authentic look of old Route 66. With a focus on shopping
and architecture, this tour serves as an excellent introduction to the city.