Route 66 (Central Ave.) runs east to west through Albuquerque and wasn’t completely bypassed by the interstate until 1970 so many of the old motels, restaurants and businesses are still standing.
We drove along this section of 66 in midafternoon, directly west, so my photos aren’t very good. The signs are artistically designed and colorful. The street must look really great when the neon is lit up at night!
Most of the motels are low rent with weekly and monthly rates but the buildings have kept their original designs from the 1930s and 40s.
The Tewa Lodge was built in 1946 in the Pueblo Revival style.
The Hiway House chain of motels was founded in 1956. This one in Albuquerque is one of the few still operating with the original name and sign.
The 1927 Kimo Theater has been completely restored and hosts both live performances and movies.
The neighborhoods along the eastern section of Central Ave. are kind of rough but farther west it goes through the Nob Hill neighborhood with many locally-owned shops, galleries and restaurants. Old Town, the original 1706 Albuquerque town site, has shopping, restaurants, art galleries and museums.
We’ve visited Albuquerque many times. This time we just drove through so I’m reposting about some of the attractions that we visited on previous trips.
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science –reposted from 2011
The museum traces the natural history of New Mexico from the big bang to the ice age 10,000 years ago. Most of it is accessible with just a few exhibits that are a little too high for easy viewing. Start on the second floor to follow the timeline correctly. An elevator is on the right just after the store. Some of the exhibits are along a wide ramped walkway that leads down to the first floor. I think that the ramp is ADA compliant. It seems a little steep but it has plenty of flat resting areas.
There are large parking lots for this museum and several other nearby museums. Most RVs will not fit in the lots but free parking is available along the side streets.
The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History – reposted from 2011
One floor of the museum is dedicated to New Mexico art and the other floor to four centuries of Albuquerque history starting with the first Spanish expeditions into New Mexico.
The museum is fairly handicapped accessible. The doors have push buttons to open and most of the exhibits are easy to view. There are a few short ramps and getting back to the elevator to leave requires retracing your steps through all of the exhibits.
RVs can be parked along 19th street
Albuquerque Biological Park Garden – reposted from 2011
An aquarium, a Japanese garden, a heritage farm, a butterfly pavilion, a miniature outdoor railway display, a great play area for kids, two conservatories and numerous plants, flowers, and trees – this garden has a little bit of everything. Each section is fairly small but they’re all very nicely done.
The aquarium is completely accessible. Most of the paths in the first section of the garden are level, smooth pavement. The Mediterranean conservatory has a long ADA compliant ramp. The paths in the heritage farm and the Japanese garden are hard packed sandy dirt. A few spots are soft or wet. Pushing around the entire area could be a little tiring without help. The train that travels between the garden and zoo has a wheelchair accessible car.
Albuquerque Biological Park Zoo – reposted from 2011
Like most zoos that were founded in the early part of the 20th century (1927 for the ABQ BioPark ) this zoo has some outdated exhibits with enclosures that are too small and boring for the animals. The newer sections are very nice and the landscaping is beautiful with many large, old cottonwood trees. Pick up a zoo map so that you don’t miss anything. Although the pathway makes a loop there are side trips and it’s easy to get lost.
The terrain in the zoo is hilly with some very steep walkways and ramps so most wheelchair users will need to have help. Some of the walkways in older sections of the zoo are in need of repair. Most of the enclosures have at least one section that is plexiglass or has a lowered fence so that it’s easy to view the animals. The zoo train ($2.00) has a space for wheelchairs in the last car.
RVs can be parked in the bus section of the parking lot.