Get Your Kicks on Route 66
Allow approximately 9-10 hours for entire tour.
J&R Vintage Auto Museum
After breakfast in Rio Rancho, cruise over to J&R Vintage Auto Museum. Car buffs will adore the 60 restored cars and trucks, which include a 1928 Model A Special Coupe, a 1918 Model T, and nine classic automobiles that have competed in the Great American Race. Let the owners of the museum tell you all about it. Books and die cast toys are available in the gift shop. J&R Vintage Auto Museum is 15 minutes from hotels; allow an hour for tour. For admission information, call toll-free (888) 298-1885.
Coronado National Monument
Coronado National Monument sits alongside the Rio Grande River and offers stunning views of the river and Sandia Mountains. This is the site where Spanish conquistador Coronado encountered the Kuaua Pueblo village in 1540. The monument contains ruins of the ancient village. An interpretive center and tour allows participants to try on Spanish armor, grind corn, and descend into an underground ceremonial kiva. It is 10 minutes from J&R Museum, allow one hour for tour. Discounts are available for 10 or more seniors. Call (505) 867-5351.
See Santa Fe-style run amok at Jackalope, a wild and wacky store featuring high-quality Mexican folk art, pottery, furniture, rugs, and more. Jackalope is five minutes from Coronado; allow 30-45 minutes to browse.
Bernalillo and Pasta Café
Next, travel along an original stretch of Route 66 through the town of Bernalillo, then cruise up the hill to Rio Rancho and lunch at the Pasta Café. Bernalillo is about 5-10 minutes from Coronado; the Pasta House another 15 minutes; allow two hours for lunch, including the drive there. For Pasta Café group menus and reservations contact Joe Guzzardi, (505) 892-3333.
Albuquerque's Old Town
After relaxing at the Pasta Café, head south on Highway 528 until it becomes Alameda. Turn right onto Rio Grande Boulevard South. Travel south on Rio Grande Boulevard, lined with haciendas (estates) and horse farms. Take Rio Grande all the way to Albuquerque's Old Town, where the City began in 1706. Stroll through the plaza (how the Spanish refer to a town square) and enjoy adobe shops, galleries, and hidden treasures tucked away along side streets. Native American artisans spread blankets on the ground showcasing their handmade jewelry, pottery, and textiles. Old Town is approximately 45 minutes travel time from Bernalillo; allow an additional one and a half hours to stroll Old Town area. Call Greg at Rio Rancho Convention and Visitors Bureau, (888) 746-7262 for suggestions on additional things to do in this area.
Sandia Peak Tramway
See the entire city and surrounding mountain ranges from high atop Sandia Peak. The Sandia Peak Tramway ascends 2.7 miles to the 10,378-foot summit, passing four of the earth's seven life zones along the way. Enjoy the sunset from the balcony. Allow one and a half hours for the tram ride and exploration at the top. For group rates, Call Deborah Owen at (505) 856-6419. Your group can also eat dinner at the top; ask about dinner / tram packages.
Return to Rio Rancho for dinner and your hotel.