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Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 and was finished just before World War II. Only parts of the original highway still exist, but there is a great trend to restore and maintain sections of this historic road. In Albuquerque, remnants of an age gone by still cling to life on what is now Central Avenue. Here, you will find the Route 66 Diner, the Duran Drugstore, and the newly restored KiMo Theater.
The historic Nob Hill area along Central Avenue (Route 66) in Albuquerque's university area is home to a recently revitalized community of local boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and bars. Some local favorites include Papers!, a stationary and art supply store, Beeps, a novelty gift store, and the Flying Saucer, one of the city's best coffee shop cafes. Visitors to the area will also find plenty of antique shopping, bookstores, and specialty shops selling everything from yarn to groceries. Many of the local restaurants and bars host live music events, and each year in December, the district puts on a Shop & Stroll holiday entertainment event.
The Marble Brewery occupies a former warehouse, and is set in an expansive space replete with an indoor tasting room, an outdoor patio and a stage for live music. With its trendy upbeat vibe, the Marble Brewery and its adjacent brewpub attract youth from in and around Downtown Albuquerque for a sample of their best brews. The beers at Marble Brewery are brewed with methods borrowed from old centuries as well as modern techniques, creating hops, award-winning pilsners, Indian Pale Ales, red ales and draft varieties.
National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico is a state-of-the-art facility which is located in the Rio Grande Valley. Hispanic American contributions to the arts, sciences and humanities are proudly represented. See the joy, passion, pain and perseverance of the local and national Hispanic community brought to light. The stately architectural style of this site is reminiscent of the Incas and Mayans. The facilities include a 2,500-seat amphitheater, performing arts center, research and literary arts building, plus a 10,000-square-foot visual arts center.
Take a walk through time from the big bang through the ice ages in one of the premier natural history museums in the country. Also, discover a great collection of massive dinosaurs while you watch technicians work on actual fossils. You can also experience the Dynamax Theater with its multi-story screen and super sound system. Step into the Time Machine and stop by the Lode Star Center that includes a high-tech, 175-seat theater, telescope and planetarium. The STARTUP Gallery tells the story of Albuquerque's role in the development of the computer. The Nature Works store in the museum features a unique inventory of items related to dinosaurs, birds, and various species of animals and scientific gadgets.
Since its inception in 1967, the Albuquerque Museum has been a hub for historical and artistic treasures. Located in the Old Town area, the museum has a huge collection of artifacts and relics from as far as 400 years. Visitors can gain a deeper insight in the city's history and culture. New Mexico's art, Albuquerque's history, and Southwest culture, come together at this museum. Live performances take place at the museum's amphitheater quite often. For the little ones, there are educational programs. The museum also takes you through a guided tour of the 18th Century Casa San Ysidro, a spectacular old house.
San Felipe de Neri is the visual, geographical and spiritual heart of Old Town. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the original Pueblo-style building was constructed in 1793; the distinctive Gothic wooden steeples were added in 1861. Rose gardens welcome the visitor to the church's front courtyard. Stepping into the cool interior you will discover beautiful tin work, vigas (wooden beams) and five feet thick adobe walls.
View one of the most impressive turquoise collections in the world at Turquoise Museum. Walk down a tunnel with turquoise fixed in parts of the wall then make your way to the exhibits where you can learn all about this rare blue mineral. Learn about turquoise mines, how the gem is fashioned into jewelry, see a working lapidary shop, find out about the history of the gemstone, and do so much more. You have to register to take the 90 minute guided museum tour that includes hands-on exhibits.
The North Valley is home to many impressive structures and Casa Rondena Winery is one of the most unique. This Moorish castle encloses a huge wine making operation that produces respected cabernet and sauvignon wines. The winery's Serenade is a fruity, slightly dry dessert wine. The owner and wine maker spent 20 years in southern Spain, where he learned his art and found himself enthralled by the Moorish architecture. Mountains and streams meander across the grounds that are surrounded by the giant cottonwoods of the Rio Grande Bosque.
This place is known as America's official museum of nuclear science and history. A short movie shown every hour features Albert Einstein and the people involved with the development of nuclear science. The world's largest public collection of nuclear weapons is displayed here. Also on display are military air crafts, robotics and nuclear medicine exhibits.
This one of its kind museum features exhibits chronicling the history of ballooning, with a special focus on Albuquerque's contribution (as "Balloon Capital of the World") to this lighter-than-air art form. Famous history-making balloons are on display, as well as other intriguing exhibits like nineteenth-century Japanese ballooning outfits, German war-balloons used for bombing operations, and artifacts from the very beginning of hot-air ballooning in the late eighteenth century. The museum facility overlooks the field from which balloons take off during the world-renowned annual Balloon Fiesta.
Located on the Pueblo of Isleta, these lakes have been developed for fishing, camping and picnicking. Created along the huge cottonwood trees of the Rio Grande Bosque, this is a great spot for you to while away the day while relaxing in the relatively cool shade. Some fairly large trout have been taken here, so don't get discouraged by the smaller stock-sizes. The lakes are owned and operated by the pueblo government, and stocked with rainbow trout. The pueblo has recently added the convenience of a RV campground.