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In its heyday, all 465 miles of New Mexico's Route 66 bustled with life and played home to some of the most iconic experiences of American West: herds of antelope on the high prairie, dramatic mountain vistas, and the tribal cultures of New Mexico's native Puebloan people. Today, travelers can still take in the nostalgia of the Mother Road, neon signs and all.
Summer’s arrival cues the call of the open road, high time for loading up the car and taking in as much of the state as the windshield allows. Choose a route geared toward heart-pumping adventure, or aim your tires toward culinary icons. Walk the streets of some of the nation’s oldest villages, still home to Native American communities, or ferret out the lingering neon and curios from heyday of scenic byways. These road trips through the Land of Enchantment will mandate keeping a camera, curiosity, and a sense of adventure close at hand.
In fact, eight of the 126 America's Byways are right here in our state. The America's Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and was established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the states. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes these designated roads based on one or more intrinsic qualities — archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, or scenic. You don’t have to take their word for it. We’ll let you be the judge. Come see each unique scenic byway for yourself. Click on the images to view a map and video.
Most were mining towns, where men lusted after the earth’s riches – gold, silver, turquoise, copper, lead and coal. A few were farming communities that flourished for a time and mysteriously fell silent. Literally hundreds of towns not only died, they vanished.
New Mexico didn’t invent the hamburger, but we’re the one who added green chile and made it hot!
Sample this culinary treasure on your next trip, using our handy interactive trail.
It should be no surprise that New Mexico claims the invention of the Breakfast Burrito. It is the wrapped wonder that brings spice to the morning. It is now a staple on menus across the Southwest, and showing up frequently on menus nationwide. Even fast food chains now offer versions. Now, to celebrate this success and its New Mexico heritage, we have created the New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway.