Monday, September 13, 2010

Alabama to Santa Fe

Hi Jamie,

I head out to Santa Fe every year. This year I can stay longer than
usual and am thinking of driving. The main route appears to be along
40W. There's also a southern route. Is the 40W route the most
interesting way to get from Birmingham, AL, to Santa Fe? If so, any
don't miss stops?

Thanks for any advice!



Hello Emily --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA, and sorry it took me a while to write back. Hope there's still time for me to help with your trip!

I-40 is definitely the main route, but one hidden advantage of this freeway is that it runs right on top of another, more interesting older road: Route 66. So whenever you feel the need, you can leave the high-speed world behind and delve into a much-more-interesting world, as most of the Route 66 heritage has been kept on as a I-40 "Business Route", and many of the older Mom&Pop motels / cafes / attractions are still there, waiting for you to stop. One don't miss stop is in Amarillo TX: Cadillac Ranch, right along I-40 / Route 66 , where a family of classic Cadillacs have been planted face down in the Plains.

I cover all of Route 66 in Road Trip USA, and the old road is well signed all the way, so check it out, as much as you can.

And on your way back, if you want another alternative route I'd recommend I-20 / aka old US-80, the "Old Spanish Trail." I cover a variation on this magical old road in my Southern Pacific Road Trip USA route, visiting Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains national parks in New Mexico and west Texas, before racing across thru Dallas & Fort Worth (a great little city, with excellent museums!), Vicksburg and lovely Natchez Mississippi, then back home thru Selma and Montgomery Alabama, which you probably know better than I do.

Hope this helps -- Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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