Welcome to Route 66's Funkytown. Nob Hill is the trendy shopping hub that straddles historic Route 66 near downtown Albuquerque. It, perhaps more so than any other part of Albuquerque, preserves a kitschy mix of Route 66 roadside architecture infused with a distinctly New Mexican point of view. It makes for a great visual stew that really pops in the light of a powder blue New Mexico sky.
Nob Hill is Albuquerque, New Mexico's true downtown. It is an eminently walkable strip of retail shops, eateries and boutiques that offers a colorful, but somewhat brief sojourn into what locals consider upscale dining and nightlife. Because this is New Mexico, nightlife, even on the weekends, means a brief period of darkness that ends around 10PM (just get used to it if you're from a big city). Dare I say that it is just a part of Albuquerque's charm.
Nob Hill combines an upscale feel with Route 66 quirkiness and high-desert style. There are more splashes of color and quirky creativity in the storefronts on this brief strip than seen anywhere else in the Duke City. Here are a few visual highlights of this attractive little neighborhood.
Kellys, one of the most popular eateries in Nob Hill, uses a shell of a former Route 66 Ford dealership and gas station in classic Nob Hill style. Signage from Il Vicino, a Nob Hill cafe known for its wood oven pizza is featured below.
This final trio of images show some of the artwork that adorns Nob Hill. These photos were shot nearly a decade ago, so a couple of these items are no longer there. However, Nob Hill's creative streak remains as vibrant as ever in new signage, murals and architecture.
The photo above shows a detail from the signage for the Hiway House Motel in Nob Hill, a proper Route 66 motel complete with color TV in each room (wow!). The photo below shows the red tractor that sits by Tractor Brewery, a craft beer brewery in Nob Hill.
If you plan to visit Albuquerque, New Mexico for the world famous Balloon Fiesta (and you should) Nob Hill, along with Old Town Albuquerque, and the nearby capital city of Santa Fe are the must-see attractions. - Don Peterson