travel route 66In Albuquerque, New Mexico historic Route 66 remains a landmark that you can’t miss. Head to Central Avenue that divides the city into east and west and, depending upon where you are exactly, you’ll find 40s and 50s style motels with neon lights that still beckon to travelers. Although many of the motels that once were are no more, the road trip nostalgia remains. Travel Route 66: A Guide to History, Sights and Destinations Along the Main Street of America by Jim Hinckley is a guidebook that delivers a nostalgia fix as well as travel tips for the must-see sites along the way– and the best ways to find them.

As a person who lived in Albuquerque for nine years, I was interested to see what made the cut in Albuquerque’s pages. Hinckley got it right. The “Don’t Miss” page features Albuquerque landmarks that are excellent options for travelers of all ages. There’s not one I would take off. Of important note, Route 66 passes right by Old Town, Albuquerque’s oldest section. If you have a hankering to shop, head here.

The books “Don’t Miss” pages are one to a half-page text boxes that tantalize one to pack a suitcase right now. Time’s a wasting there is just so much to see to stay at home. Along with the splashier places everyone knows, Hinckley hones in on the lesser known sites that deliver something special, as well as those slowly becoming ghosts as paint fades and walls crumble.

I second his recommendation to take a detour from Route 66 to not miss the Cave Restaurant near Waynesville, Missouri. My experience here echos the one Hinckley writes about.

Throughout the 240 pages that includes the index, photographs and text parcel out Americana and unique U.S. history in manageable, highly readable bites. Insider tips abound, like if you go to Missouri’s Hick Bar-B-Q in Cuba, check out the bathrooms. He doesn’t say why as to let travels discover the surprise themselves.

Jamie Rhein on a California road trip. Route 66 ends at the Santa Monica Pier.

Jamie Rhein on a California road trip. Route 66 ends at the Santa Monica Pier.

Whether you’re into bridges, billboards, neon, wineries or oddities like the Blue Whale, a concrete and steel creation roadside attraction in Catoosa, Oklahoma, thumb through the book’s pages and you’ll find much to catch your eye.

With 2,500 miles of Route 66 to cover from Chicago to Santa Monica, Hinckley’s guidebook is a fun, informative read that provides insight on the breadth of American culture and the fascinating scope of U.S. history. Any time spent with this book is like a road trip across much of the U.S. whether you leave home or not.

Published by Voyageur Press. List price $21.99.

Post courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association. Rhein was given a copy of the book for review. Opinons are her own.