From the desert to the surf, these three stretches of the old Mother Road have outdoor adventure, high culture, and some of the West’s best road food
New Mexico Jeep Tours (pictured). Take a spin through the state’s most surreal landscapes (think ancient Puebloan ruins, petroglyphs, and ghost towns). From $105/3 hours; nmjeeptours.com
Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures. Ditch the wheels and explore the Rio Grande by kayak. This outfitter in nearby Bernalillo offers guided tours on mellow class I waters. From $49; quietwaterspaddling.com
The Standard Diner. Fuel up along Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, part of historic Route 66 and now home to some of the best food in town. The Standard Diner, another converted gas station, serves classics like green chile mac ’n’ cheese. $$; 320 Central S.E.; 505/243-1440.
Hotel Parq Central (hotelparqcentral.com). Winding paths link the hotel's 1926 buildings, and the charm extends to the high-ceilinged, desert-toned rooms and cottages. Pop into the rooftop Apothecary Lounge, which serves Prohibition-era cocktails. From $150.