One of the biggest undertakings in connecting America was one of the first transcontinental highways built from Chicago to Los Angeles. It became known as the Mother Road – Route 66.
Rocky Mountain RV and Marine is located on Historic Route 66 in Albuquerque. Better know as Central Avenue to us locals, you can travel the old route all the way through town.
The romance of Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. Running over two thousand miles, this legendary road passes through the heart of the United States. If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”
We are going to take you on “road trip” across Route 66 with a series of articles that will feature places to camp in your RV and local attractions to enjoy while you’re there, beginning in Santa Monica and ending in Chicago.
So, let’s get rolling with the first stop!
Santa Monica, California
Old Route 66 had its western terminus at the edge of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, on a palm-lined bluff a few blocks north of the city’s landmark pier. The pier holds a small amusement park and a lovely old carousel. A beachfront walkway heads south of the pier to Venice Beach, heart of bohemian L.A., but near where Santa Monica Boulevard dead-ends at Ocean Boulevard, a brass plaque marks the official end of Route 66, the “Main Street of America”.
Santa Monica is an unforgettable seaside city, with easy access to metropolitan Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California. Equal parts coastal getaway and urban center, Santa Monica serves as a perfect base for vacationers and business travelers alike. However, don’t try to park your RV on the streets in Santa Monica. The city has banned RV parking except within certain overnight districts..
Dockweiler RV Park
The place to park your RV is Dockweiler RV Park which is the only RV campground on the beach! Located close to Santa Monica, RV'ers enjoy sunshine, ocean breezes, and a scenic panorama from Malibu to Catalina Island. There's plenty to do and lots to enjoy at Dockweiler RV Park. For starters, this popular, year-round beach campsite offers complete hook-ups, a handy pump-out station, hot showers, and a laundromat. Each campsite has its own picnic table and barbecue, so you can enjoy your stay.
And, of course, there's the ocean only a few steps from your RV door. You can play volleyball at nearby courts, take a walk on the sand, or even have a romantic fire on the beach. It's all here. This is a great beach for swimming. If you've never tried surf fishing, this is your chance.
Dockweiler RV Park is freeway-close. Take any north-south freeway in L.A. County to the 105 Freeway, and head west. The 105 exits onto Imperial Highway, and the RV Park is at the end of Imperial - on the beach in Playa del Rey (the beach of the Kings).
The RV Park is located at 12001 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey, CA 90293.
From your base at Dockweiler RV Park, you can take in some of the other fun things to do in Santa Monica, like my favorite, the Santa Monica Pier.
Santa Monica Pier
Built in 1909, the Santa Monica Pier is the oldest amusement pier in California and, frankly, it’s showing its age. But that’s part of the charm. At night, the pier pulses with color and noise; the winking lights of the Ferris wheel, the thump and roar of the arcades and the roller coaster, the happy glow of moony, sunburned couples.
Be sure to walk to the far end of the pier, where street performers are usually putting on a show. Also check out the aquarium tucked beneath the foot of the pier. It’s small, but it houses horn sharks, swell sharks, octopuses, and, in the 2,200-gallon Pier Tank, massive ochre sea stars and schools of sargo, croakers, and surfperch (life that resides in the Santa Monica Bay).
The price is right, too: Both kids and adults are admitted to the pier for free. So take advantage of that and the beauty of summer magic. From the front of an arcade a fortune teller calls to you in his motion-activated voice: “Share with me thy bounty for my wisdom”—but you can save your coins because you already know everything you need to know. There is no greater joy than swooping through the sea’s mist on a clacking roller coaster, your children’s laughter whipping past your ears.
Downtown and Third Street Promenade
Also known as Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., this neighborhood hosts some of the city’s biggest stores and most famous retailers as well as two weekly farmers’ markets. The surrounding streets with an open-air, pedestrians-only, the Third Street Promenade is a huge draw for its shopping, dining, street performers, trendy cafes, bookstores and movie theaters.
Main Street Santa Monica is an eclectic collection of restaurants, boutiques, cafes, and various services stretching for about a mile from Pico south to the Santa Monica City limit.
It is NOT the Mall.
Historic, and going Green, the street offers shopping and dining experiences that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.
Additionally, there’s the weekly Farmer’s Market every Sunday at Heritage Square, and there’s the annual Summer SOULstice event and the annual Holiday event.
We hope you’ll check out this site, and check out the street… a world away from the ordinary, a block away from the beach.
Route 66 meets the Pacific Ocean on Santa Monica Boulevard at Ocean Avenue. On the corner, a landmark restaurant called the Belle Vue served moderately priced French bistro food at it's best. The Belle Vue closed in 1991 but their signature dishes like their Poached Garlic Soup with Melted Brie Cheese , classic chocolate mousse and the "best bouillaaisse West of Paris" brings back fond memories to those lucky enough to have dined there.
Here is the recipe for the Poached Garlic with Melted Brie Soup ~ It's a restaurant sized recipe so you will need to divide the ingredients to the amount you would like to make. Or, make the whole recipe and throw a Route 66 party!
Belle Vue Poached Garlic Soup with Melted Brie Cheese
90 Garlic Cloves
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
butter for sauteeing
18 leeks - white part only
12 large potatoes
salt to taste
ground white pepper to taste
3 quarts chicken stock
3 quarts heavy cream
day old sourdough bread
Brie cheese Spread
Boil the garlic clove with the chicken stock for 15 minutes. Let cool. Cut leeks 1/2 inch thick. Melt butter and sautee the leeks. Add potatoes, peeled and diced that have been salted and pepper to taste. Add remaining chicken stock and simmer for 25 minutes Add heavy cream and cook an extra 20 minutes. Add the garlic-chicken broth. Blend the soup and strain.
To serve, place hot soup into "au gratin" bowls. Top each bowl with one slice of day old sourdough bread with brie cheese spread. Slide under the broiler a few moments then serve. Makes 6 quarts of soup.
Rocky Mountain RV & Marine is located on “Old Route 66” at 12700 Central, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. So if you’re ever traveling this iconic highway, be sure to stop by and say Hello!
Next stop is Beverly Hills.