Great value, stunning scenery, and fascinating history make Albuquerque, New Mexico, a must-visit for families, couples, and solo travelers. Albuquerque has the pink hues at sunset, Route 66 diners, great outdoor adventures, and modern museums in the largest city in the state. Whatever your reason for visiting is, use a planning guide to find the ideal hotel that allows you to enjoy what the city has to offer. Here are seven reasons to visit Albuquerque.
1. Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails
Albuquerque is surrounded by rugged natural beauty with plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities. East of the city, the Sandia Mountains offer tons of trails. Seasoned hikers can climb to the top via the challenging La Luz trail. And for more spectacular trails, check out the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks south of Santa Fe.
2. Hot Air Balloons
Due to favourable air currents, wide spaces, and year-round clear skies, Albuquerque is the hot air balloon capital of the world. The International Balloon Fiesta takes place in October and is the largest in the world. For nine days, more than 700 hot air balloons as tall as three stories drift above the city. But any time of year you can experience a flight for yourself with companies like Rainbow Ryders.
Albuquerque has some amazing museums to explore. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a must with its fascinating galleries and exhibitions about the Pueblo history.
Then, the National Hispanic Cultural Center houses Vigil’s impressive 4,000-square-foot fresco, which covers the interior of an adobe defensive tower and depicts three millennia of Hispanic culture. And for some family fun, the Science Center offers interactive exhibits including flying an airplane and riding a bicycle across a tightrope high above the ground.
4. Breathtaking Sunsets
The Albuquerque landscape features stunning multicoloured sunsets. A great way to admire them is by taking the Sandia Peak Tramway, the USA’s longest aerial tram. It climbs 2.7 miles from the desert floor to the summit of Sandia Crest at 10,378 feet.
5. Film Tourism
Did you know Albuquerque is the hometown of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman? There are tour companies that will take you around the city with a focus on “Breaking Bad,” but you can find your own way with this DIY tour guide. With a handy map of all the locations, you can have your own Heisenberg adventure.
With hearty homestyle cooking, retro diners, and authentic New Mexican cuisine, Albuquerque is the perfect place for a Southwestern culinary adventure. You’ll taste the fresh flavours of local produce grown by the Rio Grande and New Mexico’s famous red and green chiles.
Start with New Mexico’s best green chile cheeseburger from Blake’s Lotaburger. And for a sweet treat, don’t miss the state’s cookies, flaky and buttery biscochitos. You’ll find some of the best at Celina’s bakery.
7. Rio Grande’s Cottonwood Bosque
The Rio Grande, the second largest river in the southwestern United States, boasts a beloved bosque, or cottonwood forest. It extends about 200 miles (320 kilometers) through New Mexico, and it’s a prominent feature in the local landscape. It’s also an important part of the local life along the Rio Grande.
Thousands of years back, ancestral Puebloans had many uses for the cottonwood trees, including handcrafted drums from the trunks. Catkins were food, and leaves helped toothaches or skin abrasions. And the fluff from seeds was used to make chewing gum.
Convinced to visit Albuquerque now?
[Feautured Image via Flickr by Lightning_Todd]