New Mexico Explorer Blog; Read, Post, Comment.

Sat

08

Mar

2014

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument, New Mexico
El Morro National Monument, New Mexico
Read More 2 Comments

Sat

15

Feb

2014

BEYOND BALLOONS: 21 Things to see and do in Albuquerque

Wall mural, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wall mural, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Before moving to New Mexico, Albuquerque to us was just a means to an end. It has the state's biggest airport, so like a lot of travelers, we would fly into Albuquerque, rent a car, and head elsewhere. Oh sure, we might grab lunch on the way out of town, but the real destination was usually Santa Fe, a State Park, or one of the many Pueblos in New Mexico.

 

Albuquerque proudly celebrated its Tricentennial in 2006. Even so,

it is important to remember that the Rio Grande Valley has

been populated and cultivated since as far back as 2000 BC.

With one foot in the past, one foot in the present,

and both eyes toward the future, Albuquerque

is a magical and fascinating place to visit and call home

 

Even after moving to Santa Fe in 1996, Albuquerque held no identity or pull for us. In our first year, we must have had upwards of 30 out-of-state guests, and though most arrived in New Mexico by way of the Albuquerque airport, it didn't cross their mind or ours that there might be something to do in New Mexico's largest city.

 

It was only after we moved to Albuquerque in 2002 that we started to appreciate Abuquerque as a city. Like Santa Fe and Las Cruces, Albuquerque has its museums, restaurants, and performance venues. But there is so much more. Unfortunately, that 'more' is often overlooked, such that locals and visitors alike are sometimes at a loss to identify what Albuquerque has to offer.

 

On a popular Facebook page, for example---devoted exclusively to Albuquerque---people often post questions about what there is to see or do in Albuquerque. The host will post questions that read something like, "What is missing in Albuquerque?" Consistently, there are a large number of replies, detailing what people think Albuquerque needs, yet it always surprises me that people fail to identify the fun, unique, and diverse things that can be done in this city of 555,000 (as a comparison, Denver has a population of 635,000; Tucson, 525,000; Phoenix, 1.4 million).

 

Even on Trip Advisor, I frequently come across posts that read along the lines of, "I'll be in Albuquerque for an afternoon after my conference. Is there anything to see or do there?" The stock answers are offered, but sadly, many of these visitors miss out on the opportunity to truly experience Albuquerque.

 

Well, they say

that Santa Fe

is less than ninety miles away.

And I got time to roll a number

and rent a car.

Oh Albuquerque.

I'll stop when I can,

find some fried eggs and country ham.

I'll find somewhere where

they don't care who I am.

Oh Albuquerque.

Albuquerque

 

--- Neil Young

Tonight's the Night
1975, Reprise Records

 

 

If you ask most people what there is to see and do in Albuquerque, they will probably identify the Balloon Fiesta (the largest hot air balloon festival in the world); the Sandia Peak Tram (the world's third longest single span, at a length of 7,720 feet); or its proximity to Route 66 (many Route 66 themes and buildings can still be seen on Central Avenue).

 

What typically gets overlooked, however, are the numerous other things there are to see and do in Albuquerque, be it that you're here for an afternoon or a weekend; be it that you're exploring alone or with your family; be it that you want an indoor activity or something outside; or that you want to experience New Mexico history or sample something more modern.

 

If you are a travel foodie, Albuquerque will welcome

you with delicious green chile, enchiladas, fish tacos,

margaritas, posole, quesadilla's, carne adovada,

sopapillas, tamales ..... hey! Get back here,

we haven't even hit upon all the

things to see and do in Albuquerque.

 

FIVE TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL VISIT

 

Staying here: Albuquerque isn't a particularly large city, but it is spread out over several miles. Because of this, it will help to know what you want to see or do before making a room reservation. If your journey will take you to the mountains---for skiing, sightseeing, or hiking---you may want to stay in the Uptown District. If you want to see the University, Route 66, Nob Hill, or Old Town, think about staying downtown. My preference when traveling is to find a house to rent, though most require a two- to three night minimum. The costs are often comparable to a hotel, yet you have more space, you can prepare some of your meals at home, and the overall experience can feel less sterile.

 

Hydrate: Albuquerque ranges from 4900 feet in the valley to 6700 feet in the foothills (going skiing? Sandia Peak is at 10,679 feet) and it is very dry here. By drinking plenty of water, you can avoid the dizziness or fatique that high-altitude travelers often experience. It is also best to postpone your outdoor activities---hiking, biking, or skiiing---for a day or two after your arrival.

 

Sunscreen: The air is very thin in New Mexico. You will also be in the sun a lot, regardless of how you plan on spending your time or what season you visit. Because of the altitude, you will burn sooner than you might otherwise.

 

Driving and Parking: Albuquerque has a few districts that are quite walkable; for example, downtown (by day), Uptown, Nob Hill, and Old Town. Still, unless you plan on staying in one locale, you will be reliant upon a car when you visit. Albuquerque does have public transportation, but trying to negotiate it as a visitor may make for a stressful visit. Getting around Albuquerque by car is relatively easy, and most of the major sites are within a few miles of Interstates 40 or 25. Parking is rarely a problem in Albuquerque, even at the popular attractions.

 

Personal Safety. Albuquerque is relatively safe for visitors. As with a lot of places you go in the world, use common sense, know your surroundings, and exercise caution when walking around at night. Unlike a lot of cities, you can expect that people will make eye contact, they will nod or say hello, and no, that doesn't mean they have ill-intent. Don't hesitate to ask people on the street for directions or recommendations if you need to.

 

NOW, LET"S GO SEE ALBUQUERQUE.

 

Read More 3 Comments

Sat

08

Feb

2014

Exploring the Black Range Scenic Byway

Read More 2 Comments

Sat

08

Mar

2014

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument, New Mexico
El Morro National Monument, New Mexico
Read More 2 Comments

Sat

15

Feb

2014

BEYOND BALLOONS: 21 Things to see and do in Albuquerque

Wall mural, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wall mural, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Before moving to New Mexico, Albuquerque to us was just a means to an end. It has the state's biggest airport, so like a lot of travelers, we would fly into Albuquerque, rent a car, and head elsewhere. Oh sure, we might grab lunch on the way out of town, but the real destination was usually Santa Fe, a State Park, or one of the many Pueblos in New Mexico.

 

Albuquerque proudly celebrated its Tricentennial in 2006. Even so,

it is important to remember that the Rio Grande Valley has

been populated and cultivated since as far back as 2000 BC.

With one foot in the past, one foot in the present,

and both eyes toward the future, Albuquerque

is a magical and fascinating place to visit and call home

 

Even after moving to Santa Fe in 1996, Albuquerque held no identity or pull for us. In our first year, we must have had upwards of 30 out-of-state guests, and though most arrived in New Mexico by way of the Albuquerque airport, it didn't cross their mind or ours that there might be something to do in New Mexico's largest city.

 

It was only after we moved to Albuquerque in 2002 that we started to appreciate Abuquerque as a city. Like Santa Fe and Las Cruces, Albuquerque has its museums, restaurants, and performance venues. But there is so much more. Unfortunately, that 'more' is often overlooked, such that locals and visitors alike are sometimes at a loss to identify what Albuquerque has to offer.

 

On a popular Facebook page, for example---devoted exclusively to Albuquerque---people often post questions about what there is to see or do in Albuquerque. The host will post questions that read something like, "What is missing in Albuquerque?" Consistently, there are a large number of replies, detailing what people think Albuquerque needs, yet it always surprises me that people fail to identify the fun, unique, and diverse things that can be done in this city of 555,000 (as a comparison, Denver has a population of 635,000; Tucson, 525,000; Phoenix, 1.4 million).

 

Even on Trip Advisor, I frequently come across posts that read along the lines of, "I'll be in Albuquerque for an afternoon after my conference. Is there anything to see or do there?" The stock answers are offered, but sadly, many of these visitors miss out on the opportunity to truly experience Albuquerque.

 

Well, they say

that Santa Fe

is less than ninety miles away.

And I got time to roll a number

and rent a car.

Oh Albuquerque.

I'll stop when I can,

find some fried eggs and country ham.

I'll find somewhere where

they don't care who I am.

Oh Albuquerque.

Albuquerque

 

--- Neil Young

Tonight's the Night
1975, Reprise Records

 

 

If you ask most people what there is to see and do in Albuquerque, they will probably identify the Balloon Fiesta (the largest hot air balloon festival in the world); the Sandia Peak Tram (the world's third longest single span, at a length of 7,720 feet); or its proximity to Route 66 (many Route 66 themes and buildings can still be seen on Central Avenue).

 

What typically gets overlooked, however, are the numerous other things there are to see and do in Albuquerque, be it that you're here for an afternoon or a weekend; be it that you're exploring alone or with your family; be it that you want an indoor activity or something outside; or that you want to experience New Mexico history or sample something more modern.

 

If you are a travel foodie, Albuquerque will welcome

you with delicious green chile, enchiladas, fish tacos,

margaritas, posole, quesadilla's, carne adovada,

sopapillas, tamales ..... hey! Get back here,

we haven't even hit upon all the

things to see and do in Albuquerque.

 

FIVE TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL VISIT

 

Staying here: Albuquerque isn't a particularly large city, but it is spread out over several miles. Because of this, it will help to know what you want to see or do before making a room reservation. If your journey will take you to the mountains---for skiing, sightseeing, or hiking---you may want to stay in the Uptown District. If you want to see the University, Route 66, Nob Hill, or Old Town, think about staying downtown. My preference when traveling is to find a house to rent, though most require a two- to three night minimum. The costs are often comparable to a hotel, yet you have more space, you can prepare some of your meals at home, and the overall experience can feel less sterile.

 

Hydrate: Albuquerque ranges from 4900 feet in the valley to 6700 feet in the foothills (going skiing? Sandia Peak is at 10,679 feet) and it is very dry here. By drinking plenty of water, you can avoid the dizziness or fatique that high-altitude travelers often experience. It is also best to postpone your outdoor activities---hiking, biking, or skiiing---for a day or two after your arrival.

 

Sunscreen: The air is very thin in New Mexico. You will also be in the sun a lot, regardless of how you plan on spending your time or what season you visit. Because of the altitude, you will burn sooner than you might otherwise.

 

Driving and Parking: Albuquerque has a few districts that are quite walkable; for example, downtown (by day), Uptown, Nob Hill, and Old Town. Still, unless you plan on staying in one locale, you will be reliant upon a car when you visit. Albuquerque does have public transportation, but trying to negotiate it as a visitor may make for a stressful visit. Getting around Albuquerque by car is relatively easy, and most of the major sites are within a few miles of Interstates 40 or 25. Parking is rarely a problem in Albuquerque, even at the popular attractions.

 

Personal Safety. Albuquerque is relatively safe for visitors. As with a lot of places you go in the world, use common sense, know your surroundings, and exercise caution when walking around at night. Unlike a lot of cities, you can expect that people will make eye contact, they will nod or say hello, and no, that doesn't mean they have ill-intent. Don't hesitate to ask people on the street for directions or recommendations if you need to.

 

NOW, LET"S GO SEE ALBUQUERQUE.

 

Read More 3 Comments

Sat

08

Feb

2014

Exploring the Black Range Scenic Byway

Read More 2 Comments