Geography and history provide an array of experiences unique to this place that make it an affordable and memorable destination.
Sandia Peak Tramway: Do not miss this. The ride is scary, thrilling and unforgettable, and the views at the top are spectacular. Allow time to hike at the top, if that’s your thing. Go prepared with layered clothes and a windbreaker- even in summer. Take energy bars or other pocket snacks and a water bottle; the wait at the top can be long and you may want something to nibble, even if you don’t hike.
International Balloon Fiesta: Each fall the population of Albuquerque swells with visitors from around the globe for an event that dominates the entire city. When we attended a few years back, we couldn’t get over how radio/ TV/ billboards were ALL about the event… Then we saw the field of balloons and the liftoff, and we got it! It was enormous, wondrous and awe-inspiring. If you plan on going, be prepared to face huge crowds, traffic jams and higher rates for room bookings. The Night Glow is magical and (as if that wasn’t enough) the fireworks show is among the best we’ve ever seen. Oh, and to witness the most anticipated event – the mass ascension where hundreds of balloons ascend in the calm morning air to catch the Albuquerque lift- you need to wake up before dawn and brave traffic jams. But it is all worth it! Go for multiple days to allow time for all the side events too, and really take it all in.
Pueblos: Beyond Albuquerque are Native American communities worth visiting to learn about their culture and modern day lives and challenges. Be sure to read up on the etiquette for being a respectful visitor.
Huge casinos are operated by some Pueblo communities with all the usual glitz, buffets and affordable accommodations.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn is a must-see if you enjoy great food and a lovely setting. With a terrific gift shop chockful of items made from lavender and other ingredients grown on the farm, you’ll want to linger! (See SLEEP and EAT for more details.)
Tablao Flamenco See Courtney’s “INSIDE” description of our unforgettable night!