U.S. TRAVEL WEEK! Why Albuquerque, N.M. Should Be On Your Summer Travel List!By Maureen Martin | June 25, 2019 | Travel
It’s summer holiday season and we’re thinking about great getaways. So, of course, we pulled out our air miles and flew to Albuquerque, N.M!
WHY VISIT? How about its natural desert beauty, the clear blue skies and 310 days of sun?
If you love film and television Albuquerque is a hub for film and TV productions as well as groundbreaking high tech research, not to mention it’s the home of roasted chiles and hot air ballooning. Yes chile, hot air ballooning is big in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 and has grown to become the largest balloon event in the world. It’s held annually during the first week in October, and the nine-day Balloon Fiesta brings more than 500 balloons, over 1,000 pilots and tens of thousands of spectators to the city.
We missed the annual fiesta but that didn’t deter us from taking to the air with Rainbow Ryders. Ladies, hot air ballooning is one of the most serene experiences ever. It was remarkably quiet once we passed 1000 feet. I can best describe the feeling of being at this altitude as akin to floating. The mild winds and small engine guide you through the skies and it’s zen-like. You have to try this, at least once.
Up for some site seeing? Albuquerque’s roads lead to some of the most breathtaking scenery and attractions in New Mexico. The Sandia Mountains are a dramatic backdrop for the city. Albuquerque Trolley is a great way to get an overview of the most popular tourist areas, especially Old Town and Nob Hill.
In the mood for some culture and art? Albuquerque has 19 museums that showcase the history of Native Americans, Hispanic culture, art and natural history. Public art flourishes thanks to the “Percent for Art ordinance.” This set-aside one percent of city construction funds are derived from the general obligation bond program and certain revenue bonds for the commission of works of art, and the Albuquerque Public Art Collection has more than 400 of them. Interested? Check out here for Albuquerque’s public art program.
WHERE TO STAY. This DivaGal rested her head at the historic Hotel Andaluz, a four-star rated award-winning and eco-friendly hotel that boasts a rich history. Opened in 1939 by New Mexico native Conrad Hilton (yes, granddad of reality star Paris), it was the fourth Hilton hotel ever built. While enjoying breakfast in the hotel cafe we ran into actor Giancarlo Esposito who was in town shooting Better Call Saul, the prequel to the very popular Breaking Bad series.
WHAT TO EAT. Of course, we were all about the food, and we recommend anything with roasted chiles. It’s a local epicurean pleasure that’s truly hot. Mexican food is plentiful. We enjoyed a veritable feast at Sadie’s of New Mexico, a local chain with four locations. They serve a variety of options along with the freshest salsa ever. They offer green or red but if you want both use the local vernacular when ordering, ask for “Christmas.”
We took a detour to Sante Fe to check out award-winning Jambo Cafe. The menu is a nice blend of flavors that range from African, Caribbean and Indian, so savory and delicious. We loved the Jerk chicken wings and the Black Bean Sweet Potato curry soup.
There was so much more that we didn’t get a chance to see, so we must go back again soon! For more tips on experiencing Albuquerque go to www.visitalbuquerque.org. Visit the DivaGals Facebook page to check out our travel photos.