Albuquerque Travel Guide

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Albuquerque is located centrally in New Mexico and is an ideal base for exploring the wonder of the state. But the city itself has quite a few sights as well. From Historic Old Town, where the Villa of Albuquerque was founded in 1706, to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the most popular ballooning event in the world, there is a lot to discover here. In many ways, Albuquerque is the de facto capital city of New Mexico, being its biggest, busiest, and most modern city. It also has the international airport.

The center of the city is Old Town. Here, one finds the historic San Felipe de Neri church and the plaza, once the heart of the village. Route 66 links the Old Town area with the downtown area which came into being after the coming of the railroad. Downtown has many historic buildings, including the a former Hilton Hotel. Further east is the University of New Mexico and the Nob Hill area, home to many groovy shops and restaurants. The northeast heights of the city are primarily recent subdivisions and strip malls, but that's where you'll find New Mexico's largest indoor mall: the Coronado Center. Nearby ABQ Uptown is a mall with higher end shops, and the rather quiet Winrock Mall is notable as New Mexico's first indoor shopping mall.

The "west side" of Albuquerque is where most recent construction has taken place, and it still has the feel of a place rapidly expanding and growing. Petroglyph National Monument is over here as well, with hikes and trails leading to ancient rock art panels on lava boulders. Small volcanos dot the horizon, and on a clear day, distant Mount Taylor is visible.

A ride on the Sandia Peak Tram puts you on top of the Sandia Mountains, where, on clear days, you can look out over 15,000 square miles of magical landscape. To the west, the Rio Grande snakes its way through the cottonwood-lined valley, and dormant volcanoes are silhouetted against fiery red sunsets. As darkness blankets the city, thousands of lights twinkle like diamonds, matching the stars scattered across the enormous sky.

Probably the most impressive part about a visit to Albuquerque is the genuineness of the people. Of course, this is true all over the state of New Mexico, but in Albuquerque, it seems that you find yourself at home. Perhaps this is due to the mix of the population, with its strong Spanish heritage, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic or Latino residents. This entire rich blend of backgrounds and cultures combines to intensify the wonders that Albuquerque has to offer – in music, cultural events and activities, food, art, shopping and entertainment. You can visit Albuquerque a dozen times and still find new things to do and places to explore.

Contributors

June 02, 2009 change by smkane

April 21, 2005 change by richardosinga

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