Albuquerque

Balloon Fiesta ends this weekend but flights are still showing up as available as I write this (10/9).

Albuquerque has proven to be magical every time I’ve stopped here and I believe the sheer number of places to explore will require more and more visits in order to cover them all.

This article highlights places of interest that took place over two different stops, a week apart. We did not camp Albuquerque due to some rather cantankerous thunder storms so we’d love feedback from anyone who has camped the area. I have included some links at the bottom of the article for camping as we are aware that this is the most cost-efficient lodging in any area.

Old Town is a lovely place to explore and a little On A Dime hint, street parking is free in the neighborhood to the south as well as on the streets (for 2 hours) right in the middle of Old Town. When busy, these can fill up and then you are headed to the pay lots.

Whether you have an interest in jalapeno candy, handcrafted baskets, jewelry made by a legendary artist as you watch at Gus’ Trading Post, or ancient missions with lovely courtyards, Albuquerque has something for most everyone. If keeping your shopping local is meaningful, this link will guide you. In addition the town square often has live music and inspires enough of a sense of safety that kids can run around the park while parents lounge and enjoy the relaxed pace. There are a total of five museums within walking distance of the square and we can personally endorse the  New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Rattlesnake Museum which is located in the heart of Old Town.

Rattlesnake Museum
Rattlesnake Museum
Mission
San Felipe de Neri Mission

Having decided in advance that I wanted to find an artisan ring and call that my single souvenir proved easy when I happened upon sterling jewelry by Loyce and found a blue lapis ring for under $50. Loyce does not have a website, she has sold exclusively in Old Town for thirty-five years and her signed works of art can be purchased at the town square along with many other local artists’ wares.

Loyce
Jewelry by Loyce

Another find, enjoyed by my guy, was uncovered at the Albuquerque Photographers’ Gallery when he fell in love with a Gale Sutton  infused aluminum print, also for under $50.  A side note, Gale, not only took us through the entire gallery and generously explained every other photographer’s work but in addition, shared some areas of interest that we ended up exploring.

Dining in Old Town seems pretty smooth and easy, however, check the price of a pitcher of margaritas before committing (do as we say). Our dinner at Hacienda del Rio was our splurge, but the $30 pitcher of margaritas was an “uh oh” moment, only salvaged when I walked the restaurant and shared with other diners to avoid wasting what we knew we couldn’t drink.  I would highly encourage you to research happy hour prices rather than visiting after sunset like we did.

Margaritas
$30 pitcher of margaritas, YIKES!

Our sunset hike to Petroglyph National Monument before dinner was stunning but definitely wear hiking boots unlike one particularly stubborn On A Dimer (cough). Flip flops do not protect you from rocks or snakes and, yes, there was a little snake incident. Note that it can be confusing as to which side of the park to visit, we were on the west side at sunset and only had a short hike up.

Trail from above
Hike at dusk before sunset
Albuquerque sunset
Sunset from the top of the trail

As a wrap up we’d like to share Satellite Coffee, a wonderful coffee house we happened upon that was out of Old Town. We visited the Nob Hill location but there are many more so if you are near one, we recommend their java!

Local coffee
Satellite Coffee

Camping availability is somewhat limited near Albuquerque, check this link.

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