The famous French writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” Maybe that well is a palm tree-filled oasis with a watering hole in its center. Maybe it’s something you weren’t even looking for. But every now and then, that “well” is a charming city sprouting up from the sand and cacti. Perhaps a city in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains, where certain neighborhoods are filled with adobe buildings…a city where you feel as if you’re back in the days when gauchos patrolled the streets. That well—that city—exists in central New Mexico, and if you’re searching for cheap hotels in Albuquerque, you won’t have to look far beyond Travelocity.
Things to Do in Albuquerque
On your first day in town, you awaken to the sun climbing over the peaks of the Sandia Mountain range, inspiring you to head out from one the downtown Albuquerque hotels you are staying at and climb to the top of them. Lace up a pair of hiking boots, grab a camera, and take a scenic ride up the Sandia Peak Tramway. Once at the top, let your inner explorer completely take over as you wander the many hiking trails crisscrossing the summit. You climb over boulders and duck under low-hanging branches of pine trees until you come to a scenic lookout. You’re on top of the world, and you’ll have proof to bring home with you in the form of all the photographs you’ll take. Some even deserve a home in a beautiful picture frame back in your office. From your new vantage point on life, your mind suddenly becomes clear.
After you descend from the heights of your newfound paradise, a short rest and change of clothes back at one of the hotels in Albuquerque will recharge you for the rest of the day. But don’t worry, your strenuous activity for the rest of the day is curling up in a stadium folding chair at Isotopes Park with a cold beer from one of the local breweries. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” has never been more literal. Cheering on the local semi-pro baseball team, the Isotopes, will leave a lasting impression on the locals, and will endear you to them for the duration of your trip.
If you feel like getting a sense of the area’s past residents, a trip to Petroglyph National Monument is a must-see in terms of things to do in Albuquerque. Ancient Pueblo peoples have left their mark in the form of over 24,000 carvings and markings on large rocks. The meaning of the chiseled pictures like fish, people, and crosses may only be known by the carvers themselves, who have long since passed on in the New Mexican desert.
Eating and Drinking
While planning your trip to “The Duke City,” you no doubt heard about the delicacies that make up New Mexican cuisine. Your mouth begins to water as visions of enchiladas smothered in red and green chili sauce dance through your head alongside plates of carne adovada and bowls of chili con queso. So now that you’re here, these tasty dishes are at your fingertips especially if you are staying at one of the University of New Mexico hotels, wink wink. When you’re wondering about where to stay in Albuquerque, anywhere near a fine dining establishment should do. This town is loaded with open-air restaurants just waiting for you to take a seat and run the gauntlet of their menus.
If your appetite hovers around the ravenous level and the dishes we listed above sound otherworldly, consider our Albuquerque hotels in the Nob Hill neighborhood. From the front door of your accommodation, you’ll be within walking distance of some of the city’s most cherished restaurants serving up the most classic meals of New Mexican food. Your tastes buds owe you a big favor for treating them to such a fantastic flavor fiesta.
Green Spaces Galore
Don’t let the desert surroundings fool you, for this city holds many green secrets. Head over to West Old Town and leisurely meander through the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. The sheer number of exhibits is breathtaking, but don’t worry about choosing the right one; they’re all incredible. Upon entering, the first garden you’ll come across is the Spanish-Moorish Courtyard and Walled Gardens. With its collection of pomegranate, fig, and Spanish lavender trees, you’ll feel as if you’re spending the afternoon in the Basque countryside. In addition, the Sasebo Japanese Garden, with its koi ponds and buildings looking like they came straight from Kyoto, will immediately help you glide to a Zen-like state. This sense of peace will stretch out when you take the Cat Walk at the Rio Grande Zoo. The majestic beauty of African lions, Bengal tigers, and Asian snow leopards is impossible to ignore and easy to admire.
Day Trips from Albuquerque
You can spend days and days discovering everything ABQ has to offer. But you’ve been told about the budding art scene taking place 64 miles north in Santa Fe, and you can’t help making a day trip out of it. Take a stroll down the Portal at the Palace of the Governors for an eye-opening art walk featuring some truly beautiful Native American folk art. Pick up an authentic Pueblo dance drum and a colorful, handmade piece of pottery that will adorn your living room. When you’re ready to examine some of the finest works of Southwestern art, there’re galleries upon galleries to peruse through. You can do all this and more with time to spare in order to get back to your Albuquerque lodging for a sunset cocktail.
Miles and miles of barren desert landscape are suddenly interrupted by a stretching mountain range. And somewhere in the middle of that, you find your well. The place where life slows to a pace your thoughts can catch up with. A place where the locals treat you like family and every gust of wind carries with it the scent of an amazing dish being created in a back kitchen. When you’re ready to experience New Mexico’s biggest city like never before, Travelocity will guide you to the best places to stay in Albuquerque.