You hear the mighty rushing water of the Rio Grande before you lay eyes on it. And then, peering across red clay dirt and dry desert brush, you’re able to admire the azure water as it carries uprooted plants and your preoccupations downstream. Previously, you’ve heard New Mexico referenced as the Land of Enchantment, but now you understand why the nickname stuck—there is a magical spirit that draws people here. A sense of calmness washes over you much like the river bubbles over stationary rocks, and you whisper a silent thanks that you’re able to stick around for a few days at hotels in Bernalillo, NM. For it’s in relaxation that you are truly yourself.
Explorers have always thirsted after fabled riches, and Francisco Vásquez de Coronado was no exception to this characterization. In 1540, the Spanish conquistador traipsed through New Mexico with more than 2,000 men alongside him in search of the Seven Cities of Gold, where he believed untold treasures would be his for the taking. Alas, the procession was met not by mounds of gold and jewels, but intricate villages inhabited by Native Americans. As you enter the Coronado Historic Site, the grounds of the Pueblo tribe’s settlement of yesteryear, your fingers begin to tingle and your breath deepens. Walking through the old adobe ruins, you imagine what it must have been like to live here centuries ago. Images of villagers fishing in the Rio Grande and drying their fish in the sun fill your mind. Like you, they were drawn to Bernalillo from some otherworldly force—one that promised access to water and sunny salvation. With the past coming to life in your mind, you retreat to cheap hotels in Bernalillo, NM and dream of adobe houses and colorful folk art. Perhaps in the morning you’ll reserve one of the available Bernalillo rental cars and cover more of the local area, in hopes that the Seven Cities of Gold wasn’t fictitious after all.
Like a turquoise stone, you feel bright and radiant when you wake. Bernalillo hotels were far more comfortable than mud-packed floors lining adobe houses, but you still yearn for another dose of regional history. Carry onward to Albuquerque hotels, where you’ll search for more ancient wonders that have beckoned wise wanderers like you over the centuries.