Last month, we whetted your palate with our story about where to find the best authentic New Mexican chile in Albuquerque. While many of us are content to eat our way through a place, a getaway to Albuquerque can certainly explore more than just fiery goodness and licked-clean plates. With more than 300 days of sunshine each year and mild year-round temperatures, pack your sunscreen—and yes an empty stomach—and head south.
Ride: Ascend to 10,378 feet on the Sandia Peak Tramway (pictured above). The 2.7 mile journey stretches from the edge of the city to the crest line of the Sandia Mountains and carries you over jagged rock formations and canyons into the Cibola National Forest. Before descending, take in the 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley.
See: Petroglyph National Monument, the 17-mile park along Albuquerque's West Mesa is one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. Dating back 700 years, the designs and symbols carved into the volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers still hold spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans and for the descendants of the early Spanish settlers.
Do: Hop a trolley through Walter White and Jesse Pinkman's Albuquerque on the BaD Tour. Breaking Bad fanatics will tour 13 filming locations, including White's condo, the rail yards, and Saul Goodman's law office, on a open-air trolley with Breaking Bad trivia along the way. It should be noted that while children are welcome, the tour covers has some R-rated subject matter.
Stay: Hotel Andaluz, is a Four Diamond AAA property with a rooftop lounge and live jazz starting at 5:30 p.m. every Thursday night. The fourth hotel built by Conrad Hilton in 1939, it is now a GOLD Leed certified building offering Frette sheets, turndown service, and complimentary access to the New Mexico Sports and Wellness Center. Oh, and your pooch is welcome too (it's pet friendly).
When to go: While any weekend in Albuquerque will be fun, the city hosts a few noteworthy event throughout the year including September’s Viva New Mexico Chile Festival, the world’s largest International Balloon Fiesta in early October, and the National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show in late February.
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock