"Albuquerque" Albuquerque by goodfish
Albuquerque Travel Guide: 764 reviews and 1,591 photos
Albuquerque is one of those big cities, like Phoenix and Las Vegas, that we try like the devil to avoid on our trips to the Southwest. We have to fly into them but are usually there just long enough to snatch the luggage, race to the car rental office and scamper off to the nearest canyon, national park or favorite outpost as fast as speed limits allow. On a return trip to the northern New Mexico area in 2008, we saw that there were a few points of interest within spittin' distance from Albuquerque plus we were scheduled for an early morning flight out of there so, OK, we'll bite.
We were only here two days (3 nights) and split one of them between Acoma Pueblo and crawling around Petroglyph National Monument but we ate like puercos, drank like peces (gotta love New Mexican green chiles and margaritas), explored part of old Route 66, strolled Old Town, and hiked a bit of Sandia Crest in the time that remained. Sure, it was fun. Sure, I'd do it again.
Here's some trivia about Albuquerque:
• At around 840,00 residents, it's the largest city in New Mexico
• The town was established by a handful of Spanish settlers in 1706 - making it one of the oldest in the US
• It was christened for Viceroy Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva, Duke of Alburquerque (note the extra r). Albuquerque comes from the Latin "albus" and "quercus", meaning "white oak."
• The Navajo call it Bee'eldííldahsinil. Do not ask me to pronounce it; there is a reason why WWII Navajo Code Talkers were so successful. That very long word roughly translates to "large metal objects above" or "bell up in place", probably in reference to a long-lost mission bell tower.
• The average city altitude is higher than "Mile High" Denver's
• It's only 60 miles from my favorite U.S. capitol city of Santa Fe
• It averages 304 sunny days a year; reason enough to go!
- Pros:Not as expensive as many major cities, lots of day-tripping opportunities
- Cons:Noise and congestion of any big city
The Sandia Mountains tower over Albuquerque 2 miles above sea level and are skied, hiked, biked and/or driven by... more travel advice
See my Petroglyph National Monument pages for more info on this. The ancestors of some of today's pueblo tribes... more travel advice
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