Discovering Albuquerque

Whether you have an interest in ancient things or more modern, chances are that the largest city in New Mexico will not disappoint you. Albuquerque has many activities to make any visitor enjoy a memorable vacation. The city is larger than the state’s capital of Santa Fe and New Mexico is the fourth largest state in America.

A few centuries ago Albuquerque was a Spanish military outpost. It was also an area that was heavily farmed. The city itself was established in 1706. As you are researching things to do in the area, you will be seeing just how diverse Albuquerque is.

Of the countless fun things to do in and around the city, here are ten winners that you may want to check out while you are in the area.

1. Participate in some water sports on the invigorating Rio Grande River or just spend some time on her banks. Rent a canoe or travel a short distance from the city for some great whitewater rafting. The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is a good place to start for these kinds of activities.

2. If your schedule concerning when to visit Albuquerque is flexible, think about making your trip in the fall, and October to be more precise. Why? Because this is when the very large Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place! It is the largest of its kind (hot air balloons!) and will be held between October 6th and 15th in 2006. There are many special events surrounding the Fiesta including “Balloon Glow” (r) at dusk where the hundreds of released balloons will provide a very memorable evening.

3. Be sure to check out the diversity of the downtown area. You will see the modern high rise office buildings, of course, but you just may see some adobe houses very close to the modern city. If you are very lucky you may be able to see some Native Americans selling their wares from those adobe structures.

4. The National Park Service-maintained Petroglyph National Monument really needs to be visited because words can’t do it justice. The area covers 7,000 acres and houses volcanic cones but even more fascinating is the 25,000 carvings found here. Most of the artwork was done by people of the native cultures in this part of the world very long ago. Don’t forget to have plenty of camera film or batteries for your videocam if you are stopping by this National Park Service area.

5. If you are traveling with children or just enjoy a good amusement park yourself, try Cliff’s Amusement Park and some of the thrill rides they offer.

6. Whatever else you plan to do in Albuquerque, try to take the tram that runs to the top of the Sandia Mountains. It is the largest tram of its kind in the world. The options of what to do when you reach the top include some fabulous skiing on more than two dozen trails, the panoramic views that will be completely breathtaking, and summer activities when skiing isn’t in season. Plan a dinner at High Finance Restaurant while you are on the mountain. From this elevation of two and a half miles, the views are spectacular and so is the food. A colorful sunset, the lights of Albuquerque far below, and a meal of steak, seafood, or prime rib will all blend to show you the best that this area has to offer.

7. If you enjoy shopping, try the restored area called Old Town. This is where to find all the old Southwest items and souvenirs that you wish to buy. There are all kinds of shops, art galleries, cafes, and full restaurants in Old Town as well.

8. Learn about the history of this region at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center that is maintained by the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico. If that isn’t enough history or learning for you, there are numerous excellent museums from science themed to art museums and everything in between.

9. If you want to do some gambling, there are many casinos and gaming complexes in and around the city. Find out which casino best suits what it is you want to do there and you will surely find a perfect match.

10. Get your fill of nature by visiting the Rio Grande Zoo, Rio Grande Botanical Garden, Albuquerque Biological Park, or the Aquatic Park (Tingley Beach).

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