Take to the Skies in Albuquerque

Posted September 23, 2009 by Kate Hamman


Albuquerque may be a Mecca for hot air ballooning, especially during its Balloon Fiesta in October, but you don't have to spend a fortune to touch the skies. And, if you prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, you can discover the essence of the city hidden in a cookie or within adobe walls.

Sandia Peak Tramway: Hop aboard the world's longest aerial tramway, and watch the buildings below turn into Legos as you climb 4,000 feet up the western face of the Sandia Mountains. During the fairly smooth 15-minute ride, you'll enjoy sweeping views of the Cibola National Forest and may even spot wildlife such as black bears and mule deer. After 2.7 miles, the car stops and you're welcome to take in the sights from the observation deck or grab a bite to eat at High Finance Restaurant and Tavern. Tickets cost $17.50.

Adobe Nido: Once you've finished exploring great heights, you can catch your breath at Adobe Nido—Nido means "nest" in Spanish. During your stay, you can commune with the finches in the aviary, sit in the outdoor sauna, listen to the waterfall outside your room, or inhale soothing aromatherapy scents. This Southwestern B&B invites you to curl up like a baby bird within its cozy comforters. Rates start at $119 per night, and include a healthy breakfast.

Golden Crown Panaderia: Baking New Mexico's state cookie, the anise-and cinnamon-flavored biscochitos, for more than 30 years, the Golden Crown is a must stop for local flavor. The Green Chile bread is also a popular treat among locals. In addition to baked goods, the bakery also shows its artistic side with sculpted loaves such as the popular Roasted Turkey. And the bakery now makes pizzas starting at $3.99 for a personal cheese and sandwiches starting at $5.95.

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(Photo: Jay Blackwood)

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