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About Albuquerque

by SmarterTravel Staff
New Mexico-Albuquerque Downtown (Photo: iStockphoto/David Liu)

Located on historic Route 66, Albuquerque is more than a pit stop. Its uniquely Southwestern flavor blends Native American and Spanish history, great weather, outdoor sports, and a pinch of quirkiness seamlessly into a tasty trip.

The city of Albuquerque was founded in 1706, but its history dates back much further. Native Americans populated the Rio Grande Valley for millennias, and you can explore excavated Pueblo ruins at the Coronado State Monument. The Indian Pueblo Culture Center honors the history and present culture of the Pueblo people, and offers authentic dance and art demonstrations year-round.

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With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, it's no wonder that Albuquerque has been a popular place to settle. Indeed, the city is well-liked by golfers and cyclists. Snow sports are not out of the question, though—with the Sandia Mountains nearby, skiing during the winter months is a favorite pastime. And as the "hot air balloon capital of the world," it's easy for visitors to be carried away or to enjoy the colorful displays with both feet on the ground.

Because New Mexico's official state fruit is the chile pepper, you know the local fare is going to be interesting. New Mexican Cuisine is a savory blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican ingredients, and Albuquerque has it all. Visitors will enjoy sampling the chalupas, green chile stew, and panoche that residents love to nosh on. For those who want to relax, Nob Hill along Route 66 offers plenty of shopping, with trendy and quirky boutiques lit up by neon signs. Albuquerque casinos, located on nearby Pueblo lands, are also a hit.

Albuquerque International Sunport serves more than six million passengers each year, so finding flights to Albuquerque should be an easy task from most cities.

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