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New Mexico



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. 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.

When To Go

Albuquerque experiences a temperate climate and four seasons filled with events and outdoor activities. The most popular time is summer, when families take vacations and the weather is warm. The fall sees mild temperatures, colorful Cottonwood leaves along the Rio Grande, and the chile pepper harvest. During October, visitors flock to witness the balloon festival, where more than 600 hot air balloons ascend at once. The spring brings cooler temperatures and is a good time for golf and other activities. Even though the winter is considered the off season, due to cooler weather and low visitation, it is still possible to ski in the nearby mountains and golf in the same vacation.

high season: May to October
low season: January to April
shoulder season: November to December

Weather Information

Albuquerque experiences four mild seasons. Summer days can be quite warm, with highs in the 80s to 90s, while temperatures in the evenings drop into the 50s and 60s. Fall can begin late, with summer temperatures lasting well into September. Winter brings temperatures in the 40s and some snow (mostly in the Sandia Mountain range). Spring sees warmer weather and blooming flowers, with temperatures averaging a high of 71 degrees in April.

Crowd Information

During the first 15 days of October, the city is filled with visitors celebrating the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. If it's been a good year for snow, Sandia Peak can also get fairly busy during the ski season in late December through March.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open year-round, but the Sandia Peak Tramway closes for a week in both spring and fall for maintenance.

When to Save

Albuquerque is an affordable destination year-round, but hotel prices rise during the first 15 days of October for the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

When to Book

Visitors with flexible travel plans can take advantage of low last-minute airfares. However, those with a set schedule should book flights at least three weeks in advance to obtain lower prices and ensure availability, especially for travel during the high season. Last-minute lodging is available, but it's a good idea to book at least one month in advance. Book at least three months in advance for visitation during the high season or popular events to ensure availability.

Information provided by the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau