Made famous by Breaking Bad, New Mexico’s largest city makes for a quirky weekend trip. I found my trip here to be relaxing and inspired by the elements. From Native American influences to a Main Street that’s part of Route 66, the city offers a variety of architecture, cuisine, and culture. Here’s how to do a weekend in Albuquerque and get a glimpse of it all.
The Hotel: Los Poblanos Ranch & Inn
As you make the turn down the tree-lined road to Los Poblanos Ranch & Inn, you’re instantly hit with the smell of lavender and enchanted by this working farm from the ’30s. Accommodations range from rooms at the original inn to the newly built farmhouses that skirt the lavender fields and roaming llamas. The property has an outdoor pool, event space, an onsite restaurant called Campo, and a farm shop that sells goods made with in-house harvested lavender. Inside the shop is a cafe stand that sells unique drinks like iced lavender lattes. It’s hard to want to leave the property, but when you do, here’s a suggested itinerary for a weekend in Albuquerque.
Itinerary: How to Do a Weekend in Albuquerque
- Afternoon: Arrive and check into Los Poblanos. If you arrive early, take a ride on the Sandia Tram. Fun Fact: Sandia means “watermelon” in Spanish, and the mountain is named after the pink color it turns during sunrise and sunset.
- Night: Head to the Casa Rondeña Winery tasting room, which only a few minutes’ drive away. For dinner, go to El Pinto, which is known for its free-range “hen hotel.” It’s the only animal welfare-approved restaurant in the U.S. Try the world-class margaritas and homemade (and generously distributed) salsa.
- Morning: Rise early for a hot air balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders. Afterward, check out the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, located at Balloon Fiesta Park, where the city’s famous annual hot air balloon festival takes place.
- Afternoon: Orient yourself with the city on a bike tour with Routes Bicycle Tours. You can pick from several themes, like Breaking Bad, Bike & Brew, and more.
- Night: Eat at Farm & Table, where you literally can see the farm where the fresh ingredients in your food come from. Then head to downtown Albuquerque and see a show at the historic KiMo Theatre (and if no show is playing, you can take a tour).
- Morning: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, Campo. The avocado toast and lavender latte are to die for.
- Afternoon: Pick a day trip. I went to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Leave plenty of time to hike the trails and take photos in the slot canyon. If you have time, go to nearby Cochiti Lake for a swim or stand-up paddleboarding.
Restaurants & Cafes
- El Pinto, North Valley
- Kaktus Brewery Co., Bernalillo
- Casa Rondeña Winery, Los Ranchos
- Steel Bender Brewyard, Los Ranchos
- Golden Crown Panaderia, Old Town
- Campo, Los Ranchos
- Farm & Table, Alameda Valley
- Sawmill Market Food Hall, Sawmill District (coming in 2019)
- Jemez Village and Giggling Hot Springs
- Sky City Cultural Center
- Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway
- Tent Rocks National Monument
- Skip Maisel’s, Downtown
- Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, Balloon Fiesta Park
- Los Pueblos Cultural Center, near North Valley
- Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway
- KiMo, Downtown
- Rainbow Ryders
Highlights from my Weekend in ABQ:
More from SmarterTravel:
- How to Do a Weekend in Vancouver
- How to Do a Weekend in West Hollywood, California
- How to Do a Fall Weekend in Woodstock, Vermont