In addition to being the new home of the most prestigious police
shooting championship in the world, Albuquerque offers almost
limitless activities for visitors to the "Land of Enchantment."
As you might expect, there are numerous outdoor recreational
opportunities in or near the area -- golf, hiking, camping,
mountain biking, fishing and hunting. What you might not expect are
ancient Indian historical sites, several museums, including one
devoted race to cars; a hot air balloon festival; concerts; special
events; theatre; shopping and restaurants; and a slew of children's
activities. A better place for family vacation would be hard to
Megan Mayo of the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau
said, "October is a gorgeous time to be in Albuquerque. The weather
is usually very, very mild -- warm afternoons with lots of sunshine
and cool evenings.
"Albuquerque is a great place for outdoor recreation," Mayo
added. "We have everything from mountain biking and hiking to road
bike trails throughout the city, and we have the Sandia Mountains
on the eastern border of the city." For those interested in indoor
recreation, "Nob Hill has several pubs and bars," Mayo said. "It's
a little more of a trendy, eclectic area. The other area for dining
and nightlife is the Old Town area. Old Town is where the city was
founded, so it's a little more of a historic area. A lot of great
shopping and galleries. Great New Mexico food."
A few of Albuquerque's many highlights include:
- Stocked rainbows and wild brown trout can be found in many of
the small rivers in the Jemez Mountains, just northwest of
Albuquerque. Try the Rio San Antonio, the Rio Cebolla, or the Rio
Guadalupe. For regulations and license information, contact the New Mexico
Game and Fish Department.
- New Mexico was inhabited by some of the earliest North
American residents. They left thousands of examples of rock art in
what is now Petroglyph National Monument, minutes outside the
city. More exhibits and information on historic peoples can be
found at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, at 2401 12th
- Did you know New Mexico had a seacoast? Okay, it was 75 million
years ago when inland seas covered most of the state. But at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science,
you can see fossils of marine life of the period, plus numerous
exhibits of dinosaur skeletons that will give you a more personal
version of "Jurassic Park." The museum is located at 1801 Mountain
Rd. NW in Albuquerque.
- You may see hundreds of hot air balloons taking part in the Albuquerque
International Balloon Fiesta. This is the "largest ballooning
event on earth," according to the fiesta's website, with up to 900
balloons taking off from Balloon Fiesta Park's 78-acre launch
field. Your kids will love it, and so will you.
- The Go!
Downtown Arts Festival showcases the finest from emerging and
established artists in a variety of media. The festivities include
food from many local dining spots and live music from local
- The Unser Racing Museum showcases the famous
automotive racing family, with several exhibits of race cars. One
Unser link to law enforcement: In the early 1900s, the Colorado
City Police hired two Unser brothers to teach them how to ride
- Especially for the kids: The Santa
Fe Children's Museum is devoted to "discovering the joys of
learning, play and community." If you never really thought that
education can be fun, you need to visit this place.
We have not mentioned hunting opportunities, since the extra
time and gear needed to compete in a national shooting championship
and take a hunting trip might be a bit daunting. But if you've
dreamed of elk, antelope or mule deer, New Mexico is very
well-known for all three. Opportunities for other big game and
western game birds are plentiful as well, and there are many local
guides and outfitters. Contact New Mexico
Game and Fish for more information.