Albuquerque Journals

Albuquerque, Santa Fe's cosmopolitan neighbor

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A travel journal to Albuquerque by Peregrine

Downtown Albuquerque Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico More Photos
Quote: Less pretentious and touristy than Santa Fe, Albuquerque offers a down-to-earth beauty that is often overlooked.

Albuquerque, Santa Fe's cosmopolitan neighbor

Overview

Downtown Albuquerque Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
Albuquerque has the longest tram, the biggest hot air balloon fiesta and the best views. Spreading across the Rio Grande Valley, the town has grown into a high tech, cosmopolitan city. It has begun to rival Santa Fe for its art, restaurants, music and shopping, without the hords of tourists or the prices.

Quick Tips:

Come in the fall. The weather cools down, the foliage turns the city to gold and the International Balloon Fiesta fills the sky with hundreds and hundreds of balloons.

Best Way To Get Around:

Albuquerque is so spread out that you need a car to get around.

Charlie's Back Door

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Restaurant | "Charlie's Front and Back Door"

Quote:
If you want a taste of New Mexico, try Charlie’s. There’s Charlie’s Front Door (the restaurant) and Charlie’s Back Door (the bar, which also serves food). Both have been dishing out home cooked meals to Albuquerqueans for over 30 years. It’s a family run place (there really is a Charlie) and there is comfort in seeing the same faces year after year (both customers and waiters), not that new faces don’t appear regularly. The place has been spruced up a bit lately, but the atmosphere is still rustic, dimly lit and friendly. The Back Door is very dark with cozy wooden booths and the oddest collection of Scottish paraphernalia on the wall, including a portrait of Charlie in a kilt. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 21, 2000

Charlie's Back Door
8224 Menaul Blvd Northeast
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
(505) 294-3130

St. James Tea Room

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Restaurant

Quote:
Getting off the beaten path can be as simple as a break in routine, like Afternoon Tea in a city more known for enchiladas and cerveza. My introduction to the St. James Tea Room was via a gift certificate from a British friend. As a life-long Anglophile, this was just my cup of tea (sorry about the pun). It's a small place and very Victorian from the sofas to the rose patterned teapots and waitresses in long dresses. The furniture is arranged in conversation groups that offer a surprising amount of privacy. When the weather is nice you can also have tea by the fountains on the patio or in the little gazebo. Since it was August, we opted for air-conditioning and a cozy mahogany tab...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2000

St. James Tea Room
901 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
505.242.3752

Page 1 Cafe and Wine Bar

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Restaurant

Page 1 Cafe and Wine Bar Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
This is one of the best bookstores in the Southwest and it just happens to have great coffee, food and wine. A cluster of tables, coffee machines and racks of wine line a wall of windows that overlook the Sandias (and, unfortunately, the parking lot). They offer espresso, latte, cappuccino and the "coffee of the month" like this month's nut-flavored Zimbabwe blend. Food ranges from salads and sandwiches with literary names, to Death by Chocolate. Since we’re usually there for breakfast, our choice is invariably the Once Upon a Bagel – scrambled eggs, melted mozzarella and the New Mexican standby – green chile. The café is a local hangout. Writers peck away at laptops between sips o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2001

Page 1 Cafe and Wine Bar
Montgomery and Juan Tabo North East
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Le Cafe Miche

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Restaurant | "Cafe Miche"

Le Cafe Miche Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
It’s one of Albuquerque’s best French restaurants, though you wouldn’t know it from looking at it. It’s a small place in a nondescript strip mall east of the Uptown area, but the food is fabulous. It has tripled in size since I first went there many years ago. Inside, the décor is casually elegant in pale oak accented with dark green, mirrors, etched glass, and lace curtains set off by crisp white linens. Just the right venue for the suits that occupied most of the tables. Cozy, mirrored bar with an extensive wine list occupies what was the original restaurant. Food comes in edible sized portions, beautifully displayed. If you want quantity rather than quality, this isn’t your kind of plac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2001

Le Cafe Miche
1431 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87112
505.299.6088

Sandia Peak Ski Area

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Attraction | "Sandia Peak Tram"

Quote:
For nearly three miles, the Sandia Peak Tram hangs suspended over wilderness as it slowly glides above the rocky slopes of Sandia Mountain on its journey from high desert to mountain pines. Once at the top, the view of Albuquerque and the Rio Grande Valley 5000’ below is spectacular. Definitely wide open spaces and big sky. The last time we took visitors up the tram there was snow on the ground, but in spring the wildflowers cover the meadows. In the fall, New Mexico’s most glorious time, the aspens turn the mountainside gold. If you want to haul your mountain bike up the hill, there are trails for you, too, and, in winter, when there is enough snow, the ski runs start here. Hungry? Tr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 21, 2000

Sandia Peak Ski Area
#10 Tramway Loop Northeast
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122
+1 505 242 9133

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

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Story/Tip

Balloon Fiesta Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
Imagine the sky painted with hundreds and hundreds of hot air balloons. I suspect the sight has been responsible for its share of fender-benders as morning commuters are busy looking skyward. Even after 20 years, every fall I gawk as Balloon Fiesta shows its colors for a 9-day hot air party. This year’s dates are 7-15 October. Best way to catch the action, which begins about six in the morning, is to hop a shuttle to the Balloon Park. With a million plus spectators, the traffic is something you do not want to experience, trust me. By noon, when the weather has warmed and the winds pick up, the balloons are packed away until the next day. But for those few hours the Balloon Park is a ca...Read More