Finding Peace in Albuquerque

Just a few days exploring the beauty of New Mexico.


Finding Peace in Albuquerque

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by onesundaymorning on August 7, 2006

Albuquerque has a beauty all of its own. What struck me the most was how the city seemed to be balanced with nature. All of the highways were painted a pinkish color with sky blue strips. In the backdrop of the city is beautiful mountain scenery.${QuickSuggestions} Old Town shouldn’t be missed, the architecture is amazing and anyone can have an enjoyable time. Often there are bands playing in alcoves as well as unexpected sights. For example, in one store I stumbled upon the manager's collection of lizards and other reptiles that were set up for tourists to look at. However, these shops are expensive. Some sell interesting art, but are overpriced as far as the quality is concerned.
The Rio Grande Park is also a must see. Although the park is small, it is full of hidden gems, especially if you are from a region completely different to that of New Mexico. My favorite part was spotting roadrunners darting about. One even had a lizard hanging out of his mouth. There is a beautiful view of the lake where turtles swim and hummingbird feeders hang out it. There are several trails that run through the park for both hikers and bikers. Along the hiking trails there are some wonderful views of pueblos on the opposite side of the river.
${BestWay} Although everything is centrally located a car is by far the best way to get around. I’m not sure how extensive there bus system is or if it even exists, but on the hot, southern days air conditioning is a must. Most sites are situated with the same vicinity, but just far enough apart that it isn’t realistically walkable.
The best starting point is Old Town. Located near by are several museums including the Turquoise Museum, American International Rattlesnake Museum, and the Albuquerque Botanical Park. Also within walking distance of one another (they are right across the street) is the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, National Atomic Museum, and Explora Science Center.

Motel 6

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by onesundaymorning on July 3, 2007

Off of I-40 is Motel 6. I’ve stayed in several of these motels on my trip across the country, but this one was by far the cleanest one and safest (or so I felt) of all of the hotels I been to so far. Although the motel is just off of the interstate none of the rooms are actually close enough to the highway to hear the passing cars. The main lobby/reception area is by the road. Here you can find brochures on everything that can be found not only in Albuquerque, but Taos, Santa Fe, and the surrounding area as day trips.

In front of the motel is the pool. It was one of the larger ones that I have seen at a Motel 6. The water was extremely blue; so I knew that it was well keep. There are a few chairs to sit at along the pool, but with the hot New Mexican sun shinning the chairs of little concern.

The rooms were a little small. There were two beds in my room one bed was pushed up against the air-conditioner leaving a path between the two beds. The rooms are equipped with the basic: two beds, a dresser, mirror, TV, and bed stand. The rooms were extremely clean and the staff was wonderful. The room itself was around $50 a night.

Motel 6
1701 Univeristy Boulevard Northeast
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102
(505) 843-9228

Rio Grande Nature Center

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by onesundaymorning on August 7, 2006

The Rio Grande Nature Park is a wonderful place to get away for a day and enjoy some peace and quiet. If you are driving into the park the fee is $3.00. There is a sign when you arrive in the park where you pick up the parking permit and drop off the money. Place the permit in the window of your car and you are ready to explore.

There are two trails in the park. One is eight miles and parallels the river and the other is 3 miles and goes through wooded area and briefly by the water. I highly suggest bringing water because it is very easy to dehydrate. The trails are pretty well marked, so it is rather hard to get lost. There are lizards everywhere. I keep freaking out because I would hear loud noises; thinking that they were large animals I would get scared, but it was always a lizard running away in fear from me. If you aren’t up to hiking there are bike paths built along the river especially for bikers.

In another area of the park there is a garden area that showed various plants and flowers that grew in the area. There is also a visitor’s center with a small gift shop and classrooms for children. The best part was a room that overlooked the lake. There was a beautiful view of the mountains in the back. I sat in the room and watched several turtles climb up on a fallen tree in the water. There was also a hummingbird feeder that attracted the smallest hummingbirds that I have ever seen.
I also enjoyed seeing the roadrunners, since I never seen one before. There are several birds that can be seen throughout the park, and can be identified by one of the bird identification that are located within the park
Rio Grande Nature Center
2901 Candelaria Road Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87107
(505) 344-7240

Old Town

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by onesundaymorning on August 7, 2006

Old Town is what I would consider a themed shopping area. It is made to look like pueblos. It is a very touristy area of town, with a lot of over priced shopping. It’s fun to walk around and look at the shops in the area and is worth to stop, because you never know what you will find. At one shop there was several caged lizards and turtles for the shoppers to look at.
Parking is very hard to find, and even more confusing on how to pay for. There are boxes where you need to slide money in… Needless to say I don’t understand it and it is better to ask someone who looks like they know what they are doing.
There are several museums in the area. If you go to the art museum your parking is included with the entrance fee. The museum isn’t bad, but if you are looking for something like the MET or the MOCA this isn’t it. They had an extensive exhibit on the history of New Mexico that is very interesting if you are a history buff. While I was there they were showing local high school student work and various paintings. The best exhibit was on loan from the museum in New Orleans. It exhibited some amazing sculptures and masks from Africa
Old Town
303 Romero Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87104
(505) 243-3215

Albuquerque Museum of Art & History

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by onesundaymorning on July 2, 2007

I was surprised to find such a comprehensive museum in such a small city. Although the museum didn’t boast large named artists in their collection that you would find at the MET or the Museum of Modern Art, they focused more on the history of their city and state. Entrance to the museum was rather inexpensive, around $5, which included parking.

The museum has the largest collection of Spanish colonial artifacts in the US. There most interesting collection, which set this museum apart from others, tells four hundred years of Albuquerque history. The exhibit includes maps, religious artifacts, armor and weapons, woven fabrics, and day-to-day utensils that people used in colonial life. The exhibit is set up to tell the story of New Mexico and how it evolved into the state that we know today. There is also a section devoted to art in New Mexico from the late 1900s to today.

Being such a map freak this was by far my favorite part of the exhibits. They possess maps dating back to the 15 century. Each map shows how not only New Mexico evolved, but how the shape of the US changed as well. The most interesting map, in my opinion, was the one that portrayed California as an island.

On grounds is also a sculpture garden that boasts around 40 pieces of work. The most elaborate being the sculpture outside features life sized figures of buffalo pulling a wagon, cowboys wrangling their cattle, colonial women and children walking and Spanish explorers. This sculpture alone is worth a stroll past the museum.
Besides the permanent collection there are several rotating exhibits. While I was there they had photography from the local high schools on display and entire African collection on loan from a museum in New Orleans, until they could rebuild.

The museum also offers several performances throughout the month. For more information check out their website to www.albuquerquemuseum.com.

Albuquerque Museum of Art & History
2000 Mountain Road NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87104
(800) 659-8331

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