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Albuquerque Travel Tips

I just returned from a weekend trip to Albuquerque – It was 35F when we landed, and coming from warm Arizona, this was quite a shock to the system!

albuquerque weather

We stayed at the Hotel Andaluz, which is centrally located in the downtown area. This boutique hotel is a hidden gem!

Hotel Andulez

The main lobby area also doubles as a plush lounge with live music. Along the sides of the lobby lounge, there are moroccan style cabanas that made me feel like I was in Morocco!
The chairs are all comfy with large cushions – the type of place that is great to curl up with a cocktail on a cold day. Which worked out well for us because it was cold that weekend!

Albuquerque things to do

We only had one day to explore, so we decided on the Sandia Tramway, which is one of the longest in the world! The tram is an easy 20 minute drive from downtown Albuquerque, and already the short drive took us into snow country!

Sandia Tram

We rode the tram up to the top of Sandia Peak, which is 10, 378 feet high… the tram ride was really interesting, with our tram operator telling us interesting facts about all of the wildlife on the mountain. At one point he showed trees that looked to be about 1 foot tall, like miniature toy trees. When he said that the trees below us were actually over 100 feet tall, that put into perspective just how high up in the air we were!

Sandia

Near the top of the mountain it got so foggy and cold that we could barely see anything…

Sandia Fog

Sandia Mountain

Once we reached the top of the mountain after a 15 minute ride, the temperature at the top with wind chill was -15F!

New Mexico
Even though I’m from Canada, it’s been about 5 years since I’ve lived in the cold – the short burst of cold was refreshing but I was glad to admire the snow mostly from the inside of the observation deck.

The tram ride down the mountain was just as picturesque, with sweeping views of the valley and great up close views of the rugged rocks.

Sandia 2

Overall this was a really fun and invigorating experience, I can’t wait to go back in the summer and hike up the mountain!

Albuquerque Restaurants

One thing that New Mexico is known for, is green chilis, and I had a fun time trying some different places to eat. One of my all time favorite things to do on a trip is to try the local food.

Rancher’s Club
We were excited to try one of the most esteemed steakhouses in New Mexico – when we arrived I liked the lounge atmosphere, it was cozy and reminded me of some of the steakhouses back in Calgary. There were even saddle seats to solidify the western ambiance!

Ranchers Club

The food was delicious – the table side caesar salad was made from scratch and one of the best recipes that I’ve had (the all time top caesar salad I’ve tried was at BOA in LA). I had king crab legs and mashed potatoes with grilled veggies – one of my favorite meals to eat in a steakhouse – delish!! Unfortunately my boyfriend’s steak was ‘terrible’, although I don’t eat steak, it was disappointing that a place known for it’s steak, didn’t deliver in that aspect.

Garduno’s
This cute Mexican restaurant is located in the Old Town area. We sat at the bar, which was made of copper. The details in the restaurant were very authentic, the bartender even said that the margarita glasses were hand made. I tried a cucumber margarita and it was amazing – the bartender used all fresh ingredients, right down to fresh squeezing the lime. The bar had one of the largest selections of tequila I’ve ever seen. I think I need to take a tequila tasting class at some point to learn a little more about all of the varieties!

Tequila

The food was great – I had a diablo spiced shrimp salad, which was great. Everything in the restaurant seemed to be done with care, and I would definitely go back there again!

The trip to Albuquerque was short but sweet. Very friendly people, but I really don’t like the cold so next time I’ll visit in the summer 🙂

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