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Need recommendations for Albuquerque / Santa Fe trip in early May

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Mar 30th, 2012, 03:50 PM
  #1
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Need recommendations for Albuquerque / Santa Fe trip in early May

My hubby and I will be making our first-ever visit to New Mexico in May. We need ideas to do & see in the Albuquerque / Taos / Santa Fe area. We are interested in taking in the sights and learning about the culture of the area. We're not big museum-goers. We will fly into Albuquerque and have 2 days before needing to be in Santa Fe, and we will be renting a car. Are there any particular restaurants that are not overly expensive that folks might recommend? Any day hikes? National Parks? Even a referral to an excellent travel agent in the area would be appreciated. Thank you!
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Mar 30th, 2012, 03:55 PM
  #2
 
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Farina's for great salads, thin crust pizzas. No reservations.
The Grove for breakfast or lunch.

Tent Rocks (slot canyon) is an awesome day hike on the way to Sante Fe.
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Mar 30th, 2012, 04:28 PM
  #3
 
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Have you done any searches on here? There are many threads that would be helpful for you to get some ideas.
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...es/new-mexico/

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...tnms-picks.cfm

I am guessing you are coming from sea level. If that is correct, be sure you understand the difference in being active at sea level and at altitude.

This is a thread on it:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...h-altitude.cfm

You can also read online about how to prepare for it and also note that you need LOTS of water [3 times as much as you think you will need, seriously] to avoid dehydration here. Hats, sunscreen, chapstick, etc even in Spring.
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Mar 30th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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I highly recommend hiking in Bandelier park, an easy day trip from Santa Fe.
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Mar 30th, 2012, 05:38 PM
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We found Albuquerque to be much less interesting than
Santa Fe. Albuquerque's Old Town is a huge disappointment
in comparison to Santa Fe. However, we did enjoy the restaurant scene in the
Nob Hill neighborhood:
http://albuquerque.about.com/od/food...ll_Restaur.htm

We were fascinated by this mission south of Albuquerque: http://www.newmexico.org/explore/monuments/salinas.php

We aren't fans of most Mexican restaurants, but we had an
excellent Mexican lunch at the historic Shaffer Hotel in nearby
Mountainaire, NM. The dining room has some ingtriguing
Puebla Art Deco details: http://shafferhotel.com/

In Santa Fe we liked the menu and reasonable prices at the
San Francisco Bar & Grill (located upstairs).

We also liked the excellent walking tour of Old Santa Fe sponsored by The
New Mexico Historical Society. Check out this reasonably priced tour at The
Palace of the Governors.

The Taos Pueblo is extremely interesting, and there are some
lovely drives in the Taos area. In Taos, we also especially
enjoyed La Hacienda de los Martinez:
http://taosmuseums.org/view/hacienda-martinez

HTTY
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Mar 30th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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There are lots of things to see and do in ABQ alas, Old Town isn't one of them.

Too many people land at the airport and jump on the interstate to Santa Fe and miss some really wonderful things in ABQ to get an understanding about the culture and history here. Restaurants, music, hiking along the Bosque, a first class Zoo, a ride on the Tram to name just few.

http://cabq.gov/visiting

Some top things to do here to learn about the culture and history:

Acoma Pueblo
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
National Hispanic Cultural Center
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Mar 30th, 2012, 06:56 PM
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We really enjoyed the drive to Taos on the old/high? road - and stopping at the fabled Chimayo, where we picked up some sacred soil for my mother - who loved it. http://chimayo.us/
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Mar 31st, 2012, 04:26 AM
  #8
 
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Be aware tthaat there are differences between New Mexican food and Mexican food and Cal Mex food and Tex Mex food. I personally like New Mexican food the best, but I am happy to eat them all, and they are all available in the area at cheap to reasonable prices.

There used to be a place on the road into Taos Pueblo that served Tiwa food, the Indian variant on the local cuisine. I think it was called Tiwa Kitchen, but the only Tiwa Kitchen I can find on Google Maps is in the pueblo itself. Anyway, Tiwa food is definitely worthwhile -- milder than the hispanic variants but the same sort of meat-beans-corn vocabulary. We also had some, though not quite as good, in the cafe at the Acoma Visitors Center.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Forgot about museums - I have really enjoyed the Museum of Art and History and the Balloon Museum.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 09:11 AM
  #10
 
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There used to be a place on the road into Taos Pueblo that served Tiwa food,

Michael's Kitchen. Sadly, it is not as good as it used to be. Breakfast is ok but not great overall.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 08:25 AM
  #11
 
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Hello -
I will first start by saying that I'm with the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau to be upfront. I'm glad to hear that you'll be spending some time in our city before heading north. All three destinations have a lot to offer and discover. If you come into Albuquerque seeking to uncover some treasures, you will enjoy your time here. All of our attractions are not completely obvious. I agree with several of the previous suggestions, especially Acoma Pueblo, Petroglyph National Monument and Tent Rocks. I'd also recommend:

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center www.indianpueblo.org
They offer dances Thursday - Sunday mid-day during the summer months and provide a nice overview of pueblo cultures in New Mexico. Their restaurant is also quite tasty.

National Hispanic Cultural Center - www.nhccnm.org
Go on a Sunday if possible so you can see the amazing fresco painting inside of the Torreon at the entrance. They have regular performing arts events as well.

Turquoise Museum
This is a hidden gem that many people don't know about, especially on their first visit. It is on the NW corner of Rio Grande & Central Avenues. You may not have a particular interest in turquoise before you arrive in New Mexico, but if you plan to do any jewelry shopping, the museum staff will give you an excellent overview to understand what questions to ask so you know what you're looking at. It's a little quirky, but a great find. http://www.turquoisemuseum.com/

I personally enjoy strolling through Old Town. Prices are better than Santa Fe Plaza and there are some great little patios to explore with the typical New Mexican adobe architecture. A great stop is Andrews Pueblo Pottery. Church Street Cafe also has a gorgeous patio in the back and it's perfect for breakfast!

You mentioned hiking. As was mentioned, Tent Rocks & Bandelier are both great. Taking the tram up to Sandia Peak is also fun and there are several great hikes from there as well as starting at the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area. NM Jeep Tours and NM Enchanted Hikes both offer guided adventures if you're looking for an outfitter.

Hopefully this information is helpful. I could go on and on. Please check out www.ItsATrip.org for official visitor information on Albuquerque. You may also email [email protected] with specific questions. Enjoy your trip to New Mexico!

Megan
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 09:22 AM
  #12
 
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Santa Fe:

Tomasita's for lunch.

Flying Star Cafe near the Rail Runner station for dessert.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 10:55 AM
  #13
 
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ABQ:
Yes, do the tram ay Sandia Peak! There is fairly decent Mexican restaurant at the top for apps and a margarita, but do not recommend eating a meal there.

I love shopping and dining and stroling on Central Ave. (Rt. 66). Highly recommend Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro there. And Scalo there is very good for pasta, meat and seafood entrees, and wood fired pizza, lunch or dinner. Their "Wine and Dine" dinners on Wednesdays are a great deaal, as is their happy hour. Also love Artichoke Cafe (not on Rt. 66). Favorite shop on Central Ave. is Que Chula, really colorful and nice mexican import store.

ARe you going to be in ABQ on a Sunday? Because there is a classic car rally that drives up and down Rt. 66 behind the Hyatt hotel for about a mile. It is an amazing site, these cars are really something.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 03:42 PM
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SANTA FE:

Highly recommend La Casa Sena and their La Cantina, short walk off of the Plaza in a little courtyard of shops. The Cantina has a nice cabaret music show at dinner. Broadway tunes and popular tunes, lots of fun and food and wines are good. La Casa Sena also very good, and I like the little Wine Cellar Lounge and tapas they serve there. GREAT wines, list is phenomenal, fun just to browse it (Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 17 yrs in a row). They also have a wine store right there that is the best in Santa Fe IMO, we often get a bottle to take back to our hotel rm.

The above places are laid back and really good consistently every time we go (11 times in the last 4 yrs), high quality, creative food and good friendly service and awesome wines. A don't miss IMO.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 03:56 PM
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Are you flying out of ABQ? If so, we did this - on our last day before flying out, we left Santa Fe around 9 a.m., drove to Bandelier and hiked and saw the cave dwellings there, cont. up to Valle Caldera (lovely, wonderful country and scenery there, google it), and drove on to Jemez, stopped for awhile, then cont. to the red rocks Jemez mountain trails (well marked, parking and trails) and hiked there awhile. This route (all on the same rd. after you turn off to go to Bandelier) then takes you into ABQ via Bernalillo. GREAT DAY. Then we stayed overnight at ABQ airport hotel and flew out next a.m.

A waiter at Casa Sena told us about this route and it was fantastic.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 04:14 PM
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"Also love Artichoke Cafe (not on Rt. 66)" Actually, it is on 66/ Central, just further west than Zinc.

The stretch suggested for strolling is the Nob Hill section, just east of the university. There are parts of Central that I would not recommend strolling along.

Central Avenue is part of "historic" Route 66.

http://www.historic66.com/new-mexico/det-nm3.html
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 04:44 PM
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derbit, we can always count on your for corrections.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Clarifications are important for those that are not as familiar with the city.
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Apr 2nd, 2012, 08:26 PM
  #19
 
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Good catch, DebitNM - I missed that earlier.

Lee Ann
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May 10th, 2012, 03:04 PM
  #20
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Well, all I can say is, you people are wonderful to take your time to give me these recommendations. I'm so darn excited now! I'm presently on a layover in Los Angeles, waiting for our connecting flight to ABQ. I have taken copious notes, and will definitely benefit from your recommendations. I think we will do what "emd3' suggested, heading to ABQ a day before we fly out, hiking and sight-seeing along the way.
If you are wondering why I am only now getting around to replying to your posts, here's a hint: I'm a CPA who prepares tax returns. That's why I need this vacation! It sounds wonderful. Thanks again, everyone!
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