I ended Day 3 of my cross-country roadtrip in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you’ve been following along on my drive, you know I only planned to give myself a few hours in each city as I passed through. Since the drive from Amarillo was only about 4.5 hours, I ended up with more time than expected in Albuquerque which was a wonderful change from my previous breif stops! The late afternoon of Day 3 and morning of Day 4 allowed me ample time to explore Albuquerque.
Albuquerque has been on my bucket list for years mostly due to the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which I still hope to visit someday. Even though I wasn’t in the city at the right time to visit the festival I still wanted to learn about hot air balloon travel and Albuquerque’s involvement so my first stop was at the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. This was a great stop to learn about the history of air travel and stretch my legs. Along with learning about the history of hot air balloons, like that the first flight took place in 1783, the museum also had exhibitions about how balloons fly, their use in different wars, and details about flights taken across oceans and around the world. It was all really interesting and a fun way to experience ballooning in Albuquerque outside of the festival.
After the Hot Air Balloon Museum and hours of sitting in a car, I wasn’t in the mood to focus on another museum. I decided this was a great opportunity to head into Old Town Albuquerque to wander around the area and find something to eat. This area was so cute! The area is filled with adobe, Spanish style buildings and houses, with a shopping center and park with cute gazebo in the middle. I spent some time wandering through the shops, looking at local artwork and admiring the adobe. From here, I found a local New Mexican restaurant since I needed to try New Mexican cuisine. Those New Mexican chile peppers are spicy, but delicious!
The next morning, I had time for one more stop before I had to get back on the road. I woke up feeling rested and refreshed, and was ready for one more museum. I choose the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History for my last stop. This museum had some great exhibits around nuclear science, US involvement in past wars, international nuclear history, and had an outside section with planes and missles on display.
And with that, I hopped back in my car and got back on the road. Next stop – Phoenix!