This bustling crossroads has an understated charm, one based more on its locals than on any kind of urban sparkle. In New Mexico's largest city, folks are more than happy to share history, highlights and must-try restaurants – making this much more than just the dot on the Route 66 map where Bugs Bunny should have turned left.
Centuries-old adobes line the lively Old Town area, and the shops, restaurants and bars in the hip Nob Hill zone are all within easy walking distance of each other. Good hiking is abundant just outside of town, through evergreen forests or among panels of ancient petroglyphs, while the city's modern museums explore space and nuclear energy. There's a vibrant mix of university students, Native Americans, Hispanics and gays and lesbians. You'll find square dances and yoga classes flyered with equal enthusiasm, and see ranch hands and real-estate brokers chowing down beside each other at hole-in-the-wall taquerías (Mexican fast-food restaurants) and retro cafes.
Best places to stay in Albuquerque
A do-it-yourself Breaking Bad tour of Albuquerque
It's over and done. We know Walter White's fate. The thrill of Heisenberg's transformation will grace our screens no longer. Over its six aired seasons, TV series Breaking Bad became a cult hit, drawing in millions of viewers from around the world.
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Albuquerque destination guides
Set-jetting: top 10 movie and TV destinations for travellers
Rather than dreaming about the sometimes stunning, often gritty destinations in your favourite flick, why not get off the sofa and experience it yourself? Set–jetting, visiting the places where movies and TV shows are shot, is easier than ever thanks to dedicated tours and heaps of rabid fans willing to point you in the right d.
Albuquerque Balloon Ride
See Albuquerque in one of the most unique and exciting ways possible -- on a hot air balloon ride! This once-in-a-lifetime adventure takes you to the skies during sunrise on a 1-hour balloon ride over the Rio Grande Valley, El Bosque forest, the city of Albuquerque, the Sandia Mountains and the surrounding high desert.
Route 66: Motoring the mother road
This itinerary from Lonely Planet's USA's Best Trips, written by local expert authors Amy Balfour, Alison Bing, Jennifer Denniston, Lisa Dunford and Karla Zimmerman, takes you to some of the very best spots on the ultimate Americana road trip: Route 66 from Chicago to LA.