Lonely Planet review
These traditional agricultural areas near the Rio Grande are characterized by open spaces, small ranches, farms, and acequias (traditional irrigation ditches that also mark walking paths). Chickens and horses roam fields between historical adobe and wood-frame houses and newer developments. The 39-sq-mile South Valley is bordered by I-25, I-40 and the West Mesa and volcanic cliffs.
North Valley is more mixed and upscale, with a reputation as affluent, pastoral, quiet and determined to keep it that way. Although it's just 7 miles from downtown Albuquerque, it feels like a world away. This 100-sq-mile area is roughly bordered by I-40, I-25, the Rio Grande and the Bernalillo–Sandoval County line.