Old Town- The Heart and Soul of Albuquerque
Old Town Albuquerque is a melting pot of rich history and Native American culture dating back many centuries. The Ancient Puebloan Indians where the first settlers in these lands that extended throughout what we know today as The Four Corners regions. Pueblo Indians constructed impressive dwellings and many ancient tribes lived along the Colorado and Rio Grande River. Ancient Puebloan’s built structures called pueblos. You can still visit some of these ancient multi-house dwellings today. In addition, they also set up trading posts.
Spanish settlers also migrated to the area and lived amongst the Native Americans. They cultivated what is known as Old Town today. Historic Old Town and Old Town Plaza is the heart and soul of Albuquerque. Located across the Old Town Plaza is San Felipe de Neri Church. San Felipe de Neri church is adobe-style in architecture and is the oldest church in ABQ.
The Pueblo-Spanish inspired architecture can be seen all through Albuquerque characterized by the numerous adobe style, stucco, low flat-top dwellings. Albuquerque is rich in heritage and it is truly evident when you engross yourself in the civilization and history before you.
Albuquerque is home to 22 tribes and 19 pueblos. If you are interested in learning more about the history of these tribes you can visit some cliff dwellings, pit houses and pueblos. Please remember, when you visit a Native American reservation you are a visitor at their home. Also, you are now on tribal land and subjected to tribal laws.
In Old Town Plaza there are many artisans from various local tribes hand-making pottery, dream-catchers and authentic turquoise and sterling silver jewelry. I fell in love with everything here.
Note: There are actually many trading posts throughout New Mexico so I definitely recommend you visit one during your trip. You will find the most unique items for yourself and special and beautiful gifts for your loved ones. Also, you’ll be helping support many Native American tribes to continue to hone their crafts and share their culture with the world.
Nob Hill- This is the art district of Albuquerque. Nob Hill is located on Central Ave by the University of New Mexico. When you walk this stretch you are actually walking down the Historic Route 66! They have some amazing street art on display here for you to appreciate and immerse yourself in.
Route 66- Get your kicks on Route 66! I loved all of the old vintage and retro motels and gas stations. There is something so special, so surreal, about being deadlocked and centered in such an iconic piece of American history. You can really appreciate days past when you are looking at what was and what is side by side.
Breaking Bad Experience- If you’re a die-hard fan of the hit T.V. show Breaking Bad you can catch a tour of many popular locations featured on the show including Walt and Jesses houses and Los Pollos Hermano. I did not do the tour but I loved visiting The Candy Lady candy store and meeting The Candy Lady herself.
The Candy Lady- This candy shop is all things Breaking Bad. Many Breaking Bad fans come here to get some iconic “blue” candy and see the candy lady. She supplied all of the candy for the first few seasons of the show. We even got to go in the back room and see the setup for the blue candy and take wild photographs with Walt and Jesse life-size cardboard cutouts. We even had the apron, hat and glasses to give you the total Heisenberg experience. The total Breaking Bad experience is tons of fun.
Spaceship House- This is one of those Atlas Obscura finds that you’d never know about unless you did some digging. The Spaceship house was so eccentric you’d have to see it to believe it. The Spaceship house looks entirely like a UFO from an old sci-fi film.
Petroglyph National Monument- Sacred Native American landscapes and ancient petroglyphs and volcano rock. Boca Negra Canyon has a great hike and trail where you can see numerous petroglyphs in their natural state that have been preserved for centuries. Petroglyph National Monument has three canyons for you to explore. The hike is fairly easy and is not time consuming. It’s well worth the visit.
ABQ BioPark- The Albuquerque biopark is pure enchantment. The fantasy gardens will really bring your imagination to life. They have the most beautiful fantasy gardens complete with unicorns and butterflies sculptures. They have this huge pumpkin dome house you can go inside and these adorable red mushrooms lining up the path. The Albuquerque BioPark has a lovely pond centered in the park and gazebo with colorful lights strung about. They have so many sculptures and the most gorgeous iron and metal work of enchanting dinosaurs and radioactive bugs. The foliage colors are just divine! I seen the richest colors of oranges, reds and yellows all throughout the park and gardens. After exploring the enchanting biopark we checked out the aquarium. At the aquarium you will see multitudes of beautifully colored fish, jelly fish, sting rays and sharks.
The Land of Enchantment
Albuquerque is amazingly beautiful and soulful with its rich history and culture. The desert views and mountain regions are tremendous.
And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!
With All my Love,
The Vintage Gypsy
“What you seek is seeking you.”- Rumi