In 1972, 13 hot air balloons took flight from Albuquerque, New Mexico. What began as a bid for increased publicity around a local radio station’s 50th birthday quickly took on a life of its own, and today, the city hosts the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – also known as the largest hot air balloon convention in the world. If you find yourself in the deep Southwest in the early days of October, keep an eye out for one or more of the hundreds of hot air balloons that flew in to be a part of the convention.

The neat things to see and do in Albuquerque could fill a book, and they certainly aren’t limited to the month of October. In Old Town Albuquerque, a well-preserved historic district, visitors can view the site of the original Albuquerque, founded in 1706 by a Spanish politician turned colonial governor. A short distance from the Old Town is the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, where visitors are invited to take a “journey through time” – starting with the beginning of time itself.

History buffs, students of science, and anyone else fascinated by how history and science intersect will want to check out the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Los Alamos, New Mexico was the site of the then top secret Manhattan Project, which developed the world’s first nuclear weapons. Today, a museum dedicated to the exploration of the origins and consequences of the nuclear age is located in Albuquerque’s museum district. Here, visitors learn about the matter that makes up our universe – the atom – and the dawning of a new form of warfare. The museum includes displays on the Manhattan Project, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Cold War, among many others.


Worth Checking Out

  • Old Town Albuquerque
  • New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
  • Petroglyph National Monument
  • National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
  • Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta


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