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Exploring Albuquerque

Explore New Mexico

New Mexico's Silver City

Lincoln and it's War

Santa Fe: The City Different

The Turquoise Trail: The Back Road to Santa Fe

Albuquerque, N.M., which will host FMCA's convention in March 2010, has no trouble attracting visitors. Museums, cultural centers and prehistoric rock art are but a few of its enticements.

This southwestern city also is inviting because of its mild weather. March temperatures range from a high of 61 degrees to a low of 33 degrees. And, visitors will appreciate the broad streets and ample motorhome parking in most parts of the city.

Here's a sampling of Albuquerque attractions. For more information about these and many more destinations, visit the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau Web site, www.itsatrip.org. Register for the convention here.

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Sandia Peak Ski & TramwaySandia Peak Ski & Tramway

The world's longest double reversible bi-cable aerial tramway carries passengers 2.7 miles up to the 10,378-foot Sandia peak.

From high above the canyons and breathtaking terrain, look for bear, mule deer and other wildlife on the slopes below.

At a restaurant at the summit, watch the sunset and Albuquerque city lights. A Mexican restaurant lies at the base of the tram.

Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway
www.sandiapeak.com


 Petroglyph National Monument

Approximately 25,000 ancient Indian rock carvings are etched into a volcanic basalt escarpment in northwest Albuquerque. Created between A.D. 1300 and 1540, the petroglyphs run for 17 miles along Albuquerque's West Mesa.

The carved figures and symbols include animals, people and crosses. The carvings and related archaeological sites comprise the 7,236-acre monument. Three walking trails wind through the petroglyphs.

Petroglyph National Monument
www.nps.gov/petr


Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The center is owned and operated by the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico. It's dedicated to the history and accomplishments of the Pueblo people. The main attraction is a 10,000-square-foot museum focusing on the history of traditional Pueblo culture.

The museum contains Pueblo artifacts and art. A smaller, changing exhibit spotlights the work of living traditional and contemporary artists. Sample American Indian cuisine at the museum restaurant, and find art and artifacts in the shops. Located on 12th Street, between downtown and Old Town.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
www.indianpueblo.org


San Felipe de Neri church in Old TownOld Town

The town of Albuquerque sprung up in the early 1700s, and the Old Town area was the centerpiece. Today Old Town is a historic village within a modern city.

Streets around the central plaza are lined with 300-year-old adobes. These structures now contain assorted artwork, jewelry and specialty shops, and boutiques and galleries. They showcase Spanish, Native American and Anglo heritages. Narrow brick paths and blankets spread on sidewalks to display wares create a Southwestern atmosphere.

The Old Town Information Center is located at Plaza Don Luis on Romero Northwest, across from the San Felipe de Neri church.

Old Town Merchants Association
www.albuquerqueoldtown.com/


Albuquerque Museum

Trace four centuries of Albuquerque history and Southwestern art. Tour the sculpture garden. The Museum offers a free handout -- a self-guided walking tour of Old Town -- on request. Museum admission is free. Located in Old Town, one block from Old Town plaza.

Albuquerque Museum
www.cabq.gov/museum


New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Dinosaurs, volcanoes, an Ice Age cavern and an Evolator time machine help to relate the natural history of New Mexico. Five permanent exhibits provide snapshots of what New Mexico was like from the formation of the universe to the present day. Located in Old Town.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
www.nmmnh-abq.mus.nm.us/nmmnh/nmmnh.html


The National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryThe National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Explore how nuclear science influences the world. View and photograph displays presenting the development of the Atomic Age, including replicas of the world's first two atomic weapons, Little Boy and Fat Man, which were built and used at the end of World War II.

Located in Old Town, this museum was originally known as the National Atomic Museum.

According to its Web site, the museum "strives to present, through permanent and changing exhibits and displays, the diverse applications of nuclear energy in the past, present and future along with the stories of the field’s pioneers."

National Musem of Nuclear Science and History
www.nuclearmuseum.org


Albuquerque Biological Park

This park, several blocks west of Old Town, includes the Rio Grande Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Zoo and the Rio Grande Aquarium. Combination ticket or separate admission tickets are available.

Garden: A huge conservatory contains plants from a desert climate and plants from a Mediterranean climate. Outdoors, fountains and flowers are arranged in theme gardens.

Rio Grande Botanic Garden
www.cabq.gov/biopark/garden

Zoo: exotic and native species thrive here. Showcases more than a thousand animals of every shape and size, including toucans, tortoises, koalas, bears and sea lions and vampire bats. The zoo also has an eel cave, a tidal pool and a shark tank with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Rio Grande Zoo
www.cabq.gov/biopark/zoo

Aquarium: View saltwater habitats of the Gulf of Mexico. Shore birds, pelicans, schooling fish, moray eels and a genuine Gulf shrimp boat are on display. An 185,000-gallon deep ocean tank features sharks and reef fish.

Albuquerque Aquarium
www.cabq.gov/biopark/aquarium


American International Rattlesnake Museum

One of the world's largest displays of rattlesnakes and snake-related art and memorabilia. Have your picture taken with a python.

American International Rattlesnake Museum
www.rattlesnakes.com


If you plan to linger in New Mexico following FMCA's convention, or intend to make another trip sometime, consider …

Gathering of Nations Pow Wow

Experience an intercultural traditions and crafts? Native American culture comes alive each April when more than 3,000 American Indian dancers and singers converge at the University of New Mexico Arena in Albuquerque.

The event includes the Miss Indian World Pageant, in which a young Native American Woman is crowned Miss Indian World, and the Indian Trader's Market, which features an exhibition of more than 800 artists, crafters and traders. The 2010 Pow Wow is scheduled April 22-24.

Gathering of Nations Pow Wow
www.gatheringofnations.com

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

If the sight of a single hot-air balloon drifting above your old neighborhood excited you, you'll love this event. Imagine hundreds of hot-air balloons in many colors and shapes floating in Albuquerque sky.

The Balloon Fiesta is held each October and attracts hot-air balloonists from around the world. Many FMCA members will be parked at Balloon Fiesta Park, site of the balloons launch, while attending the Albuquerque 2010 convention.

Balloon Fiesta
www.balloonfiesta.com

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