Albuquerque In the Fall Offers Natural Delights
Albuquerque in the fall is a great place to visit. It is a city of natural contrasts and delights. You can travel in any direction and find mountains, deserts or city entertainment. The red earth of New Mexico creates stunning scenery and the characteristic buildings of Santa Fe. The magic of almost 600 hot air balloons at the Balloon Fiesta add fun and colour to this great fall getaway.
The city of Albuquerque offers up small town charm. You can leave the city in one direction and find mountains with stunning vistas. If you visit in the winter, you can even ski in the mountains.
Travelling along the Turquoise Trail, you will wind your way through small towns. There is art and artistry at every stop.
As you drive along, the vibrant red earth surrounds you.
If the city or mountains don’t catch your attention, you will find large stretches of desert around Albuquerque.
It is truly a place to visit for natural delights.
Balloon Fiesta Is A Bucket List Item
While Albuquerque in the fall is a great draw, most people plan their visit to coincide with the annual Balloon Fiesta. There is no greater sight than almost 600 hot air balloons all at once.
You can see the balloons fill the air from almost any spot in Albuquerque.
But for the best views, get tickets to see the hot air balloons up close. You can get general admission tickets that lets you wander around the field. Tickets give you either a morning sunrise view or an evening sunset and after dark experience. If you travel to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, treat yourself to both spectacles!
The evening performances are topped off with a stunning fireworks show.
Hot Air Balloons Of All Shapes and Sizes
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is a colourful and fun event for kids of all ages. There is a wide array of standard round balloons in all colours. If you want to splurge for a hot air balloon ride, you go up in one of the round balloons. You will get both a good view of the other hot air balloons but also a panoramic view of the area around Albuquerque.
Our favourite treat was the special shaped balloons. There is a special shape for everyone! There are annual crowd favourites like the family of bees. Some of the shapes are huge and complicated, making you wonder how they actually get off the ground. The shapes are colourful and fun. And when they light up at night, it adds a special character to the Night Glow show.
Each year there are new shapes. It is always a treat, even if you visit more than once.
Up Close and Personal
Probably the thing that surprised us most was how close you can get to the balloons. Wandering around the balloon-filled field, they will fill up and rise right over you. There seemed to be a controlled chaos on the ground that would clear to give the balloons space when they needed it.
It was exciting to walk amongst the balloons in the day but it was exhilarating to see the flames light up the sky as the balloons filled at night.
There are multi-day passes and tickets that give you access to the Gondola Club seats. This area offers seating, food and drink if you are settling in for hours of balloon viewing. You can easily leave the area to wander the grounds if you want to be closer to the balloons.
Santa Fe Day Trip
Even if you come to Albuquerque in the fall for the Balloon Fiesta, make sure to save some time to explore the area. Santa Fe is an easy day trip from Albuquerque. You can take the scenic Turquoise Trail one way and the highway back.
Santa Fe is an artist’s haven. You will find colourful and artistic displays in the outdoor art or in the many art galleries and jewelry stores.
The town buildings show off the red earth adobe buildings that the town is known for.
Take the time to visit a few of the churches and museums to get a glimpse of the history of the region. On our short trip, we were able to spend some time admiring the Loretto Chapel and the famous circular stairway.
Plan To Visit Albuquerque in the Fall
Albuquerque in the fall is a great place to visit with natural wonders in all directions. There are many interesting day trips. If you are a kid at heart, a lover of hot air balloons or just want to see an amazing sight, open up your bucket list and start writing. We had the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta on our wish list for a long time. It exceeded our expectations. While the pictures may look stunning, they can’t really convey the wonder of being in the midst of this excitement. Take a look at our tips for planning this great fall getaway!
Have you visited Albuquerque in the fall? Did you visit when the Balloon Fiesta was on? Was it so much better in person?