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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Pedal Your Way Through Albuquerque

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5. Oddball Day

Hop aboard a tram to the top of Sandia Peak.  

Set aside your bike to explore Albuquerque's history and heights. Begin your day with a Native American–style breakfast of atole, blue corn porridge with dried fruit, ($6.99) at the Harvest Café, part of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Then tour the museum ($3–$6) to learn about some of Albuquerque's earliest residents via displays of ceramics, jewelry, and other handicrafts from each of the 19 Pueblo villages. Afterwards, set off for a ride of a different kind up Sandia Peak (so-called because the sunset hitting its half-moon-shaped slope colors it red like a watermelon, sandia in Spanish). Once the Sandia Peak Tramway ($12–$20) drops you at the top, wander and take in the two-mile-high views of the surrounding mountains and starkly flat valley below. Grab lunch at the cheekily named High Finance, a fine-dining restaurant in the evening but a casual lunch spot by day; try the green chile stew ($6–$8) or the Albuquerque Turkey sandwich ($10), made with green chile, pepper jack, and avocado. Back down the mountain, jaunt over to Albuquerque's Old Town, founded in 1706 and still populated by quaint flat-roofed adobe houses (now converted into shops and restaurants). Skip the kitschy souvenir stores, and instead poke into historic marvels like the San Felipe de Neri Church (the oldest building in the city, dating back to 1793), with its two spires and soaring white interior decorated with colorful religious artwork; or the pocket-size, arty Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Built in the 1970s as a place for students of a nearby art school to pray, it features several funky art installations, including a stained-glass lunar calendar. End the day with dinner at Sadie's of New Mexico, a local institution that celebrated its 60th birthday this year. Gorge on chips and Sadie’s famous salsa, which runs from mild to four-alarm, and order the house special, beef enchiladas with red or green chile ($13.57) along with a crisp Gold Margarita, made with Patron ($9).

Published on Jul 17, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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