Hop on a pair of two wheels courtesy of Albuequerque’s BikeSmith. (Photo: Mark Hollingsworth)
Built upon its diverse culture and epic outdoors adventures, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has no shortage of ways to unwind and switch into relaxation mode — while also staying active.
Between a handful of highly regarded flat trails for cycling, several spa destinations and a number of stops for experiencing authentic Native American lifestyles, New Mexico’s biggest city provides an unparalleled sense of relaxation.
Get Out and Cycle
Once you’ve settled into the city, kick off the weekend with a visit to BikeSmith, where a team of pros will help you in choosing the best wheels, route and accessories (from lights to video cameras) to get your vacation started right.
From there, head to any one of the city’s notable biking trails, all situated within minutes from downtown. For stunning vistas of the Rio Grande Valley State Park and access to stopovers at the Rio Grande Nature Center or Albuquerque BioPark, try the Paseo del Bosque Trail, a 16-mile (25.75-kilometer) route of paved multi-use trails that has been ranked as a favorite for outdoors enthusiasts.
Tour the City by Foot
If you prefer to sightsee by foot, check out one of the city’s nearby trails, including Cedro Peak — a hike approachable enough for everyone in your party that is just a 30-minute drive from downtown.
Next up, try Boca Negra Canyon, where visitors can explore petroglyphs and a variety of geologic finds via three developed trails. Pack a picnic to make the most of your time outside — plenty of tables and rest areas welcome a mid-afternoon pit stop.
There’s also the Sandias, the city’s prized mountain range that offers all-encompassing views of the New Mexico landscape from its 10,600-foot (3,230-meter) Sandia Crest peak.
If foothills are more your thing, you’ll encounter plenty of breathtaking sights there, too, thanks to indigenous greenery like desert marigold, prickly pear and black grama grass.
Welcome Some Relaxation
After tackling a network of trails, it’s high time to kick up your feet with a signature toning and exfoliating facial at the Back Porch Day Spa, an R&R retreat that has become a local favorite since its opening 15 years ago.
Keep up today’s low-key activities with a visit to Jemez Springs, a quick excursion outside of the city where a collection of hot springs invites travelers to sit back and soak into pure bliss for a moment or two.
Also not to miss: the village’s bath house, a non-profit facility with cool and hot mineral soaks alongside an array of private treatment rooms, where licensed therapists provide healing massages.
Forego a list of museums and instead discover Native American culture firsthand in this historic city with a visit to one of its 22 tribes, 19 pueblos or three reservations, which provide a glimpse into traditional Native American lifestyle. Try to visit during one of the many annual Feast Days, celebrations featuring Native American meals, dances, rituals, and art displays meant to honor the community’s culture, while also paying homage to Catholic saints.
This article was published through a partnership with Visit the USA, inspiring travelers to explore America’s boundless possibilities.