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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Exploring Albuquerque, NM on a Budget

The state of New Mexico offers gorgeous terrain and many natural landmarks. Perhaps the most attractive sites are in the most populous city, Albuquerque. You want to visit here at some point, but you understandably worry about the cost. Here's a guide on exploring Albuquerque on a budget.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

Image via Flickr by Bryan Ledgard

One of the great museums in the city celebrates one of Albuquerque's signature hobbies. The citizens and tourists here love balloons. The city hosts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year. It's a nine-day event that features more than 500 balloons.

A simple rule determines the winner of the event. It's the balloon that travels farthest. Some prior champions have flown so far that they reached Canada and the Atlantic Ocean! The museum features some previous winners and architectural marvels in the field of balloon construction. Anyone who travels to Albuquerque should visit the museum. Also, you should add the balloon exhibition to your vacation bucket list.

Tingley Beach

The Rio Grande evokes plenty of visions about scenic waterways and the natural beaches that surround them. Tingley Beach is one of the best places to enjoy the scenery. This recreational area is on the east side of the Rio Grande.

Originally, the waterway was Conservancy Beach. During the 1950s, the local government closed the beach to swimmers and made it a prime area for fishing. Tingley Beach is also part of a larger man-made area, Albuquerque Biological Park.

ABQ BioPark

The biological park that locals call ABQ BioPark is a huge facility. It has a 285,000-gallon aquarium, a 36-acre botanic garden, and a 64-acre zoo. With 1.5 million visitors per year, it's also the most popular tourist attraction in New Mexico. You can spend several days at this one place, and you won't spend a lot of money, either.

Zoo tickets are $14.50 for adults and $6 for children. The aquarium is the same, but you can save money by buying a joint ticket. This provides admission to both the zoo and the aquarium at a rate of $22 for adults and $8 for children. Also note that kids age 2 and under can enter free of charge. You can save even more by finding a cheap hotel room close to ABQ BioPark. By staying near the facility, you won't have to rent a car or use a ride-sharing service.

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Are you interested in learning about the history of nuclear weapons development? One of the best places in the world to learn this story is this museum. The open deserts of New Mexico were where the government performed many of its early nuclear tests. The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History chronicles this era with facts and artifacts.

The facility offers displays from the Cold War. It also shows current and future applications of nuclear science, making it an educational opportunity for parents. For a cost of $12 or less, you can spend a day exploring this Smithsonian Institute-affiliated facility.

As you can see, you'll find plenty to do in Albuquerque. Better yet, a lot of it is cheap enough that you'll have an affordable trip!

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