For decades, sun-bleached Albuquerque avoided the spotlight, staying low-key while Santa Fe and Taos jostled for kudos. But then “Breaking Bad” muscled onto the nation’s television screens, bringing critical acclaim and millions of viewers. With a slew of historic, outdoor and culinary attractions, Albuquerque was ready for her close-up.
How best to explore her charms? By following Route 66 through the city. Begin in easy-to-stroll Old Town. This cluster of adobe buildings, dating to the early 1700s, is home to shops, eateries and the well-stocked American International Rattlesnake Museum. Just east, Route 66 rolls through the revitalized downtown, the bustling University of New Mexico and the artsy Nob Hill. Get your kicks with green chile stew at Frontier.
For outdoor thrills, ride the tram to the top of Sandia Peak, then hike down. Further afield, view rock art at Petroglyph National Monument and ponder mankind’s advances - or follies - at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. Whoa, too deep? Try a “Breaking Bad”-inspired donut at Rebel Donut instead.