The Staycation: Tour Your Way Through Burque

Why Not Be A Tourist In Your Own City?

Ty Bannerman
5 min read
Haunted Zia
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One of the best things about any vacation is getting to learn all about a new locale, from its hip spots to its architecture to its history to its ghosts. But you know what sucks? Having to spend all that money to get to the new locale in the first place, and then having to be consigned to catch-as-catch-can dining and lodging, both of which cost plenty of money themselves. So this year, screw dropping a few hundred on airfare, and skip the should-we-try-a-place-that-might-suck vs. fuck-it-let’s-just-go-to-Denny’s question. Instead, why not stick around our very own city? I guarantee you that there will be plenty to do within day-trip distance of ABQ (see Mark Lopez’ guide to festivals in this very issue), and you already know all the good restaurants (if not, take a dive into the food section of our website). But what about learning the history and all that jazz?

Simple. Become a tourist in your very own town. With all the money you’ll be saving on travel, you can afford to hop on board a tourist trolley, sign up for a walking tour or even cruise around town in a “Breaking Bad”-style RV. And don’t act like you already know everything there is to know about our beautiful city either. There’s always more to discover, and when’s the last time you viewed Albuquerque from a visitor’s viewpoint?

Best of ABQ Tour

Go big or go home? Why not go big and
stay home? This large, blue motor trolley is surely the only one in the world that features a stuccoed exterior, and co-owner Mike Silva’s lively banter makes for an entertaining accent to sites you may think you already know. The tour goes from Old Town to Nob Hill to Barelas, and takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. You’ll visit locations from various movies and TV shows, learn the finer points of Burque history, check out Bart Prince’s spaceship house and parade down old Route 66. Even better, Silva frequently pauses his spiel to sling trivia questions to the passengers, giving prizes for correct answers. As a local, you’re bound to have an edge.

ABQ Trolley Co. also features a number of special tours throughout the year, with themes that range from microbreweries to holiday lights.

ABQ Trolley Co.

Tuesdays-Sundays, 11am and 1pm, through Oct. 31.

Boards at Hotel Albuquerque, 800 Rio Grande NW

$25, $15 for children

High Noon History Tour/Ghost Tour

Yeah, yeah, you already know Old Town, right? That’s the place you go to buy Native pottery and eat New Mexican food when your relatives are in town. But did you know that it was founded over 70 years before the United States became a country? That it was taken over by the Confederacy during the Civil War and was the site of an important Union victory? Did you know that it was a supply point for prospectors on their way to the California gold fields? Or that legendary Wild West figures like Elfego Baca once walked the streets? Before you can call yourself a real Burqueño, you owe it to yourself to sign up for this walking tour and educate yourself about Albuquerque’s birthplace.

Or, if you prefer to learn your history while chills run up and down your spine, maybe the Ghost Tour will be more to your liking. In the 300 years since it was founded, Old Town has known its share of murder and mayhem, and uneasy spirits are said to cluster in darkened adobe corners. These nightly tours are held as the sun goes down at 8pm, and are conducted by lantern-carrying guides. Sign up, if you dare, and find out about the spooks that haunt your own backyard.

Tours of Old Town

303 Romero NW


High Noon History, Daily, 12pm,

Ghost Tour, Nightly, 8pm

$20 for adults, $18 for college students, military and seniors, $10 for children

Breaking Bad RV Tour

If you’re like us, an integral part of any staycation includes binge-watching the best television series Netflix has to offer. And why not relive the glory days of the 505 by rewatching “Breaking Bad”? Then, once you’ve experienced the agony of Heisenberg’s rise and fall, you can embellish this experience with a trip to numerous film locations used in the series on board an authentic Bounder RV (the very model with which Walt and Jesse began their criminal enterprise) and chauffeured by tour guides who actually worked on the show itself. Check out the White family home, A-1 Car Wash, the laundromat/superlab and 14 other locations. Best of all, you’ll stop for lunch at Los Pollos Hermanos itself. Just don’t ask to speak to the owner.

Breaking Bad RV Tours

1919 Old Town Rd.

Tickets: $75 per person (includes lunch). Reservations required. Check website for schedule.
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