Econo Lodge Old Town
2321 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Phone: (505) 243-8475
Fax: (505) 243-4205
For anyone who appreciates the natural beauty of flowers and plant life, this is the perfect destination. The Desert Pavilion features an ultra modern glass conservatory which produces heat filtered, ultra violet rays to allow Xeric species to bloom year round. The Mediterranean Pavilion is home to fragrant plant life and lush walled gardens. The PNM Butterfly Pavilion and butterfly-hummingbird garden are majestic. Exhibits explore the phenomenal process of photosynthesis, providing a fascinating kaleidoscope of color.
Located in the ballooning capital of the world, this unique Old Town shop offers the largest collection of hot air balloon gift items in the world. Jewelry, ornaments, books, apparel, posters, kites and many other manifestations of hot air soaring are on display in the store, or available through a colorful catalog's. Stop by and arrange for an exciting balloon ride, which lasts one hour. Discover Balloons have been conducting such flights since 1983. One of the pilots is often on hand to answer questions and assuage fears.
After a long day of walking around Old Town, touring the New Mexico Museum of Natural History or attending meetings downtown, find a quiet spot under a massive cedar tree in this old park. Sitting between the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and the Albuquerque Museum, Tiguex Park is spacious enough to host soccer and a friendly game of neighborhood football. There always seems to be a game of hoops taking place on one of the park's four basketball courts.
Inside this brand-new, high-tech, high-definition video planetarium, you will feel like you are actually beneath the stars as starscapes wheel around you. A motion simulation theater whisks passengers into space on educational journeys to the moon, the planets and beyond. If you want a real look at the stars, a 16-inch telescope housed in a 22-foot dome. Using the telescope, you can photograph the stars, and print your shots to take home.
Once upon a time, human beings lived life without the aid of computers. Then came folks like Bill Gates. STARTUP, a permanent gallery exhibition located inside the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, chronicles the fits and starts with which the microcomputing revolution began, right here in Albuquerque. Spearheaded by Gates and his compadres, this revolution gave birth to new ways of thinking and living, as well as a cavalcade of compelling new technological toys. Many of them are on display here, including early hardware prototypes, crude video games and even a dupe of nerd king Steve Wozniak's first desk. Entry is included with regular museum admission.
Rio Grande is one of several public pools managed by the City of Albuquerque. An outdoor facility, it is open during school summer vacations only. Dedicated lap swim hours for this 25-meter-long pool are Monday-Friday, 11a-noon. On Sundays, admission is free of charge for children under 18 years of age. The pool is surrounded by grassy areas on which you can sunbathe and indulge in the snacks which are on sale from the cafeteria. If the chatter of the swimming pool crowd permits, the sounds of exotic animals are sometimes to be heard: Rio Grande Pool is adjacent to the zoo. Check the website for varying dates.
In many cities, tennis courts are rented out on an hourly basis, and they don't come cheap. Not so in Albuquerque, where the city provides facilities that are open to locals and tourists alike, with all but the two big complexes offered completely free of charge. The Barelas facility has six courts, all of them lit, and few of them ever occupied: you just show up and play. When your match is over, take a stroll across the road to watch the locals play baseball in the park, or to visit the Rio Grande Zoo. Enjoy spending time in this neighborhood, which is one of Albuquerque's most historic. - Pip Lustgarten
This fenced dog park is the perfect place to take your dog off leash and let him play. Take a seat on one of the benches or picnic tables and watch as the dogs run around. With a mixture of trees and lawns, there's plenty of shade as well as space to explore. Whether you have the large park just for yourselves or other dogs are frolicking around, this is the perfect spot to bring your animal friend.
Valley is one of several pools managed by the City of Albuquerque. Attached to public high schools, their access hours are shared between students and the general public. Valley is rarely busy, so you will usually get a lane to yourself. A "Water Exercise" class, in which an instructor leads the group, is offered for a low cost on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are also periodic swimming lessons, aquatic team meetings, scuba lessons and socials. In warm weather, the sides of the building are opened to the air, and there is an outdoor wading pool. – Pip Lustgarten
West Mesa Aquatic Center is the City of Albuquerque's prize swim facility, equipped with 800 stadium seats, an Olympic pool, a movable floor, three diving boards, and two recreation pools with water slides: one inside and one out. In addition to lap swim and recreation hours, a "Water Exercise" class, in which an instructor leads the group, is offered for a low cost on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. "Low Impact", a water exercise class for seniors, is offered Monday through Friday. On Friday nights, admission to West Mesa Aquatic Center is only 50 cents. - Pip Lustgarten
This 13-acre park was built during the Great Depression with funding from then Mayor Clyde Tingley's close friend, President Franklin Roosevelt. Located just east of I-25 and close to the University of New Mexico, the giant trees in this long standing park offer a well-shaded place to run or walk the trails. There are plenty of meandering hills present and an outstanding playground. In the winter, this is an ideal place to go sledding.
A long, underground culvert leads you to the visitor's center where exhibits explain the geology, wildlife and plant life of the area. Rio Grande Nature Center is a beautiful place to visit with its walking bridge and cottonwood shaded pathways. This wildlife refuge is situated along the Rio Grande and is a great way to learn about the ecosystem of the Bosque. Take a leisurely stroll, bike ride or an invigorating hike on one of the trails.