Travel like a local.

Podcast, Reedy Press

Hot Air Balloons, Pueblos & Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Best things to do in Albuquerque New Mexico Ashley Biggers hot air balloon fiesta from Lyssa Scott on Pixabay albuquerque-4643828_1920

Hot air balloon fiesta. Photo courtesy of Lyssa Scott on Pixabay.

I’m really excited to interview Ashley Biggers, author of Secret Albuquerque by Reedy Press, about Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ashley’s tips for the best things to do in Albuquerque are awesome because she was born and raised in Albuquerque. She’s used her in-depth knowledge of the city to write three books to help locals and visitors learn more about Albuquerque.

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Best things to do in Albuquerque New Mexico Ashley Biggers green chili

Green chilis are heavily used in local dishes.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque is New Mexico’s largest city and sits in the middle of the high desert. It is most popular for its annual balloon fiesta and as the setting for the popular TV shows, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. The city is a mix of modern buildings and the Old Town Albuquerque, which dates to the city’s founding as a Spanish colony in 1706.

Because Albuquerque sits at 5,000 feet above sea level in the high desert, it experiences all four seasons. Ashley recommends visiting in September through mid-October for the best weather. It’s also chili-roasting season during that time, which is a favorite for locals and visitors alike. Another large draw is the Gathering of Nations Powwow, which happens during the 4th week of April.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Albuquerque, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Albuquerque New Mexico Ashley Biggers Old Town from Amber Avalona on Pixabay

Old Town is a fun place to spend the day exploring. Photo courtesy of Amber Avalona on Pixabay.

Getting around Albuquerque

The local airport is Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), which is about 5 miles from downtown.

Ashley says that even if you’re staying downtown it’s a good idea to rent a car. Use our referral links for the best offers from Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

The Albuquerque bus system is an inexpensive & convenient option to get around the downtown area. Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around but can be more expensive than renting a car if you’re taking multiple rideshare trips every day.

If you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Best things to do in Albuquerque New Mexico Ashley Biggers view from hot air balloon Enlightening Images from Pixabay

The views from a hot air balloon are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Photo courtesy of Enlightening Images from Pixabay.

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Ashley Biggers about Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Green dots = best things to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Who is Ashley Biggers?

Ashley M. Biggers is an award-winning freelance journalist and editor based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her writing on travel, culture, and wellness have appeared in numerous print and digital publications, including CNN Travel, USA Today 10Best, Lonely Planet, and Self, as well as local favorites such as New Mexico Magazine and Albuquerque the Magazine.

She is also the local editor of GuestLife New Mexico and GuestLife El Paso. Her best tips can be found in the three books she has authored — Eco-Travel New Mexico, 100 Things to Do in Albuquerque Before You Die, and Secret Albuquerque. She earned her master’s degree in mass communication from Arizona State University.

Here are a few articles that she’s written:

You can connect with Ashley on her website and on Facebook and Instagram. You can find Ashley’s books at Reedy Press and on Amazon, including Secret Albuquerque: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, 100 Things to Do in Albuquerque Before You Die, and Eco-Travel New Mexico: 86 Natural Destinations, Green Hotels, and Sustainable Adventures.

Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Acorns

This episode is brought to you, in part, by Acorns. With Acorns, you can invest spare change automatically on every purchase that you make. Plus, you can earn Found Money by shopping at participating retailers. This is a great way to easily build up your travel fund.

For a limited time, when you sign up at, we’ll both earn $5.

Best things to do in Albuquerque New Mexico Ashley Biggers historic ruins cgordon8527 on Pixabay

Take time to visit historic ruins when you visit Albuquerque. Photo courtesy of cgordon8527 on Pixabay.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Jersey Shore New Jersey RC Staab surfingListen to the next episode when R.C. Staab, author & writer, shares the best things to do in Jersey Shore, NJ. R.C. and I talk about New Jersey lighthouses, Cape May Victorians, and Atlantic City casinos. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Albuquerque? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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