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Travel from San Antonio to Albuquerque

Atlantic City, New...
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Travel from San Antonio to Albuquerque

As part of our road trip from Dallas, we will be traveling from San Antonio to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I know nothing about New Mexico and just started doing some research. Any suggestions on what to see along the way and which is the best route to take. We will be traveling the beginning of March, leaving on the 3rd (most of day traveling) and only have till March 6. Once there any suggestions on an itinerary each day, we would also like to visit Santa Fe and stay there for a night. WE are a 50 year old couple who enjoy sightseeing and touching on the "must see and dos". Again, just started researching today and I am interested in the hot springs, Old Town, Carslbad Caverns tram and breaking bad sights. There are a ton of other things to do so Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated for a doable intinerary. Also, which areas in Albuquerque and santa fe should I look into. I am Hilton honors so usually look for a Hilton brand if possible. thank you very much for any help.

3 replies to this topic
Los Alamos, New...
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1. Re: Travel from San Antonio to Albuquerque

That is very little time to visit a very large and very diverse state, and unless you pick one area to explore and write off the rest of the state, you're going to spend much of your time driving. For example, you want to visit both Carsbad Caverns (a great thing to see, to be sure) and "Old Town" -- which Old Town? I presume Albuquerque. Getting from one to the other is 4 1/2 hours of driving via the shortest route, and that's without stops and going through one of the least interesting parts of the state. It pushes up to 5+ hours with the most basic digression into scenic areas, and if you fit in White Sands National Monument (also worth seeing), you're now talking about an 8-hour travel day -- and that's without spending any time at the park and monument themselves.

I don't often say this, but given your time and travel constraints, I'd almost recommend saving Santa Fe and Taos for another trip, even though that's probably the most interesting region of the state for touring. Something like this might work:

3/3: Arrive in Carlsbad (it will take much of your day to get there) and if you have time, visit Living Desert State Park (you'll arrive too late to do Carlsbad Caverns at anything less than a dead run, as it closes before dinner time).

3/4: Spend the morning at Carlsbad Caverns. In the afternoon, make the (relatively uninteresting) drive to Alamogordo and on to White Sands. An hour there will suffice for a sense of the place, although you really need about a two-hour hike for full immersion. Continue on to Truth or Consequences (I assume this is the "hot springs" you are talking about; if instead you mean Ojo Caliente or Jemez Springs, see below) and spend the night. Make your reservations well in advance and inquire about hot-spring availability.

3/5: Continue on to Albuquerque (2 hours driving from T or C) and spend the day there -- Breaking Bad sites, tram if it's running, Old Town, a couple of interesting museums, Petroglyphs National Monument if you have time, some acceptable restaurants (the ones on the first part of your itinerary are pretty marginal). Overnight in one of the Hilton Honors-honoring places; I don't routinely use those so I have no specific recommendations, but more or less any will work.

3/6: I'm unclear on whether this is your "head home" day. If it is, well, head home, with a pass by Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument to give you variety on route and also scratch the surface of the cultural/archaeological interest of the state, which otherwise you barely touch on this trip. If you have the whole day in-state, then visit Santa Fe as a day trip (feasible from a driving perspective). Others will no doubt chime in on specific attractions there. Back to Albuquerque that night, and then the long trek home on the 7th.

If I have misunderstood your "hot springs" interest and you really do want to go to Jemez Springs or (particularly) Ojo Caliente, make a beeline from Carlsbad post-cave to Albuquerque, and after a night there and some exploring, continue north to overnight at Ojo C (which is a very nice hot-spring operation). You will pass through Santa Fe going both ways and can fit in such sight seeing as you deem appropriate. Note that this involves a LOT of driving and relatively little sight seeing, at less than the ideal time of year -- winter storms are still possible in northern NM, and many of the abundant outdoor attractions may be less appealing because of weather. Or they may not, depending on the specific year

Sorry if I don't make this sound very exciting, but you're biting off quite a lot here in very little time.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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2. Re: Travel from San Antonio to Albuquerque

With such a short trip I agree, Santa Fe and Albuquerque are too far. Consider Las Cruces.

Day 1 Mar 3 - driving from San Antonio to Carlsbad Caverns at least 7 hours of just driving!

Day 2 Mar 4 - Carlsbad Caverns for 1/2 day, then drive to Las Cruces via El Paso 3 hours or so. Stay near Old Mesilla. http://www.oldmesilla.org/ La Posta and Double Eagle/Peppers for dinner.

Day 3 Mar 5 - Visit the Las Cruces area, White Sands NM, possibly to Silver City (but that will be a 2 hour one way drive)

Day 4 Marc 6 - Start drive back to San Antonio.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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3. Re: Travel from San Antonio to Albuquerque

Make that San Antonio- San Antonio, NM... As suggested above ... Carlsbad Caverns(lodging at White's City) Park's entrance . On to El Paso & up to Alamogordo then, White Sands. To A overnight in Truth or C. Next AM up the I-25. For a drive through the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife preserve on the 1 ... To a Green Chili Cheeseburger lunch at The Owl Cafe, In San Antonio ... The PM. drive the 380 East, to or through Lincoln County / Rosewell ... Yer choice, from there ...home ... Happy trails ... carracar

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