We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help planning

Which Albuquerque hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
bay area, CA
posts: 34
Need help planning

Getting into ALBQ Fri., around noon. Planning to get rental then head over to Frontier's for lunch. Then wanna go to the IPCC and to the balloon museum. Will we have time to eat and do both places before 5pm when they close? How much time is needed at both places?

Also, I want to go to see the Sandia Tram but, not get on the ride. I am a scaredy cat!! Is it possible to just go there and takes pixs or what not w/o going on the tram? Would we be able to get any views w/o riding?

On Sat., we will head to SF. What's there to see and do besides the Plaza?


Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
posts: 17,785
reviews: 36
1. Re: Need help planning

The Frontier won't take long, maybe 1/2 hour, not a fancy place at all. Then maybe 15 minute drive to IPCC. Plan on a couple of hours there and maybe 1 hour at Balloon Museum. I haven't been to the tram so can't help on "views" there.

Santa Fe has many museums, shopping options as well as historic sites on the Plaza and up Canyon Road. Great food as well.

Check www.santafe.org for plenty of ideas.

Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 6,055
reviews: 189
2. Re: Need help planning

On the way to the tram, you can see the city below you. Have been at night to see the lights. A really good way to get the view without riding the tram is to drive up the mountain. Can park and get out at the top-- restaurant there and view points.


Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for Albuquerque, New Mexico
posts: 1,685
reviews: 34
3. Re: Need help planning

Frontier, a UNM landmark, okay for quick bite and people watching. El Patio, a block away, would be better for NM food. Very small; patio may be okay during a sunny day but forecasts seem cool. Or go down Central to Nob Hill. I'd hit IPCC before Balloon Museum and see if you have time. Also good restaurant at IPCC. You won't have time to drive to top of Sandias. Base of tram okay to hike a bit and see view. Sandiago's restaurant at base of tram has good balcony for view and good food, Margaritas, etc. Balcony may be too cold this Friday eve; but big windows inside, too. If just want to see foothills and views, also consider Elena Gallegos and the Michael Emery trailhead in High Desert.

bay area, CA
posts: 34
4. Re: Need help planning

Thx so much! Any suggestions on specific eats in SF?

We were gonna go to the Frontier for the green chile cheeseburger. Read somewhere that it was the best place to get it??

I really just wanna get close enough to take pixs of the tram and just to see the view. How long does it take to drive to there?

Edited: 1:29 pm, February 20, 2013
Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for Albuquerque, New Mexico
posts: 1,685
reviews: 34
5. Re: Need help planning

Big wide open questions. Invites more responses.

For Santa Fe, many spectacular places to eat. What's your budget? For some local, casual places, many featuring NM food, inexpensive, often mentioned: The Shed, Tomasitas, Tia Sophia, Del Charro...ah, but many more. Bobcat Bite for GCCB. You might want to post a specific question for SF forum

Frontier makes some lists for GCCB. (Also known for its fresh tortillas, sweet rolls, kitsch art, and mix of students, street people, and alumni on weekends.)

Everyone's list is different and favorites change. Several past posts on this question. Here's a tourist dep't pdf, slow to open:


It has some surprising names, including Sandiago's, which is at the base of the tram and which their website pushed. It's on their lunch menu, but not dinner menu. But scroll down on this trusted site for info both on Sandiago's and their GCCB:


At base, you can take pics of the tram, either from indoor "flight deck" next to Sandiago's or from street level, where it will pass right by you every 15 minutes or so.

Easiest way to get there from airport: Head north on I-25 toward Santa Fe. Go all the way through Albuquerque (past the interchange with I-40) until the very last ABQ exit called Tramway. The Sandia Casino Resort is right there. Head all the way uphill to the base of the mountains. It will eventually curve 90 degrees southward. (You won't see much except wide open spaces and the mountain.) Then at the VERY FIRST STOP SIGN, turn left. (County Line BarBQ on that corner.) Go a short distance to gate. Pay $1 or whatever it is. Go up to parking lot. (The road/lot loops all the way around.) There you are.

If you do that first, weather may be sunny and you can get two fixes in one. (But you miss the sunset view later.) You still have time for IPCC, all the way back toward (but not in) Old Town. Or, alternatively, take the Alameda exit, head west downhill to the valley, and you will find Balloon Museum.

I assume you are planning first night in ABQ?

One more tip: on your way to Santa Fe the next day you may want to consider the Range Cafe on the main street in Bernalillo, about 17 miles north of ABQ.

would be taking

Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for Albuquerque, New Mexico
posts: 1,685
reviews: 34
6. Re: Need help planning

I see you did post in SF for the culinary week. Good opportunity to splurge and indulge. I saw CA run down the list of participating restaurants. Several I haven't tried. A few old favorites of mine, El Farol, La Boca and Geronimo, are on website list. I was surprised to learn Palace was back. That used to be a bit of a politico hangout, although not close to the roundhouse.

Forgot a time estimate. Just about everything is a 15 minute drive these days. Airport is about as south as you can get; and tram is as northeast as you can get. I'll estimate under 15 minutes on the interstate and another 5-10 minutes on Tramway heading up the alluvial fan to the tram itself. I wouldn't expect bad traffic in the middle of the day.

Among my favorite hamburger places in ABQ is Five Star Burgers, next to Whole Foods, across from Albuquerque Academy on Wyoming. They have green chile too.

Edited: 3:18 pm, February 20, 2013
bay area, CA
posts: 34
7. Re: Need help planning

Wow! Thx for all your input/help! It's good to hear that everything is close by. I def want to see the tram and view. So now I'm debating on whether to just drive straight to IPCC and eat there then head to the tram. And maybe do the balloon museum on Sat. before heading to SF? Or if we stick to original plan of going to the Frontier then IPCC then balloon museum, wondering if we will get to the tram before sunset. Might be rushy and hubs don't like rushy. lol

A lot of restaurants to choose from...I guess we can just pick one when we get hungry :) I try to plan everything out but, we'll see as we go.

Speaking of casinos, there are quite a few around I saw. Do yall have any favorites?

8. Re: Need help planning

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:15 am, February 23, 2014