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Staying Downtown without Rental Car for Balloon Fiesta

Raleigh, North...
1 post
Staying Downtown without Rental Car for Balloon Fiesta


I'm planning to visit ABQ for my wedding anniversary from October 2 - 6th for the fiesta and to see the sights of Albuquerque.

Considering we wanted some available bars / restaurants in walking distance I figured staying in a downtown hotel might be a good option.

From what I'm reading here regarding transportation to the Fiesta it seems like Park n' Ride tickets are our best bet — does anyone know if it's feasible to get a cab or Uber at an early hour (considering we want to see the Mass Accession spectacle)?

I was hoping to mix nightlife, with walkable sight-seeing, and time at the fiesta — so planning the downtown + no rental car over the airbnb in north valley + rental car was what I was leaning.

Any advice?

Level Contributor
2,012 posts
190 reviews
1. Re: Staying Downtown without Rental Car for Balloon Fiesta

Be sure to verify that the Park and Ride is operating the day(s) you want to visit the park; they did not run mid-week last year.

Albuquerque, New...
Level Contributor
2,459 posts
135 reviews
2. Re: Staying Downtown without Rental Car for Balloon Fiesta

vcv is correct. The only time the shuttles run is on the weekends for mass ascension. If you are going during the week, your best bet would be a rental car.

Yellow Cab runs 24 hours, but suggest you call them the night before and make reservations, then call again when you wake up just to verify your reservation.

Another idea would be to look for a hotel in the Uptown area near I-40 and Louisiana Blvd. Lots of lodging in this area, and also plenty of places to eat. And, most hotels are within walking distance of the shuttle from Coronado Mall.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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22,352 posts
61 reviews
3. Re: Staying Downtown without Rental Car for Balloon Fiesta

I wouldn't stay in the downtown area for dining and nightlife, just not my favorite place to be, more clubs and gritty look. Look at either Old Town or the Uptown area. Every one will be wanting Uber and cabs early in the morning and after the event.. I have heard that the Railrunner Train may be doing a special train, not sure yet though

Get something quick as lodging does sell out.

Albuquerque, New...
Level Contributor
35 posts
4. Re: Staying Downtown without Rental Car for Balloon Fiesta

Hello; based on what you have in mind, it does seem like a downtown hotel would be your best bet. Easy walking distance to bars/restaurants and public transportation. Old Town is just 2 miles away for sightseeing in the historic plaza. And there is a free shuttle to and from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on the weekends. Park and Rides are indeed a great option and the closest to Downtown would be the Uptown area. Rail Runner is offering service to the Balloon Fiesta for the weekend events only. You would be within walking distance of the downtown depot if you choose to stay downtown. I do not recommend a cab to the Balloon Fiesta if that was what you were thinking. Since traffic lines can be long and time consuming and the taxi meter won't stop running, it could get pricey.

For more information on the Rail Runner schedule for Balloon Fiesta: wwwnmrailrunner.com

For hotel and a gold mine of information; www.VisitABQ.org

5. Re: Staying Downtown without Rental Car for Balloon Fiesta

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