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Globetrotting A to Z: Albuquerque

Yjastros: the American Flamenco Repertory Company Dancers, perfrom at the Astana Cycling Team USA launch
Yjastros: the American Flamenco Repertory Company Dancers, perfrom at the Astana Cycling Team USA launch
Doug Pensinger, Getty Images, Jan. 31, 2008

New year, new travel plans.

A fantastic book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz, inspired me to see more of the world. In 2005, I got my first passport and immediately started accruing stamps: London, Paris, Vienna, Shannon, Prague.

Whether your muse is the Louvre or the GPS in your Ford Fiesta, get out there and see new vistas this year. To inspire you, this Examiner will provide 26 incredible trips - A to Z - which are yours for the taking, or at least planning.

Letter A: Albuquerque

When Mr. White got his comeuppance, most of us were not only on the edge of our seats, but spitting out our teeth. The series shook one's emotions to the very bone as the character arc of White recreated the boilerplate for the modern anti-hero.

So for Breaking Bad fans, Albuquerque is the place to be. And while in town, visit some of the sites made famous in the best episodic series to wind down in 2013.

Some spots to check out in Albuquerque, where BrBa was shot, include what was used as the White house (as in Walter, Skyler and Walt Jr.) at 3828 Piermont Dr. NE. (In the show, the producers changed the address to 308 Negra Arroyo Lane.) There's a great wiki started for the show; including rich character details such as those of Spooge's girlfriend, crushed to death by the ATM machine. Click here for the real-life address used as Spooge's house.

Of course, the city existed long before Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul rolled in. Get out and see:

  • Albuquerque Museum: experience the city's history along the Rio Grande; see some of New Mexico's most celebrated artists including the Taos Society of Artists.
  • Music is ubiquitous in Albuquerque, and nowhere more punctuated than at the New Mexico Philharmonic, whose musicians will grace the stage at the Zoo Amphitheater for a Mother's Day concert. With its more temperate days, spring is the loveliest time to travel to the Land of Enchantment.
  • Old Town is not only spilling over with tourist draws like turquoise and coral jewelry shops, but it smells and sounds divine. A flautist here, a mariachi band there. Devour the best food this side of the Rio Grande at restaurants like Hacienda Del Rio Cantina for the San Felipe Platter and some green chili enchiladas.

Naturally, while in Albuquerque you'll want to visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, considered the "gateway" to the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. The Pueblo people are indigenous Native Americans, whose descendents are rooted centuries-back here in the Southwest.