1. Sample Breaking Bad Candy And X-Rated Chocolate At The Candy LadyThe Candy Lady in Old Town Albuquerque is one of the quirkiest sweet shops I’ve ever seen. Spend some time in her x-rated candy room, full of chocolate penis, sex, and boob lollipops. She also has a number of chili-infused specialties like green and red chili fudge, red chile truffles, red chile rock candy; and piñon brittle with chile. As she once made the crystal meth (made of candy) used on the show Breaking Bad, she sells baggies of crystal blue rock candy, although only to people who’ve seen the show. For a fun photo, shop staff will let you don an incognito hat and sunglasses while you hold the candy. By the way, Old Town itself is one of the top attractions in New Mexico, so definitely allot extra time for exploring.
2. See Bread And Latte Art At Golden Crown PanaderiaGolden Crown Panaderia is a family-run establishment and the state’s only New Mexican bakery. Their products pay homage to local culture, with their signature product being Original New Mexico Green Chile Bread, which is made with green chile, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, Parmesan cheese and spices, and decorated with a coyote howling at the moon. They’re also one of two bakeries in the world whose bakers are also bread sculptures, creating six-foot-tall life-sized bread people, bread castles, bread carriages, and bread turkeys on Thanksgiving (great for vegetarians, as you can stuff it with a number of delicious ingredients). Order a latte and see the beautiful latte art designed into the froth. They’re also one of the few bakers to take the official state cookie — the Biscochito — and make it in numerous varieties like chocolate, cappuccino, blue corn, sugar-free and original.
3. Have A “Breaking Bad” Donut at Rebel DonutOfficially called the Blue Sky Donut, Rebel Donut sells a treat inspired by the hit show Breaking Bad. The donut features blue frosting topped with the blue crystal methamphetamine sold by The Candy Lady. Fun fact: Actor Aaron Paul from the show was the first to try the sweet treat.
4. See Unusual Folk Art At The Tinkertown MuseumFor those who want something more unusual than your usual art institution, Albuquerque’s Tinkertown Museum is a great stop. Initially collecting wooden carvings was nothing more than a hobby for Ross Ward, until a growing public interest led him to turn his collection into a museum. Today, more than 50,000 glass bottles form the walls that compose this 22-room museum, which holds wagon wheels, antique toys, Old West dioramas, bullet pencils, wedding cake couples, fortune-telling machines, wooden figures and much more, all displayed in an old layout with fun quotes written along the way.
5. Hike Tent RocksLocated in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rock National Monument, home to some of the country’s most striking geology. Visitors have the opportunity to hike through hoodoo formations, slot canyons, and tent rocks — cones of soft pumice and tuff beneath harder caprocks — that in this case can reach up to 90 feet (27 meters). You’ll feel like you’re on Mars instead of in New Mexico.
6. Sip Trendy Cocktails In A National Historic LandmarkPart of the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, Casa Esencia is the city’s hottest nightclub. The venue, which is open only on Fridays, makes you feel like you’ve been transported to South Beach to drink and dance at the home of a rich friend. What’s unique about this place is that despite its ultra-modern decor, reflective pools, grand pianos, fireplaces and contemporary artwork it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, in certain spots underneath the pristine white walls, you’ll see exposed adobe. It’s one of Albuquerque’s most unique drinking experiences.
7. Have A Chile-Inspired Spa DayAt the Tamaya Mist in the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa spa-goers can enjoy a day of relaxation and chile. Their “Ancient Drumming” treatment features a Jemez Mountain mud mask infused with red chile to detoxify the body as your therapist gently drums your stress away. A body scrub is also part of the experience. In the spa’s relaxation room you can munch on green chile-infused granola and red chile chocolate.
8. Go Back In Time To The 1950s On Route 66The 66 Diner in East Downtown (EDo) on Central Avenue — which was formerly known as Route 66 — is a throwback diner to the 1950s. In a streamline-style building, waiters and waitresses wear traditional ’50s attire, walls are adorned with Marilyn Monroe and Elvis posters, ’50s rock plays in the background and thick malts flow like water. Along with being quirky, 66 Diner is a lot of fun. Their menu features options like a Fiesta Burger covered in Texas chili and cheddar; chicken pot pie with cream gravy; taco platters; fried catfish; chicken and dumplings; Frito pie; and apple cobbler topped with ice cream, while shakes and malts come in flavors such as caramel apple, s’mores, mid pie, creamsicle, and PB&J. Make sure to take a walk around the old time-space as there are tons of fun Route 66 maps, vintage signs, PEZ displays, Betty Boop cutouts, and much more. *My trip to Albuquerque was sponsored by the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. I was not required to write this post nor was I compensated. All opinions are my own.
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