Gazebo in Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque – Photo courtesy JoelK75
What better way to know Albuquerque, NM and its surroundings than to know its history? Plan a day trip for yourself and your family to discover the people and cultures that made this unique city like today.
Get started early in the historic Old Town of Albuquerque, where the town began 300 years ago, with a guided tour or by yourself. You will see highlights like Gazebo and Plaza’s focal point, San Felipe de Neri Church.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – Photo courtesy of Mr. TNDC
Next, visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and gain insights into New Mexico’s 19 Pueblos through art, photography and historical exhibitions. One of these pueblos is Acoma, where people have lived continuously for 800 years, making it one of the oldest communities in the United States.
But before heading out on the road to visit this fascinating place, grab a bite to eat at Pueblo Harvest Cafe and sample samples of Pueblo’s heritage-inspired dishes.
Author and her son visiting Acoma Pablo – Photo courtesy of Jennifer Borin
To the west of Albuquerque, just one hour from I-40, is Acoma Pueblo, called “Sky City”. Sky City is named after its locals who live on the top of Mesa, several hundred feet high. It can only be reached by tour bus, starting from the museum. The architecture of the city and its surroundings are of great interest to young and old alike.
Acoma Pablo’s Road – Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren
At the Sky City Cultural Center, buy tickets for a guided tour of the Haak’u Museum and shop at the Gaits’i Indian Art Gallery, which features turquoise jewelry, aqua pottery and other fine art. Get on the bus and marvel at Pueblo’s steep road over a 367-foot sandstone bluff.
An impressive focal point is the San Esteban del Rey Mission Church, built in 1641. Your tour guide will spend an hour explaining their history and their early battles.
Make sure you bring a camera for the beautiful scenery around you – keeping in mind that locals don’t like to take pictures without permission.
Author’s mother and son buying pottery in Ecuma – Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren
In Pueblo, there are many opportunities to buy pottery from the locals (each Pueblo has its own unique style). Check out the calendar, as there are several special Eid days throughout the year that celebrate the patron saints of Acoma with food and dance.
Acoma Pueblo Residences – Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren
The size of some of the older doors is attractive, indicating how small the people of Pueblo would have been years ago. Many stairs are placed against the buildings, which provide access to the second floor.
Only a handful of locals live above the Mesa year. With close reservations, many people visit family on weekends. Thousands of tourists are asked to remember that they are going to someone’s house and to act accordingly.
Enchanted Mesa, near Acoma Pueblo – Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren
Can be seen from nearby Enchanted Mesa Acoma Pueblo. Legend has it that it used to be the home of the people of Yek Sangi Akuma until a severe storm and landslide destroyed the only way to reach it, namely the stone ladder. Arrowheads, beads and fragments of pottery have been found on this 437-foot butt.
Discovery of a harrow, where bread is baked – Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren
Families of all ages will enjoy a day trip to Acoma Pueblo, where you can experience the local customs and culture, as well as their lifestyle and beautiful surroundings. Back to the Cultural Center below, a gift shop and Cafe Albuquerque will complete your day’s adventure before returning.