Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

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dwickenh
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Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by dwickenh »

Hello fellow Bogleheads,

DW and i are taking a road trip to Vegas, Bishop California, and Seattle. Our trip will take us through Albuquerque NM. My intent was to stop there for some star gazing at a Dark Site outside of the city. Several people at my wife's work indicated it was not safe to overnight in the city due to crime. I had not heard of this problem. I was wondering if anyone who lives close or has visited could give me a first hand report on the safety of Albuquerque.

Thanks for the help,

Dan
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kd2008
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by kd2008 »

Say what now? Is this a bad joke? ABQ is like any other city in the US. Yes, there may be crime but it is an awesome city.
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telemark
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by telemark »

I visit Albuquerque several times a year on family business and I've never worried about safety. On the other hand, I've never watched Breaking Bad so maybe I'm missing something...
adamthesmythe
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by adamthesmythe »

> Several people at my wife's work indicated it was not safe to overnight in the city due to crime

Seriously?

If they believe that- then it is not safe to travel in the US- and it is best to stay home in your Idaho compound with your guns.

Your wife must work with some very strange people.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Rob5TCP »

It does have a fairly high crime rate as do most large cities.
Here is a chart of crime over the past decade.
Recent murder rate is low for a large city 5.3 per 100,000
http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Al ... exico.html

As the map shows there are areas you might have some issues and other areas seem rather safe.
You can compare to other cities that you are familiar with.
Impromptu
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Impromptu »

My friend's parents lived in a suburb of a major city. They believed that anyone living within the city boundaries was putting life and property in constant danger, not differentiating between the various city neighborhoods, nor even the suburbs between them and the actual city boundaries. It was a familiarity bias, which is common. Cities have bad areas and good areas.

If they were of the opinion that the large presence of Hispanics meant that there was more crime, that may also be a familiarity bias, and something overcome by simply engaging.

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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

telemark wrote:I visit Albuquerque several times a year on family business and I've never worried about safety. On the other hand, I've never watched Breaking Bad so maybe I'm missing something...
Well, you're definitely missing something, but nothing to do with safety in ABQ. Breaking Bad is worth watching, even bingeing.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by rixer »

......
Strayshot
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Strayshot »

Albuquerque is the largest city in NM and while not as quaint/cultural as Santa Fe or Taos there are lots of fun things to do and see. Your wife's friends either think Breaking Bad was a documentary or are shut-ins. Like everywhere else, there are nice areas and there are not so nice areas. Would you overnight in Detroit? What about Oakland?

Hotel Andaluz, Hotel Parq Central, any of the major chains ( Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt ) are all fine places to stay as they don't have any locations ( intentionally ) in bad areas. The ABQ Uptown area has lots of places to eat and shop and stay. Nob Hill is another eating/shopping locale. Albuquerque has some amazing microbreweries if you enjoy beer. Take the open air trolley tour of Old Town. Visit and ride the Tram to the top of the Sandia mountains. Visit the Biopark and see the zoo/aquarium. I could go on and on............

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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by bayview »

Wonder how much of that crime involves the victim knowing the assailant (domestic violence, drunken quarrels, drug deals gone wrong, etc.)

They need a sub-category for "crimes against out-of-state tourists who pulled over to look at stars." :D

I hope you enjoy your trip, including your star-gazing.
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Steelersfan
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Steelersfan »

Some of the people your wife works with have been listening too much to the wrong talk radio stations.
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Christine_NM
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Christine_NM »

I've wondered if my town of 40+ years would get this sort of reaction once people had actually heard of it but not seen it.

Go to ABQ Astronomical Society at http://www.taas.org/gnto/index.php and see their safety list for the observatory. The issues might surprise you. It is the desert and the forest that need protecting, not you.

Edited to add: Take more water with you than you think you need at all times. At least a couple of gallons, not those wimpy water bottles.
Last edited by Christine_NM on Sat May 28, 2016 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by quantAndHold »

I suspect you're at more risk from wandering too far from the car and getting lost than you are from a Breaking Bad kind of experience. Enjoy the stars.
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midareff
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by midareff »

kd2008 wrote:Say what now? Is this a bad joke? ABQ is like any other city in the US. Yes, there may be crime but it is an awesome city.
There is no such thing as a crime free city. The question to ask the folks doing the bad talkin' is what is the last time they stayed there? My guess would be never.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Trader/Investor »

I know the moderators don't like us to stray but..... I lived 15 years out west in Reno, NV from 1980 to 1995. For the most part I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Then in the 90s things really changed and crime became rampant - gangs, graffiti, and drugs. Now I live in a small town in KY near the TN border in the Bible Belt and you don't even lock your doors at night. It's nice to live somewhere where you never have to worry about being a victim of crime.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by jlawrence01 »

It is unfortunate that in this country, that anyone with a non-white skin is pretty much presumed to be less than honest.

As a person who lives 20 miles from the Mexican border in Arizona, we encounter very little crime, far less than we encountered in Chicago or St. Louis. Yet, when I go back to the Midwest, all I am told is that I am crazy to be living in such an unsafe area ... from people who have never been in Arizona.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by HueyLD »

jlawrence01 wrote:It is unfortunate that in this country, that anyone with a non-white skin is pretty much presumed to be less than honest.

As a person who lives 20 miles from the Mexican border in Arizona, we encounter very little crime, far less than we encountered in Chicago or St. Louis. Yet, when I go back to the Midwest, all I am told is that I am crazy to be living in such an unsafe area ... from people who have never been in Arizona.
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CFM300
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by CFM300 »

This famous couple would have been better off not stopping. Or at least staying somewhere a little more upscale than Motel 6.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/01/us/new-me ... -shooting/

Yeah, that's just an isolated case, but in fact that area of ABQ (though right off the interstate) is not a place I would have stopped to spend the night. And certainly that particular Motel 6 looks sketchy.

Whatever you do, don't stay here!

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Revie ... exico.html

If you want to feel ultra safe, stay at the Hilton Garden in Rio Rancho. It's a nice, affordable hotel right across the street from Intel's facility.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by dwickenh »

Thanks for all the replies, I thought it was weird for them to be saying it is unsafe. I am a person who worked claims in E. St Louis, Illinois and did not have any problems.

I will definitely stop and enjoy the town and thanks for setting the record strait.

All the great replies will make my DW feel better also:)


Dan
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dwickenh
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by dwickenh »

Christine_NM wrote:I've wondered if my town of 40+ years would get this sort of reaction once people had actually heard of it but not seen it.

Go to ABQ Astronomical Society at http://www.taas.org/gnto/index.php and see their safety list for the observatory. The issues might surprise you. It is the desert and the forest that need protecting, not you.

Edited to add: Take more water with you than you think you need at all times. At least a couple of gallons, not those wimpy water bottles.

Thanks for the great link, and that was one of the places I would like to visit.

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Valuethinker »

dwickenh wrote:Hello fellow Bogleheads,

DW and i are taking a road trip to Vegas, Bishop California, and Seattle. Our trip will take us through Albuquerque NM. My intent was to stop there for some star gazing at a Dark Site outside of the city. Several people at my wife's work indicated it was not safe to overnight in the city due to crime. I had not heard of this problem. I was wondering if anyone who lives close or has visited could give me a first hand report on the safety of Albuquerque.

Thanks for the help,

Dan
If you are staying in a hotel I am sure there are safe hotels in Metropolitan AQ. There are in every city, even places like Detroit. You have to do your homework.

If you are "just stopping" at night, by a road, that's more tricky. There's turnpikes in the North East USA I would not have been comfortable doing that. A friend (British), a bird watcher, pulled off a road in Tennessee to stop and look at birds and was followed by 2 hillbillies in a pickup truck-- it was not a pleasant situation-- afterwards someone said that because he was wearing a suit, they probably realized that whatever happened would be noticed.

I would contact local stargazing groups and ask for their opinions.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Christine_NM »

valuethinker -

It is not a good idea anywhere to stay in an outdoor spot not designated for camping. If the hillbillies don't get you the cops will. I've found European and American ideas about campsites differ.

OP: You can find the usual chain hotels yourself and overpay for safety and boredom. But that means you may hit traffic in the city in rush hour which is slow if you hit the wrong spots. Still, traffic management is one of the city's strong suits and it is less bad than most places unless you try to stay on the west side (edited to add, the west side includes Rio Rancho).

In case you don't know about this, take a look at http://www.americanrvpark.com/Default.aspx which has a couple of lodges nearby if you do not have a camper type vehicle.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Levett »

Maybe if there's real danger in ABQ it's the cops! Justice Dept is monitoring them.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-nm/apd

We are in ABQ about 3 times a year, both for the pleasures of ABQ (some awfully nice restaurants), Hyatt Tamaya in Bernalillo, and of course Santa Fe where we have family.

If you have some extra time for day trips, consider Acoma and/or the tram at Sandia Crest. Nice walking trails at the Crest, and there's nothing like a margarita and guacamole at 10,000 feet. 8-)

Lev

P.S. I've met the occasional non-New Mexico oddball who thinks you need a passport to get in. :wink:

P.P.S Maybe your wife's friends have been watching episodes of "Breaking Bad!" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_Bad
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by btenny »

If you want to star gaze I recommend stopping at one of the Arizona Observatories. They are open to the public for most summer nights. Lowell Observatory is in Flagstaff Arizona and has some of the best night star gazing stuff around. They discovered Pluto at this place. It is right off Interstate 40 that runs from ABQ across the country. See here.

https://lowell.edu/
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lowel ... 11.6646428

Or if you have a extra day or so I really love visiting the Kitt Peak National Observatory outside Tucson. The telescopes are open for night viewing by the public all summer. You get a long tour of the whole Observatory and the large scopes and then stay around for night fall and more viewing. It is a really fun. But take warm clothes. It is 7K feet up a big mountain from the desert floor.

https://www.noao.edu/kpno/
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Kitt+ ... 11.5997477


Good Luck
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Detroittl »

Valuethinker wrote:
dwickenh wrote:Hello fellow Bogleheads,

DW and i are taking a road trip to Vegas, Bishop California, and Seattle. Our trip will take us through Albuquerque NM. My intent was to stop there for some star gazing at a Dark Site outside of the city. Several people at my wife's work indicated it was not safe to overnight in the city due to crime. I had not heard of this problem. I was wondering if anyone who lives close or has visited could give me a first hand report on the safety of Albuquerque.

Thanks for the help,

Dan
If you are staying in a hotel I am sure there are safe hotels in Metropolitan AQ. There are in every city, even places like Detroit. You have to do your homework.

If you are "just stopping" at night, by a road, that's more tricky. There's turnpikes in the North East USA I would not have been comfortable doing that. A friend (British), a bird watcher, pulled off a road in Tennessee to stop and look at birds and was followed by 2 hillbillies in a pickup truck-- it was not a pleasant situation-- afterwards someone said that because he was wearing a suit, they probably realized that whatever happened would be noticed.

I would contact local stargazing groups and ask for their opinions.

All the major chains are in the downtown Detroit area which has a median income much higher than most all of the suburbs. It's quite nice. For any city visit I like to use Yelp and tripadvisor.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Steelersfan »

Levett wrote:
If you have some extra time for day trips, consider Acoma and/or the tram at Sandia Crest. Nice walking trails at the Crest, and there's nothing like a margarita and guacamole at 10,000 feet. 8-)

Lev
I was there about five years ago and stayed in a very average motel on the edge of town near the person I was visiting. Obviously I survived.

I agree with your recommendation, although at 10,000 feet the air is a little sparse so take it easy. While we were there a group of about 20 young guys in fatigues were out for their morning conditioning run on those trails. I was impressed.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by PaddyMac »

I live near ABQ and the nightly news does feature some sad cases of tourists being ripped off at motels along I-40. They particularly go after anyone towing a camper trailer (sometimes making off with the entire trailer). Last week a woman had both her dogs stolen when she left her car unlocked briefly. My friend's motorbike was stolen at a hotel downtown, but the cops found it - and he said they were great!

So the advice to stay a little off I-40 is a good one. If you can afford Hotel Andaluz downtown, it's gorgeous with an amazing Tapas restaurant. But the rest of downtown can a bit sketchy for walking around.

The Nob Hill area by UNM is great for restaurants and breweries, and just south of Nob Hill (on Gibson/University area) are a bunch of nice airport hotels including a Marriott. We stayed there for a few weeks when we first moved there, and it was fine.

If it's just an overnight stay to rest and fuel up, you might check out the Route 66 casino-hotel about 40 mins west of the city. They have a fabulous buffet that will keep you going all day. We often stop there for lunch to fuel up when driving west to AZ or CA.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by stlutz »

Can't believe that nobody has warned you against missing a left turn there yet...
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by harmony »

Someone I know who was visiting in ABQ for a few days fell for this scam: A woman in a car with crutches propped on the passenger seat (maybe thinking she'd found a gullible tourist) stops to say she is disabled and is running low on gas. Could she please borrow gas money so she can drive home. She says she lives a couple hours south of ABQ. My friend gives her gas money and his home address so she can repay him. The scammer takes the money, promising to return it; but my friend never gets paid back. With a mobile ruse like that, no one area is more immune than another area. This happened in a touristy area of ABQ.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by mickens16 »

dwickenh wrote:Hello fellow Bogleheads,

DW and i are taking a road trip to Vegas, Bishop California, and Seattle. Our trip will take us through Albuquerque NM. My intent was to stop there for some star gazing at a Dark Site outside of the city. Several people at my wife's work indicated it was not safe to overnight in the city due to crime. I had not heard of this problem. I was wondering if anyone who lives close or has visited could give me a first hand report on the safety of Albuquerque.

Thanks for the help,

Dan
This is a question I would assume one would ask if they were going to D.C. for the first time, but Albuquerque??
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Colorado13 »

I'll echo other's comments, as someone who has traveled to ABQ for both business and pleasure (once so far in 2016, twice in 2015, once in 2014, etc.): Use common sense, just as you would in any city that is not familiar to you, and you'll be fine. I second the recommendation to check out the BIoPark if you have time/interest.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by jimgour »

We live about two hours from Albuquerque and get there every month or two, for one reason or another. We've never had a security problem while visiting, shopping, etc. But then, we only moved here 40 years ago.

Jim (in New Mexico)
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by travelnut11 »

Was just in ABQ last week for a few days. Stayed at Hotel Albuquerque near Old Town which was lovely. People were very friendly and I never felt unsafe. Old Town is pretty boring but next time I'll get out more and check out the rest of the area.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by dwickenh »

travelnut11 wrote:Was just in ABQ last week for a few days. Stayed at Hotel Albuquerque near Old Town which was lovely. People were very friendly and I never felt unsafe. Old Town is pretty boring but next time I'll get out more and check out the rest of the area.

Thanks for the reply and info travelnut11

Dan
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by dwickenh »

jimgour wrote:We live about two hours from Albuquerque and get there every month or two, for one reason or another. We've never had a security problem while visiting, shopping, etc. But then, we only moved here 40 years ago.

Jim (in New Mexico)

Thanks Jim for the reply

Dan
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by dwickenh »

Colorado13 wrote:I'll echo other's comments, as someone who has traveled to ABQ for both business and pleasure (once so far in 2016, twice in 2015, once in 2014, etc.): Use common sense, just as you would in any city that is not familiar to you, and you'll be fine. I second the recommendation to check out the BIoPark if you have time/interest.

Thank you for the reply Colorado

Dan
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by dwickenh »

stlutz wrote:Can't believe that nobody has warned you against missing a left turn there yet...

Oh great, something else to worry about...........

Dan
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by jabberwockOG »

Like a lot of cities in the US, some parts of Albuquerque have significant problems with violent gangs, crime, and drugs. Like any big city, find a nice upscale neighborhood to stay in and you will almost certainly be completely safe and not become a victim.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Teague »

dwickenh wrote:
stlutz wrote:Can't believe that nobody has warned you against missing a left turn there yet...

Oh great, something else to worry about...........

Dan
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by 22twain »

stlutz wrote:Can't believe that nobody has warned you against missing a left turn there yet...
Eh, you beat me, Doc...

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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by 552BB »

Hello BH,


22twain wrote:
stlutz wrote:Can't believe that nobody has warned you against missing a left turn there yet...
Eh, you beat me, Doc...

Image


Very nice. I even remember when Bugs Bunny missed that left turn... :happy


I lived in ABQ for several years in early 2000's. I was born and raised in San Diego, and we live there now.

I have lived all over the USA do to my job. One of our favorite cities to live in was Albuquerque.

We may get a second home there or Santa Fe some day in the future.



Albuquerque is a beautiful, rustic, old and somewhat dusty town. It has a certain charm about it.

I would suggest visiting old town, Placitas on the north outskirts of town, and take the tram to the top of the mountain.

Also, all of New Mexico is a great place to star gaze.



Enjoy your trip.



:sharebeer
anoop
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by anoop »

Anyone know of any newer hotels in Albuquerque? Preferably uptown, but anywhere between the airport and uptown would work.

I've been disappointed by some of the older properties in terms of cleanliness and wear & tear.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by bottlecap »

Never been to the city. All stereotyping aside, whether from wife's coworkers or BH posters, the bottom line is that every town has its good and bad areas. That is especially true with bigger cities, but the good news is that bigger cities have more good spots to choose from.

Continue with your advance research and enjoy your trip!

JT
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by BTDT »

Albuquerque no problem.............but Bishop California...beware!
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Christine_NM »

anoop wrote:Anyone know of any newer hotels in Albuquerque? Preferably uptown, but anywhere between the airport and uptown would work.

I've been disappointed by some of the older properties in terms of cleanliness and wear & tear.
I don't know what you are looking for, but I'd stay at Los Poblanos if I did not already live here: http://www.lospoblanos.com/accommodations/rooms/
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by anoop »

Christine_NM wrote: I don't know what you are looking for, but I'd stay at Los Poblanos if I did not already live here: http://www.lospoblanos.com/accommodations/rooms/
Anything that's clean and well maintained would be good. I'm booked at the Garden Inn but the reviews don't seem very good, nor if any of the alternatives. It seems like a case of rolling the dice and hoping you get lucky that a good housekeeper serviced the room before arrival.

The link looks like an interesting place. I wish I had known about it earlier. It is sold out for the days I'm going to be there. But I will keep it in mind for future visits. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Thanks.
SRenaeP
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by SRenaeP »

anoop wrote:Anyone know of any newer hotels in Albuquerque? Preferably uptown, but anywhere between the airport and uptown would work.

I've been disappointed by some of the older properties in terms of cleanliness and wear & tear.
I don't know if it's new but the Sheraton Uptown is decent.

-Steph
Rupert
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Rupert »

Does anybody besides me think it's strange that OP was warned about Albuquerque but not about Vegas?
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by White Coat Investor »

Rupert wrote:Does anybody besides me think it's strange that OP was warned about Albuquerque but not about Vegas?
Yea, I stopped overnight in Vegas and was the victim of a crime. Someone tried to steal my bike off the top of the car in a casino parking lot. But no problems in Albuquerque.
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Re: Traveling through Albuquerque - safe to stop?

Post by Pharmacist »

My theory is that your wife is not interested in star gazing.
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