U.S. Cities You Should Definitely Visit | Bernalillo, New Mexico

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links to hotelplanner.com. I received compensation in exchange for writing this blog post, although all opinions are my own. 

Usually I’m not a fan of heat. There’s a reason I’ve been to 42 states, leaving the eight states with some of the highest temperatures in the nation for last. Since it’s my goal to go to all 50 states, I’ll admit that I’ve been scoping some spots to see while I’m there. During this series I’ve talked about Richmond, Virginia and today, for that Southwest vibe, I’m highlighting the little town of Southwestern spice: Bernalillo, New Mexico, which is located just outside of Albuquerque.

History

Kiva Painting. Image via Wikimedia via Unknown

This little part of New Mexico has a history that dates back 1,000 years. It’s known as the historical center of the state of New Mexico, possibly because most of this state is a desert, so there isn’t much competition. Over the years, the town has hosted archeological digs that produced kiva murals, some which are considered to be the best examples of Pre-Columbian art ever to be found in North America.

During the 16th century, conquistadors scoured what is now New Mexico for the Seven Cities of Gold, which straight up sounds like something from “Indiana Jones.” The Coronado Monument commemorates the journey of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, who camped near Bernalillo during his expedition to find the golden cities. The good news is that he made some great maps during his trip. The bad is that he was almost killed for failing to bring back gold. Oops.

Cool Things to Do

Since it’s a small town, you might not think that Bernalillo has a whole lot to offer. However, you might be surprised at how many quirky tricks it has up its sleeve. Try out the following fun stops when you’re in town.

Ghost Stories

I’m the type of person who can’t handle visiting any kind of scary place. But I do love myths, legends, and scary stories, as long as they’re told with the lights turned on. Bernalillo has quite a list of scary stories, most focused on the Santa Ana Star Casino. The workers there have claimed everything from hearing children laugh to feeling a presence in the room with them. Rumor has it that there was once a graveyard located where the casino is now standing. For a comprehensive list of haunted locations in this area, you can check out hauntedplaces.org.

Commune With Nature

Seattleites love nature more than life, so Bernalillo is a great spot for us to venture. Since Bernalillo is about 15 minutes outside of Albuquerque, it’s far enough away from the city that you can easily access the Rio Grande and the surrounding mountain ranges.

Accommodations

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Bernalillo, try finding a rustic place to stay. If you’re more in the hotel mood, pop over to HotelPlanner Bernalillo to find amazing spots for cheaper than you might think.

Wherever you choose to stay, hopefully I’ll see you out amongst the cacti. I’ll be the one hugging an ice block.

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6 People You’ll Meet While Traveling In Europe

6 People you'll meet

While traveling in Europe over the past few years I’ve met a LOT of people. The streets are always filled with travelers eager to get a taste of the art, history and overall experience that Europe has to offer; and as a solo traveler, I am always more than happy to share my journey with them. Toward the end of my last trip I started to take note of the trends in who I was sharing planes, trains and airplanes with and I thought I would share a few with you lovelies. So here they are – have you seen them? Leave a message with who I missed!

1. The Recent Grad:  These lovelies are the class of 20__ and are loud and proud about it. Whether hailing from the “great” U.S.A!, Canada, Australia or some other English speaking country, you’ll probably be able to pick these travelers out of a crowd by their looks of beautiful naivety and their constant need to tell everyone that they’ve recently graduated from college. Little do their beautiful soft minds know, we don’t care so much what you’ve learned from a book, but how you’ve applied it so far. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great starting point, but sometimes I want to tell them to not let that one three month European trip be the last time they push themselves beyond it.

2. The Family: Strollers in tow, these parents aren’t quite ready to settle down behind their white picket fences (at least, not all the time) and are out and about with their growing family. And don’t get them wrong, these families will be climbing mountains with sleeping babies strapped to their chest. I love seeing these families because I think it’s so important to introduce children to travel early on. My love of travel is because from a very young ageI was packed up and traveling all around the US – the fearlessness of travel is a learned attribute and I love seeing these kids learning it at such a young age.

3. The Band Of Brothers: There’s something beautifully bonding about the group of guys that travels the world together. Or at least that’s what they’ve all told me. But it’s not only the dudes who are bro-ing out. Shout out to the ladies who also have some tight knit pacts binding them together over countries and continents. Whether it’s a post graduation exploration, or just because their parents didn’t want them to be murdered when traveling alone (because that’s what happens to all us solo travelers – duh.) these groups can be fun to watch – and that’s pretty much all you’ll probably have the opportunity to do. Groups generally aren’t as inclusive as couples or singles (or even families) who travel. In much of the same way there are pros and cons to traveling alone, it’s a blessing and a curse to already have your friends with you when seeing the world.

4. The Boho Hipster: Yeah, yeah. We know. You are above living under the thumb of “the man” so you’ve decided to spend a “season” wandering the earth seeking enlightenment. Believe me, if you’ve met this person you will know it – mainly because they will be constantly reminding you of their alternative lifestyle. And you know what? That’s okay. Props to them – I don’t know how anyone travels with that many additional restrictions to their lifestyles. That’s right, I’m talking to you vegan, glamper who lives off Nietzsche, vintage wines and posts Instagram selfies of your daily lens flare/travel quote/#nofilter #travelpics #blessed.

5. The Nomad: A bit different from the Bohemian (mainly monetary differences, if we’re honest) this person actually doesn’t have anywhere else to go, and therefore approaches the world as their back yard, ready to be perused and explored. Hobbies may include, but are not limited to: epic story telling, guitar playing, resourceful repurposing, dread lock growing, Volkswagen driving, smoking certain plants that may or may not be legal and hanging out with the locals around dinner tables, fire pits and hostel front doors with long talks and smokes at 2am.

6. The Couple: Yes they’re in love. Yes you’re going to know it at every. single. moment. you’re with them. Whether they’re newly-weds, the couple who just never got their honeymoon or the empty nesters/retirees who are ready to take on the world, Europe called and they answered. While some of these couples may seem like an awkward alliance, don’t pass them by so quickly – some of my favorite introductions I’ve ever had were with older couples who had life advice, travel advice and were just solidly awesome. I love seeing the same enthusiasm I have as a single twenty something reflected in the eyes of couples who have been married for forty years. Wanderlust knows no age.