Points of Interest

New Mexico Museum of Natural History
National Atomic Museum
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Balloon Museum
City of Santa Fe
Rio Grande Zoo
Sandia Peak Ski and Tramway
Albuquerque Biological Park
Rio Grande Botanic Garden
Albuquerque Aquarium

Albuquerque, NM
One of the fastest growing cities in the southwestern United States is Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest city. It is situated on the banks of the Rio Grande, 59 miles (96 kilometers) southwest of Santa Fe. To the east are the Sandia and Manzano mountains. Since the city was founded in 1706 by Francisco Cuervo y Valdes, four flags--those of Spain, Mexico, the United States, and the Confederacy--have flown over the plaza of its Old Town. In early days it was known as San Felipe de Alburquerque. It was named for King Philip V of Spain and the duke of Alburquerque, who was then viceroy of New Spain. Later the name was shortened and changed to Albuquerque. Today, as a division point on the main line of the railway, Albuquerque is the leading commercial and distributing center of New Mexico.
The varied manufactures of Albuquerque's industries include electronic equipment, machine tools, cement, gypsum wallboard, lumber products, furniture, clothing, trailers, and aerospace parts. Large railroad shops are located in the city. Several oil refineries have been erected to accommodate the San Juan Basin oil field in northwestern New Mexico and the city's pipeline connections with Texas oil fields.
A warm, dry climate has made the city a popular health and vacation resort. Jewelry and pottery for the economically important tourist trade are made by Indians in nearby villages and reservations.

Santa Fe, NM
Situated at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in all of North America. It has been a seat of government since its founding and is now the capital of New Mexico and also the cultural capital of the Southwest.
The heart of the city is the old Spanish plaza. A granite slab marks the end of the Santa Fe Trail. In the plaza area are several museums that feature ethnic and regional arts and the Palace of the Governors, which was built in 1610. Restored as a museum in 1914, it has many historical exhibits. Other notable buildings are Rosario Chapel (1692) and the Cathedral of St. Francis (1869). The 17th-century San Miguel Church, known as the Oldest Church, was rebuilt in 1710 and restored in 1955. Later structures, including the Capitol, blend with Santa Fe's Spanish and Indian architecture.
A moderate, dry climate has helped make tourism Santa Fe's chief business. Nearby are pueblos, dude ranches, and ski runs. The Museum of Fine Arts has historical exhibits and manuscripts. An annual fiesta and the Santa Fe Opera add to the rich culture. The city's charm attracts artists and writers. Leading products are arts-and-crafts goods. The College of Santa Fe and a campus of St. John's College are here.

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