The ABQ is an easy one-hour flight or scenic six-hour drive from Denver. Venture down to this sunny city now for a warm dose of adventure and a spicy dish of New Mexico’s legendary cuisine.

EAT
Food is culture in New Mexico. Especially when it comes to chilies. You’ll always be asked “green or red” when it comes to the kind of chili sauce you want. If you’re feeling bold, reply with “Christmas,” for both. While you’re exploring the neon infused Nob Hill, where Route 66 passes through town, be sure to check out Zacatecas (zacatecastacos.com)—an authentic Mexican taqueria and tequila bar. Zacatecas offers a variety of soft tacos with fresh, organic ingredients and a Margarita bar featuring tequilas and beer exclusively from Mexico. Also be sure to schedule a dinner at the famous Sadie’s of New Mexico (sadiesofnewmexico.com) where the freshest of ingredients are used in family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Sadie’s on Fourth is the original location.

SLEEP
For that New-Mexico-ranch-style experience check out the Hyatt Tamaya Resort & Spa (tamaya.hyatt.com) on the north side of town along the Rio Grande. The Tamaya provides easy access to plenty of outdoor activities including some great horseback riding right on property. This is not your average just-follow-the-horse-in-front-of-you type of ride. The cheery wranglers are happy to work with riders of all abilities and will tailor trips accordingly. For more of an urban experience hit up the classic Hotel Albuquerque (hotelabq.com) in Old Town, which offers up a historic experience with shopping, ice cream and a grassy central square—the Old Town Plaza.

PLAY
Every exploration of Albuquerque should start at the famed ABQ Trolley Co. (abqtrolley.com). This 85-minute open-air trolley ride shows the lay of the land, provides a jovial glimpse of its rich history and appeals to pretty much everyone. Get an elevated perspective of the town on a sunset ride up the Sandia Peak Tramway (sandiapeak.com) to the 10,387-foot observation deck. Or go floating in the sky with Rainbow Ryders (rainbowryders.com) hot air balloon tours for the thrill of sunrise and sunset tours. For something more down to earth, you can paddle the Rio Grande with Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures (quietwaterspaddling.com) or bike the Bosque Trail with BikeSmith (thebikesmithllc.com).