By Jill Lane
Summertime means Vacation Time! But this year is unique because of the Coronavirus pandemic. How will this affect your summer vacation? Maybe that luxury vacation is out, but it does NOT mean giving up Vacation. Travel experts are saying that 3-4 day drive vacations will dominate the travel industry this season.
With that in mind, Betty Bulldog and I began our summer travels on a close-to-home trip…in fact a STAY-CATION! Right here in Albuquerque! Our goals? To escape the house without a lengthy travel trip. To explore places right here in Albuquerque. In other words…BE tourists in our own city.
So…we planned an active itinerary, packed the car….just like a regular vacation. And off we went! We share our STAY-CATION itinerary with you, but we challenge you to create your own STAY-CATION itinerary and incorporate places and activities you want to experience!
Betty Bulldog’s Stay-Cation itinerary is pet friendly, family friendly….well fun for the entire family!
Day 1. First stop. Elena Gallegos Open Space Outdoors Here We Come! The whole family will love hiking this easy-going park. With choices including hiking/biking trails, fabulous mountain views, pine scented fresh air followed by a tasty picnic in a shady picnic site, everyone in your party will enjoy.
Ahh. Great outing in Albuquerque’s high-desert setting right on the outskirts of the city!
NEXT STOP. When’s the last time you rode the Tram? Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest aerial tram in the Americas and offers a multi-faceted high-flying experience. Ride the tram, shop, dine and snag panoramic views from the top. But wait! How does Betty fit in here? It’s all cool! Literally. No pets on the Tram but Betty stayed landside in their complimentary pet zone! We brought along her blanket, toys and water so she safely relaxed while I took this spectacular tram ride.
A full day, it’s now time to relax for the evening and night! We selected Sheraton Uptown Hotel for our 1st overnight on our mini-vacation
Sheraton, a full-service hotel, welcomes everyone…from pets to people. The Sheraton group is universally pet-friendly, so we love Sheraton! After a friendly welcome gift for Betty, we settled in for the night with a Room Service Dinner followed by a much needed comfy bed to rest, relax, chill out, and sleep well after this busy day! Zzzzz!
Next morning we slept in….after all, this is vacation! We luxuriated in our room, then took a walk around the hotel’s grassy area where Betty could do her business and start her day on the right paw! Now we’re ready for Day 2! We headed to Bachechi Open Space on Rio Grande Blvd. Originally an equestrian farm, Bernalillo County purchased this beautiful property and turned it into a public open space. Don’t be surprised to see hikers, bikers and even horse riders enjoying this lovely wooded setting. A true Albuquerque treasure.
Soon we arrived at our next stop…. historic Old Town Plaza. Founded in 1706, it is the city’s historic cultural center. Here we strolled through Albuquerque’s past, taking in treasures like San Felipe Church, museums, and shopping New Mexico culture in the 100+ shops and galleries surrounding the Plaza. There’s something here for everyone! Noontime, our plaza stroll brought on an appetite for some tasty New Mexico cuisine, so we headed over to Church Street Café to dine on authentic New Mexican cuisine in the flower-filled (and pet-friendly) patio! Ahhh! The perfect midday pause in Old Town! We continued our afternoon, browsing the Plaza…. while snagging fabulous photo keepsakes. Finally, we headed to the car for our next overnight stop!
At the nearby Sawmill District, we checked into Albuquerque’s hidden gem-the Painted Lady Bed & Brew! That’s right! Brew. This former (during Albuquerque’s colored past) brothel is now home to a charming inn with shady courtyard…a welcoming spot to while away the hours topped off with their unique Brew Happy Hour, offering guests locally brewed beers!
Betty Bulldog gives Painted Lady B&B a 5-Paws rating*. Because……in addition to the guest lodging value, they even have a fabulous PET PACKAGE…inclusive of their very own non-alcoholic specially formulated ‘Dog Brew’! This package also includes doggie treats from Rude Boy Cookies, a doggie welcome gift, and even an autographed copy of New Mexico’s Pet Travel Guide. Yes, it’s all about taking care of everyone at this unique Bed&Brew! That night, we slumbered in heavenly comfort in our cozy, well-appointed suite.
Next morning, we enjoyed a leisurely coffee on the veranda and snagged photos around the Trolley Car. We plan to return for a Trolley Tour (also pet-friendly) when they start running for the season! Alas, before we could blink a dog-blink, our mini vacation was over. We checked out and headed home--now rested, relaxed, and filled with special memories, new discoveries, and awesome moments from our little STAY-CATION right here in Albuquerque! Happy Stay-Cation!
Marketing & Media Specialist, Award winning Author, Freelance Travel Writer, NM Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee, Pet Travel Specialist, Animal Welfare Advocate. - 505 220-4933 - Jill.firstname.lastname@example.org