Hotel at a Glance: Hotel Cascada
New Mexico’s only indoor water park is tucked inside Hotel Cascada, right in the heart of downtown Albuquerque. The 175,000-gallon park boasts twisting water slides, a lazy river, and a two-person FlowRider that simulates the experience of surfing. A shallow play area is ideal for younger children, with sprayers and a giant tipping bucket.
- Longest water slide: 300 feet
- Water-park activities: Limbo contests, scavenger hunts, and build-your-own-boat races
- Best place to unwind: Altitude Sports Grill, where you can use your $15 dining credit to nosh on spicy cayenne-habanero wings and play interactive sports trivia displayed on a dozen wall-mounted TVs
- Must-see nearby: Founded in 1706, Historic Old Town encompasses the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History and numerous art galleries, antique shops, and outdoor vendors selling locally made handicrafts.
- A view from the top: Ride the Sandia Peak Tramway to a 10,000-foot observation deck for breathtaking views of the Rio Grande Valley.
Albuquerque, New Mexico: Multicultural City with Long, Storied Past
Not only is Albuquerque New Mexico's largest city, it's also one of the state's most culturally diverse. Since its official founding in 1706, Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences have shaped the local culture, reflected in the city’s distinctive Pueblo Revival–style architecture.
The bulk of Albuquerque's cultural offerings center on Old Town, where you'll find art galleries and restaurants housed within historical adobe buildings. About a mile northeast of Old Town, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center has an impressive collection of artifacts dating back to pre-Columbian settlers. The museum building is inspired by the Pueblo Bonito ruins of Chaco Canyon.
To see a real pueblo, head to Acoma Pueblo, about 65 miles west of Albuquerque. Set atop a mesa, this dusty village—one of the oldest in the country—consists of centuries-old adobes where native artisans craft pottery with distinctive black-and-white designs.