Albuquerque's only guided city tour follows an 18-mile course, and the 66 minutes of fun begin at the Plaza Don Luis in Old Town. The journey, which allows sightseers to sit back and take in the view (as opposed to "hop on, hop off" tours) blazes a path past Museum Row and through Downtown, before cruising on course to the city's competitive baseball, basketball, and jousting stadiums. With witty and historical commentary, the burqueños entertain and inform locals and visitor alike as they ferry past the Rio Grande Zoo, Albuquerque Aquarium, and Botanic Gardens, among other essential Albuquerque hot spots. The tour concludes where it began in Old Town, where the knowledgeable guides bid farewell to guests and point them toward a good place to lunch, shop, or patent their most recent invention.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Ron and Olha Dolin didn’t discover their shared passion for wine and spirits until after they were married. Together they use Ron’s Ph.D. in engineering and Olha’s generational knowledge of producing vodka and brandy in Eastern Europe to craft handmade wines and fine spirits. Their wines include the specialty Emotion series, which includes cherry sherry, apple ice wine, and a wine made from rose petals. The two also distill spirits ranging from blue corn vodka and bourbon to gin made from New Mexico juniper, pinon, chamisa, sage, and rose hips.
Rail riders chug through the scenic Rocky Mountains along the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad⎯the highest altitude and longest route traveled by an American coal-fired steam-operated train. Across 64 miles of track built in 1880, the iron horse chugs along at 15 miles per hour, winding through the Rocky Mountain air and presenting travelers with panoramic vistas. When voyaging from Chama, passengers pass through aspen trees and grassy hills on the way to the 10,015-foot high Cumbres Pass, where they drink in views of the entire Chama Valley and marvel at ant-sized humans transporting food to their queen. If leaving from Antonito, commuters cross over Ferguson's Trestle and a lava mesa before traversing the rim of the 800-foot-deep Toltec Gorge, passing through the mud tunnel, and bending around Phantom Curve.
In the historic landscape of El Camino Real, the Black Mesa's vines produce the purple foodstuffs formed and fermented into award-winning wines. Partakers can sit indoors or out on Black Mesa's gazeboed patio while wetting their whistles on a wealth of varietals, including chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, and zinfandel. Tickle tongues' taste receptors with six of Black Mesa's wines and six New Mexican cheeses, earthier alternatives to showy moon gouda. Guests are gifted with two souvenir wine glasses and $20 towards a bottle of their choice, including Black Mesa's award-winning blends, such as Coyote, Antelope, and Black Beauty (prices range from $12.45-$34.50), ensuring at-home sips are enjoyed in more appropriate receptacles than plastic cups or "World's Best Cousin" mugs.
El Meze's chef Frederick Muller alchemically transmutes local and organic "food of the mountains" into a menu of regionally inspired cuisine from Spain, northern New Mexico, and the Mediterranean. Start off with a shared plate of chicharrones, a braised pork belly that is flash-fried and dusted with chili and smoked Spanish paprika ($8). Appetites can stay sprightly with a small meal of fresh Penn Cove mussels in an herb broth ($13), or stay grounded during a gravity outage with a large meal of truchas yerba buena, a whole trout marinated in mint and cilantro and preserved with lemon and garlic ($19). A dessert of mini cardamom doughnuts drenched in caramel chocolate sauce defuses sweet teeth before their timer reaches zero ($8).