This site contains affiliate links. Please see policies for more information.
Last weekend we road tripped it out to Albuquerque from Phoenix for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (check out All for the Boys early next week to see why we were there). It was so much more fun than I expected and we had an awesome family weekend!
The Balloon Fiesta was incredible! We drove straight to Albuquerque on Friday just stopping for bathroom breaks. We woke up early on Saturday morning to catch the morning session. I didn’t realize that the Fiesta isn’t open all days – there are 2 sessions a day allowing time in between for the balloons to come back and get set up on the field.
There were LOTS of people there but there was lots of room too. It took a while to find a spot to park as the sun was rising. The balloons had already started but we still got to see the first ones take off as we were coming into the area.
I’ve been to a hot air balloon even before, but never anything like this. there are SO many balloons and it’s incredible how quickly they all look so small!
You can walk around the field right next to all the balloons as they launch. Everyone cheered as each one took off in their area.
I tried to capture the size of the area but you definitely have to see it to believe it.
After the fiesta we decided to check out the zoo in Albuquerque which everyone loved. So glad we decided to go! Then we took a much needed nap, had some dinner and walked around the shopping center near our hotel (Albuquerque Uptown). We stayed at Hyatt Place Albuquerque/Uptown and would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the area!
On the way back we wanted to stop at a few places to break up the drive (the way home always takes forever).
The boys’ choice was Knife City (seriously?!) and I really wanted to stop in Holbrook. Joe & Aggies was closed but I took a peek inside and snapped a few photos. If you don’t know this was a huge inspiration for the Pixar team when creating Cars!
Then a drive by of the Wigwam Motel (love).
And another favorite of the boys’ Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co.! This place is amazing and filled with all kinds of things to check out like fossils, more petrified wood than you can imagine, other rocks and even a collection of vintage toys! They have a Koi pond inside too.
We stopped for an early dinner in Flagstaff before finally making it home in time to take the dogs for a walk.
There were actually more places I wanted to stop and a few things I wanted to check out in Albuquerque so we may have to make this trip again! Have you made this drive before? What are your favorite stops?!