For our 2nd anniversary, we decided to take a trip out west. This time, to New Mexico and Arizona and more specifically – Albuquerque & the Grand Canyon. Seth really wanted to go on the Breaking Bad tour in Albuquerque and once that was booked, it only made sense to make the 5 hour drive to the Grand Canyon. In all honesty, it’s always been somewhere that we both knew we would visit (along with the 5 million other people that visit a year), but I didn’t think it would be so soon for us! I’m so glad that he convinced me on these locations because it’s been one of my favorite US trips so far. The landscape is so different from ours in Georgia. It’s like walking right into an old western film and I love it.
What is the Breaking Bad tour? It’s a tour that takes you to all the major filming spots from the show. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Breaking Bad, it was filmed in Albuquerque and was a major hit on AMC. You can learn more about it here – I highly recommend watching it! The tour takes place on an RV like the one that Walter and Jesse use on the show – how cool is that? The RV is decorated with all kind of familiar items that true fans would recognize & even has some signed photos from the cast. The tour itself is led by people that made appearances on the show. Our guides appeared as a DEA agent with Hank and the other was a bystander. The tour consisted of visits and some photo ops at the following locations:
- Jesse’s house
- Jesse & Jane’s duplex
- The Dog House
- Combo’s Corner
- Walt’s house
- A1A Car Wash
- Tuco’s office
- Crossroads Hotel
- Blake’s Lotaburger
- The Super Lab
- Saul’s Office
While you’re traveling to the different locations the tvs on the tour bus play scenes from the locations that you’re visiting as a refresher. Of course, a lot of these locations have changed some since the time of filming but it’s still really neat to see it all in person. We stopped for lunch at Lotaburger (a restaurant you’ll see a lot of characters eat at in the show) about midway through the tour. The guides also ask some trivia questions during the ride and give out some Breaking Bad themed prizes for those who answer correctly. I liked that they kept you entertained during the drive. It’s a 3.5 hour tour so it’d be pretty bland driving from each location without some sort of interaction. Unfortunately for us ,the RV broke down in front of Jesse’s house while we were visiting. I initially thought it was a joke considering that Walter and Jesse get stranded in the RV out in the desert. Eventually, the tow truck and company that hauls the RV away from Jesse’s house in the show was the one that showed up to tow it. The guides we’re extremely apologetic for the inconvenience and made sure to go above and beyond for us to finish the tour even though time would run past the originally scheduled duration. We all swapped over to a smaller tour bus to complete the remainder of the tour. Overall, I was very impressed with the itinerary and would recommend it to any other fans that plan to visit the area. You can book here if you’re interested in taking the tour yourself! We felt that it was well worth the price of the tour + it includes lunch at Los Pollos Hermanos or Blake’s Lotaburger like we had.
Transportation – We used National to rent a car for this trip. We selected a 2019 Jeep Wrangler and it turned out to be one of the best decisions we made! The 4×4 capabilities made the trip much easier + fun! I especially enjoyed taking the top off when we were cruising around the city or along the winding roads in Arizona! I’d highly recommend an off-road vehicle for a trip to either of these states!
Accommodations – For our stay in Albuquerque, we selected a hotel that’s part of the Curio Collection by Hilton – Hotel Andeluz. We didn’t want to use the valet so we found a cheaper public lot nearby to park overnight with a short walk to the hotel entrance. The hotel has a really cool vibe with live music playing in the grand courtyard lobby in the evenings and casbah’s with restaurant and bar service. There are two restaurants at the hotel – Màs (a Tapas bar) & Ibiza Urban Rooftop Lounge. As far as our room goes, we were on the top floor of the hotel with a view overlooking the city from our window. This included 3 different murals that had been painted on surrounding buildings. The room was a good size with plenty of space to move around, even with the king bed. The bathroom was a little cozy compared to our usual. The feel of the room, furnishings, & decor was more of a boutique style -really pretty and upscale compared to a traditional hotel. I enjoyed our stay and give the hotel 5 stars. We will book again if we ever return to Albuquerque.
Restaurants – We wanted to get out and explore the town some so we opted to eat outside of the hotel. The restaurants we choose were The Library Bar & Grill for drinks and an app, with dinner following at Standard Diner. We had a specialty cocktail and beer with some chips and queso at the Library. After a short 10 minute walk to the diner, we were seated quickly and looked over the menu that so many had raved about online. I had the special – tomato soup, while Seth opted for a patty melt. Both of us enjoyed our meals and drinks. We were way too stuffed at this point and had to pass on dessert.
Attractions – One of my favorite things we did on this trip was take a drive to Sandia Peak. It was about a 25 minute drive from our hotel downtown and there’s a gift shop, restaurant, and the tramway that is accessible after a small $2 fee to enter the park. There are two trams that run about every 15 minutes. This tramway is the longest in the US and 3rd in the world for a single span – 2.7 miles to the top! It offers some amazing views of 11,000 square feet of the city and surrounding areas. This is a huge attraction during the cities Hot Air Ballon festival that takes place in the fall of every year. On the back side of the peak there is a ski area and some hiking trails. For ticket information – click here.
Read about our experience at the Grand Canyon in my next post….coming soon!