Pretty Much The Coolest Thing About Albuquerque

From a tourist standpoint, Albuquerque doesn’t compete with the excitement of a large city like Chicago, New York, or San Francisco.  We don’t have amusement parks or professional sports or beaches.  We lack the historical appeal of Santa Fe and the quirkiness of Roswell and our ski valley isn’t the best when compared with the others in the state.

But, I can say this about my city: we put on a heck of a Balloon Fiesta.

For one week in October, we play host to the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world (and also the most photographed event in the country), and Albuquerque turns into an international hot spot of early morning green chile seeking, hot air balloon loving dwellers.

We get up and get to the park by 5 am, find some breakfast burritos, FREEZE (mornings are cold here in October), and then watch as hundreds of hot air balloons inflate and take off against the backdrop of the New Mexico sunrise.

The Balloon Fiesta is an awesome experience and is a yearly tradition in which I gladly participate   Even in college I would come home from California for the occasion   This year Aaron and I went with my parents and sisters (who had both come home from school for the weekend) on Sunday morning for the “farewell” mass ascension.

Burritos: Just as important as the balloons!

Me and my dad ordering burritos.  The man looks VERY interested.

Eating the burrito

Dawn Patrol.  These first few balloons go up to make sure conditions are ok.

Aaron’s photo artistry


This guy is a local investigative reporter who brings down politicians and other scammers…this is a really scary balloon.

Bee Family!

Instagram Version!


18 thoughts on “Pretty Much The Coolest Thing About Albuquerque

    • Darth comes with a Storm Trooper posse! And the bees are cute because they started off with one, then the next year they had the couple, and then a couple years later they added the baby bee! I’m anticipating a little brother here soon.

  1. I’ll be honest … when I saw the headline, I was kind of scratching my head thinking, what could be cooler in Albuquerque than the bugler I saw on Cops a couple of months ago? But wow, those balloons are pretty awesome. No doubt. In the summertime here, there’s a nearby town and there’s usually 10-15 of them up in the air on the weekends. But wow, those pictures are amazing …

  2. It is pretty amazing that we have this event in Albuquerque. My kids think it is normal to see hundreds of balloons in the sky come October. Doesn’t that happen everywhere?!

    Your pictures are gorgeous. My friend and I had the most amazing run with the balloons in the sky on Saturday so we must make that an annual tradition.

    • Growing up I kind of thought it was cool, and then when I left for college, everyone was always talking about it. I had no idea that it was such a big deal!

      Your pictures were pretty cool too! Last year the wind went funky and they all landed at the golf course across the street, and so our run was sabotaged by a bunch of balloons! It makes for a fun run!

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