Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Featuring the Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Day 1

JACKSON, TENNESSEE:

Today our thrilling journey begins as we are filled with excitement for the days ahead. Our journey today takes us to west Tennessee where our accommodations await us in Jackson.
Day 2

OKLAHOMA CITY • DINNER - CATTLEMEN’S STEAKHOUSE:

Today we continue onto Oklahoma City where we have dinner in the historic stockyards district at the well known Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Our accommodations await us tonight in the Oklahoma City area. (D)
Day 3

OKLAHOMA CITY NATIONAL MEMORIAL & MUSEUM • AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM • AMARILLO • DINNER:

This morning we visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. This is a tribute to those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. After visiting the museum we depart for Amarillo, Texas, where we visit the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum. We enjoy an included dinner and overnight in the area. (D)
Day 4

ALBUQUERQUE • SANDIA PEAK TRAMWAY:

This morning we drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Balloon Capital of the World and the site of the International Balloon Fiesta. Our overnight accommodations await us here for the next two nights. This afternoon, we head up the 10,368- foot Sandia Peak on an exhilarating ride aboard one of the world’s largest tramways.
Day 5

BALLOON MASS ASCENSION • INDIAN PUEBLO CULTURAL CENTER • BALLOON GLOW:

Early this morning we visit the 77-acre Balloon Fiesta Park for the Mass Ascension. Here hundreds of hot air balloons take off, turning the sky into a rainbow of colors. We return to the city for sightseeing. We visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center which takes an in depth look at the state’s 19 pueblos. You have free time for exploring Old Town’s unique shops and galleries. Be sure to visit San Felipe de Neri Church. This evening we return to the park for the main event, the Balloon Glow at dusk. We witness all 800 balloons ignite to the ground. It’s an absolute exhilarating site. The glow is followed with an After Glow Fireworks Show. Don’t forget your cameras!
Day 6

SANTA FE • TAOS:

Our destination is Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the United States. Here vast desert meets the Rocky Mountains. We begin the day with a sightseeing tour through Santa Fe. Our tour will include Santa Fe’s State Capitol, the Cathedral of St Francis of Assisi, Mission San Miguel, the Palace of the Governors, and Loretto Chapel’s “Miracle Stairway.” We travel to Taos for overnight.
Day 7

TAOS • PUEBLO DE TAOS • RANCHOS DE TAOS • STATIONS OF THE CROSS • COLORADO:

Taos is an old Spanish adobe town and is situated on a high desert mesa at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. On today’s walking tour we learn about the history and art of Taos by visiting Pueblo de Taos, a Native American village inhabited for nearly 700 years. We explore the historic town plaza, which offers eclectic galleries and wonderful shops. We make a stop at Ranchos de Taos to visit San Francisco de Asis, the beautiful 18th Century mission church that captivated painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Our next stop is the Shrine of the Stations of the Cross. The Stations of the Cross are a series of graphic meditations of the last hours of Christ’s life – His judgment, sufferings, death, and resurrection. We overnight in Canon City.
Day 8

ROYAL GORGE ROUTE RAILROAD • BENT’S OLD FORT:

Today we board Colorado’s finest scenic train taking us on a journey through the spectacular Royal Gorge. Enjoy the breathtaking views from a classic glass-topped dome car. You will travel by rail deep beneath the towering 1,000-foot granite cliffs of the Royal Gorge, along the tumbling waters of the Arkansas River, where eagles soar, bighorn sheep roam, and cell service is non-existent. This 2-hour, 24-mile round-trip combines scenery, wildlife, history, and world-class service. We travel to Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. Located on the Santa Fe Trail, the site features a reconstructed 1840’s adobe fur trading post. Don’t miss the documentary film, “Traders, Tribes and Travelers.” (L)
Day 9

KANSAS • DODGE CITY • CASEY’S COWTOWN • BOOT HILL MUSEUM • HISTORIC FRONT STREET • HUTCHINSON:

We arrive in Dodge City in time for lunch at Casey’s Cowtown. We visit Old Dodge City (a.k.a. Boot Hill Museum and Historic Front Street), a history village museum located on the original site of Boot Hill Cemetery. Life in the 19th Century is interpreted through audio-visual programs, exhibits, a reconstruction of Dodge City in 1867, restorations and living history demonstrations. Exhibits in Boot Hill Museum include an extensive old west gun collection; Boot Hill Cemetery where unfortunate victims of the early days of lawlessness were buried; Fort Dodge Jail, one of several original buildings at the fort still in existence; a one-room school; and the 1878 Hardesty House, a restoration of a Victorian era cattleman’s home. Traveling east we overnight in Alva, Oklahoma. (L)
Day 10

CONOCO MUSEUM • PIONEER WOMAN MERCANTILE • WOOLAROC:

Our first stop today is the Conoco Museum, a tribute to over 125 years of an international energy company and the global community of hard-working individuals that created it. The museum exhibitions outline the company’s beginnings as a kerosene distributor to its current status as a top energy corporation. It may be in a small town, but Pawhuska’s downtown shop The Mercantile has a big reputation. Owned by Food Network TV show host Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, this boasts every kind of merchandise from beaded bracelets and handmade leather goods to apparel. Located in Bartlesville, Woolaroc, is a working ranch, museum and a wildlife preserve. You are likely to see bison and other animals as we drive through the preserve to the museum. The museum features the cultural heritage and lifestyles of early Western residents, paintings and sculptures by well known artists, an expansive collection of firearms, and much more. We travel to Muskogee, OK for our overnight.
Day 11

FORT SMITH NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE • LUNCH • JACKSON:

This morning we make our way to Fort Smith. Upon arrival, we visit the Fort Smith National Historic Site. The museum exhibits illustrate the court’s impact on the Indian Territory (Oklahoma), U.S. Marshals, outlaws, and regional history. Take a stroll on the walking trail along the Arkansas River which includes exhibits on the Trail of Tears. We continue through Memphis to Jackson for our final overnight stay. (L)
Day 12

HOME:

Morning is upon us as we depart for home filled with memories of the beautiful sights we’ve seen.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Departure Dates
12 Days
Select a date to book a tour:
(Pricing Per Person)
Double Triple Quad Single
$2359 $2139 $2019 $3125
MEALS INCLUDED
Continental Breakfasts: 11
Lunches: 3
Dinners: 2
Activity Level: 4
Easy
Strenuous