There's a reason Bernalillo has been a stopover for New Mexico travelers ever since Route 66's glory days. In fact, plenty of reasons. From the classic New Mexican cuisine and good-time vibe at the Range Café to the huge collection of Native American pottery at Rose's Pottery House, the sleeper of a town is long on authenticity, history, and art. Bernalillo is no glamour capital. But whether you explore the ancient pueblo at nearby Coronado State Monument or browse the colorful offerings at Art Gallery 66, you'll find it filled with don't-miss discoveries.
Bernalillo is 18 miles north of downtown Albuquerque. From I-25, take exit 240, then go west on Avenida Bernalillo and turn right on Camino del Pueblo.
Coronado State Monument. Get a look at the celebrated Native American murals and walk along the Rio Grande. INFO: Closed Tue; $3; 485 Kuaua Rd. (on U.S. 550, about 2 miles west of I-25); www.nmmonuments.org; 505/867-5351.
Angus McDougall Gallery. Wander into an old adobe gallery, located behind the Range Café, showcasing contemporary New Mexican art. INFO: By appointment; 978 San Felipe Rd.; 866/866-1186.
Art Gallery 66. Get your kicks on a visit to this art hangout, touted as "fun, funky, and fabulous." INFO: Fri-Sun; 373 N. Camino del Pueblo; 505/867-8666.
Jackalope. Huge selection of folk art, garden items, and furniture from around the world. INFO: 834 U.S. 550; 505/867-9813.
Rose's Pottery House. A local institution with a vintage trading-post feel, and your best bet for quality Native American crafts. INFO: Closed Mon; 925 Camino del Pueblo; 505/867-2338.
The Range Café. The town's big dining draw is also home to the Lizard Rodeo Lounge, a smoke-free bar with live music on weekend nights. INFO: $$; 925 S. Camino del Pueblo; 505/867-1700.
Prairie Star Restaurant. Contemporary, globally influenced new American dining in a restored adobe mansion on the Santa Ana Pueblo. INFO: $$$; closed Mon; 288 Prairie Star Rd.; 505/867-3327.
La Hacienda Grande. A bed-and-breakfast located in a 250-year-old adobe with a lovely central courtyard. Rooms have viga ceilings, and some offer wood-burning fireplaces. INFO: 6 rooms from $89; www.lahaciendagrande.com; 800/353-1887.
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. Blending modern and traditional Southwest elements, the resort offers trail rides, golf, and introductions to Tamaya culture, including drum making and Pueblo-oven bread baking. INFO: 350 rooms from $235; www.tamayahyatt.com; 800/554-9288.