This is a distinct temple, the only one in New Mexico, which stands out against the Sandia Mountain Range and Sandia Peak Ski and Tramway on one side and a flat landscape on the other. The entry of the temple is quite unique with tall, chunky columns topped with sunstone designs. The light pink exterior blends into the desert sands. Hundreds of cacti had to be cleared from the area to make way for the building.
This desert landscape was first home to Native Americans. Some of their remaining pictographs can be seen at the Petroglyph National Monument. The area is rich in history and offers that quintessential Southwestern flair. The Mormon Batallion were some of the first mormons in the area in 1846. There is a brick marker off I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe commemorating their journey through the area. It wasn't until 1876 when missionaries preached to the Native American Zuni and Navajo tribes and small congregations were established. The first mission in the area was in the native language and with it's humble beginnings, has grown into a large mormon population.
New Mexico is known for it's chiles and you can smell the tempting aromas wafting through the air during all seasons, but especially in October, during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the biggest balloon festival in the world. To try some of the best red chile in the area, you must try Mary & Tito's. A local favorite. If you're visiting during other months, the Albuquerque Biological Park features a zoo, aquarium, botanic gardens and fishing lakes.
After spending the day at all these sites, you'll probably want to treat yourself to a nice dinner. Torinos' @ Home is just the place for fresh-made pasta and seafood. The Explora Science Center and Children's Museum of Albuquerque will hold the attention of younger and older children with hands-on activities. Pick up some tasty pizzas or famous pastries from Golden Crown Bakery to take with you to Quintessence Park if you want to picnic or just have space to run free. For unique food with a Spanish twist, try Flying Star Cafe - Rio Grande for Spanish Fritattas and Southwestern Bennies. For tasty sushi rolls, donburi and more Japanese specialties, check out Kokoro Japanese Restaurant.