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The Globe and Mail

6 free things to do in Albuquerque (that won't get you arrested)

AMC's Breaking Bad put the New Mexico city on the map for illegal activities, but there are plenty of wholesome, low-cost activities

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BREAK BAD: A few nondescript spots around Albuquerque have become famous thanks to AMC’s hit television series Breaking Bad. Go online, print out a free map to the filming locations and don’t forget your camera. You won’t be able to resist taking a “selfie” in front of Los Pollos Hermanos or the Dog House Drive In.

Richard Foreman/AP

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BALLOON FIESTA: Look up, way up, for the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. You’ll have to fork over an entrance fee to officially attend, but the colorful spectacle can be seen for free from many vantage points once the balloons lift off.

Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

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OLD TOWN: Take a wander around this historic area, found in the heart of the city. The Old Town Plaza area boasts shops and restaurants, as well as brick sidewalks and a collection of adobe buildings. Old Town is also home to San Felipe de Neri Church, the city’s oldest church.

Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

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RIO GRANDE: Grab a bike or some sturdy shoes: A paved path along the cottonwood and willow forest that borders the river stretches 25 kilometres from one end of the city to the other.

Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

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ROUTE 66: If you’ve got a car, you can take in the sights of the historic highway, including the Route 66 Malt Shop. A self-guided tour along this section of the route offers boutiques, restaurants and a parade of neon.

Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

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SANDIA CREST You can take a tram to to the top of the Sandia Mountains, or save yourself $20 and drive up the 3,255 metres for stunning views of the Albuquerque region.

Jake Schoellkopf/AP

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