>U Mom Knows Best: The Best Ways To Get To The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Best Ways To Get To The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The best event to attend in New Mexico

  Every year my family attends the best event ever in New Mexico. The event that I am talking about is an event with over 500 spectacular hot air balloons floating in the sky. These colorful balloons that are filled with hot air float magically over the sunny skies of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a must-see event that happens once a year for nine wonderful days. People from all over the world travel to New Mexico to attend the Balloon Fiesta, including the pilots and the owners of the hot air Balloons. Last year I had the privilege to meet a couple of hot air balloon pilots from the Netherlands. My boys enjoyed seeing their large motorcycle hot air balloon float in the Albuquerque sky.

   I received passes to the Balloon Fiesta to facilitate this article.

 The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta brings is a huge event that has a weekly attendance of over one million attendees. So, with that many people enjoying all the beautiful hot air balloons, traffic can be a nightmare to get to the place where the event takes place. The Balloon Fiesta is a must-see event that is on most people’s bucket list of places to travel to and is well worth the time spent in the traffic to get to the parking lot. The time spent in traffic doesn’t have to be long or stressful if you choose some of the alternative ways to travel to the Balloon Fiesta. Whether you traveled far or live in town, there are many options for transportation to get to the Balloon Fiesta Park. Each mode of transportation has advantages and disadvantages so I will list the ways that I am aware of, so you can decide which option is best.

Traveling by Car
 Most people think that the only way to get to the Balloon Fiesta is by a car and that is just one of many ways to get to the Balloon Fiesta Park. If you drive to the event, you will have to pay $15 cash to park your car. The parking attendants only take cash so make sure to bring $15 or more in cash to the event. Trust me, more cash is better so you can buy some delicious food on vendors row. Some of the vendors only take cash for their breakfast burritos, coffee, or funnel cakes

 If you choose to travel by car to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, make sure to give yourself plenty of time as there may be lots of traffic. On the busiest days of the hot air balloon fiesta the parking lots can fill up fast and there tends to be a lot of traffic. That can mean you can be stuck in traffic for more than an hour. So, I recommend allowing yourself at least 1 ½ hours travel time so you don’t miss the Mass Ascension of all the hot air balloons in the sky.  I prefer to get to the hot air balloon event earlier and then I use that time to buy myself a delicious breakfast burrito and check all the booths on vendor row. The busiest days of the balloon fiesta are the weekends, Thursday, and Friday. Check out a map of the balloon fiesta park that includes directions.

We love watching the hot air balloons inflate 

Park and Ride
 If you don’t want to deal with the traffic of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, taking the Park and Ride is a wonderful option. You simply drive to one of the many Park and Ride lots, park your car, and board a bus that takes you to the event. There is a cost to ride the bus but it does include admission to the event. Your ticket includes round trip transportation so when you are ready to go back to your car, you can board one of the many Park and Ride buses. One of the perks of the Park and Ride ticket is having a separate line to get into the balloon event so you will be able to avoid the long ticket line. You can buy the Park and Ride bus tickets online at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta website.

RideShare Car service
You can schedule a rideshare car like Uber or Lyft to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The event even has a drop off parking lot for these drivers that gets you close to the entrance. These cars do have to travel on the same roads that all the other cars travel on so there will still be traffic, but you won’t have the stress of as you can sit back and let your driver handle that. You also do not have to pay for parking.

This is one of many special shaped balloons at the fiesta

 As a local resident of Albuquerque, I like to travel by bike to get to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta so I can avoid the $15 parking fee. This gives me some great exercise and the event even offers free parking for your bike in a secure bike lot. The secure bike lot at the balloon fiesta park is staffed by local people who love to bike and this lot is very close to the Balloon Fiesta entrance, so less walking for you. Albuquerque has many bike paths that lead to the Balloon Fiesta Park so you don’t have to ride your bike in the street. Click HERE to read an in-depth article that has plenty of must-read information about biking to the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This article has information about the bike paths and what you need to bring, like a bike light, to safely ride to see all the beautiful hot air balloons.

Tour Bus
 An option to consider when booking your travel arrangements to the International Balloon Fiesta is touring with a group. The tour group travel agent takes care of all the details for you like hotel, admission tickets, and transportation to the event so you don’t have to worry about that. Sometimes the tour groups even include a tour bus to even get to Albuquerque. If you are an individual looking to join a tour that includes visits to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta click HERE and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for info.

To be able to float up in the sky in a hot air balloon is a dream

Rail Runner Train
 On weekends the Rail Runner Train offers a package that includes an event admission ticket to the Balloon Fiesta. The Rail Runner is a local New Mexico train that travels from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and also to Belen. You can board the train in many places in New Mexico and take the train to the Jefferson stop. At this train stop, there will be a bus that takes you to the Balloon Fiesta Park.

The Balloon Glow is a must-see event at the Balloon Fiesta

 You can even walk to the biggest hot air balloon show if you are one of the lucky ones who live near the Balloon Fiesta grounds. You can also walk to the Balloon Fiesta Park and avoid the traffic if you are staying at the official Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta RV campground or the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park Glamping campground. These places are right near the event so you can walk to see the hot air balloons or take the Balloon Fiesta courtesy shuttle. The Glamping tents were a huge hit the first year in 2018 so the Balloon Fiesta park double the number of available tents in 2019. The closest hotels are about 1 mile away from the Balloon Fiesta Park so if you want some healthy exercise, booking a room at these hotels would be a good option. There are also Airbnbs that are near the Abq Balloon Fiesta park that is within walking distance.

 So there are many options for transportation to consider to arrive at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta beyond renting or driving a car. So once you decided that you will be attending the most spectacular event in New Mexico, then consider how you will get to the event from the place you are staying. Your mode of transportation may help you with your travel decisions like the hotel that you will be staying at. You made a great decision to attend an up close to the hot air balloon event. If you need more information about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta be sure to visit these other informative articles that I wrote about the hot air balloon fiesta. I have been attending the over 500 hot air balloon show for over 10 years so I have lots of insider information that will help you experience the hot air balloon show in an amazing way. The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is more than seeing hot air balloons float in the sky. It is an up-close to the hot air balloon event like no other in the world. Maybe that is why it is called the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta as it is the best.

My favorite hot air balloons are the Bees

Discover the Balloon Fiesta up close

How to bike to the Balloon Fiesta

Over 500 hot air balloons drifting in the air

The best Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta tips

Nightglow at the balloon fiesta

Have you ever seen a hot air balloon up close?

Additional Resources
Visit Albuquerque - the local tourism board
Cerity Insurance  - for Albuquerque business owners
City of Albuquerque Job Opportunities - jobs and careers in the city


Marcie W. said...

This would be such a fun event to attend. There are so many beautiful balloons! The specially shaped ones are my favorite.

AiringMyLaundry said...

How neat! I would love to go to this one day. Seeing all the balloons in person would be awesome.

Brianne said...

A hot air balloon would be a lot of fun! All of these balloons are so amazing and beautiful! Seeing these in person would be so cool.

Tami @ This Mom's Delight said...

We would most likely drive by car. I think it would be the best mode of transportation for my youngest child.

Jaredamy said...

This is so neat. We travel by car when we vacation. My kids are afraid to fly and so am I.

Kathy said...

Those are some amazing balloons. I would love to see those. I have always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride too. I think it would be so fun.

S. Graham said...

I have never heard of this until now! I would LOVE to see this in person, so coooool!

Amber said...

I think these balloon festivals are so cool!

Celebrate Woman said...

This is grand! I would love to visit a balloon show and experience the excitement in the live show.

Monica said...

This event has been on my bucket list for a while now. I just think these are incredible and I am dying to see them in person!

Nyxie said...

What an awesome experience. It must be so exciting for you and the family.

Kay Flawless said...

What a fabulous event! My daughter would love this.

Cristina Pop said...

What a great festival! I would love to be able to attend next time.

Katrina Kroeplin said...

i love hot air balloon shows they are so much fun. we have one here every july and it's a blast.

Eileen M Loya said...

I have never been to a hot air balloon festival. This looks like so much fun. The balloons are all so cute. I am too scared to take a ride in one though but just to see all these beautiful balloons rise up to the sky is a fantastic experience in itself.

Ewuzie Kingsley said...

This sis such a fun and amazing event. one i would definitely love to attend someday.

Why Girls Are Weird said...

So fun! They have a hot air balloon day here in the spring and I love it, although I'd be scared to go up in one. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

Rachel said...

I used to attend an annual balloon festival in upstate new york and it was incredible to see these up close!

Marie at Complete Literature said...

Oh, my gosh, I love that sun balloon! And my granddaughter would love the unicorn one! We have never been to a balloon show. I would love to go to one someday.

Enriqueta E. Lemoine said...

Ive never been to a balloon show, but they look like so much fun! Adding to my bucket list.

Prime Beauty said...

I've always to see the balloon festival! I had no idea they were in such crazy shapes! This trip goes on my bucket list!

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