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This desert crossroads has a secret charm, based more on the locals than on any urban flare. New Mexico's largest city, immediately west of the Sandias where the east–west Route 66 bridges the north–south Rio Grande, folks are always happy to share history, highlights and not-to-be-missed restaurants.
Centuries-old adobes dot the lively Old Town, and the shops, restaurants and bars in trendy Nob Hill are within easy walking distance. Excellent hiking trails aboundcan be found just out of town, along with a vibrant mix of university students, Native Americans, and Hispanics. You'll find flyers for square dances and yoga classes, and see ranch hands and real-estate brokers breaking bread at hole-in-the-wall taquerías and retro cafes.