10. Albuquerque, NM
Why go: Albuquerque is the hot air balloon capital of the world, and its International Balloon Fiesta takes place Oct. 5–13. Chile season also starts in late summer, but the fall offers cooler temps for exploring New Mexico’s secret chile-tasting spots on a New Mexico Chile Bike Tour.
Where to stay: Stay on the iconic Route 66 at El Vado Motel. The historic motor lodge—which was one of the state’s first motels to greet Route 66 travelers when it originally opened in 1937—was restored to its former glory (and then some) in summer 2018.
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