Road trips from Southern California: New Mexico
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( Dick Kent )
Distance: 789 miles one-way
Albuquerque is sprucing up its Cinderella image and turning into one of the belles of the tourist ball. TripAdvisor placed Albuquerque fourth in last year's listing of the top 10 underrated world destinations, and online travel company Orbitz chose it as one of five "outstanding locations that should be on everyone's must-see list" in the next five years.
If one thing has put Albuquerque on the tourist map, it's the annual International Balloon Fiesta (Oct. 5-14 this year). It "helped establish a sense of place," said Dale Lockett, president and chief executive of the city's convention and visitors bureau.
-- Beverly Beyette
Read more: Albuquerque rising