Albuquerque, NMAlbuquerque, New Mexico was recently recognized as one of the Top Five Places to Pop the Question, being in a hot air balloon, of course. Wanderlust listed Albuquerque’s signature experience of flying high above the city in a balloon as a top romantic experience. This year, a lucky winner will get to experience that romance first hand with a Valentine’s Day getaway for two.

Albuquerque is known as the Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World. This designation encompasses much more than nine days each October during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Hot air balloons fly nearly 300 days each year in Albuquerque, and ballooning enthusiasts have participated in the Friends and Lovers Hot Air Balloon Rally since 1976 over Valentine’s Day weekend. During this year’s balloon rally, a lucky winner and their guest will be passengers in one of 100 participating balloons.

Win a Balloon Ride

The Visit Albuquerque is running a contest to give away a romantic Valentine’s package including:

  • Two nights of accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Albuquerque
  • A balloon ride for two people at the Friends and Lovers Hot Air Balloon Rally on February 11-12
  • A $200 Visa card that can be used for a romantic dinner, shopping, airfare or gas.

Enter online at

Contest entries much be received by 11:59pm MST on January 31st. The contest winner will be drawn on February 1, 2012 and must be available to fly at 7am on either February 11th or 12th.

Sample tweet: #Win a balloon ride to @see_albuquerque for #ValentinesDay. Enter by 1/31/12 at

Unique Valentine’s Weekend Events
A variety of Valentine’s Day hotel and restaurant specials and events are also taking place throughout the city. In addition to the balloon rally, sweethearts can get together for a salsa dance competition, festive 5K runs, or even a mating tour at the ABQ BioPark Zoo.

On Saturday, February 11th, the Old Town Sweetheart Stroll celebrates love with “sweetheart deals” from merchants, Valentine’s Day dinner packages from 5-9pm and a lovely ambience to stroll with that special someone throughout the evening. Galleries and shops will have extended hours and live entertainment will take place throughout Old Town.

February 11th will also provide a non-traditional look at the complex dance that is love in the animal kingdom with several events at the ABQ BioPark. Indulge your animal instincts with special tours about the exotic, erotic and often curious romantic rituals of animals. Adults may choose from three tours: "Birds and the Beasts" at the Zoo, "Love Bugs" at the Botanic Garden and "That's a Moray!" at the Aquarium.

Hotel Packages and Restaurant Deals
Details of Valentine’s weekend events, hotel packages and romantic meals are all available at

Photo available for download: http://www.itsatrip.org