- First appeared: February 15, 2017 in the ABQ Free Press
A Quick Trip to Belen Offers Fun, Sweets and History
Belen, 35 miles south of Albuquerque, is yet another New Mexico town that evolved from its agricultural roots to become the transportation hub it is today, after the arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s.
That’s where the nickname “Hub City” came from – the junction of major railways. We’ll explore more of its origin later.
Despite the hustle and bustle of the railroad, the town is certainly mellow. The land of mañana rings true, but without the negative connotation it often carries. Belen offers a comfortable space to relax, from museums to small retail shops and scrumptious food options.
Hit the road with your favorite tunes for a casual afternoon not too far from home. On I-25, the Sandias slowly morph into the Manzanos. Despite the jagged rock faces, the Manzanos slide into mesmerizing slopes, its altitude hidden behind soft fronts.
Albuquerque to Morgan’s Cakes and More:36.4 miles
121 S Main St., Belen
Confections dusted with confectioner’s sugar. The icing melts into your mouth. What more could you ask for on a lazy afternoon?
If you need a custom cake order, here is the place to do it. Maybe you didn’t need a whole cake, but some cupcakes for a get-together – not to worry, fineness is commonplace.
Delicate flowers top heavenly pastries. There is no such thing as too early or too late for a sweet. Breakfast is so important, it merits a perfectly decorated treat.
There are more breakfast-like pastries for those who wish for it.
Most important of all, savor every bite, you’ve got nowhere to be but here. Once the palate has been temporarily satisfied, make your way to the center of Belen’s sightseeing.
Morgan’s Cakes and More to Belen Harvey House Museum: 0.8 miles
104 N 1st St., Belen
Sometimes hanging out with antiques is an easy way to get lost in the past and escape the mayhem of daily routines.
The Harvey House Museum is one of a few remaining Harvey Houses. In the early 1900s, the house was a restaurant for passengers, where Harvey Girls waited on them.
The now-museum showcases art from local artists. The current show, Artful Threads, features fiber. Spectacular colors await your approval.
While you’re there, you might notice some paranormal activity. The Harvey House has quite the history of curious happenings. Check in with the docent for more eerie details.
After blasting through the interesting history, make the short drive over to the brewery.
Belen Harvey House to Hub City Brewing Co: 0.6 miles
202 De Soto Ave., Belen
What can I say, there just isn’t a better way to end the day than with a cold beer, regardless of the time of year.
Flavorful variations of crisp and bubbly assault your taste buds. You might see a glimpse of local life since the brewery is literally next to the train station. Commuters come and go, so do the tourists.
Train travel always seems a relaxing, old-fashioned way to get around. I much prefer it to cars and highly recommend a trip by train.
Hub City Brewing Co to Albuquerque: 36.1 miles
The clear sunny day turns to dusk and the short drive home beckons you.
Stops: 3; Miles: 73.9
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