A Roadtrip to Albuquerque Is as Fragrant as It Is Beautiful

Lavender fields forever.

Los Poblanos
Los Poblanos

When lavender is in bloom it’s easy—blissful, even—to inhale deeply and let the soothing aroma work its magic. But you don’t have to travel to Provence, France to roam the lavender fields.

Lavender is a low-water plant that thrives in a desert environment, making it a sustainable crop for the arid climate of New Mexico. In Albuquerque, visitors can head to the Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, which has been in the lavender growing business since 1999. Looking for a way to continue Los Poblanos’s centuries-old farming heritage, owner Armin Rembe took a chance on lavender and the thriving fields have become a signature for the property. You can find the flower everywhere onsite, from the coffee shop drinks to the infused gin the Inn now produces.

For a little more hands-on experience, visit Jo’s Farms during the height of summer to wander the fields and pick your own lavender. Inspired by her time in Provence, owner Lisa Fontanarosa planted the crop in memory of her mother. The harvested blooms are used in handcrafted items she sells in the farm shop but by booking a reservation, you can collect your own bouquet to take home.

Jo’s Farms hosts an annual picking event for the public in July so anyone can take a few of the purple-hued plants with them. July is prime lavender harvesting time, so it’s naturally fitting that there is an annual Lavender Festival held. With dozens of vendors and every lavender product one could think of, it’s the perfect celebration for Albuquerque’s beloved crop.


Drive time:

6.5 hours from Phoenix.
6.5 hours from Denver. 

Where to eat and sleep near the lavender fields:

Complete the lavender adventure by staying at Los Poblanos, which is a celebrated boutique inn. Rooms are spread across the farm’s property and include plenty of lavender products for guests to enjoy, including a pillow spray for sweet, lavender-scented dreams. Make sure to tour the property with its rich history and take some time out to enjoy the Spanish-inspired spa.

Campo is one of Albuquerque’s best restaurants and, luckily, just so happens to be at Los Poblanos. Renowned for its work with Southwestern cuisine, it is absolutely worth snagging dinner at this reservation-only location. It’s hard to go wrong with the menu, which utilizes some of what the Inn grows onsite and incorporates Native heritage and traditional New Mexican flavors into its dishes. Try the Lamb Birria for a truly immersive regional dish.

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Asonta Benetti is a Phoenix-based freelance writer specializing in travel, food, and beverage. Her credits include Food & Wine, VinePair, AFAR, Eater, and Bon Appétit, among others.