Now that the Rail Runner is making Saturday schleps up and down the middle Rio Grande, we're planning on a weekend outing. What sort of entertaining pedestrian activities are there around the train stations in Belen and Los Lunas? Good places for lunch?

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According to my parents, Luna Mansion has gone down the shitter lately -- something to do with new owners. The Mexican place down the street is Mi Chante; we had takeout when I was in town a few months back and it wasn't bad, nothing mindblowing though. TJ's is pretty good, as is (IIRC) Pete's Cafe, which is down in Belen near the station. And from Google Street View, it looks like Sugar Bowl might still be open!

Overall the Belen/Los Lunas entertainment pickings were pretty slim when I was was growing up down there and probably haven't improved much since. Basically I rode around on my bike and walked the ditch banks a lot. When the ditches were empty I'd root around in them, and when they were full I'd toss in old beer bottles and shoot 'em with my BB gun until they sank. (Actually that sounds like it would still be a lot of fun.)
I don't know about Los Lunas - my impression is that the RR stop is a ways out of the center of town, to the extent that there is one. Belen is another story - the Harvey House Museum is right next to the RR stop and the historic if somewhat decaying downtown is only a short walk. There are lots of New Mexican dining options in the downtown area, a Tastee Freez, a number of neat old buildings, and I'm not sure what else. A tasty-sounding Indian restaurant opened in downtown Belen to some fanfare a couple years ago, but their phone is disconnected and I suspect they're already defunct. Let us know if you find someplace tasty.
Um...yeah, I know there's more to Los Lunas than what's visible from I-25. I grew up here and remember when none of that was there. And I know the "old" LL is down along the river.

The original poster wanted to know what kinds of fun attractions are located within walking distance of the Los Lunas and Belen Railrunner stations. The Railrunner website says it's a bit of a walk from the Los Lunas station to the "main drag"...that's where my impression that it was a bit of a walk is coming from. Google says Teofilo's or the Luna Mansion are only about a 3/4 mile walk from the station, so I stand corrected in that regard. But I don't think anyone's going to be incorporating a visit to the Valencia County Detention Center or the school district headquarters into their weekend railroad excursion, do you?
Hey, no problem, a little local context is good. And I'm glad to hear that more development is coming to downtown's sad when a new strip mall gets all the attention in a very old community.
Yes, the Mansion has gone downhill - more like for the past decade though. It's a beautiful building, so not a bad place to stop for a drink. Around the rail station I'd recommend Teofilos. My family prefers it over Mi Chante, which is across the street.
I'm a little surprised that no one has posted yet about Belen's most famous denizen, Judy Chicago. Through the Flower, the feminist art organization founded by Chicago, is located within walking distance of the Belen train station and they have small shows and exhibits from time to time.

You could wait a few more months to catch the Railrunner to Santa Fe and check out Chicago's work at the LewAllenContemporary, but I think it is telling to see artists in their environs.

Marfa, Soleri, Andrea Zittel, anyone up for a contemporary art desert road trip? We could start in Belen and end up in Joshua Tree...


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