DIY Breaking Bad Tour

Breaking BadA few weeks back, my wife and I took some friends on a tour of Breaking Bad sights here in Albuquerque. We knew there was a more formal trolley tour, but that cost money we didn’t have, plus we weren’t sure where they actually went. Besides, we figured, how hard could it be to grab a list of filming locations and just drive to them ourselves?

Actually, it was kind of a pain in the ass.

Turns out most websites that purport to be self-driving tours are either collections of photos without addresses or strolls down Central that don’t include more than a half dozen sights. At the other extreme are sites so thorough that they include locations for scenery only spotted in split-second montages in a list so long it would take three nonstop days to drive.

Magnanimous, obsessive friend that I am, though, I went through all of those other sites — and, honestly, just drove around Albuquerque staring out the window — and cobbled together a list of 21 filming locations that wouldn’t take more than an afternoon to visit. I mapped them all out on a single (mostly) southwest to northeast trajectory, and even created and printed out a .pdf with information on the locations, complete with screenshots for reference.

Everyone seemed to really dig it, so we tried the self-guided tour again with my father-in-law, who likewise enjoyed it. At that point we realized we were out of obsessive Breaking Bad fans to drive around the city (at least until more friends visited), so we thought we’d put the whole kit and caboodle online, hopefully sparing some other poor souls hours of searching and plotting and dealing with Google Maps’ suckitude.

You can find the map and the .pdf over here. The whole thing took us about four or five hours from the front door and back, but we also had a late breakfast at Twisters (Los Pollos Hermanos, for any outsiders) and a leisurely early dinner at Garduno’s (home of the awkward guacamole), plus we wandered around Old Town a bit, all of which I would recommend. That said, a more efficient sightseer could probably knock it out in about two hours.

The route I mapped out doesn’t include every filming location, but I think it’s got the big ones (save for the stuff on Navajo land) and some smaller ones that make for great photos. And you can obviously pick and choose and add stuff as needed. So get going. Bitch.