Albuquerque, the state’s main city, is well worth a visit for its several magnificent museums and charming Old Town, which is full of historical adobe architecture, despite being frequently disregarded in favor of Santa Fe. There are numerous art galleries and cultural tourist sites spread out around the city, which exhibit a fascinating fusion of Spanish and Native American influences.
The expansive metropolis, which is situated close to the geographic center of New Mexico, sprawls across the Rio Grande Valley, with the towering Sandia Mountains visible in the distance. There are many outdoor activities in Albuquerque because it is so close to such a beautiful landscape, with hiking and mountain biking being two of the most well-liked.
Best Places to Visit in Albuquerque
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place in October and fills the city’s beautiful, blue sky with hundreds of hot air balloons, is one of the greatest times to visit.
1. Turquoise Museum
The excellent Turquoise Museum, which can tell you everything there is to know about the sparkling gem, is situated just a short distance from the center of town. There is a wealth of intriguing jewelry, artwork, and sparkling specimens to look at as well as information on the history of mining and creating turquoise.
The Lowry family has been associated with and passionate about the priceless blue and green mineral for generations, even though the museum didn’t open until 1993.
The history of mining and research into turquoise, the processes used to create the mineral, and the legends and applications of the gem all around the world are all covered in the excursions. Additionally, it includes a wonderful gift shop where you can buy jewelry and trinkets.
2. Casa Rondena Winery
The Casa Rondena Winery, which is tucked away on the northern outskirts of Albuquerque, offers magnificent award-winning wines for you to sample in its tasting room. The lovely estate serves as a focal point for the arts in the region by hosting a number of festivals and cultural events throughout the year.
The family-run winery, which John Calvin founded in 1995, has magnificent architecture and a fantastic Tricentennial bell tower to be found among its lovely grounds and productive vineyards.
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You can sample some of its outstanding wines in the tasting area along with delectable cheese trays, crackers, and chocolates. Weddings, concerts, and other special events are frequently held at the lovely property in addition to the yearly Festival de Musica Rodena.
3. The American International Rattlesnake Museum
The American International Rattlesnake Museum is a fascinating and instructive location that is dedicated to the preservation of slippery snakes. The greatest collection of live rattlesnakes from various species in the world is housed there, along with artwork, artifacts, and displays connected to snakes.
The small animal conservation museum, which is in Old Town Albuquerque, is home to approximately thirty different species of rattlesnakes, all of which are kept in their proper replicas of their natural habitats.
Visitors can learn about each species through exhibits and performances, and perhaps get rid of any phobias or worries they may have about the creatures with cold blood. The museum also features a Gila monster, the biggest reptile in America, and a gift store with a variety of items with a snake theme.
4. Museum in Albuquerque
The outstanding Albuquerque Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the history, culture, and heritage of the city as well as the Southwest. Its ever-expanding collection, which is also housed in Old Town, features everything from interactive exhibitions and art installations to antiquities and archaeological discoveries, in addition to an outdoor sculpture garden.
The museum has taught many generations about the history and art of the area since it was formed in 1967. Along with early maps and conqueror armor, you may also find pieces of art by Georgia O’Keeffe and other notable artists, as well as traditional Native American weavings and woodcarvings.
Additionally, it frequently organizes transient exhibitions, cultural gatherings, and tours of the ancient Casa San Ysidro, which offers visitors a look into Spanish colonial life.
5. Church of San Felipe de Neri
The centuries-old church, which displays a stunning fusion of architectural influences, has two twin bell towers that soar above its substantial, earth-toned adobe walls. It has a more European appearance inside because of the Gothic Revival interior embellishments, like the pulpit and altar, which are both painted white and made of wood carvings.
The attractive church is surrounded by a former rectory, convent, and school, and it also has a small museum with beautiful religious artwork and relics.
6. The Natural History and Science Museum of New Mexico
Another of the city’s top attractions, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is located on the eastern outskirts of Old Town. You can learn about the origins of the universe and the past twelve billion years of natural history through engaging exhibits and compelling dinosaur-filled displays.
After learning about these primitive beginnings, you can observe the appearance of dinosaurs, experience the ice period on Earth, and get up close to skeletons, fossils, and other paleontological discoveries.
Due to its beautifully displayed galleries and interactive exhibits, the museum has become a solid favorite with both locals and visitors since it first opened in 1986. Additionally, it has a wonderful planetarium and a 3D theater that shows amusing yet informative movies.
7. International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque
Numerous visitors arrive in the city each October to witness and participate in the extremely amazing Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It is the largest event of its kind in the world, with over 500 hot air balloons slowly rising into the bright blue sky over the course of its nine days.
What started in 1972 with a small number of balloons has since grown to become Albuquerque’s most famous and famously documented event.
The Mass Ascension is the primary event, and it is a magnificent experience to see the sky filled with balloons of various colors, forms, and designs. You can also get inside a hot air balloon on your own and enjoy stunning vistas of the other balloons and the city below.
8. National Petroglyph Monument
On the other side of the Rio Grande, just to the west of the city, is the incredible Petroglyph National Monument. While there are lava-scarred landscapes and volcanic cones to explore at the expansive site, its most impressive feature is its impressive collection of over 24,000 intricately carved images.
These fascinating images, symbols, and messages were carved into the volcanic rock by both the Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers, and are remarkably well preserved for the most part.
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The earliest of them are thought to have existed around 3,000 years ago; extensive groupings may be seen in Piedras Marcadas and Boca Negra Canyon. The monument’s numerous pathways will also take you past some magnificent scenery and commanding perspectives.
9. The ABQ BioPark
It is understandable why ABQ BioPark is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city given that it is home to an aquarium, botanical gardens, and a zoo. Impressively, the recreation area of Tingley Beach, which has lovely walkways, ponds, and picnic sites to enjoy, is also included in the environmental museum, which is mostly outdoors.
You can see its outstanding aquarium after exploring its lovely botanic garden, which is studded with desert plants and flowers.
Once more, the Rio Grande and the saltwater marshes of the Gulf of Mexico are the main areas of attention for these regional species. The park’s zoo, which is home to everything from elephants and gorillas to lions and polar bears, is without a doubt its most notable feature.
10. Sandia Peak Tramway
On the northeastern side of the city, the towering Sandia Mountains rise impressively over Albuquerque and the Rio Grande Valley.
Visitors can have a thrilling journey on the Sandia Peak Tramway, which is astonishingly the longest aerial tram in the Americas, to the summit of the 3,163-meter-high mountains.
Albuquerque, the state’s capital and largest city, is situated along the Rio Grande in the exact middle of the state. The high desert setting of Albuquerque, a diverse and international metropolis, provides a wealth of enjoyable activities all year long.
Old Town, the oldest section of the city, is an excellent place to start any visit because it has a welcoming and laid-back vibe and easy access to many other local cultural attractions.