Discover Why Albuquerque Should Be Your Next Destination
Nestled between the towering Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley, Albuquerque is rich in culture and heritage. Our city is home to countless breathtaking sceneries and is brimming with vibrant energy. Year after year, people travel to enjoy ABQ’s quality of life.
The Sandia Mountains—named for the watermelon red color that envelopes the mountains at dusk—are the predominant geographical feature visible in Albuquerque. This mountain range includes Sandia Peak and is situated to the East of the city. The Sandia Peak Tramway is the longest single-span aerial tramway in the world that runs from the base of the mountain to the peak. Enjoy miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, visitor centers, and scenic viewpoints.
At the Sandia Mountains, the temperature often runs 10-15 degrees cooler than the city, and the elevation at the peak is just over 10,600 feet. You can hike, bike, or drive to the top. Our ski run during the summer is also a choice spot for downhill mountain bikers.
Although they are elusive, black bears, mountain lions, and deer may be observed during your hike if you are lucky to spot them. There are also many bird species and other little critters for you to see. We recommend bringing your binoculars along for the adventure. Don't forget to hydrate and bring a few snacks!
How Albuquerque Was Coined
The town was named after the Duke of Alburquerque in the early 1800s by Provisional Governor Cuervo y Valdez, the first “r” was dropped and the town became known as Albuquerque. In 1880, the railroad arrived and went through an area that is now called the “New Town”—the location of Albuquerque’s downtown business district today.
New Mexico Chile
Chile is the keyword in New Mexico, whether it’s red or green. It’s served as a sauce on burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and other traditional dishes. Until you get used to the hot spice, you should ask for it to be served on the side and add just the amount you find to your taste. Chile is made into the colorful Ristras that you will see hanging in front of the different buildings in Old Town. You can purchase your own in some of the shops surrounding the plaza.
You will see Luminarias surrounding Old Town in December to celebrate the Holidays. Luminarias are made of candles set into a bed of sand and contained within paper bags. These decorations light the way along the streets of Old Town according to the tradition of lighting the way for the Christ Child.
Enjoy a Shopping Spree
Shopping is a very popular activity in Old Town, and it’s easy to understand why. With more than 25 art galleries and almost 100 boutiques and stores in total, there are plenty of places to go on a shopping spree. You may want to browse around to get a good idea of prices, then make your selections.
Take a Walking Tour
Join a docent-led tour, which starts at the Albuquerque Museum, or pick up your self-guided excursion brochure. For a spooky good time, take an evening trip with New Mexico Ghost Tours and learn where the haunts hang out.
Immerse Yourself in Culture
Several fine museums are found around Old Town including:
A good place to learn about turquoise and silver jewelry to prepare for a shopping expedition.
The museum explains 400 years of New Mexico history. Old Town walking tours start from here, and they have some nice children’s exhibits including a dress-up area. Pick up a copy of their self-guided walking tour if you can’t make the guided one.
A fun museum where science comes to life. Features include a life-sized Quetzalcoatlus soaring in the atrium, a planetarium show, a walk-through volcano, and a comet-busting adventure ride.
Located inside a gift shop. The owners claim to have the world’s largest collection of live rattlesnakes.