15 Best Things To Do in Albuquerque
Albuquerque city in the state of New Mexico is somewhat sparsely populated and is known for the beauty of its the Sandia Mountains and the gorgeous Rio Grande that runs through it. There many tourist attractions in Albuquerque to explore. Its annual balloon festival is an international event that draws crowds from the world over. The Spanish influence on the city is clearly evident as you drive around and makes for some excellent viewing. Here is the list of best places to visit in Albuquerque.
1. Know more about Pueblo Indian Culture
For those interested in Pueblo Indian culture, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center showcases a wide collection of art, pottery and assorted handicrafts. Enjoy conventional native American dance programs honoring Mother Earth or pick up some original art from its gift shop. You also have the choice of attending a live pottery making workshop or try your hand at gourd painting also. Also, don’t forget to try the Center’s prized Tewa Tacos.
2. Fish to your heart’s content
An area dotted with individual ponds, Tingley Beach was previously called Conservancy Beach and was built about 90 years ago by diverting water running through the Rio Grande. It was initially a swimming zone but is now a fishing enthusiast’s spot. Chill out for the whole day with your fishing tackle, gorge at its restaurant, go paddle boating, hike on its nature trails or practice your boating skills at its model boating pond. There are separate ponds for children to fish in also.
3. Touch some crazy heights!
For those who love heights, the Sandia Peak Tramway that runs from Albuquerque’s northeast edge to the Sandia Mountains’ crest line could indeed be thrilling. It’s the US’s longest aerial tram and slowly makes its way from one end to the other. Touch its highest point and you will get to see the entire city as also a whopping 11,000 square miles of New Mexico. The breathtaking view is to die for. Good for hiking enthusiasts also but not recommended for those with a fear of heights.
4. Taste Albuquerque’s history
Albuquerque Museum in the Old Town preserves its history as also some great American Southwest art. The city’s history spanning over four centuries is showcased here by way of permanent exhibitions and temporary ones. Marvel at its collection of maps, armor and weaves. Its sculpture garden too is worth visiting.
5. Meet Dinosaurs
Touch upon pre-history at the New Mexico Museum Of Natural History And Science. You are going to discover how the universe was created nearly 13.6 billion years ago. The museum has 8 permanent exhibitions spanning the birth of time to the Ice Age. You also get to learn how dinosaurs came to be and how volcanoes age. Interesting place for pre-history enthusiasts. It also has a planetarium dedicated to space exploration and astronomy. Since Microsoft was started in Albuquerque, a section showcases the personal computer’s history.
6. Learn about historic Petroglyphs
If you wish to see 15,000 prehistoric and historic Hispanic and Native American Petroglyphs at one go, the Petroglyph National Monument is the place to visit. Some great images carved into rock cover 12,000 years of the history of the area’s human life. The monument’s visitor center hoards an enormous amount of information and research material.
7. Take the children to the Rio Grande Zoo
Started in 1927, the Rio Grande Zoo houses more than 200 species of animals. Sections are dedicated to the continents and the island at its entrance immediately grabs your attention for its flock of Caribbean flamingos. The big cats are housed in The Cat Walk and you will get to see African lions, leopards, mountain lions and jaguars all under one roof. The zoo’s polar bears attract a huge amount of visitors which can be viewed through underwater windows or an overhead bridge.
8. Ride the rides
Cliff’s Amusement Park is for all age groups. You have the liberty of choosing from 23 rides categorized as a thrill, family and kiddieland, respectively. The scene stealer is the roller coaster, New Mexico Rattler, one of the top 25 roller coaster rides in the world. Get soaked with family and friends at Cliff’s Watermania for hours together to go home with an unforgettable experience.
9. Say hello to the creepy crawlies
They look mean and tough and may not be your favorites. However, for those who are interested in rattlesnakes, the American International Rattlesnake Museum houses the world’s largest collection of them. Different species from North, South and Central America are housed here in artificially created habitats to suit these inmates. Gain knowledge about rattlesnakes and bust myths about them. The museum’s gift shop offers a wide variety of snake memorabilia to take home with you.
10. Visit the ABQ BioPark
Stretching over one and a half miles of sprawling land, ABQ Biopark Botanical Gardens has different climate zones as also a huge variety of plant species on display. Walk through its desert and Mediterranean conservatories, the Japanese garden and a 1920’s-style farm. Marvel at its colorful butterfly pavilion anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Have a coffee at its restaurant. Also accessible to the physically challenged.
11. Preserve Hispanic Culture
For lovers of Spanish culture, the National Hispanic Cultural Center regularly hosts Spanish dance and music programs as also various Spanish culture-based exhibitions. Situated in Barelas, a conventional Hispanic neighborhood, the Center showcases numerous styles from Mesoamerica, Spain and New Mexico as well.
12. Cheer Albuquerque Isotopes
A baseball team playing the minor league, the Albuquerque Isotopes hold their home games at Isotopes Park. This is also known as The Lab and can seat 13,279 visitors. It’s at 5,300 feet above sea level and the balls lift high when hit. So if you’re into baseball, here’s where you should be. Keep cheering them on.
13. Watch shows with a ghost
Opened in 1927, the Kimo Theatre was witness to a tragic accident in 1951 when its boiler exploded, killing a boy called Bobby who was in the lobby. It is believed that Bobby’s spirit continues to haunt the theatre till date. Who knows, you might be one of the few to meet him the next time you’re watching a delightful show there.
14. Go hot air ballooning
Albuquerque’s special charm is its hot air balloon rides over the city and surrounding states. You can opt for the sunrise balloon ride, the sunset flight or even a private ride. The Dawn Patrol Balloon Flight is the most popular and lifts off 30 minutes prior to sunrise. Get ready for a magical experience as you watch the sun rise over a historic city.
15. Find spiritual solace at the San Felipe De Neri Church
One of Albuquerque city’s oldest buildings, the San Felipe de Neri Church was constructed in 1793. Initially known as Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, this architectural marvel is marked by numerous towers and is home to a convent and parish school. Light a candle at the altar, meditate and find inner peace in this historical house of God that’s open to everyone.