Albuquerque, New Mexico, has an infinite variety of activities can satisfy every interest, including local sights, history, shopping, the environment, and even sky-high views of the region. Over 400 years of cultures melding in the Albuquerque valley means this is an activity mecca that has incredible offerings that don’t require a passport or visa. Here are seven things to do that are unique and will create memories.
1. Museum Row
Museum Row in Albuquerque conveniently puts the significant museums and like attractions within walking distance of each other. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science offers a journey through time, with exhibit halls that take guests through the universe’s formation. The Botanical Garden provides unique regional plants and nighttime walks. Explora is New Mexico’s unique hands-on learning center with over 249 interactive exhibits, educational programs, and immersions that spark creativity, imagination, and inspiration. The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, features classic, curated art of the Southwest covering 400 years of regional history.
2. Las Poblanos Organic Lavender Farm
The Los Poblanos Farm is a working lavender operation ideally suited to north Albuquerque’s arid environment. The plants don’t use much water and aid in soil structure, so it’s an education to tour the fields of this organic farm. The consumption treat is heading to the Farm Shop, where lavender is crafted into exclusive artisan products. Lavender Gin? Yes! Lotions are made with the purple passion, as well as honey products and other food items.
3. Old Town Albuquerque
Old Town is where Albuquerque started in the 1700s. Here you can walk the small shops and eateries and get all the little nuances of the Southwest. Exquisite Turquoise jewelry, clothing, food treats, events, and regional arts & crafts abound in the 150 shops around the town square. The most refined pastry ever with the Cronut, a combination of a croissant and a filled doughnut. A testament to the influence of the Spanish is the first Catholic Church in Albuquerque, built in 1709. That and the convent that started in the 1800s still stand and are open for visiting, prayers, and tours.
4. Pueblo Cultural Center
The Pueblo Indian Cultural Center, run by the 19 Pueblo tribes, sports a museum, restaurant, and various cultural focus centers. The only crafts sold are those done by the tribes, with books on early tribal life and customs. On weekends, the various tribes perform ceremonial dances and celebrations in a particular area in the middle of the grounds. The dances and ceremonies are explained before and after so you understand the importance of that specific ceremony to tribal life and culture. And the tribal leaders and guides interact with guests for questions and further explanations.
5. Sandia Tram
The Sandia Tram takes you to the top of Sandia Mountain at 10,378 feet. As the tram lands at the top, get a spectacular view of Albuquerque in almost every direction. Looking south, you can see the notable peaks of the region. Directly east and just below the tram is the high point of the Sandia Peak Ski Area, founded by a member of the 10th Mountain Division of WWII. The fine-dining, mountain-top restaurant, Ten3, gives a fantastic view with inspired food. Combining a ride, dinner, and then down at dusk is a memorable experience. Sunsets are simply breathtaking at the top of the Albuquerque Valley.
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6. The BioPark
The Albuquerque BioPark puts all the exciting facets of nature and then some in one location. This is an environmental and science exhibit with distinct themes. The Aquarium is a 285K gallon tank that has fish and wildlife species from all over the world. The Botanic Garden of 15 acres focuses on plants from Mediterranean and desert climate zones. The zoo has interesting inhabitants, including mountain zebras, tigers, and African wild dogs. If you need more fun, Tingley Beach has a lake that sports model boating, fishing and a narrow-gauge railroad.
7. Private Hot Air Balloon Flights
Albuquerque is globe famous for its hot air balloon festival, so expect plenty of high-end options for the never-ever. The Rainbow Ryders gives your own balloon pilot and top-shelf experience with an impressive safety record. Pick from a sunrise sail above the valley or a sunset tour. As Albuquerque sits in a long valley, going up even a few thousand feet gives a magical view of regional topography.