Take your pick of some of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
Are you planning a trip to the iconic city of Albuquerque soon? The beautiful city of Albuquerque, New Mexico has so much to offer. From it's deeply rooted history to it's even more deeply rooted culture, there is so much to explore. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the best things that the beautiful city of Albuquerque has to offer. Not only that, but we have listed some of our top ranking items of the best things to do in Albuquerque. From lifting off of the ground in a mesmerizing hot air balloon to getting lost in an iconic festival, Albuquerque has a little bit of something for everyone. Let's get started!
1. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Credit: Rainbow Ryder / Facebook
Albuquerque is known for their amazing hot air balloons. If you find yourself traveling to this majestic location, then one of the best things to do in Albuquerque is to go on a hot air balloon ride. There are many companies you can choose from when you go on a hot air balloon ride. However, you can expect to get a breathtaking experience in each one. One of the best companies to go with is the Rainbow Ryders hot air balloon group. Rainbow Ryders had been lifting people off the earth for over 35 years. So you are sure to have peace of mind when you lift off into the sky. Some of the most popular rides they offer include the sunrise hot air balloon rides. When you book this package, you will get the unique opportunity to see the sun break through over the horizon. Not only that, but this is the perfect event if you are looking to go on a romantic getaway.
If you are looking to book a trip on a budget, then Groupon is a great resource to go to as well. You are sure to find a Groupon or two that offers great hot air balloon rides for even better prices. For couples who are off on romantic getaways, take notes. Booking a ride on a hot air balloon is easily one of the best things to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2. Ride the Sandia Peak Tramway
Credit: Sandia Peak Tramway / Facebook
One of the best things to do in Albuquerque is to ride the Sandia Peak Tramway. Once you ride it, you can officially say that you have ridden on the world’s longest tramway. Once you climb aboard the tram, you will be greeted by an incredible view of the lush forestry below you. This tramway gives you the awesome opportunity to go above the deep canyons that call Albuquerque home. Photographers, you can expect to get some stunning views as you climb high above the earth.
Once you get to the top of the peak, you will have the opportunity to explore the observation deck that is waiting for you. This deck sits roughly 10,373 feet high. From this observation deck, you will get the chance to see the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment. The panoramic views here are simply stunning from this angle high above! When you get out to explore and hike the beautiful terrain, be sure to come prepared. There are no food service locations once you reach the peak. This means that you will want to be sure to bring along plenty of snacks. Not only that but bring along plenty of water so that you can stay hydrated as well.
3. Enjoy Some Afternoon Tea
Credit: St. James Tearoom / Facebook
Far removed from the elites of England, it might seem odd that Albuquerque is a go to place for enjoying some afternoon tea. However, you are in for a treat. If you roam into the right tea parlor, then you will have the opportunity to indulge in a wonderful afternoon tea rendezvous that will become a memory that is not to be forgotten.
Of course, you cannot just indulge in some good tea anywhere. You have to go to the right location. One of the most popular places to go to for an afternoon tea experience that is simply lovely is the St. James Tearoom. The St. James Tearoom is simply elegant from start to finish.
For starters, there are several hours that the tearoom is open. Once you have figured out your itinerary, you can book your reservation. We love that you can book your spot anytime by using their easy to operate online reservation system. Once you book your time, you will also have the opportunity to choose your tea room. What makes the St. James Tearoom exceptional is the fact that there is a range of tea rooms for you to choose from. You can literally be transported anywhere at any point in time when you select a tea room. Some of our favorite rooms we love include the beautiful Woodridings Estate tearoom, and the stunning 18 Duke St. tearoom. For an exceptional and memorable moment, enjoying some delightful afternoon tea at one of the best tearooms is easily one of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
4. Explore the Old Town
Step back into history by visiting the historic Old Town Centre. Along with the deeply rooted history here, there is plenty of Culture and Heritage for you to explore as well.
For starters, take a step back into time and drink in sights of the oldest building in the city. This building is the San Felipe de Neri Church that was built in 1793. While this building is a relic to see, there are plenty of modern day activities to participate in as well. You can look forward to plenty of museums, restaurants, and shops that litter the Old Town. With over 100 shops, dining areas, and galleries, your trip to Old Town should start early in the morning so that you have plenty of time to explore all that the Old Town has to offer.
While you plan your itinerary, some of the top spots that we recommend you not leave off your list include the Rattlesnake Museum and the Albuquerque Photographers Gallery. And for travelers who have a sweet tooth, the Candy Land store is a one stop shop that you cannot miss out on. For all the awesomeness that is offered in Old Town, this is easily one of the best things to do in Albuquerque that you simply leave off on your travel itinerary.
5. Visit the State Fair
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
It is no secret that every state boasts that they have the best state fair around. However, when it comes to New Mexico, one of the best things to do in Albuquerque is to visit the New Mexico State Fair. For starters, this state fair is pretty awesome. With picturesque views of the mountains on one side and the endless miles of the flat plain on the other, there is so much beauty to soak in at the state fair. Not only that, there is so much to do here as well.
For starter, the rides are pretty awesome. There are full fledged roller coasters that will have riders on the edge of their seat. Anog with that, there is a stunning Ferris wheel that will give you incredible views of the town. It is not only the rides that are mesmerizing, but the exhibits are pretty neat too. Different vendors and organizations feature stunning art exhibits and animal displays that will leave you in awe. If you are traveling with little children, then visiting the state fair is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
6. Visit the Albuquerque Zoo
Credit: ABQ Biopark / Facebook
For the most part, a zoo’s awesomeness typically depends on the zoo’s location. When it comes to the Albuquerque Zoo, there is so much for you to see here. For starters, the Albuquerque zoo is over 64 acres in land area. This massive amount of land is home to some of the world's most exotic creatures. A popular show stopper at the zoo is the amazing selection of cats. From wild cats to local and exotic cats, there is a range of cats for you to admire.
Another neat exhibit to visit includes the beautiful Mexican Gray Wolves. These stunning wolves were once an integral part of New Mexico’s ecosystem. However, due to a range of factors, they now are classified as an endangered animal.
For lovers of water animals, you will appreciate that the zoo also features seas and sea lions. And surprising,y, there is even n polar bears exhibit that will give you an in depth look at the beautiful mammals that call the Arctic ice sheets home.
To truly experience the wonder that the Albuquerque zoo has to offer, we recommend arriving at the zoo early. There is so much to see and do here, that you will want to pace yourself. The zoo closes promptly at 5:00 pm. So be sure to plan accordingly so that you can see all that is offered here.
7. Visit a Festival
Not many states offer festivals the way that Albuquerque does. Whatever time of the year that you find yourself in this iconic city, you are sure to find a festival to attend. The great thing about attending a festival in Albuquerque is the fact that you will get the opportunity to experience a moment that you are sure not to forget.
Some of our favorite festivals that Albauregue offers include the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This balloon festival gives you a sight like no other. Right at the peak of sunrise, you will get the unique opportunity to witness a mass collection of balloons rise into the Albuquerque sky. This mass ascension of balloons litters the sky with a range of beautiful colors and shapes. There are even Yoda and Van Gogh shaped balloons for you to gawk at.
Another wonderful festival that is simply stunning is the beautiful Albuquerque Lantern Festival. This fantastic festival features activities and food that is capped off with a lantern ascension once the sun has set. This lantern ascension is incredibly beautiful because there are few sights that are as mesmerizing as seeing hundreds of lanterns light up the Albuquerque night sky.
No matter what time of the year you decide to explore the beautiful city, you are sure to find a festival to match. Without a doubt, attending a festival is one of the top best things to do in Albuquerque that you simply cannot miss out on.
8. Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is an iconic part of Albuquerque’s history. This incredible museum was founded in 1967. Although it is one of many museums that call Albuquerque home, Museum of Art and History, it quite unique in the fact that it is recognized nationwide. When it comes to leading institutions of art, this art museum is the primary one. It does an incredible job of showcasing the rich history and culture that is so deeply rooted in Albuquerque's history.
Another aspect that makes the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History one of the best is the fact that it is interactive. There is a phenomenal amphitheater house in the museum. This amphitheater is used to showcase some of the best educational performances in the state. You can expect live performances that will enhance your experience here.
There are a couple of ways that you can experience the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. For travelers who are looking for an in depth experience, there are docent guided tours that you can take advantage of. For more free spirited explorers, you can take part in a self guided tour. We prefer opting for the self guided tour. The self guided tour allows you can pace yourself accordingly. Whether you are traveling solo or as a group, you will not be disappointed. Not only that, but you will especially love this museum because it is top rated as one of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
9. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Credit: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center / Facebook
Another one of the best things to do in Albuquerque is visiting the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is great because it allows you a glimpse of the rich cultural history that exists in this part of the nation. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is home to everything that revolves around the Native American Pueblo people of New Mexico.
What makes the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center wonderful is the fact that it does such a great job presenting historical information. You can look forward to exploring all the achievements of the Native Americans that called this area home. For history buffs, you will love the fact that the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is home to authentic artifacts that portray the history of our nation. You can expect to find artifacts such as sculptures and other forms of artwork that the Native American were so well known for.
Another great feature of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is the fact that it brings the history of the past to life. During the summer months, the museum features a hands on experience that allows you to take a glimpse at what life was like for the Native Americans. This hands on display features cooks, homemakers, artists, and storytellers that bring the past back to life.
If you are looking for a great opportunity to bring the past to life, then visiting the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is one of the places to start. If you are traveling with children, then this is an educational experience that tops the list at one of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
10. Explora in Albuquerque
This next hotspot is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque. For all you STEM lovers, Explora is one of the best locations to visit. Explora is a hands on, interactive hub that allows visitors to learn about the magic of math, science, and art.
What we love about this museum is the fact that they push a “touch and feel” narrative. It is encouraged that you interact with most things that are on display here. For travelers with young children, this can be an awesome experience. That does not mean that adults can't have just as much fun here. Be sure to check out the plenty of events that they host which are geared towards adults. If you or someone you are traveling with is a science lover, then visiting Explora is easily one of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
11. ABQ Trolley Co.
Credit: ABQ Trolley Co.
If you want to sightsee Albuquerque, then one of the best ways to do so is by taking a ride with the ABQ Trolley Co. The ABQ Trolley Co. is the proud owner of a distinctly unique but incredibly beautiful fully operational trolley. What makes this experience neat is the fact that you will be able to see the city and learn about the rich cultural and historical past of the city.
When it comes to the tour, travelers absolutely love the “Best of ABQ City Tour.” This tour lasts a little under an hour and fourty-five minutes. Along with that, it covers a distance of about 18 miles. On this tour, you will get to experience all the hotspots of Albuquerque. Some of the top spots that you can expect to visit on this tour include Nob Hill, Old Town, and Museum Row. Not only that, but you can expect to take a trip down the iconic Route 66. If you are planning a short trip through Albuquerque, then this is the best way to experience this awesome city. Booking your tour with the ABQ Trolley Co. will allow you to experience all that Albuquerque has to offer without having to worry about your itinerary or your time.
12. History and Ghost Tours of Old Town
Ghost lovers, this next attraction is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque. This historic city would not be complete without its fair share of spooky ghost stories. With that being said, if you are looking to get a little spooked, then you might find it worth your while to book yourself a ghost tour. One of the leading company that offers ghost tours is the Tours of Old Town.
The Tours of Old Town do not only specialize in ghost tours. In fact, they offer a range of other tours as well. Some of their best tours include the “History Legends and Lore” tour. This tour allows you to take a step back into history so you can explore the different types of folklore that roam the land of Albuquerque.
For travelers who are here for the paranormal activity, you will love the suspenseful “Ghost Tours.” The Ghost Tours take you through a variety of alleyways and avenues that are rumored to be haunted. Not only that, but you will get the chance to explore many hidden gems. Another popular ghost tour to go on is the “Moonlight Ghost Tour.” The Moonlight Ghost Tour allows you to tramp around the plaza during the late night hours.
The fact that there is a range of tours for you to choose from is what makes Tours of Old Town so awesome. if your travel itinerary is tight, you are sure to be able to find a tour time and date that best suits your needs. Overall, if you are looking for a great evening out that allows you to explore Albuquerque in a new and neat way, then exploring the city with Tours of Old Town is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque.
13. Farm and Table
Credit: Farm and Table / Facebook
After all your adventures around Albuquerque, it is only a matter of time before you start getting hungry. One of the best places to eat at in Albuquerque is the popular restaurant, Farm and Table. Farm and Table is one of the best things in Albuquerque because it is unlike many restaurants. What makes Farm and Table unique is the fact that they offer a unique menu. Their menu is a rotating one because it depends on what ingredients that they can source at the time. Not only that, but they work very closely with local farmers, grocers, and artisans to put forth only the best dishes possible.
For food conscious travelers, you will love that their vegetables are all locally and responsibly sourced. Not only that, but their meats come from animals that are grass fed only. Finally, we love that they offer a range of organic options such as delectable cheeses and incredibly sweet honey.
Satisfy your sweet tooth by indulging in one of their many handmade desserts. They also offer incredibly tasty pastries and hand ground chocolates too. Not only that but if you are here during the summer months, then it is a must that you indulged in their yummy ice cream. Finally, craft beer lovers will be thrilled at the locally brewed beers and organic spirits that are served here. And did we mention that they also have an eclectic range of wines that pair well with any meal? If you are looking for a great place to eat, then Farm and Table is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque. Be sure not to leave it off your list.
14. Unser Racing Museum
Credit: Unser Racing Museum / Facebook
The Unser Racing Museum walks through the history of racing by taking visitors back in time to the start of motor vehicle racing in New Mexico. There is a range of artifacts from the early racing world that are displayed here. Along with that, there is a range of antique cars for you to experience too. If you go into the Trophy Room, you will find a variety of trophies that date back to the early days of racing. Not only that, but there is a library that is home to all the documents that pertain to the racing world.
Finally, visitors can experience what the present and the future of the racing world hold. There are interactive activities that you can participate in. Some of these interactive activities include kiosks that allow visitors to see how incredible this sport actually is. Not only that, but visitors can try their hands at racing by participating in a simulator that allows them to experience the sport from the driver's perspective.
Are looking for a unique experience with an equal amount of history and thrill? Well, the Unser Racing Museum is one of the best things to do in Albuquerque. What makes this Museum so unique is the fact that it “honors the past and prepares for the future.” (Or so as its motto goes.) When it comes to the history of racing in New Mexico, this Museum does a fabulous job of honoring that.
Whether you are staying for a week, or a weekend, there is plenty that Albuquerque, New Mexico has to offer. What we love about Albuquerque is that you can literally customize your stay any way that you want. Not only that, but Albuquerque feature something for everyone. If you love museums and galleries, then there is plenty for you to explore. On the opposite side, if art and culture are where your heart lies, then there is plenty for you to discover as well. Before you head out on your incredible adventure, be sure to jot down some of the activities listed above. Ask any local here and they will agree that they are the best things to do in Albuquerque. One thing is for certain, we are sure that you will not be disappointed.
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