Top 25 Things To Do When Visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico - Updated 2021

things to do in albuquerque
Haley
Haley
Updated

Known mainly for the International Balloon Fiesta held annually in August, Albuquerque, New Mexico is the destination location for history buffs and wanderers alike. But Albuquerque isn’t just full of hot air. The city offers much more, like museums, art, cultural centers, a zoo and bio park, and a tramway to the top of the mountain. And yes, of course, hot air balloons. Check out our list of the top 25 things to do when visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico.

1. Petroglyph National Monument

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Petroglyph National Monument is a volcanic basalt escarpment. This tourist attraction stretches 17 mi (27 km) along New Mexico’s West Mesa, Albuquerque. This site has been around since 1990, and it is managed by the National Park Service as well as the City of Albuquerque. With a variety of hiking areas and walking trails, Petroglyph National Monument is a great place to visit with your family or friends. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, carry water and sunscreen, and don’t forget to enjoy the natural beauty around. For more details, visit the website.

Petroglyph National Monument

Address: Western Trail NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120, United States

Website: Petroglyph National Monument

Opening hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm (daily)

2. ABQ BioPark - Botanic Garden

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Lovely photo of the Japanese Garden taken by guest Hu-Sa-Nui Photography Thanks for sharing!

Posted by ABQ BioPark on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

ABQ BioPark - Botanic Garden is a spacious botanical garden that spreads over 36 ac (14 ha). From formal landscapes to whimsical gardens, ABQ BioPark - Botanic Garden is definitely worth a visit. A great place to go with your family or friends and a must-visit for any gardening enthusiast, this botanical garden is a beautiful place to walk around and admire the beauty of nature. It is recommended that you book tickets online before your visit.

ABQ BioPark - Botanic Garden

Address: 2601 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, United States

Website: ABQ BioPark - Botanic Garden

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

3. Turquoise Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Turquoise Museum is known for its guided in-depth tours of natural turquoise collections. This museum was founded in 1993, and it actually has the largest collection of natural turquoise in the world. From turquoise jewellery to unique turquoise specimens, you will find it all at this one-of-a-kind museum. Once you’ve enjoyed the tour, you should head to the gift shop if you’re interested in buying some beautiful turquoise stones and gems.

Turquoise Museum

Address: 400 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, United States

Website: Turquoise Museum

Opening hours: Mon: 9:30am - 1pm; Fri - Sat: 9:30am - 1pm (closed on Sun, Tue & Thu)

4. New Mexico Steam Locomotive

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society on Thursday, October 10, 2019

New Mexico Steam Locomotive is a rather popular tourist attraction in the city. Skilled volunteers help in building a huge steam locomotive at New Mexico Steam Locomotive, which is the first of its kind in the world. To be more specific, rail and train enthusiasts are coming together to rebuild the 2926 steam engine. When you visit, make sure you opt for a guided tour so you can understand exactly what is going on so that you can educate yourself about what these volunteers are trying to build.

New Mexico Steam Locomotive

Address: 1833 8th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, United States

Website: New Mexico Steam Locomotive

5. Montaño Paseo del bosque Trail Bridge

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Montaño Paseo del bosque Trail Bridge is a picturesque tourist attraction in the city. This is a favourite among nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers because of its various hiking trails, walking trails and biking trails. If you’re in the mood to go biking with your partner, enjoy a relaxed stroll with your family or get your adrenaline pumping by exploring hiking trails, then Montaño Paseo del bosque Trail Bridge is the place for you.

Montaño Paseo del bosque Trail Bridge

Address: Albuquerque, NM, Paseo del Bosque Trail, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107, United States

6. Explora

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Explora is a science centre as well as a museum located very close to Old Town Albuquerque. Explora follows an interactive and hands-on approach to science, mathematics, and art. With over 250 interactive exhibits and activities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math, Explora is a great place to visit for every age group. So, if you’re visiting Albuquerque New Mexico with your kids, then you must take them to Explora. To know about any upcoming events and exhibits at this museum, refer to their website.

Explora

Address: 1701 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, United States

Website: Explora

7. Cliff's Amusement Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Cliff’s Amusement Park is not just an amusement park but also a water park. A favourite among kids and adults alike, everyone always has a great time at Cliff’s Amusement Park. With around 24 rides, carnival-style games. popular water attractions and a whole lot of food stalls, you can easily spend a whole day at Cliff’s Amusement Park. If you do visit, you must go for a ride on the New Mexico Rattler, which is the roller coaster at this amusement park. To buy passes, head to the website.

Cliff's Amusement Park

Address: 4800 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, United States

Website: Cliff’s Amusement Park

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

8. Unser Racing Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Unser Racing Museum on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Unser Racing Museum is a non-profit museum built to celebrate the Unsers. For those of you who may not know, the Unsers are New Mexico’s native racing family. This museum celebrates all the generations of the Unsers, from the famous Jerry Unser to Mariana Unser. If you are a car enthusiast, then you will most definitely want to visit Unser Racing Museum to see the huge collection of vintage cars that have been restored by this family.

Unser Racing Museum

Address: 1776 Montaño Rd NW, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107, United States

Website: Unser Racing Museum

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

9. Rattlesnake Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Tomorrow morning at 10:00 ... Rattlesnake Museum on KNME channel 5.1 ... APS@home virtual field trip.

Posted by American International Rattlesnake Museum on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Rattlesnake Museum is an animal conservation centre that contains the largest collection of live rattlesnakes in the whole world. This museum aims to spread awareness and educate people about this group of venomous snakes. If you’re obsessed with “less desirable animals” or just interested in learning about something new, then you should plan a visit to Rattlesnake Museum.

Rattlesnake Museum

Address: 202 San Felipe St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, United States

Website: Rattlesnake Museum

10. National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


National Museum of Nuclear Science & History was originally established in 1969. This museum aims to serve as a resource centre for everything related to science and nuclear history in America. National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is a great place for hands-on learning. Fun fact, National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is known to have the largest aircraft collection in all of New Mexico.

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Address: 601 Eubank Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123, United States

Website: National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

11. Greetings from Burque Mural

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


This one is specifically for photographers and social media addicts who are always looking for a picture-perfect site. The Greetings from Burque Mural is probably one of the most photographed tourist attractions in all of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Located in the heart of the city, this mural is actually very accessible. In fact, this mural has now become so popular that your trip to this city is just incomplete till you’ve got a picture in front of the Greetings from Burque Mural.

Greetings from Burque Mural

Address: 3123 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, United States

Website: Greetings from Burque Mural

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

12. Madonna Of The Trail

Madonna-of-the-Trail-CO
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Carptrash used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Madonna Of The Trail has been an important landmark in this city since 1928. This historic landmark is actually one of the earliest public sculptures in Albuquerque too. Basically, Madonna Of The Trail is made up of 12 identical monuments that were installed in 12 different states along National Old Trails Road. This site is dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women in the US. Now, a source of local pride, Madonna Of The Trail is definitely worth a visit.

Madonna Of The Trail

Address: 323 Marble Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, United States

Website: Madonna Of The Trail

13. Eye of the Sandias

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Eye of the Sandias is a popular hiking area near the city. It got its name from a particular spot in the Sandia Mountains where an unknown artist painted the “Eye of Horus” (an ancient Egyptian symbol) on a huge rock formation. Since it’s a family-friendly hiking area, taking your friends and family is always a good idea. Just make sure to wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes, and carry lots of water with you. The hike isn’t very easy, but the stunning views of Tijeras Canyon will make it worth your while.

Eye of the Sandias

Address: Albuquerque, NM 87123, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

14. Antiquity Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Antiquity Restaurant on Monday, January 11, 2021

If you’re visiting this city with your partner and looking for a romantic restaurant, Antiquity Restaurant is the perfect place for you. Antiquity Restaurant is a steak house, and it is actually one of the best steakhouses in the whole area. With a rustic vibe and ambient lighting, you will definitely enjoy your meal at this amazing restaurant. While everything on the menu is delicious and cooked to perfection, you must try the french onion soup, filet mignon, bacon-wrapped filet, and crab cakes. PS: the desserts here are excellent.

Antiquity Restaurant

Address: 112 Romero St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, United States

Website: Antiquity Restaurant

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 4pm - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 4pm - 9pm

15. Sister

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Sister is a very popular bar and restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Offering a wide selection of craft beer, international spirits, and cocktails, this bar is perfect if you’re looking for some place with a nice atmosphere. There are quite a few video games at this bar too, giving off that retro vibe. The food here is hot, delicious, and absolutely mouthwatering. Without a doubt, Sister is one of the best bars in the area.

Sister

Address: 407 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, United States

Website: Sister

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 8pm (closed on Mon)

16. Albuquerque Old Town

Patio shops old town albuquerque
Source: Photo by user Doug Kerr used under CC BY-SA 2.0

As the cultural center of the city, Albuquerque Old Town is the perfect place for shopping, dining, touring museums, and experiencing the beauty of the Southwest. In ten blocks of historic adobe buildings, you can explore Albuquerque’s past which combines Spanish and Native American cultures alike. View art galleries featuring art from local artists who work in diverse mediums, ranging from paintings, to sculptures, to photography. Pick out the perfect New Mexico gift at a jewelry store, or head to one of the trading posts for an old west souvenir. Albuquerque Old Town is also the home base for several tours including History Tours of Old Town and Breaking Bad RV Tours. When you’re done exploring Old Town, you don’t have to go far for your evening meal and lodging; multiple hotels and restaurants are in the historic town.

Albuquerque Old Town

Address: 303 Romero St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Website: Albuquerque Old Town

17. Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Posted by Albuquerque Museum on Thursday, 14 April 2011

Posted by Albuquerque Museum on Tuesday, 29 September 2015

One museum in Albuquerque Old Town is the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Focused around the history of New Mexico and featuring artists like Georgia O’Keefe, the museum is the perfect location for an all-around southwest experience. Watch a live show in the amphitheater, take the kids to an educational workshop, or tour the sculpture garden and Old Town. Before you go, be sure to enjoy a full-course meal or a snack at Slate at the Museum.

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Address: 2000 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Website: Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

18. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Posted by Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Have you seen our new exhibit Consumed by Design by Marla Allison? Come see how contemporary meets traditional design! Open now until June 30th.

Posted by Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Did you know that our 38th Annual American Indian Week is next week - April 24 - 30th?! Join us for a week of...

Posted by Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on Monday, 17 April 2017

An integral part of the Albuquerque Old Town, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center allows visitors to learn about 19 different Pueblo tribes in one great place. At the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, you can tour the museum, containing thousands of rare artifacts and works of art. Some exhibits rotate throughout the year, giving returning visitors a different experience each time they visit. The museum also has a world-class library, home of rare documents and books all related to the Pueblo Indians.

The Cultural Center is a leading example in native conservation, maintaining the Resilience Garden, a garden dedicated to Pueblo farming techniques and endangered crops. You can walk through the garden while visiting the center, and before you go, grab a bite to eat at the Pueblo Harvest Center. The Pueblo Harvest Center is a bakery and café dedicated to bringing its customers traditional Native American food. What’s better than a delicious meal? How about a delicious meal, and live music! At Pueblo Harvest Café, live music is played regularly, adding the perfect highlight to your meal.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Address: 2401 12th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Website: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

19. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

If you’re looking for a scientific excursion that involves New Mexico’s deep-history, head to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a multi-exhibit facility covering everything from dinosaurs to space exploration. Learn about the giant lizards that once ruled New Mexico, or gaze at the stars in the Hall of Stars. The facility is also equipped with a full-dome theater, with films showing every day. Watch the earth’s life story, or jump into the universe. Learn about the stars above New Mexico, or how fractals work and influence nature. Rotating films are also shown regularly, so every time you return, you can learn something new about this amazing world.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Address: 1801 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Website: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

20. Arts

Chip Thomas mural on the facade of 516 ARTS for DECADE - part of GOLDEN MIGRATION project with lisa nevada at Valle de...

Posted by 516 ARTS on Thursday, 20 October 2016

Video broadcast premiere for "Quantum Bridge," the collaborative mural between Aaron Noble, Warehouse 508 & 516 ARTS, will be featured during tonight's episode of COLORES at 9pm. Check it out!

Posted by 516 ARTS on Friday, 8 August 2014

To immerse yourself in the living art scene, head downtown to 516 Arts. This independent and non-profit art museum is completely community funded and brings together artwork from known, emerging, local, national, and international artists in a museum-style gallery that will amaze you. Different mediums as diverse as the artists that created them are on display, including photography, painting, and film. Part of the museum experience is to take a walking tour of featured murals, giving you the ability to actively explore Albuquerque’s art. Before your visit, check the website to see if any of the museum’s workshops or events are happening during your trip, as the museum is continuously coming up with creative ways to educate and involve visitors in art.

516 Arts

Address: 516 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Website: 516 Arts

21. KiMo Theatre

Posted by KiMo Theatre on Sunday, 22 February 2015

Today: Local Band Showcase II The showcase is open for public viewing and free to attend. Feb. 26, from 11:00 a.m. -...

Posted by KiMo Theatre on Thursday, 26 February 2015

Posted by KiMo Theatre on Tuesday, 29 November 2016

While in Albuquerque, be sure to catch a show at the historic KiMo Theatre. For 90 years, the KiMo Theatre has been entertaining guests with plays, bands, magic shows, and film screenings, with both local and guest performers alike gracing the stage. Multiple shows are put on each week, so no matter when you’re visiting Albuquerque, stop by KiMo for an applause-worthy night.

KiMo Theatre

Address: 423 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Website: KiMo Theatre

22. Sandia Peak Tramway

Sandia Peak Tramway New Mexico adamselby
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AdamSelby used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ride peacefully up to Sandia Peak, traveling over breathtaking valleys, and see Albuquerque from the top of the mountain with the Sandia Peak Tramway. The Sandia Peak Tramway is a nature tour and mountain adventure all in one, taking you 2.7 miles (4.3 km) above Albuquerque where you can see the city, trees, and canyons down below. During the winter, skiing is available from the top of the mountain. If you’re traveling during the summer, don’t fret. Biking trails are ready for your riding pleasure to keep the adrenaline flowing. When you’re done hiking the mountain, turn around to Sandiago’s grill. Located at the base of the tram, Sandiago’s is the perfect place for you to unwind and enjoy a meal while recollecting your adventure.

Sandia Peak Tramway

Address: Cibola National Forest, 30 Tramway Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122

Website: Sandia Peak Tramway

23. Casa Rondena Winery

Posted by Casa Rondeña Winery on Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Posted by Casa Rondeña Winery on Sunday, 11 September 2016

If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy New Mexico’s wine, head to Casa Rondena Winery. At Casa Rondena Winery, you can not only sample delicious wine in the tasting room, but also enjoy a glass on the elegant winery grounds. Cheese and cracker plates are also available at Casa Rondena to pair with your wine while you decide which bottle to take home. During your visit, you’re sure to see where the grapes are grown to perfection before being transformed into a variety of tasty beverages. And don’t worry if you fall head over heels for Casa Rondena; weddings and other special events are welcome at the vineyard in three different event spaces.

Casa Rondena Winery

Address: 733 Chavez Rd, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107

Website: Casa Rondena Winery

24. Albuquerque Bio Park and Zoo

For an unforgettable wildlife experience, head to Albuquerque Bio Park and Zoo. Located next to the Rio Grande and minutes away from Downtown Albuquerque, the Bio Park and Zoo is ideal for families, dates, and the lone traveler alike. While the zoo itself is spectacular, with 13 different exhibits, and over 50 different animal species, the rest of the park is equally show-stopping. Head to the Botanic Garden for an experience that goes beyond plants. The garden is really a series of gardens with varying themes and plants that take you to a whole new world. Visit the aquarium to see native fish like trout, and foreign predators like sharks and sting-rays. Finally, play at Tingley Beach, perched ideally on the bank of the Rio Grande. At Tingley Beach you can go fishing, boating, and hiking all in the same afternoon before settling down for a picnic next to the water.

Albuquerque Bio Park and Zoo

Address: 903 10th St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Website: Albuquerque Bio Park and Zoo

25. Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

Finally, what’s more New Mexican than seeing the aerial vehicles the state is famous for up close and personal? At the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, you can do just that, and learn about the lighter-than-air flight of the hot air balloon. See the balloons up close, and learn about the balloon’s use including scientific study, espionage, and honest adventure in this multi-level facility. If you’re traveling to Albuquerque in August, be sure to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, a showcase of hot air balloons from international flyers and the most photographed event in the world.

If you can’t make it to the party but still want to live out the hot air balloon experience, you can always take a hot air balloon ride with World Balloon. World Balloon was founded by Sid Cutter, the man behind the Balloon Fiesta, meaning, they are the best in the business for hot air balloon adventures. Your adventure begins when you arrive early in the morning at the World Balloon headquarters before being taken to the launch site. After watching the balloon inflate, you will be lifted gently into the air by the massive balloon. Your flight will last an hour, going over the Rio Grande Valley and ending with champagne, sparkling cider, and light refreshments—the perfect end to your Albuquerque vacation.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

Address: 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113

Website: Balloon Museum

World Balloon

Address: 6390 Coors Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120

Website: World Balloon

A vacation unlike others

Travel to Albuquerque for the experience of a lifetime. From history to science to art to balloon rides, the largest city in New Mexico will lift your spirits, both literally and metaphorically, keeping you coming back for more.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Haley has been writing stories since she was five, but did not decide to be a full-time writer until her college years. She studied English and Biology at Eastern New Mexico University and has...Read more

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