Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a beautiful and fun destination for couples and families, offering a diverse choice of activities, museums, historic attractions, excellent restaurants, hotels, wedding venues, RV parks, outdoor adventures and other fun things to do. Explore the history and culture of Old Town, go for a ride in North America's longest aerial tram, and take a guided tour. Here are the best best things to do in Albuquerque on your day trip or weekend getaway.
1. Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
© Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
Founded in 1967, the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is world-renowned for being one of the leading institutions of art, history, and culture in the Southwest. The museum celebrates the diverse local culture, rich heritage, history and art through a variety of alluring and informative local, regional, national and international exhibitions.
The Museum also features live performances in its state-of-the-art amphitheater, educational workshops for visitors of all ages, as well as docent-guided tours through the Museum, its beautiful sculpture garden and the historic Old Town. The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is one of the top Albuquerque points of interest. Don’t miss a visit to the exquisite Casa San Ysidro: The Gutiérrez-Minge House, which is also part of the museum, and a pristine example of Greek Revival architecture.
2000 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, Phone: 505-243-7255
2. Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum
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The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum where high-flying adventures await as you journey through the history of “lighter-than-air flight.” Named after two Albuquerque natives, Ben Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson, famed for various ocean and continent crossings in balloons, the museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the history of balloon flight. The exhibits at the museum offer invaluable insights into the story of balloon flight, since the first flight in 1783.
You will learn about how balloon have been used for a variety of exploratory missions, experiments, sporting feats, and adventures. Displays combine historic artifacts with modern multi-media technology to create an exciting and educational environment in which to discover and learn, such as ‘How and Why Balloons Fly’, ‘Balloon Science’, ‘Recreational Ballooning’, and ‘Balloons in War’.
9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87113, Phone: 505-768-6020
3.Albuquerque Old Town
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Located between Mountain Road and the Old Route 66 (now Central Avenue), Albuquerque Old Town is a historic district in Albuquerque that is home to a variety of beautiful old architecture, shops, cafés, restaurants, hotels, and churches. Spanning ten blocks, which are grouped around a central Plaza, Old Town is home to some beautiful examples of adobe architecture. Many of these buildings have been converted into small galleries, shops, and restaurants, offering public services while retaining the cultural identity of the area. If you are wondering what to do in Albuquerque NM today, this is a great area to explore.
The exquisite old San Felipe de Neri church, built in 1793, lies on the north side of the Plaza, while the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, the Albuquerque Museum, and the iExplora! Science Center and Children’s Museum are located to the east of the Old Town. Guided walking tours of Old Town are available on request. A wonderful time to visit the area is around Christmas when thousands of ‘luminarias’ light the sidewalks and streets. If you are looking for romantic things to do in Albuquerque today, the Old Town offers plenty to see and do.
4. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
© New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science documents the natural history of the earth from the birth of the Universe to New Mexico’s Ice Age through eight interactive display halls. Travel through the ages as you explore the galleries, beginning with ‘Origins’ and the ‘Dawn of the Dinosaurs’, followed by ‘Jurassic’s Super Giants’, ‘New Mexico’s Seacoast’, and the ‘Age of Volcanoes’, to ‘Evolving Grasslands’, ‘Cave Experience’, and finally, ‘New Mexico’s Ice Age’.
The museum is also home to a planetarium dedicated to astronomy and the study of space, and interesting exhibits such as ‘The History of the Personal Computer’, and ‘Rise of the Machines’, as well as the IMAX-sized Lockheed Martin DynaTheater.
1801 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, Phone: 505-841-2800
5. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
© Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center displays and celebrates the culture and achievements of the Native American Pueblo people of New Mexico. The center features informative historical artifacts, objects, sculptures and artworks. The center also features an evolving exhibit that displays the work of living traditional and contemporary artists, as well as a mini-theater for educational presentations and workshops like the Pueblo Artist Workshop Series.
Summer sees the popular Pueblo House Summer Camp, which is an immersion-based experience featuring world-renowned Pueblo artists, chefs and storytellers. Artist demonstrations and traditional Indian dances are open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.
2401 12th ST NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, Phone: 505-843-7270
6.Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway
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Located in the Sandia Foothills on the eastern edge of Albuquerque, the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is North America's longest aerial tram, riding high above breathtaking terrain and offering spectacular views. Stretching from the northeast edge of the city to the crest of the magnificent Sandia Mountains, the tramway is a popular tourist attraction throughout the year.
The tram ride takes about 15 minutes to ascend the steep western side of the Sandia Mountains, with around four trips leaving every hour from the base and top departure stations. Once at the top, some recreational activities can be enjoyed, from hiking and backpacking, bird and wildlife watching in the summer and skiing in the winter.
30 Tramway Road NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122, Phone: 505-856-7325
7. Explora in Albuquerque, New Mexico
© Photo Credit: MarbleStreetStudio.com/Albuquerque CVB
Explora is a family friendly science center near Old Town that offers an interactive way of learning math, science, and art through 250 fantastic hands-on exhibits and displays. Boasting over 250 displays, presentations and exhibits covering science, technology and art that require a ‘touch and feel’ approach, visitors are encouraged to explore, discover and learn through the art of touch.
Renowned exhibits include a high-wire bike, and an experiment bar – complete with white lab coats, a laminar fountain, and a fun arts and crafts area. The museum also features a modern performance theater, which hosts educational programs and presentations, an in-house exhibit workshop, and a gift store.
1701 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 8710, Phone: 505-224-8300
8. ABQ Trolley Co.
© ABQ Trolley Co.
Operated by Jesse Herron and Mike Silva, ABQ Trolley Co. is a unique tour service that offers sightseeing trips around Albuquerque on a beautiful custom-made, open air trolley. Tours are led by Jesse and Mike who share their passion for Albuquerque’s history and heritage, as well as a wealth of interesting facts.
If you are wondering what to see in Albuquerque, ABQ Trolley Co. will let you visit some of the the best places in town. The 18-mile ‘Best of ABQ City Tour’ lasts around 85 minutes and visits Nob Hill, Old Town, Museum Row and the historic Route 66, as well as the Barelas Neighborhood and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Rio Grande Zoo and Botanic Gardens, Tingley Beach and more.
9. Albuquerque Biological Park
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The Albuquerque Biological Park is a large environmental museum that is made up of four different facilities, namely the Albuquerque Aquarium, the Rio Grande Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Zoo, and Tingley Beach. The Albuquerque Aquarium is a vast salt-water ocean tank, boasting diverse species of fish, sea mammals, and other creatures from a variety of habitats, including coral reefs, surf zones, shallow waters, and estuaries.
Covering 36 acres, the Rio Grande Botanic Garden features a magnificent glass conservatory, which houses plants from the Mediterranean and desert climate zones. Home to over 250 species of animals, ranging from elephants, tigers and giraffes, to polar bears, gorillas and snow leopards, the Rio Grande Zoo is spread over 64 miles of landscape, and offers a variety of habitats for the animals and birds to reside in. Tingley Beach is one of Albuquerque’s most popular recreational spots, with pristine picnic areas, a fishing & model boating lake, and a network of paths for walking, hiking, running and cycling. The Albuquerque Biological Park is one of the top family attractions in Albuquerque NM.
903 10th St SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, Phone: 505-768-2000
10.History & Ghost Tours of Old Town, Albuquerque
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Get to know Albuquerque with an interesting and fun-filled Tours of Old Town adventure. The company specializes in engaging, entertaining, and informative outdoor walking tours, led by professional guides that share a wealth of interesting facts and historical trivia. Take a step back in time with the fascinating ‘History, Legends & Lore’ tour, brave dark alleys and mysterious avenues with the terrifying ‘Ghost Tours’ or venture across the Plaza by night with the ‘Moonlight Ghost Tour’.
These walking tours give you the chance to explore well-hidden architectural gems and often-missed sights, as well as the excellent museums and galleries scattered about the city. Several tours are offered daily, as well as special pre-arranged group tours. Read more
11.Elena Gallegos Open Space
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The Elena Gallegos Open Space is made up of the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area and Albert G. Simms Park, a beautiful expanse of open landscapes and wild terrain where visitors can enjoy an array of outdoor activities against a backdrop of spectacular vistas of the Sandia Mountains.
Spanning 640 acres at an elevation of over 6,500 feet, the park offers wonderful hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, scenic covered picnic areas with barbeque grills, and breathtaking views of the Jemez Mountains to the north, the massive Tijeras Arroyo to the south and Mt. Taylor to the east. Family-friendly activities and unique environmental and educational programs are offered throughout the year, where you can learn about the natural and cultural history of the region with guided walks and talks.
12.Casa Rondena Winery
© Casa Rondena Winery
Casa Rondeña Winery is one of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque's premiere wineries, owned and operated by John Calvin since 1998. The lovely winery serves as both a tasting room and a hub for the arts in the New Mexico region, hosting annual special events such as the Festival de Música Rondeña, which has presented performances by members of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Award-winning red and white wine varietals and blends are sold throughout the year at the winery's tasting room, which is open to the public daily during the afternoon hours. Wine tastings are available for a nominal fee, complemented by a selection of cheese boards, chocolates, and housemade spreads. The company's 1692 Club offers exclusive member benefits such as opportunities for picnics on the winery's grounds.
733 Chavez Rd, Los Ranchos De, Albuquerque, NM 87107, Phone: 505-344-5911
13.Unser Racing Museum
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Racing fans will love the Unser Racing Museum, which ‘honors the past and prepares for the future’, through the exciting world of racing. The museum celebrates the accomplishments of New Mexico’s native racing family, the Unsers by offering visitors a multi-dimensional and interactive experience that puts them in the driver’s seat.
Going back in time to the early days of racing, the museum is filled with racing memorabilia, from antique cars to a trophy room and a library that documents the history of racing, as well as modern exhibits featuring the latest developments in modern race technologies and how they have changed racing today. Exciting displays and interactive kiosks enable visitors to learn more about the sport in a fun environment, and a racing simulator allows visitors to try their hand at racing in real time.
1776 Montano Road NW Los Ranchos de, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107, Phone: 505-341-1776
Albuquerque salad bistro, Vinaigrette, serves award-winning salads and bold, delicious soups, sides, sandwiches, and house-made desserts - all made from the freshest and healthiest ingredients. Stop in for lunch and try the Salacho (a taco salad) or a Cuban torta. Owner Erin Wade opened the Albuquerque location in November 2012, expanding from the original Vinaigrette in Santa Fe.
At her organic farm outside of Nambe, she grows enough to provide a large majority of the produce for both her Albuquerque and Santa Fe restaurants. Vinaigrette is located on Southwest Central Avenue in Albuquerque, not far from the Country Club.
1828 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, Phone: 505-842-5507
15. Petroglyph National Monument
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Stretching for 17 miles (27 km) along the volcanic basalt escarpment known as the West Mesa, Petroglyph National Monument is a protected area that is home to one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. This rugged landscape features symbols, drawings and designs carved into the volcanic rock which are of extremely high spiritual and cultural importance.
The Monument also protects a range of natural resources including volcanic cones and hundreds of archeological sites, which document the history and culture of the people living in the region at the time. The park has some self-guided walking trails, with drinking fountains, shady seating areas and restroom facilities for visitors to the site.
6001 Unser Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87120, Phone: 505-899-0205
16.Green Jeans Farmery
© Green Jeans Farmery
Green Jeans Farmery is one of Albuquerque's hippest retail and dining destinations, constructed entirely from recycled shipping containers. The indoor-outdoor gathering space emphasizes local shopping and dining options, including a brewpub location for the Santa Fe Brewing Company, New Mexico's oldest and largest craft microbrewery. Diners can enjoy hip Tex Mex fare at Chumley's Southwestern, share traditional wood-fired pizzas at Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria, or chow down on made-to-order street tacos at Rockin' Taco. Clever quick-service specialty restaurants include the European-style Epiphany Espresso coffeehouse and Nitro Fog Creamery, which serves up unique nitrogen-infused ice cream flavors. Other retailers include local apparel company Brotique 505 and medical cannabis dispensary Sacred Garden.
3600 Cutler Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, Phone: 505- 401-1000
17.Duke City Pedaler
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Offering a unique take on sightseeing tours, the Duke City Pedaler is a 14-passenger 'party bike' that cruises around the streets of Albuquerque, stopping at various pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the city. Ideal for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions, the Duke City Pedaler is a must for a group of friends to enjoy together. Also known as ‘pedal pubs ‘and ‘pedibuses’, the Duke City Pedaler party bike is an eco-friendly, multi-passenger bicycle that is powered by 10 pedaling customers, with electric motor assistance.
Each pedaler has a comfortable seat at the ‘bar’, where they can relax with a beer while pedaling. The rear of the bike has four extra seats for non-pedaling guests. The Duke City Pedaler can be booked by groups or singles and offers an excellent way to meet new people as you cycle around the city taking in the sights.
18.The Grove Cafe & Market
© The Grove
East downtown Albuquerque’s The Grove Cafe & Market is serving up farm-fresh café fare, including salads, sandwiches, and delectable sweets, all made from locally-sourced, organic ingredients. They serve breakfast all day, in addition to brunch, lunch, and a full line of espresso and coffee drinks. Pop in and taste the egg white frittata or the Grove Italian sandwich.
Owners Lauren Green and Executive Chef Jason Greene opened The Grove Café & Market in 2006 with the vision of creating a fun place where the community can bond over culinary delights. You will find it on Central Avenue, about a mile from University of New Mexico.
600 Central Avenue se # A, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, Phone: 505-248-9800
19.Hinkle Family Fun Center
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Hinkle Family Fun Center promises an entertaining day out for the whole family - from paintball and go-karting to bumper boats and Lazer Tag, the center has something for everyone. Owned by the Hinkle family, the center was established in 1994 to create a space where families could go and have a great time. Comprised of two large buildings and a state-of-the-art paintball facility, Hinkle Center boasts a large Games Room with a variety of video and coin games, Lazer Frenzy, and party tables for birthdays and other special occasions.
The outdoor section of the center features two 18-Hole miniature golf courses, Bumper Boats, Go-Karts and a rock-climbing wall. The second building is home to a Nickel City Games Room and a 5,000-square-foot Lazer Tag arena, as well as Battletech Firestorm Virtual Reality Pods, Light Space and Bumper Cars, along with party tables and a snack bar.
12931 Indian School Rd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87112, Phone: 505-299-3100
20.Farm & Table
© Farm & Table
Farm & Table is a friendly neighborhood restaurant located in Albuquerque's North Valley, which serves a seasonal ‘homegrown’ menu of locally produced and sourced food, wine and beer in celebration of the surrounding community. In collaboration with local farmers, grocers and artisans, the Farm & Table culinary team creates delicious dishes from farm fresh vegetables and salads from the restaurant’s very own farm, grass-fed animals, and other organic treats such as delectable cheeses and pure honey.
The Farm & Table menu offers an array of handmade desserts, including bread, pastries, ice cream and hand-ground chocolate, and the menu is accompanied by flights of acclaimed wines, locally brewed craft beers and organic spirits. Farm & Table has a sister retail store called La Parada next door, which sells an eclectic range of unique vintage and retro items from artisans around the world.
8917 Fourth Street NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87114, Phone: 505-503-7124
21.Albuquerque Little Theatre
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Founded in 1930, Albuquerque Little Theatre has been providing quality entertainment in the form of fully staged productions to the community for over 85 years. Aiming to introduce, cultivate and inspire the community about the beauty of the arts, as well provide opportunities for artists to display their talents, the theater not only produces and presents plays and performances, but also offers an array of educational programs and workshops throughout the year.
Past and current performances have included world-renowned productions such as Spamalot, Cats, Grease, Les Miserables, and The King and I.
224 San Pasquale Ave SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104, Phone: 505-242-4750
22.The Artichoke Cafe
© The Artichoke Cafe
The Artichoke Cafe in downtown Albuquerque serves New American cuisine, a mix of French, Italian, and creative American, made with the finest, freshest, seasonal ingredients in a casual, bistro setting.
Stop for lunch and try the crab cakes appetizer and the red beet and artichoke ravioli or the Banh Mi. The Artichoke Café is located in the EDO District on Route 66.
424 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, Phone: 505-243-0200
23.Routes Bicycle Tours
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Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals offers fun and easy bicycle tours throughout Albuquerque, as well as bicycle rentals, repairs, and other bicycle-related services. Bicycle tours include scenic bike tours around the city, gourmet tours that include visits to restaurants and eateries and samplings along the way, and specialty bike tours, led by knowledgeable Albuquerque locals with a passion for their city.
Self-guide tours are also available, where you can explore the city on your own. Different types of bikes are available for rent and use, including hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, city cruisers, road bikes, and tandems. Special packages can be arranged with lodging included, as well as tours for specific events, such as corporate teambuilding and celebrations (Phone: 505-933-5667).
24.Budai Gourmet Chinese
© Budai Gourmet Chinese
Albuquerque’s award-winning Budai Gourmet Chinese is a local favorite that serves hand-crafted dishes with Taiwanese, Shangai, and Southern Chinese influences. Enjoy the delicious sweet potato leaves, the curry beef, or the dim sum. Voted best Chinese restaurant in Albuquerque, Budai Gourmet is owned and operated by Chef Hsia and Elsa Fang.
While Chef Hsia has over 30 years of culinary experience, Else comes from a family of restaurateur. You will find this scrumptious restaurant on San Mateo NE H-1, in the Far North Chopping Center.
6300 San Mateo NE H-1, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109, Phone: 505-797-7898
25.Cliff's Amusement Park
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Cliff's Amusement Park offers a range of thrilling rides, roller coasters, and adventures for the whole family. Rides include the renowned ‘New Mexico Rattler,’ a wooden roller coaster, and the ‘Super Fire Ball,’ which spins 13 times in a minute.
Try the new ‘Wind Rider’ and take in fantastic views high above the park, brave the ‘Cliff Hanger’ as you drop down the face of an 80-foot cliff, or s get soaked at the Cliff’s ever-popular ‘WaterMania’ in the summer. The park has a number of restaurants, cafés, and snack shops that serve food and drinks all day, as well as a gift and souvenir store for memorable mementos.
4800 Osuna Road Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109, Phone: 505-881-9373
25 Best Things to Do in Albuquerque, NM
- Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Photo: Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
- Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Albuquerque Old Town, Photo: Courtesy of FiledIMAGE - Fotolia.com
- New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Photo: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
- Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Photo: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
- Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway , Photo: Courtesy of Waldteufel - Fotolia.com
- Explora in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Photo: Photo Credit: MarbleStreetStudio.com/Albuquerque CVB
- ABQ Trolley Co. , Photo: ABQ Trolley Co.
- Albuquerque Biological Park, Photo: Courtesy of Tom - Fotolia.com
- History & Ghost Tours of Old Town, Albuquerque, Photo: Courtesy of fmcginn - Fotolia.com
- Elena Gallegos Open Space, Photo: Courtesy of joseph pankey - Fotolia.com
- Casa Rondena Winery, Photo: Casa Rondena Winery
- Unser Racing Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Nikolai Sorokin - Fotolia.com
- Vinaigrette, Photo: Vinaigrette
- Petroglyph National Monument, Photo: Courtesy of Henryk Sadura - Fotolia.com
- Green Jeans Farmery, Photo: Green Jeans Farmery
- Duke City Pedaler, Photo: Courtesy of digidreamgrafix - Fotolia.com
- The Grove Cafe & Market, Photo: The Grove
- Hinkle Family Fun Center, Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boswell - Fotolia.com
- Farm & Table, Photo: Farm & Table
- Albuquerque Little Theatre, Photo: Courtesy of Arkady Chubykin - Fotolia.com
- The Artichoke Cafe, Photo: The Artichoke Cafe
- Routes Bicycle Tours, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Budai Gourmet Chinese, Photo: Budai Gourmet Chinese
- Cliff's Amusement Park , Photo: Courtesy of Aleksey - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of joseph pankey - Fotolia.com