Albuquerque

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Travel Guide North America USA Western United States New Mexico Albuquerque

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Introduction

Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico with well over half a million inhabitants in the city itself and around 850,000 in the metropolitan area. It's located in the central parts of the state along the Rio Grande. It was actually a pretty sleepy town until after World War II when the city sprang to life in the middle of the desert. It is a strong mix of traditional native cultures, hispanic and white culture.

Cradled in the Rio Grande Valley beneath the Sandia Mountains, it is by far the largest city in the state, acting as the media, educational, and economic center of New Mexico, as well as the home of the state's only major airport, making it a common entry point into New Mexico. Despite this, Albuquerque is often overshadowed as a tourist destination by Santa Fe, 60 mi (97 km) to the north.

But any visit to New Mexico would be incomplete without taking in what Albuquerque has to offer, as New Mexico's only major city has pleasant scenery, colorful history, and a wealth of great attractions in its own right. Here, in a setting that has been made familiar to many by the television series Breaking Bad, you'll find many excellent museums, colorful neon signs along old Route 66, the naturalistic beauty of the Rio Grande and the Sandia Mountains, and a spectacular hot-air balloon festival in the fall.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Barelas is an inner-city neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico, located immediately south of Downtown. It consists of the triangular area bounded by Coal Avenue, the BNSF railroad tracks, and the Rio Grande. Originally a separate village, it was absorbed into Albuquerque during the railroad-fueled growth of the 1880s but still retains a distinct identity. The settlement was formally established in 1662, predating even Old Town as the oldest neighborhood in the city. Although it was long one of Albuquerque's most economically distressed areas, Barelas has seen significant development since the opening of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in 2000 and may be starting to experience gentrification.
  • Downtown is the central business district of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is where a significant number of the city's highrise buildings are located, and is the center of government and business for the Greater Albuquerque metropolitan region. Downtown is roughly defined as the central area bordered by Marble Avenue to the North, Coal Avenue to the South, Sixth Street to the East, and the Amtrak and New Mexico Rail Runner Express railroad tracks to the West. The area on the east side of the railroad tracks is known as East Downtown or EDo. The downtown area can be easily accessed by several freeway exits from Interstate 25.
  • High Desert is a master-planned community built by High Desert Investment Corporation in the Far Northeast Heights of Albuquerque. The boundaries of the High Desert neighborhood are Tramway Blvd. to the west, Simms Park Road to the north, the Sandia Mountains to the east, and Bear Canyon Open Space to the south. The High Desert area is one of the most expensive areas of Albuquerque. High Desert is also one of the most highly elevated neighborhoods in Albuquerque, as most of the neighborhood is at or above 6,000 feet (1828.8 meters) in elevation. High Desert is zoned to Georgia O'Keeffe Elementary School, Eisenhower Middle School, and Eldorado High School.
  • The International District is a neighborhood in southeast Albuquerque It is centered on Central Avenue, the historic alignment of U.S. Route 66, and contains the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. The community is one of the most diverse areas of the city and is home to a large number of international restaurants and grocery stores, as well as the city's "Little Saigon" Vietnamese enclave. It is also one of the poorest areas in the city and has a high crime rate. Prior to being re-branded as the International District in 2009, the neighborhood was commonly known as the "War Zone".
  • Martineztown-Santa Barbara is a neighborhood in central Albuquerque, New Mexico, immediately northeast of Downtown. Originating as a small farming village in the 1850s, it is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods and retains a distinct character, with winding streets, irregular lots, and adobe vernacular buildings reminiscent of other old Hispanic communities in northern New Mexico.
  • Nob Hill is a neighborhood in Albuquerque consisting of a commercial district along Central Avenue (former U.S. Route 66) and surrounding residential areas. Located just east of the University of New Mexico, the neighborhood was developed between about 1925 and 1950 and has since become a popular tourist and shopping destination. Known for its eclectic mix of mostly locally owned businesses, Nob Hill has been described as "the heart of Albuquerque's Route 66 culture and also its hippest, funkiest retail and entertainment district". The neighborhood is named after Nob Hill in San Francisco.
  • Old Town is the historic original town site of Albuquerque, New Mexico, laid out by Spanish colonists in the 1700s. It is listed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties as the Old Albuquerque Historic District, and is protected by a special historic zoning designation by the city. The present-day district contains about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings surrounding Old Town Plaza. On the plaza's north side stands San Felipe de Neri Church, a Spanish colonial church constructed in 1793. Old Town is a popular tourist destination with a large number of restaurants, shops, and galleries, and is also home to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Explora science center are located a short distance to the northeast. Old Town is known for its luminaria displays during the holiday season, particularly on Christmas Eve.
  • Silver Hill is a neighborhood in southeast Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is significant as one of the oldest developments on the city's East Mesa. Much of the neighborhood is included in the Silver Hill Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The neighborhood is roughly bounded by Central Avenue, Yale Boulevard, Central New Mexico Community College, and Presbyterian Hospital. The northeast corner of the neighborhood borders the University of New Mexico campus.

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Sights and Activities

Old Town

The Old Town is east of Rio Grande Boulevard in between Central Ave. and Mountain Rd. (west of downtown). A nice sightseeing area, Old Town is where the city was founded in 1706 and is a place where centuries of history and modern life merge; 18th century architecture with narrow brick paths is blended with adobe architecture, and there are lots of little nooks and crannies, small restaurants, and specialty shops. At the center of the district is the pleasant 10 Old Town Plaza, which has a gazebo, historic exhibits, and is bordered on the north by the 11 San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in Albuquerque. In Christmas time, thousands of luminarias (paper bags filled with sand and illuminated from within by a lit candle) line the streets. Guided tours of Old Town are available from a private operator or from the Albuquerque Museum. There are several museums within easy walking distance of the Old Town Plaza. Most of them are on Mountain Rd., just a few blocks northeast of the Plaza.

Other Sights and Activities

  • National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, 601 Eubank Blvd SE (at Southern Blvd, near the Kirtland Air Force Base), ☎ +1 505 245-2137. 9AM-5PM daily except major holidays. A museum devoted to things nuclear, with extensive exhibits on the history of nuclear weapons including replicas of the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs dropped in World War II as well as other weapons and displays on arms control and uses of atomic energy. Even for those who are skeptical of the merits of nuclear arms and power, a visit to this museum makes for an interesting experience; a particularly illuminating exhibit is a guestbook where visitors are invited to share their thoughts regarding the use of atomic bombs on Japan, and as one might expect, such a controversial matter invites a wide variety of strong opinions. Outside the museum is a collection of nuclear-capable aircraft standing alongside rockets, missiles, and even a cannon designed to fire nuclear bombs. $12, $10 seniors/youth, $8 veterans, $7 active military, age 5 and under free.
  • Sandia Peak Tramway, off Tramway Blvd on the NE corner of the city, ☎ +1 505 856-7325. Operates every 20-30 min from 9AM until evening (no morning rides on off-season Tu), with closures in April and November for maintenance. Runs from a lower terminus in the northeast heights to the top of 10,400-foot (3169 m) Sandia Peak east of the city, and is one of the longest and most spectacular aerial tramways in the world. The first upward tram departs at 9AM (except Tu in the off season), and service continues until early evening. The 15-min ride to the top is incredible, bringing you right up to the rocky face of the Sandias. The view of the city from Sandia Peak is tremendous (especially after sunset), and there is a visitor center at the top. Closed for two weeks in spring and fall for "maintenance," but spring winds are so intense that you really don't want to be on an aerial tram then anyway. $25 round trip for adults, $20 round trip for seniors/military/students (age 13-20), $15 round trip for children, free for children under 5.
  • Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, 9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE (on the grounds of Balloon Fiesta Park), ☎ +1 505 768-6020. Tu-Su 9AM-5PM. Overlooking the balloon launch field is this very interesting museum dedicated to the science and history of ballooning, with exhibits on hot air balloons and other lighter-than-air craft (including a couple of historic craft occupying the expansive hall), collections and memorabilia from famous balloonists, and extensive exhibits on ballooning in Albuquerque. If you can't make it to the Balloon Fiesta, this is next best thing, and if you can make it to the Balloon Fiesta, this makes for an excellent complement to a morning spent at a mass ascension. $4 adults, $2 seniors, $1 children, age 3 and under free (Sunday mornings free).
  • ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, 2601 Central Ave NW (just east of the Rio Grande). 9AM-5PM daily, except major holidays. Next door to the Aquarium, this expansive botanical garden is one of Albuquerque's real gems. The place is an oasis with a variety of gardens to explore, with an emphasis on high desert plants but also with many highlight exhibits that are great for children: an indoor conservatory with lush Mediterranean plants, an insectarium with plenty of creepy-crawlies, an indoor butterfly pavilion that's open in the summer, a large Japanese garden with a koi pond and a waterfall, a recreation of an early 20th-century farm with a barnyard petting zoo, a model railroad, and a fantastic children's "Fantasy Garden" made to look as if you've shrunk down to a bug's size, with giant pretend vegetables, garden tools and bugs. $12.50, $5.50 seniors, $4 children, under age 3 free (includes admission to Aquarium; train rides require separate admission, unless you have a combo ticket).
  • Petroglyph National Monument, visitor center at 6001 Unser Blvd NW, ☎ +1 505 899-0205 ext 331. Daily 8AM-5PM. On the west side of town, Petroglyph is a unit of the United States National Park System and preserves a significant archaeological site with an impressive number of petroglyphs. Despite their proximity to an urban center, the petroglyphs are in good condition with very little vandalism or theft. The monument has a visitor center with some interpretive exhibits and a few short trails that lead past numerous petroglyphs. Also within the monument are a series of volcanic cinder cones overlooking the city, accessible by hiking trails from Atrisco Vista Blvd along the backside of the monument. Free, parking at Boca Negra Canyon trailhead $1 weekdays/$2 weekends.
  • Rio Grande Valley State Park. A very pleasant state park running along the banks of the Rio Grande through Albuquerque. The park encompasses almost the entirety of the bosque (cottonwood forest) in the city, which is home to much wildlife, such as geese, roadrunners, beavers, rabbits, squirrels, and numerous other species. Numerous trails criss-cross the park, most notably the Paseo del Bosque paved bike/walk trail which runs the length of the park and offers a scenic walk or bike ride. The park's trails are also utilized by an active equestrian community in the area. There are also several picnic areas and wetland areas, with the two most prominent listed below. Free.
  • The Sandia Mountains offer outdoors opportunities ranging from straight hiking (the La Luz trail is popular, perhaps too much so) on to serious, multi-day rock climbing. Mountain biking is also really popular, and there are great trails in the foothills as well as at a ski area on the other side of the mountains during the summer. If less athletically inclined, ride the Sandia Peak Tramway (see "See" section above) to the top. At the base of the mountains, near the tramway, you can find magnificent views of the city and mountains and access trails into the mountains, especially around the 6 Elena Gallegos Picnic Area. During the winter, the Sandia Peak Ski Area serves skiers and snowboarders; see Cedar Crest for details. The ski area can be reached either by taking a 45 min. drive around the mountain to the base lodge or by taking the tramway up to the top of the mountain—presuming there's enough snow at the top (skiers get a discount on tramway tickets, but you have to bring your own equipment).
  • The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology is an anthropology museum located on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The museum was founded in 1932 as the Museum of Anthropology of the University of New Mexico, becoming the first public museum in Albuquerque. In 1972 it was renamed the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in honor of philanthropists Dorothy and Gilbert Maxwell.
  • Explora is a science center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, located near Old Town Albuquerque. Its name is the imperative form of the Spanish language verb explorar, which means to explore. The museum employs a hands-on, inquiry-based learning approach to science, math and art. The museum has 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of exhibit space on two floors, which contain over 250 interactive exhibits that cover a broad range of science, technology and art. Notable exhibits include a laminar flow fountain, an experiment bar, an arts and crafts area, and a high-wire bike. In addition to the exhibits, the building houses a performance theater, gift store, educational program areas, the in-house exhibit workshop and staff offices.
  • The American International Rattlesnake Museum is an animal conservation museum located in Albuquerque, New Mexico in Old Town Albuquerque. The museum is devoted to snakes, particularly rattlesnakes, and is dedicated to rattlesnake education. With the staff that is a participant in regular international viper research events, the museum hosts a diverse collection of living rattlesnakes and an extensive library of study material and educational tools. The museum has the largest collection of different species of live rattlesnakes in the world, which are presented in recreated habitats, and claims to host more rattlesnake species than the Bronx Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., the Denver Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo combined. In addition to rattlesnakes, the museum holds a live Gila monster, one of the few known venomous lizard species. The museum also houses a large collection of snake-related artwork, artifacts, and memorabilia. The museum also contains a gift shop.
  • Albuquerque Museum, formerly known as The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico in Old Town Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Museum is dedicated to preserving the art of the American Southwest and the history of Albuquerque and the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico. The museum also contributes significantly to the cultural and educational programs in the city of Albuquerque. The museum features art of the Southwest and its global influences, as well as 400 years of Albuquerque history with permanent installations and special exhibitions of national and international origin.
  • The National Hispanic Cultural Center is an institution in Albuquerque, New Mexico dedicated to Hispanic culture, arts and humanities. The campus spans 20 acres and is located along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Avenida César Chávez and 4th St. Now presenting 700 events a year, the NHCC is home to three theatres, an art museum, library, genealogy center, Spanish-language resource center, two restaurants (Pop Fizz Paleteria[4] and M'Tucci's Cocina Grill) and the largest concave fresco in North America.
  • The Unser Racing Museum, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S., is a non-profit museum celebrating the accomplishments of New Mexico’s native racing family, the Unsers. The museum celebrates multiple generations of Unsers, from patriarch Jerry Unser, to Al Unser III and Mariana Unser as well. Shaped like a steering wheel, the museum features multiple exhibits, and actual racecars driven by the Unsers. There is also a rotating exhibit, featuring a new racing aspect every few months.
  • The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, located in Albuquerque, is owned and operated by the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico and dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Pueblo Indian Culture, History and Art. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a non-profit that opened in August, 1976, to showcase the history and accomplishments of the Pueblo people, from Pre-Columbian to current time. The center includes a 10,000 sq ft (1,000 m2) museum of the authentic history and artifacts of traditional Pueblo cultures and their contemporary art. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the center, an exhibit titled "We are of This Place: The Pueblo Story" opened on April 2, 2016. The permanent exhibit highlights the creativity and adaptation which made possible the survival, diversity and achievements of each of the 19 Pueblos. The center also includes a small, changing exhibit that highlights the work of living traditional and contemporary artists. Traditional Indian dances and artist demonstrations are open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. More than 200,000 people visit the center each year.
  • The Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB) is a research and teaching facility in the Department of Biology of the University of New Mexico (UNM). The museum's collections include vascular plants, invertebrates and vertebrates from the American West, Central and South America, and from throughout the world. It is open to visitors by appointment. The Museum was said in 1997 to hold the largest collection of frozen tissue samples (85,000) in the western hemisphere and has assisted in the study of emerging zoonotic pathogens such as the Hantavirus and the Lassa virus.
  • Cliff's Amusement Park (previously known as Uncle Cliff's Amusement Park prior to 1991) is a combination amusement park and water park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. It opened in 1959. It features 24 rides for all ages, food, and carnival style games. It also features a water attraction, WaterMania!, which operates Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. It also has the only wooden roller coaster in New Mexico, the New Mexico Rattler.
  • Tingley Beach is a recreational area in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, located south of Central Avenue on the east side of the Rio Grande. It is part of the Albuquerque Biological Park complex. The series of ponds, originally known as Conservancy Beach, was built during the 1930s by diverting water from the Rio Grande and later renamed in honor of Clyde Tingley. After the beach was closed to swimmers in the 1950s, it was used primarily for fishing. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums awarded Tingley Beach with the '2008 North American Conservation Award'.

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Events and Festivals

  • The Gathering of Nations is the largest pow-wow in the United States and North America. It is held annually the fourth weekend in April, on the Powwow Grounds at Expo NM, in Albuquerque. Over 565 tribes from around the United States and 220 from Canada travel to Albuquerque to participate. There are 36 dance categories, and different age group categories including Elders (70+), Golden Age (55+), Adults (19+), Teens and Tiny Tots. Other competitions include Northern Singers, Southern Singers, Women's Back-up Singing, and a competition for Drum Groups and Drummers and other various special competitions. A pageant for Miss Indian World is held each year. The winner is chosen based upon personality, knowledge of tribal traditions, and dancing ability. There is also Indian Traders Market featuring artists, crafters and traders selling Native American and Indigenous arts and crafts. Additional activities during this native themed festival is stage 49 The contemporary music and performance space where native musicians and others experience performance on a professional stage and in front of a large audience. Also is the native horse and rider regalia parade, honoring the horse culture among tribes. And the tee pee village. Gathering of Nations also participates annually in a literacy program, delivering over four thousand books to young children registered to dance.
  • The New Mexico State Fair is an annual state fair held in September at Expo New Mexico (formerly the New Mexico State Fairgrounds) in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. The event features concerts, competitions, rodeos, carnival rides, games, farm animals, horses, agriculture and art. The Tingley Coliseum is on the fairgrounds.
  • Bubonicon is an annual multigenre convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, typically held during the last weekend of August. It is the largest general-interest science fiction convention in New Mexico and among the oldest in the Southwest. Bubonicon was first held in 1969 as a literary science fiction gathering in Albuquerque called NewMexiCon. Authors Roy Tackett and Robert E. Vardeman were two of the key figures in establishing and promoting Bubonicon in its early days. From a gathering of 20 in 1969, Bubonicon grew quickly with roughly fifty people attending in 1971 and over one hundred people attending Bubonicon 5 in 1973. 1973 also introduced Bubonicon's mascot, Perry Rhodent. The name Bubonicon, not officially adopted until 1971, is a nod to Albuquerque's long history of bubonic plague outbreaks, with Perry Rhodent a continuation of this theme. In 1976 one of Bubonicon's longest running traditions, the Green Slime Awards, were started in order to honor the worst in Science Fiction from the previous year. This reflected the growth of the convention over the years from largely a literary gathering to one which now included science speakers, often from nearby Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico giving lectures on everything from physics to microbiology, and encompassed fiction and fantasy of all media.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

© All Rights Reserved BillLehane

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is held every year in the Balloon Fiesta Park (north of Alameda Blvd, one mile (1.6 km) west of I-25, take either Alameda Blvd or Tramway Blvd exit off I-25). $10, children ages 12 and under free (parking $15 per car). The Fiesta is the world's largest ballooning event and one of the most photographed events in the world. A cultural landmark for Albuquerque (and indeed, all of New Mexico), this festival gives you a first-hand look at the world of ballooning. For nine days in October, you can walk out onto a large field where balloonists from around the world set up, inflate, launch, and possibly land their balloons. Mass ascensions of balloons with hundreds of different colors and shapes create an often stunning and magnificent sight. It's one of the most heavily attended festivals in the entire U.S. Balloons fly best in cooler conditions, so many of the events take place early in the morning. Traffic is pretty bad around the festival; expect a long, long line of cars (you may want to seriously consider taking park-and-ride to beat the traffic). Get your hotel reservations far in advance, because everyone fills up around this time of year. If the event is rained or snowed out, there are no refunds on prices. Most years the weather works in favor of the balloonists, so this shouldn't be a problem, though. The event begins on the first Saturday of October and ends with a farewell mass ascension on the Sunday of the following weekend, with numerous events in-between, such as concerts and balloon races. Here are a few of the highlights of the fiesta:

  • Dawn Patrol. Every day there's a Dawn Patrol at around 6AM, where a few balloons take off before the sun rises. These balloons test the conditions before other balloons take off.
  • Mass Ascension. On weekend days at about 7AM the Mass Ascension occurs, which is the lift off of all the balloons participating in the fiesta, usually in two waves. Not to be missed.
  • Balloon Glow. On weekend evenings (except for the final day of the event) a Balloon Glow takes place, when the balloons don't lift off the ground, but are illuminated by the light of their propane burners going off.
  • Morning Glow. The same as the balloon glow but early in the morning (may not always occur).
  • Special Shapes Rodeo. Happens at 7AM on the Thursday and Friday of the event, which is a Mass Ascension for all the "special shape" balloons. There are also Balloon Glows called Glowdeos (a portmanteau of "glow" and "rodeo") for the special shape balloons. The special shapes are the balloons in forms other than the standard balloon shape, and are very popular with kids; expect to see animals, cartoon characters, clowns, and many other colorful creations. Returning favorites include a milk cow, a wagon coach, and a trio of bees.

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

Albuquerque has a semi-arid climate. Albuquerque is in the northern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert, near the edge of the Colorado Plateau. The average annual precipitation is less than half of evaporation, and no month averages below freezing.

Albuquerque's climate is usually sunny and dry, with an average of 3,415 sunshine hours per year. Brilliant sunshine defines the region, averaging 278 days a year; periods of variably mid and high-level cloudiness temper the sun at other times. Extended cloudiness is rare. The city has four distinct seasons, but the heat and cold are mild compared to the extremes that occur more commonly in other parts of the country.

Winters are rather brief, with December, the coolest month, averaging 2.4 °C, although low temperatures bottom out in January, and the coldest temperature of the year is typically around -12 °C. There are 2.8 days where the high is at or below freezing.

Spring is windy, sometimes unsettled with some rain, though spring is usually the driest part of the year in Albuquerque. March and April tend to see many days with the wind blowing at 20 to 30 mph (32 to 48 km/h), and afternoon gusts can produce periods of blowing sand and dust. In May, the winds tend to subside.

The summer heat is relatively tolerable for most because of low humidity, except for some days during the North American Monsoon. There are 2.7 days of 38 °C+ highs annually, mostly in June and July and rarely in August due in part to the monsoon; an average 60 days see 32 °C+ highs.

Fall sees less rain than summer, though the weather can be more unsettled closer to winter.

Albuquerque averages around 9 inches of snow per winter, and experiences several accumulating snow events each season. Locations in the Northeast Heights and Eastern Foothills tend to receive more snowfall due to each region's higher elevation and proximity to the mountains.
The mountains and highlands beyond the city create a rain shadow effect, due to the drying of air ascending the mountains; the city usually receives very little rain or snow, averaging 8–9 inches (216 mm) of precipitation per year. Most rain occurs during the summer monsoon season (also called a chubasco in Mexico), typically starting in early July and ending in mid-September.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max8.2 °C11.9 °C16.3 °C21.6 °C26.5 °C32.2 °C33.6 °C31.7 °C27.7 °C21.7 °C14.1 °C8.6 °C
Avg Min-5.7 °C-3.1 °C0.1 °C4.2 °C9.2 °C14.6 °C18 °C17 °C12.9 °C6.1 °C-0.4 °C-4.9 °C
Rainfall11.2 mm11.7 mm13.7 mm13.2 mm12.7 mm15 mm34.8 mm41.7 mm25.4 mm22.6 mm10.9 mm12.7 mm
Rain Days2.432.822.62.66.36.44.43.72.82.7

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Getting There

By Plane

Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is the main gateway. Southwest Airlines offers most flights, including to/from Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, St. Louis, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle and Tucson.
Several other airlines serve San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Denver, Cleveland, Atlanta, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and (the only international flight) Chihuahua in Mexico.

By Train

The Southwest Chief, operated by Amtrak, travels between Chicago and Los Angeles, stopping in Albuquerque, among other places.

A commuter rail line, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, connects Albuquerque to Santa Fe and to the smaller communities north and south along the Rio Grande, including Belen, Los Lunas, and Bernalillo. The main station is at the Alvarado Transportation Center in Downtown, which has regular bus connections along Central Avenue and to the airport. The Rail Runner runs daily, although service can be limited outside the weekday rush hour periods. Fares are based on how far you ride; a day pass will usually be in the range of $4–10. Tickets can be purchased online or from ticket agents on the train.

By Car

Albuquerque is at the crossroads of the north-south Interstate 25 from Colorado towards the border with Mexico and the east-west Interstate 40 between Amarillo, Texas and Flagstaff, Arizona. The last one roughly lies on the location of the historic Route 66, parts of which run through downtown Albuquerque.

By Bus

Albuquerque has a fine bus depot at the Alvarado Transportation Center in downtown, 320 First St SW, which is served by Greyhound +1 505 243-4435, and Autobuses Americanos which provides bus service to many points in Mexico. The depot has a small cafeteria.

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Getting Around

By Car

Albuquerque is a heavily planned city. In much of the city, the major roads are lined primarily with businesses with residential mazes on the insides. The city is divided into four quadrants, with street addresses taking the form "12345 Main Steet (NE/NW/SE/SW)" in which the NE/NW/SE/SW suffix denotes the quadrant of the city containing the address. The railroad tracks, which run parallel to I-25, are the east–west dividing line, and Central Avenue is the north–south dividing line. Thus, the street address 3600 Menaul NE would be north of Central and east of the railroad tracks. This nomenclature, while useful in helping you with maps and directions, has the drawback that you can't tell whether a street runs north–south or east–west simply by looking at the address.

By and large it's difficult to get truly lost in Albuquerque, thanks in large part to the looming presence of the Sandia Mountains to the east. If you can also remember that I-25 runs north–south, I-40 runs east–west, and the Rio Grande runs along the bottom of the valley in the western part of the city, you should be able to make your way around the city without too many problems.

  • Pan-American Freeway More commonly known as Interstate 25 or "I-25", it is the main north–south highway on the city's eastern side of the Rio Grande. It is also the main north–south highway in the state (by connecting Albuquerque with Santa Fe and Las Cruces) and a plausible route of the eponymous Pan American Highway. Since Route 66 was decommissioned in the 1980s, the only remaining US highway in Albuquerque, unsigned US-85, shares its alignment with I-25. US-550 splits off to the northwest from I-25/US-85 in Bernalillo.
  • Coronado Freeway More commonly known as Interstate 40 or "I-40", it is the city's main east–west traffic artery and an important transcontinental route. The freeway's name in the city is in reference to 16th century conquistador and explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado.
  • Paseo del Norte (aka; New Mexico State Highway 423): This 6-lane controlled-access highway is approximately five miles north of Interstate 40. It runs as a surface road with at-grade intersections from Tramway Blvd (at the base of the Sandia Mountains) to Interstate 25, after which it continues as a controlled-access freeway through Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, over the Rio Grande to North Coors Boulevard. Paseo Del Norte then continues west as a surface road through the Petroglyph National Monument until it reaches Atrisco Vista Blvd and the Double Eagle II Airport. The interchange with Interstate 25 was reconstructed in 2014 to improve traffic flow.
  • Coors Boulevard This is the main north-south artery to the west of the Rio Grande in Albuquerque. There is one full interchange where it connects with Interstate 40; The rest of the route connects to other roads with at-grade intersections controlled by stoplights. The Interstate 25 underpass has no access to Coors. Parts of the highway have sidewalks, bike lanes, and medians, but most sections have only dirt shoulders and a center turn lane. To the north of Interstate 40, part of the route is numbered as State Highway 448, while to the south, part of the route is numbered as State Highway 45.
  • Rio Bravo Boulevard The main river crossing between Westside Albuquerque and the Sunport, Rio Bravo is a four-lane divided highway that runs from University Boulevard in the east, through the South Valley, to Coors Boulevard in the west where it is contiguous with Dennis Chaves Blvd. It follows NM-500 for its entire route.
  • Central Avenue Central is one of the historical routings of Route 66, it is no longer a main through highway, its usefulness having been supplanted by Interstate 40.
  • Alameda Boulevard The main road between Rio Rancho and North Albuquerque, Alameda Blvd. stretches from Tramway Rd. to Coors. Blvd. The route is designated as the eastern portion of NM-528.
  • Tramway Boulevard Serves as a bypass around the northeastern quadrant, the route is designated as NM-556. Tramway Boulevard starts at I-25 near Sandia Pueblo, and heads east as a two-lane road. It turns south near the base of the Sandia Peak Tramway and becomes an expressway-type divided highway until its terminus near I-40 and Central Avenue by the western entrance to Tijeras Canyon.
  • The interchange between I-40 and I-25 is known as the "Big I". Originally built in 1966, it was rebuilt in 2002. The Big I is the only five-level stack interchange in the state of New Mexico.

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

ABQ RIDE, +1 505 243-RIDE, is Albuquerque's public transit system. Despite some recent strides in the development of its public transit system, Albuquerque is still primarily a driving city, so with the exception of Central Avenue public transit is still for the most part very underdeveloped. Most of ABQ Ride's routes spur out of the Alvarado Transportation Center in Downtown at Central Avenue & First Street, which also serves as Albuquerque's Amtrak station and Greyhound depot as well as a Rail Runner station. Bus service is reduced during the weekend.

The Rapid Ride is an express bus service operated by ABQ Ride which runs frequently, utilizing bright red articulated buses. There are three Rapid Ride routes: the #766 (Red Line) and #777 (Green Line) each run very frequently and almost entirely on Central Avenue, serving attractions such as the BioPark, Old Town, Downtown, UNM, Nob Hill, the fairgrounds, and Uptown; the #766 runs between Uptown and Unser/Central on the Westside, while the #777 runs between Downtown and Tramway/Central on the eastern edge of the city. Additionally, the #790 (Blue Line) connects UNM to the Cottonwood Mall area on the Westside, but runs less frequently than the Central Avenue lines and is geared more towards commuters. Local routes that are useful for visitors include the #50, which runs Monday-Saturday between the airport and Downtown; and #40 (the "D-Ride"), a free shuttle which circulates around Downtown on the weekdays.

Standard fares for ABQ Ride routes are $1 per ride, with discounts for seniors and children available (cash only; exact change required). A day pass costs $2. A day pass is included in the price of a Rail Runner Express day pass, so visitors who ride the Rail Runner train to Albuquerque can also ride the bus for free using their train ticket.

By Bike

Albuquerque is fairly bikeable, but it's a sprawling Western city and things are spread out. It's hillier than it looks; Old Town and Downtown attractions are several hundred feet lower than things in the heights on the eastern side of the city; plan accordingly. Getting around by bike can be a mixed bag in Albuquerque: street cycling can be risky as drivers may not always be aware and most major streets lack bicycle lanes (and even those that do have lanes may require uncomfortably close proximity to fast traffic). On the other hand, Albuquerque has a very proactive cycling community and a splendid paved trail network which is undergoing an expansion phase.

The crown jewel in this network is the Paseo del Bosque Trail, which runs along the east side of the Rio Grande and offers lovely riverside scenery. Another backbone to the trail network is the North Diversion Channel Trail which runs from UNM north to Balloon Fiesta Park, and while not nearly as scenic as the Bosque trail (it runs along a concrete drainage channel and past some industry) it offers the occasional grand vista of the city. Another fun ride is the paved trail along Tramway Boulevard on the eastern edge of the city, which offers excellent views of the city and access to the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. You can find a complete bike map of all the trails, lanes, and recommended routes on the city's bicycling website.

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Eat

Dining out in Albuquerque tends to be relatively inexpensive and very casual. Many places offer outdoor seating. New Mexican cuisine is unique. Be ready for the question "Red or green?" or in Spanish "¿Rojo o verde?" which refers to the chile based sauce included in or used to smother various menu items. There are constant arguments as to which is hotter, the ripe and often dried red chile, or the immature green chile; however, spiciness depends much more on the strain of pepper and how the chile is prepared rather than the color, and varies greatly by restaurant, so inquire and experiment. Many meals will include sopaipillas, the characteristic New Mexican fry bread, as a side. The characteristic desserts are flan, a type of custard, or Natillas, closer in texture to pudding.

  • Barelas Coffee House, 1502 4th St SW, ☎ +1 505 843-7577. 6AM-3PM daily. This place, for those who know how to find it (it is tucked in a corner) is a local favorite, serving menudo, chile, and a wide range of other both Mexican and New Mexican foods. They are also locally known for their tea, a blend of chamomile teas, always served hot and fresh. Also, as you are about to pay, make sure and check out the candy table right in front of the cash registers, as you might just spot an old favorite such as Sugar Daddys and Nik-L-Nips! $12+ (varies on party size, and do tip well. If you come back, the servers will literally run for you!).
  • Cervantes, 5801 Gibson Blvd SE, ☎ +1 505 262-2253. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9:30PM. Excellent menu, ala carte items, full bar, World Record Margarita. Local favorite.
  • El Pinto, 10500 4th St NW, ☎ +1 505 898-1771. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 10:30AM-9PM (Sunday brunch 10:30AM-2PM). Lovely ambiance and a great menu. Their nachos are fantastic, and the restaurant is also the purveyor of a popular local brand of salsa.
  • Garduño's of Mexico, 2100 Louisiana Blvd NE (alternate location at Cottonwood Mall), ☎ +1 505 880-0055. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 10:30AM-9PM. Consistent, good quality food with some Mexican and Arizonan influence to go with the New Mexican standards.
  • Monroe's, 1520 Lomas NW (alternate location at 6051 Osuna NE), ☎ +1 505 242-1111. M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa-Su 9AM-9PM. Great carne adovada Indian tacos. $4–11.
  • Acapulco, 840 San Mateo Blvd SE (alternate location at 2617 Wyoming Blvd NE) (near the Kirtland AFB Truman Gate), ☏ +1 505 268-9865. Serves excellent New Mexican cuisine from a stand.
  • Church Street Cafe, 2111 Church St NW (in Old Town behind the church), ☏ +1 505 247-8522. Th-Sa 8AM-8PM, Su-W 8AM-4PM. A cozy little restaurant with good New Mexican food tucked away down a side alley of Old Town.
  • Durans Central Pharmacy, 1815 Central Ave NW, ☏ +1 505 247-4141. M–F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-2PM. An inexpensive lunch counter in the back of a pharmacy serving cheap, hearty New Mexican cuisine.
  • Little Anita's, regional chain, original in Old Town at 2105 Mountain Rd NW, ☏ +1 505 242-3102. 7AM-9PM daily. Consistent, great quality food with great service and atmosphere. $3–7.
  • Papa Felipe's Mexican Restaurant, 9800 Menaul Blvd NE, ☏ +1 505 292-8877, ✉ rudy@papafelipes.com. 11AM-9PM daily. Fri & Sat til 10PM. Home-cooked, authentic New Mexican cuisine since 1977. Lunch and Senior specials. Full bar and happy hour. $7.50-20.
  • Perea's, 1140 Juan Tabo Blvd NE, ☏ +1 505 293-0157. M-Sa 7AM-8PM, Su 7AM-2PM. May have the hottest green chile in town.
  • Sadie's of New Mexico, regional chain, original at 6230 4th St NW, ☏ +1 505 345-5339. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Consistent quality. Often a long wait. Hot chile. $5–9.
  • Banh Mi Coda, 230 Louisiana Blvd SE, ☏ +1 505 232-0085. Excellent Vietnamese sandwiches. Get the #6, grilled pork on a French style baguette with French-inspired style mayo (aioli), cucumber, cilantro, strips of pickled carrots, and slices of jalapeños. Bakery also carries various Vietnamese desserts, steamed sweet/glutinous rice with mung beans, and Vietnamese steamed pork sausages.
  • Bob's Burgers, several locations around town; Central location at 4506 Central Ave SW, ☏ +1 505 831-2111. 10:30AM-9PM daily. A home-grown chain of burger stands with a New Mexican flair. The ones west of the river are owned by Bob, the ones east of the river by his son-in-law Clifford. Bob makes some of the hottest green chile sauce in the state; Clifford flat out tries to kill you. A "chile-head"'s paradise. Try a foot-long chile-cheese dog with green sauce instead of traditional red.
  • The Dog House, 1216 Central Ave SW (between downtown and Old Town), ☏ +1 505 243-1019. 10AM-10PM daily. An Albuquerque classic - greasy fast food joint, best known for their grilled foot-long hot dogs. Very recognizable place with its dog neon sign. The dining room is very small, so you may want to just eat in your car.
  • Federico's Mexican Food, several locations around town; Zuni location at 5555 Zuni SE, ☏ +1 505 255-1094. Open 24 hours. The place is a little bare-bones, but the food is excellent (and shows the difference between "Mexican" and "New Mexican" cuisine), not to mention cheap. Get a horchata as your drink. $3–6.
  • Frontier Restaurant, 2400 Central Ave SE (at Central & Cornell), ☏ +1 505 266-0550. 5AM-1AM daily. One of the most popular restaurants in Albuquerque; a big hangout for the college students at UNM. Good American and New Mexican food, the breakfast burrito here is one of the best in Albuquerque. The atmosphere is casual, and it's a great place to people-watch and witness a good cross-section of the city's population. If you can't make it to the Frontier, you can go to one of the several Golden Pride chain places around Albuquerque, which is owned by the same family and serves much of the same food. $3–9.
  • Grandma's K&I Diner, 2500 Broadway Blvd SE, ☏ +1 505 243-1881. Daily 6AM-3PM. Enjoy some authentic Albuquerque cuisine, restaurant is best known for serving a fry covered, football sized burrito called the Travis. They can be ordered in eighths, quarters, halves or whole; consumption of an entire travis is sometimes used as a fraternity hazing. The breakfast skillet meals are wonderful.
  • Pericos, 109 Yale Blvd SE (near the intersection of Yale and Central), ☏ +1 505 247-2503. M-F 9:30AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 10-6PM. A small Mexican/New Mexican greasy hole-in-the-wall joint with lousy service, but delicious burritos. $3–7.
  • Pho #1, 414 San Pedro Dr SE, ☏ +1 505 268-0488. Pho: Vietnamese noodle soup. Also grilled pork / chicken / beef noodle bowl and rice plates. Great friendly service. Don't miss the Vietnamese cold coffee with condensed milk.
  • Que Huong, 7010 Central Ave SE, ☏ +1 505 262-0575. Bright, clean Vietnamese restaurant serving a range of Southeast Asian specialties for very good prices.
  • Rudy's Country Store and BBQ, 2321 Carlisle NE (alternate location at 10136 Coors NW), ☏ +1 505 884-4000. 7AM-10PM daily. Casual, relaxed, and wonderful self-serve BBQ. Don't miss the beef brisket! $3–6.
  • Saggio's Pizza, 107 Cornell Dr SE (at Central & Cornell, across the street from the Frontier Restaurant), ☏ +1 505 255-5454. Su-Th 8AM-10PM, F Sa 8AM-11PM. Some of the best pizza in Albuquerque. The atmosphere is wonderful, with statues, murals, plants, and televisions everywhere. There is a sports bar in here, but the place is still very kid-friendly.
  • 66 Diner, 1405 Central Ave NE (between I-25 and University Blvd), ☏ +1 505 247-1421. M-F 11AM-11PM, Sa 8AM-11PM, Su 8AM-10PM. A Route 66 themed restaurant serving classic American dishes. Big portions, great atmosphere. $5–9.
  • County Line BBQ, 9600 Tramway Blvd NE, ☏ +1 505 856-7477. W-F 11:30AM-2PM and 5-9PM, Sa-Su 11:30AM-9PM. Spectacular views of the city from the picture windows in the main dining area. For weekend dining, be prepared to wait a bit. Good Texas-style BBQ, relaxed atmosphere and large portions for your dollar. $10–20.
  • Dion's, multiple locations; Central location at 4717 Central Ave NE, ☏ +1 505 265-6919. Su-Th, 10:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 10:30AM-11PM. A popular local chain of pizzerias, serving some of the best pizza in Albuquerque. They also have sandwiches.
  • Il Vicino, multiple locations; Nob Hill location at 3403 Central Ave NE, ☏ +1 505 266-7855. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-midnight. Fresh gourmet pizza and beer.
  • Flying Star Cafe, multiple locations; Nob Hill location at 3416 Central Ave SE, ☏ +1 505 255-6633. Su-Th 6AM-11PM, F-Sa 6AM-Midnight. A local space age-themed chain with a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, entrees, New Mexican food, and superb desserts. Rated 'Best Bakery' in Albuquerque. Daily and weekly specials. Free wi-fi and comfy seating areas. Vast selection of magazines. Flying Star also operates the local Satellite Coffee chain, which has a great coffee selection and some of the same pastries you'll find at the Flying Star. $3-11.
  • Pars Cuisine, 4320 The 25 Way, Ste 100, ☏ +1 505 345-5156. M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Persian food. Cushion seating available, bellydancing on weekend nights. Hookah available for rental. Wonderful Persian classics. $4–20.
  • Namaste Cuisine of India and Nepal, 110 Yale Blvd SE (just S of Central), ☏ +1 505-266-6900. Lunch 11:30AM–2:30PM daily, dinner 5PM-9PM daily. An excellent Indian and Nepalese restaurant with a lovely atmosphere and delicious food.
  • Slate Street Cafe, 515 Slate NW, ☏ +1 505 243-2210. Breakfast/Lunch M-F, 7:30AM–3PM, Brunch Sa, 8AM–2PM, Wine Loft W–Sa 4PM-10PM, Dinner Tu–Th 5PM-9PM, F Sa 5PM-10PM. American cuisine. They have a nice wine list and a wine bar loft too.
  • Taj Mahal, 1430 Carlisle Blvd NE, ☏ +1 505 255-1994. Lunch 11AM-2:30PM, Dinner 5PM-10PM. Excellent Indian food. $3–15.
  • Thai Tip, 1512 Wyoming NE, ☏ +1 505 323-7447. A Thai restaurant with a loyal local following, and for good reason. Friendly owners and relaxed atmosphere.

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Drink

  • Anodyne, 409 Central Ave NW, ☎ +1 505 244-1820. Downtown hipster bar. 100 different icy beers, pool tables galore and a killer jukebox.
  • Burt's Tiki Lounge, 313 Gold Ave SW, ☎ +1 505 243-2878. W-Sa 8:30PM-2AM. Eclectic doesn't even begin to describe Burt's. Popular nights: Monday, Geeks Who Drink pub trivia -- $2 drafts; Thursday, $.75 Pabst's Blue Ribbon 'til midnight.
  • Chama River Microbar, 106 2nd St SW, ☎ +1 505 842-8329. Daily 4PM-midnight. No food (other than bags of potato chips), only really good beer from one of the finer microbreweries in the region. Outstanding featured seasonal beers rotate in and out, house beers include a really tasty IPA.
  • Downtown Distillery, 406 Central Ave SW, ☎ +1 505 765-1534. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa 5PM-2AM. Long bar downstairs; pool lounge and bar upstairs. Jaeger specials, to say the least.
  • Ibiza, 125 Second Street NW (in the Hotel Andaluz), ☎ +1 505 242-9090. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa 5PM-2AM. Rooftop bar and dining with nightly themes.
  • Launchpad, 618 Central Ave SW, ☎ +1 505 764-8887. Hours vary; check ahead for concert schedule. Well established music venue and rock bar and perhaps the best place to see live music in town.
  • Library Bar & Grill, 312 Central Ave SW, ☎ +1 505 242-2992. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. School girl dress bartenders serve bikers by day and club goers by night.
  • Lotus, 211 Gold Ave SW, ☎ +1 505 243-0955. W-Sa 9PM-2AM. Themed nightclub. One of the few 18+ clubs in town. Thursday nights are Goth/Industrial/Electronic all other nights are House/Hip-hop/R&B.
  • Marble Brewery, 111 Marble St NW, ☎ +1 505 243-2739. M–Sa 1PM–midnight, Su 1PM–10:30PM. Fine local micro brewery in Albuquerque's industrial heart. Limited food selection, but in a taproom -- that's the point.
  • Copper Lounge, 1504 Central Ave SE, ☏ +1 505 242-7490. M-Sa 11AM-2AM. Dark dive bar, but extremely friendly patrons. Best beer special in town -- $2.50 drafts on Wednesday nights.
  • Gecko's Bar & Tapas, 3500 Central Ave SE, ☏ +1 505 262-1848. M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. Great atmosphere and an excellent patio for people watching. The tapas are great bar food.
  • Imbibe, 3103 Central Ave NE, ☏ +1 505 255-4200. M-Sa 11AM–2AM, Su noon–midnight. Cigar bar (although the noisy music is incongruous with relaxing over a cigar) with Vegas styling. Rooftop bar and patio. Strict dress code.
  • Kelly's Brewery, 3222 Central Ave SE, ☏ +1 505 262-2379. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. A Route 66-era gas station and garage-turned-restaurant, with lots of vintage decorations. Wide variety of beers brewed on site. Good food, friendly wait staff (mostly hot young ladies), and an extensive outdoor patio for people watching.
  • Monte Vista Fire Station, 3205 Central Ave NE, ☏ +1 505 255-2424. M-Sa noon-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Housed above the Gruet Steakhouse, Monte Vista Fire Station roosts in a converted Depression Era fire house. Atmosphere lacking; bit empty.
  • Nob Hill Bar & Grill, 3128 Central Ave SE, ☏ +1 505 266-6872. Tu-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Urban-chic bar in the heart of the Nob Hill District. Cocktails good, food not bad.
  • O'Neill's Pub, 4310 Central Ave SE, ☏ +1 505 255-6782. M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM Su 11:30AM-midnight. Great food, casual atmosphere, and a fantastic patio facing old Route 66.
  • Two Fools Tavern, 3211 Central Ave NE, ☏ +1 505 265-7447. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. Irish beers and music abound. $3.75 bottled beer, $5-16 wines, scotches, whiskeys. Good beer and wine.
  • The Barley Room, 5200 Eubank NE, ☏ +1 505 332-0800. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. Wide selection of domestic and imported beers. Good food and nice atmosphere. Live music almost every weekend. Being in the far Northeast Heights and right next door to a mortgage company, it tends to attract an older, classier crowd.
  • Billy's Long Bar, 4800 San Mateo Blvd NE, ☏ +1 505 889-0573. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Wide variety of beers on tap.
  • Canteen Brewhouse, 2381 Aztec Rd NE, ☏ +1 505 881-2737. Su–Th noon–10PM, F-Sa noon–midnight. A long-standing microbrewery with a loyal following. Small food selection.
  • Chama River Brewing Company, 4931 Pan American NE, ☏ +1 505 342-1800. Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. Fantastic local micro brewery which also offers a solid dining experience. $3.75 pint.
  • Horse & Angel Tavern, 5809 Juan Tabo Blvd NE, ☏ +1 505 299-0225. Daily 11AM-1:30PM. Very large selection of domestic and imported beers on tap, good food with an excellent human resources department (mostly very attractive UNM girls). Laid back, but not too laid back.
  • La Cumbre, 3313 Girard NE, ☏ +1 505 872-0225. Daily noon-closing time. A new microbrewery opened by a former brewer from Chama River Brewing Co.
  • Nexus Brewery, 4730 Pan American Fwy East, Suite D, ☏ +1 505 242-4100. Su-W 1PM-10PM, Th-Sa 1PM-midnight. A new microbrewery.
  • Stone Face Package Liquors, 8201 San Pedro Dr NE (near Paseo del Norte), ☏ +1 505 822-8855. M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. Blue collar and all the character you could even hope for. Live music, outdoor volleyball, and great beer specials.

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Sleep

If you want a nicer - and pricier - hotel, then head east on I-40 to "uptown" (in the northeast side of the city, which is at higher elevation than "downtown" close to the river) or north on I-25. If you don't mind less free stuff, Central Avenue (old Route 66) is cheaper. However, there are some real dives along Central Avenue, many with unsavory reputations and occasional police raids. Hotels around the airport are generally vanilla-flavored, business-traveler places, but at least are somewhat less expensive than airport hotels in many cities. There are a few nice highrise hotels in the Downtown/Old Town area. Lodging Per Diem is $75.

Albuquerque is experiencing a massive wave of hotel building, mainly in the "Mid-range" class. This apparently is driven in part by the infamous lodging shortages during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October. The result is that during other parts of the year, affordable hotels shouldn't be too hard to find. Even with the growth in the hotel market, lodging can be tight for the Fiesta, so if you're coming then, reserve well in advance - months rather than days.

  • Crossland Economy Studios, 5020 Ellison St NE (North I-25 area, near the intersection of Ellison-San Antonio/I-25), ☎ +1 505 343-1100, fax: +1 505 343-1102, e-mail: AQN@extendedstay.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Tiny rooms, but clean and inexpensive. $50-60.
  • Days Inn Midtown Albuquerque, 2120 Menaul Blvd NE (near the intersection of I-40 and I-25), ☎ +1 505 884-0250, fax: +1 505 883-0594. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Shuttle service to and from airport and convention center from 7AM-11PM daily. $40-60.
  • Hiway House Motel, 3200 Central Ave SE (Nob Hill), ☎ +1 505 268-3971. What it lacks in appearance and amenities it makes up for with location. Right in the middle of the Nob Hill area, next door to Kelly's Brewery, in walking distance to restaurants, pubs, shops, and UNM. $40–60.
  • Microtel West Albuquerque, 9910 Avalon Rd NW (western edge of town, near the intersection of I-40 and 98th St), ☎ +1 505 836-1686, fax: +1 505 831-2450. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Basic chain motel on the edge of town. Stay if you're just passing through on I-40 or heading out of town the next day, but not if you're going to be exploring Albuquerque. $60-70.
  • Route 66 International Hostel, 1012 Central Ave SW (between Downtown and Old Town), ☎ +1 505 247-1813. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 10:30AM. Only hostel in town - it's a cozy little place with friendly staff and a nice patio. Centrally located, within walking distance of Downtown and fairly close to Old Town. Dormitories $25, private rooms $30-45 plus $10 per additional guest.
  • Sleep Inn Airport, 2300 International Ave SE (off Yale N of the airport), ☎ +1 505 244-3325, fax: +1 505 244-3312, e-mail: hotelhelp@choicehotels.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Probably the cheapest of the several cookie-cutter hotels near the Albuquerque airport. $60-70.
  • Suburban Extended Stay, 2401 Wellesley Dr, ☎ +1 505 883-8888, fax: +1 505 883-2830, e-mail: hotelhelp@choicehotels.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. In a business district near the midtown area of Albuquerque. $60-70.
  • Adobe Nido Bed and Breakfast, 1124 Major Ave NW (off 12th Street south of Candelaria), ☎ +1 505 344-1310, e-mail: info@adobenido.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A comfortable and relaxing Southwest style adobe inn with jetted tubs in all rooms and an outdoor Finnish sauna. Healthy full breakfast every morning. $129-239.
  • Best Western Rio Grande Inn, 1015 Rio Grande Blvd (north of Old Town at the intersection of I-40/Rio Grande), ☎ +1 505 843-9500, fax: +1 505 843-9238, e-mail: reservations@riograndeinn.com. Basic chain motel which has the advantage of being right near Old Town. $90–120.
  • Bottger Mansion of Old Town, 110 San Felipe St NW (S of the Plaza), ☎ +1 505 243-3639, e-mail: info@bottger.com. Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. This historic house, now a bed-and-breakfast, is shaded by massive 100-yr old trees and is just steps away from the Old Town plaza. $115-179.
  • Courtyard Albuquerque, 5151 Journal Center Blvd NE (North I-25/Jefferson area), ☎ +1 505 823-1919, fax: +1 505 823-1918. Chain motel in the North I-25 area. $140.
  • Courtyard Albuquerque Airport, 1920 Yale Blvd, ☎ +1 505 843-6600. In the airport area. Well lit work desks and complimentary high-speed internet.
  • Doubletree Hotel Albuquerque, 201 Marquette Ave NW, ☎ +1 505 247-3344, fax: +1 505 247-7025. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. A luxury downtown highrise hotel with many amenities, not to mention the only place directly connected to the Albuquerque Convention Center. $150-200.
  • Embassy Suites Albuquerque, 1000 Woodward Pl NE (just off the intersection of I-25/Lomas near downtown), ☎ +1 505 245-7100, fax: +1 505 247-1083. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Great hotel overlooking downtown. $120-170.
  • Hawthorn Suites Albuquerque Airport, 1511 Gibson Blvd SE (just off I-25 near the airport), ☎ +1 505 242-1555, fax: +1 505 242-8801. Check-in: 3M, check-out: noon. Good airport hotel. $80.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Albuquerque Uptown, 6510 Americas Pkwy NE (just off I-40/Louisiana in Uptown area), ☎ +1 505 944-0300. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Highrise hotel in the Uptown area. $145-165.
  • Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, 800 Rio Grande Blvd NW (just north of Old Town), ☎ +1 505 843-6300, fax: +1 505 842-8426. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. A luxury hotel near Old Town approaching "splurge" territory. On-site restaurant, business center, outdoor swimming pool & Jacuzzi, fitness center, and elegant event space. $140-$200.
  • Hyatt Place Albuquerque Airport, 1400 Sunport Pl SE (just off I-25 near the airport), ☎ +1 505 242-9300, fax: +1 505 242-0998, e-mail: gm.albuquerque.airport@amerisuites.com. Great airport hotel. $140.
  • Hyatt Place Albuquerque Uptown, 6901 Arvada Ave NE (in the Uptown area near Louisiana/I-40), ☎ +1 505 872-9000, fax: +1 505 872-3829, e-mail: shehnaz.mehta@hyattselect.com. Nice chain motel in the Uptown area, across the street from the ABQ Uptown mall. $140.
  • Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, 330 Tijeras Ave NW. Large hotel right in downtown Albuquerque, in the smaller of the two tallest highrises with the pyramid roof. $150–180.
  • Mauger Estate Bed & Breakfast, 701 Roma Ave NW (Downtown, corner of 7th and Roma), toll-free: +1-800-719-9189, fax: +1 505-842-8835, e-mail: maugerbb@aol.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A cozy bed & breakfast near Downtown in a lovely old Victorian house. Pet-friendly. $99-205.
  • Residence Inn Albuquerque, 3300 Prospect Avenue NE, ☎ +1 505 881-2661. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Near downtown and the Airport. Complimentary breakfast buffet and high-speed internet.
  • Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel, 2910 Yale Blvd SE, ☎ +1 505 843-7000, fax: +1 505 843-6307. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. The closest hotel to the airport, no more than 2 min. away by shuttle, which runs on the half hour. However, a management transfer has left the hotel in shambles. Poor value for the money spent - give it a miss and go with other nearby airport hotels instead. Reasonable restaurant (Rojo's Grill) on the premises. $150-180.
  • Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown, 2600 Louisiana Blvd NE (at Louisiana and Menaul), ☎ +1 505 881-0000. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. $100-200.
  • Albuquerque Marriott, 2101 Louisiana Blvd NE (in the Uptown area, at Louisiana/I-40), ☎ +1 505 881-6800, fax: +1 505 888-2982. Highrise hotel in the Uptown shopping area off I-40. $180–200.
  • Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North, 5151 San Francisco Road NE (North I-25/Jefferson area), ☎ +1 505 821-3333, fax: +1 505 828-0230, e-mail: abqmc@jqh.com. Large hotel in "Aztec pyramid" shaped building. $180–250.
  • Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second Street NW (at Copper), ☎ +1 505 242-9090. The closest thing Albuquerque has to a grand old hotel, this downtown spot is a historic and lavishly-decorated hotel, with Moroccan and Spanish-inspired architecture throughout, very elegant ballrooms, and some luxuriously appointed rooms. A Mediterranean restaurant and a rooftop lounge are also on the premises. $165–275.
  • Hotel Parq Central, 806 Central Avenue SE (just west of I-25), ☎ +1 505 242-0040, e-mail: info@hotelparqcentral.com. A boutique hotel in the downtown area, in a lovely old building with gardens and a rooftop bar with excellent views. The accommodations themselves are wonderful, with high ceilings, large windows, and nice furnishings. $150–300.
  • Los Poblanos Inn, 4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW, ☎ +1 505 344-9297, fax: +1 505 342-1302, e-mail: nfo@lospoblanos.com. In the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque (7 mi/11 km from downtown Albuquerque), the inn and 25 acre grounds are beautiful, set near the Rio Grande bosque with conference and meeting facilities available. $150–315.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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References

  1. 1 2009 estimate, U.S. Census Bureau

Quick Facts

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Population
528,497[1]
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 35.080371
  • Longitude: -106.627085

Accommodation in Albuquerque

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Contributors

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This is version 44. Last edited at 14:13 on Jul 30, 19 by road to roam. 23 articles link to this page.

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