Things to do in Albuquerque

Albuquerque can be described as a breath of fresh air, offering an array of choice attractions. Those in search of some relaxation will find it in its incredible golf courses and beautiful scenery. Visitors can take a hot air balloon trip over the Rio Grande Valley, go horseback riding on the river banks, enjoy the top class New Mexican cuisine, or simply stroll through the Old Town.

The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is a popular attraction, providing wonderful views as it climbs the 10,378-foot peak of the mountains. There are many tours on offer; trams, trolleys, and buses all provide great tours whatever the interest.

For those wishing to explore the depths of Albuquerque's cultural history, a visit to the National Hispanic Cultural Center will satisfy their curiosity as will the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. With about 19 museums to explore, including the Albuquerque Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, there is lots to learn.

For serious outdoors action, people may enjoy the 17-mile-long (27km) stretch of escarpment that is the West Mesa and home to historic rock carvings or petroglyphs; it is here tourists will find the Petrogylph National Monument. Residents of New Mexico and visitors alike enjoy nature, making time for hikes, exploring the many trails, and taking in the scenery. The Carlsbad Caverns National Park is also where you will find lovers of the open air, making for another top spot for visitors.

Sandia Peak Tramway photo

Sandia Peak Tramway

The awe-inspiring view of Albuquerque can be had from nearly one mile (2km) above the city on top of Sandia Crest, the windy mountaintop where the view extends for over 1,000 miles…

Sandia Peak Tramway

The awe-inspiring view of Albuquerque can be had from nearly one mile (2km) above the city on top of Sandia Crest, the windy mountaintop where the view extends for over 1,000 miles (1,609km). Simply follow Tramway Boulevard for a few miles north of the city to board the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, the world's longest continuous jigback passenger tramway, which makes the ascent from the foothills to the summit in about 20 minutes.

In winter, skiers make use of the more than 30 trails descending from the mountain crest, while in summer hikers and mountain bikers can take the tramway up and enjoy nature on their way down. Pleasure seekers simply ride to the top to enjoy the view, which is particularly spectacular at sunset, and enjoy a meal at the High Finance Restaurant with its picture windows.

Address 30 Tramway Road North East

Website www.sandiapeak.com

Opens Daily 9am-9pm (summer), 9am-8pm in winter (5pm-8pm on Tuesdays); it does not operate on very windy days, and is closed for maintenance for two weeks every spring and autumn.

Admission

$25 adults, $15 children 5-12; concessions available.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center photo

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is designed to give an introduction to New Mexico's rich Native American cultural heritage and the 19 individual pueblo communities of the State. …

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is designed to give an introduction to New Mexico's rich Native American cultural heritage and the 19 individual pueblo communities of the State. The centre is situated on 12th Street, about a mile northeast of the Old Town in Albuquerque. It is a recreation of Pueblo Bonito, a ruined Indian village in the Chaco Culture National Historic Park dating from the 9th century.

The centre also features a museum displaying early photographs, artefacts, and artworks. A restaurant serves traditional fare, and traditional dances are performed by different tribal groups. Those interested in seeing the real thing can make an excursion to Pueblo Acoma, 60 miles (96km) west of Albuquerque, the oldest inhabited village in the United States, situated on a 367-foot (112m) high sandstone rock.

Address 2401 12th Street

Website www.indianpueblo.org

Opens Daily 9am-5pm, closed major holidays.

Admission

$8.40 adults, free for children under 5; other concessions available.

Petroglyph National Monument photo

Petroglyph National Monument

One of Alquerque's best attractions is the 17-mile-long (27km) stretch of escarpment of the West Mesa, that is a treasure-trove of more than 25,000 prehistoric and historic rock ca

Petroglyph National Monument

One of Alquerque's best attractions is the 17-mile-long (27km) stretch of escarpment of the West Mesa, that is a treasure-trove of more than 25,000 prehistoric and historic rock carvings or petroglyphs, some dating as far back as 2,000 years.

Maps and information about the geology and history of the area are available from the Las Imágenes Visitor Center. Hikers can follow various trails to explore the Boca Negra Canyon, or join rangers on scheduled walks during the summer months. Picnic areas, drinking water, and restroom facilities are provided.

Website www.nps.gov/petr/index.htm

Opens Visitor Centre: daily 8am-5pm.

Admission

Boca Negra Canyon parking fee: $1 weekdays, $2 weekends. There is no charge for other areas within the Monument.

American International Rattlesnake Museum photo

American International Rattlesnake Museum

Albuquerque's Rattlesnake Museum is an exciting and educational experience. Billed as an animal conservation museum, the establishment is dedicated to displaying how rattlesnakes i…

American International Rattlesnake Museum

Albuquerque's Rattlesnake Museum is an exciting and educational experience. Billed as an animal conservation museum, the establishment is dedicated to displaying how rattlesnakes influence our lives. Exhibits include artefacts, memorabilia, and the largest collection of live rattlesnakes in the world. The snakes, gathered from North, Central and South America, are kept in specially recreated habitats.

Address 202 San Felipe NW

Website www.rattlesnakes.com

Opens June to August: Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm. September to May: Monday to Friday 11:30am-5:30pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm.

Admission

$6 adults, $4 children. Other concessions available.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science photo

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

The exciting Museum of Natural History takes visitors on a trip through 12 billion years, from the formation of the universe up to the present day. From the earth's beginnings exhi…

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

The exciting Museum of Natural History takes visitors on a trip through 12 billion years, from the formation of the universe up to the present day. From the earth's beginnings exhibits, displays, and recreated scenes take you through an erupting volcano, an ice-age cave, an aquarium, the dinosaur age, and a fossil centre, giant-screen theatre, planetarium and a naturalist centre, to name just a few of the educational entertainments offered.

Address 1801 Mountain Road North West

Website www.nmnaturalhistory.org

Opens Daily 9am-5pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Admission

Museum, Planetarium (each): $8 adults, $5 children. DynaTheatre: $7 adults, $5 children.

Albuquerque Museum photo

Albuquerque Museum

The Albuquerque Museum, on the edge of the city's Old Town, explores New Mexico's history and heritage. With the largest collection of Spanish colonial artefacts in the United Stat…

Albuquerque Museum

The Albuquerque Museum, on the edge of the city's Old Town, explores New Mexico's history and heritage. With the largest collection of Spanish colonial artefacts in the United States, the museum also pays homage to the Vaqueros, the original cowboys who rode the range in New Mexico in the 16th century.

Exhibits like Spanish armour and swords mingle with a recreated 18th-century adobe house compound. There are also hands-on experiences to try like spinning wool, and a theatre where films about the city are shown regularly. The museum provides a walking tour of the Old Town area departing at 11am each day except Monday during spring, summer and fall.

Address 2000 Mountain Road NW

Website www.cabq.gov/museum

Opens Tuesday to Sunday 9am-5p, closed Monday, closed holidays.

Admission

$4 adults, $1 children 4-12. Other concessions are available.

Turquoise Trail photo

Turquoise Trail

Travellers who abandon the highway and opt for the scenic byways will be rewarded with the Turquoise Trail state-designated scenic and historic route, which runs from Albuquerque t…

Turquoise Trail

Travellers who abandon the highway and opt for the scenic byways will be rewarded with the Turquoise Trail state-designated scenic and historic route, which runs from Albuquerque to Sante Fe through the majestic Sandia Mountains, passing through the revived 'ghost' towns of New Mexico's mining belt.

The route begins on NM14 about 16 miles (26km) east of central Albuquerque, covering about 61 miles (98km) before reaching Sante Fe. En route is the Cibola National Forest, mining towns of Madrid, Golden, and Cerrillos filled with art and craft practitioners, the Tinkertown Museum, Museum of Archaeology, Old Coal Mine Museum, and the Turquoise Mining Museum.

Website www.turquoisetrail.org


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Roswell photo

Roswell

The town of Roswell in south-east New Mexico has become the focus of UFO and alien hunters from all over the world every. This is ever since the 'Roswell Incident' in 1947, when an…

Roswell

The town of Roswell in south-east New Mexico has become the focus of UFO and alien hunters from all over the world every. This is ever since the 'Roswell Incident' in 1947, when an alien craft purportedly crashed near the town leaving surviving extra-terrestrials. Conspiracy theorists believe government authorities deliberately covered up the crash.

The incident is highlighted at the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Main Street, along with a large collection of UFO memorabilia and artefacts. The museum also features a worldwide UFO sighting map and a comprehensive library. Roswell itself is just as UFO-crazy, and you can eat at UFO-themed cafes, and buy just about anything you can think of with an alien on it.

Address 114 North Main Street, Roswell

Website www.roswellufomuseum.com

Opens Museum: daily 9am-5pm.

Admission

Museum: $5 adults, $2 children 5-15.

Carlsbad Caverns photo

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a popular attraction in New Mexico. Containing the Carlsbad Cavern, also known as the 'Big Cave', one of the largest underground chambers on earth…

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a popular attraction in New Mexico. Containing the Carlsbad Cavern, also known as the 'Big Cave', one of the largest underground chambers on earth. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cave is one of 80 around the park, but is incredibly popular for tours due to its stunning stalagmite and stalactite formations.

Visitors enter the cave by descending over 600 feet (183m) in an elevator, and explore the chambers via paved trails that are mostly wheelchair accessible. There is also a natural entrance by the visitor centre, involving a longer and rougher walk.

Address Eddy County

Website www.nps.gov/cave

Opens Visitor Centre: Daily 8am-5pm (closes 7pm in summer). Last cave entrance 3:30pm (5:30pm in summer).

Admission

$12 adults, free for children under 15; admission is valid for three days. Ranger-guided tours range $8-20.

Las Cruces photo

Las Cruces

Located in the middle of an arid desert that sees only eight inches (20cm) of rain per year, Las Cruces was an important waypoint on El Camino Royal, a trade route between Santa Fe

Las Cruces

Located in the middle of an arid desert that sees only eight inches (20cm) of rain per year, Las Cruces was an important waypoint on El Camino Royal, a trade route between Santa Fe and Mexico City.

The historic town acted as the backdrop for wild west dramas involving Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa, and has museums dedicated to farm and ranching history, natural history, and railroads in New Mexico. The New Mexico State University Museum has several exhibits on local history and archaeology. There is also an older settlement located in nearby Mesilla with a historic district of traditional adobe buildings.

Address Doña Ana County, southern New Mexico

Website www.lascrucescvb.org

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