5 things to do in Albuquerque

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held the first two weekends in October each year, brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to The Duke City. It’s great to watch the mass ascensions, walk the midway and do some of the other Balloon Fiesta activities, but what else is there for visitors to do while they are here? Lots! Here are five things to do in Albuquerque to keep you busy, Balloon Fiesta or not.

things to do in Albuquerque Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, photo Steve Collins

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, photo/Steve Collins

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center:
One of the things about New Mexico that intrigues visitors is the Native American culture. If you want to learn more about the Pueblo Indians, this is a great place to start. Besides looking at cultural and historical exhibits, you can sample native foods at the Pueblo Harvest Cafe and buy jewelry, pottery and other hand crafted items direct from the artist or in the gift shop. On weekends, they feature Pueblo Dances. There is an admission charge.

things to do in Albuquerque Acoma Sky City Iphoto Steve Collins

Historic Church of San Estevan Rey Acoma Sky City, photo/Steve Collins

Acoma Sky City:
There are many nearby pueblos that welcome visitors. Perhaps the most unique in the is Acoma Sky City, just over an hour southwest of Albuquerque. The ancestral Acoma Pueblo, where  people still live, is built atop a sheer-walled, 367-foot sandstone bluff. Inhabited since 1150 A.D., it’s considered the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America. The mesa-top settlement is known worldwide for its unique art and rich culture. Today, Acoma is known for its beautiful and distinctive pottery. Crafts people sell their wares at the Visitors’ Center and atop the mesa. The only way to tour the mesa top village with a Pueblo guide. Tours are offered daily. It’s important to check whether the Pueblo is open before you go. Sometimes they close unexpectedly. There is a charge for the tour.

things to do in Albuquerque Indian photo Steve Collins

Visit the Albuquerque Botanical Garden, photo/Steve Collins

Albuquerque Botanic Garden:
This wonderful and colorful oasis in the city is part of the Albuquerque Bio Park. There are a number of distinct areas to visit here, including the delightful Children’s Fantasy Garden, the Railroad Garden with its G-Scale trains, the Japanese Garden, the Heritage Farm, the PNM Butterfly Pavilion and more. Spend an hour or an entire day here amongst the flora and fauna. There is an admission charge.

things to do in Albuquerque Scalo on Rte 66 in Nob Hill, photo Steve Collins

Scalo, an Italian eatery, on the Nob Hill area on Historic Rte 66 photo/Steve Collins

Explore Historic Route 66:
If you’re a fan of the Mother Road, Central Avenue in Albuquerque was part of Route 66 back in the pre-Interstate days. Walk the stretch between Carlisle (to the east) and Girard( to the west) in trendy Nob Hill. There are some great restaurants and interesting shops along the way. The downtown area of Central from 1st to 6th Street is loaded with historic architectural treasures from the late 1890s to mid-century modern. Don’t miss the Art Deco Kimo Theater.

things to do in Albuquerque Petroglyph National Monument, photo Steve Collins

Rock carving at Petroglyph National Monument, photo/Steve Collins

Petroglyph National Monument:
You can hike into history at this National Park Service site. For hundreds of years, Native Americans have told their stories and communicated with pictographs and messages carved into rocks (petroglyphs). There are over 600 to be found here. The 100 petroglyphs in the developed Boca Negra Canyon are easily accessed though some climbing is required. If you want to explore a less developed area, take the 2.2 mile loop hike on the sandy trail into Rinconada Canyon There are an additional 500 petroglyphs here. There is an admission charge.

A few great places north of Albuquerque worth a day-trip:
Tinkertown Museum
Classical Gas Museum
Taos via the High Road

New Mexico has so much to share with visitors. Explore our rich history, our diverse culture, culinary treasures and more. If you love the great outdoors there’s hiking, rafting, ballooning, fishing, llama trekking and much more. If you want our expert assistance planning your trip, check out The Santa Fe Traveler and see how we can create the perfect New Mexico trip for you.

What are your favorite things to do in Albuquerque?

Want some dining suggestions while in Albuquerque? Albuquerque dining: delicious meets casual

2 Responses to “5 things to do in Albuquerque”

  1. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family
    December 15, 2019 at 4:13 pm #

    I wish we’d seen the Petroglyphs when we were in Albuquerque last year. We were there for five day but didn’t get out much. We were staying with family friends and luckily we were there for an American Thanksgiving. We did a trip up Sandia Peak in the cable car which was amazing! And had one freezing cold day in Santa Fe!!
    Bethaney - Flashpacker Family recently posted..Take a Family Holiday to The SeychellesMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      December 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm #

      You’ll have to come back! There are petroglyphs all over the place and they are wonderful. Sorry you got a cold day here. While it does get very cold at times- winter’s are usually comfortable. When that sun comes out at 7,000 feet and the wind isn’t blowing, even 32 degrees feels comfortable.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge