Top 10 Things to do in Albuquerque

Written by on June 5, 2013 in NM Attractions - Comments Off on Top 10 Things to do in Albuquerque

Albuquerque, population 840,000, is a city of modern high-tech industry and research, but retains strong roots to the past. From the ancient rock carvings of the Native Americans who lived here for thousands of year, from the Spanish of settled next in New Mexico, through to modern day, the city is alive with history, heritage and wonderful things to see and do.

Sandia Peak Tramway
Sandia Peak Tramway will amaze and thrill you! The aerial tramway transports you above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain for a distance of 2.7 miles — the world’s longest passenger aerial tramway. From the observation deck atop Sandia Peak (elevation 10,378 feet) you will overlook Cibola National Forest and 11,000 square miles of the Rio Grande Valley, also known as the Land of Enchantment. Some claim the view is similar to looking down from an airplane on scenic tour.

Albuquerque Biological Park
The Albuquerque Biological Park is a terrific, kid-friendly place to enjoy while visiting the Southwest. The park is comprised of four different attractions — the Albuquerque Aquarium, the Rio Grande Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Zoo and Tingley Beach. Linked by two narrow gauge trains — the Rio Line travels between the Aquarium & Botanic Garden, Tingley Beach and the Zoo, and the Thunderbird Express loops through the Zoo — the four attractions will provide days of fun for your family.

Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
Every year during the first week of October, the skies over New Mexico, bloom with color as the balloons from the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival take to the air. Nothing rivals the grander of these gentle giants as they ascend into the deep blue desert skies or fill the night sky with glowing, illuminated shapes.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Museum of Natural History and Science offers a wonderful journey of exploration and learning. Meet New Mexico’s giant dinosaurs, walk through a volcano or explore the solar system. The core of the museum’s exhibits is called Time Tracks, a journey through billions of years of New Mexico’s natural history, from the formation of the universe to the present day.

Sandia Man Cave
About 25 miles outside of Albuquerque in the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands, Sandia Man Cave is a unique slice of history in New Mexico. Remnants of early man have been found in the cave, from stone tools, spearheads, basket scrap and sandals, to the bone of ancient ice age animals like mastadons.

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
ocated on the central Rio Grande River flyway, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is a fun place to view the thousands of birds (dozens of species) that migrate south for the winter. The park is home to Canadian geese, Sandhill Cranes and various species of ducks and other waterfowl. The 4,300-acre Rio Grande Nature Center State Park extends offers terrific hiking, nature watching, picnicking, workshops, seasonal classes and more.

Petroglyph National Monument
Named for the Native American rock art (petroglyphs) that dot the park, Petroglyph National Monument is a rugged reminder of the ancient lava flows and volcanic activity that once rocked the land. The cooled lava makes a wonderful canvas for early dwellers to leave their mark — from birds and snakes to star and spirals and more. The black boulders with their coating of desert patina handsomely frame the lighter stone painstaking chipped out by ancient artists using nothing but stone hammers.

Old Town
Native American and Spanish cultures have helped shaped the lovely central plaza and Old Town sections of Albuquerque. The cobblestone streets pass by brightly colored adobe huts that now house art galleries, studios, restaurants, boutiques and shops. The Church of San Felipe de Neri, the oldest building in Albuquerque, nestled in this neighborhood. Also in the heart of Old Town is the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center preserves the history and heritage of the Native American Pueblo people who lived, played, worked and loved through New Mexico. The facility boasts art, cultural events, lectures, workshops and much more.

El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments
El Malpais means “the bad country” in Spanish, so named by the Conquistadors who had to detour around the rough terrain. This area lives up to its name with more than 590 square miles of razor-sharp black lava flows, the landscape is inhospitable, but beautiful.

In Spanish, it is called El Morro — the headland — because that is what is resembles, a headland rising above the desert rather than the ocean waves. In English, it is referred to as “inscription rock” because travelers throughout time have stopped to leave their mark on the stone.

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