15 Fun-Filled Things to Do in Albuquerque, NM if You’re New to the City

Nestled in the heart of the Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque, NM is a city bursting with culture, history, and natural beauty. From the vibrant art scene in Old Town to the breathtaking Sandia Mountains, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this Southwestern gem. From exploring the ancient petroglyphs at Petroglyph National Monument to indulging in the mouthwatering flavors of New Mexican cuisine, Albuquerque offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

So whether you’re searching for apartments in Albuquerque, homes for sale, or are already a local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here is Redfin’s list of the top 15 things to do in Albuquerque, for both newcomers and long-time locals alike.

balloons over the rio grande in albuquerque nm

1. Explore Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque is a historic district filled with adobe buildings, charming shops, and vibrant art galleries. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of the city as they stroll through the cobblestone streets. The area is home to San Felipe de Neri Church, one of the oldest buildings in the city, and the Albuquerque Museum, which showcases the art and history of the Southwest. With its unique architecture and lively atmosphere, Old Town Albuquerque is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the heart and soul of the city.

2. Ride the Sandia Peak Tramway

The Sandia Peak Tramway offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscape as it ascends to the top of the Sandia Mountains. Visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas of the Rio Grande Valley and the rugged terrain of the mountains. At the summit, there are hiking trails, a restaurant, and a gift shop, providing the perfect opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Albuquerque from a unique vantage point.

3. Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and traditions of the Native American Pueblo tribes. Visitors can explore exhibits showcasing traditional pottery, art, and artifacts, as well as attend cultural performances and demonstrations. The center also features a restaurant serving authentic Pueblo cuisine, providing a truly immersive experience for those interested in Native American culture.

4. Experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The event features colorful hot air balloons filling the sky, as well as live music, food vendors, and special events. It’s a truly unique and unforgettable experience that showcases the beauty and excitement of Albuquerque.

5. Explore the Petroglyph National Monument

The Petroglyph National Monument is home to one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, with thousands of ancient rock carvings created by Native American and Spanish settlers. Visitors can hike along the trails and observe these fascinating historical artifacts, providing a glimpse into the cultural heritage of the region.

6. Discover the ABQ BioPark

The ABQ BioPark is a combination of a zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden, offering a diverse range of attractions for visitors of all ages. From exotic animals to colorful gardens, the BioPark provides a fun and educational experience that highlights the natural world and conservation efforts.

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7. Attend a performance at the KiMo Theatre

The KiMo Theatre is a historic landmark in downtown Albuquerque, known for its distinctive Pueblo Deco architecture and vibrant cultural events. Visitors can catch a live performance, film screening, or special event at this iconic venue, immersing themselves in the city’s arts and entertainment scene.

8. Sample New Mexican cuisine

Albuquerque is renowned for its unique and flavorful New Mexican cuisine, featuring dishes such as green chile stew, sopapillas, and carne adovada. Visitors can indulge in a culinary adventure by dining at local restaurants and experiencing the rich flavors and spices that define the region’s food culture.

9. Take a hot air balloon ride

For a truly unforgettable experience, visitors can take a hot air balloon ride over the picturesque landscape of Albuquerque. Floating above the city and surrounding countryside, passengers can witness the stunning vistas and serene beauty of the area from a bird’s-eye perspective.

10. Visit the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History offers a fascinating look into the history of nuclear science, technology, and weaponry. Visitors can explore exhibits on atomic energy, the Manhattan Project, and the Cold War, providing a thought-provoking and educational experience.

11. Explore the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park is a peaceful oasis within the city, featuring walking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and scenic views of the Rio Grande. Visitors can connect with nature and observe the diverse wildlife and plant species that thrive in this natural environment.

12. Shop at the Albuquerque International Sunport

The Albuquerque International Sunport is not only a transportation hub but also a unique shopping destination. Visitors can browse through a variety of local and international shops, showcasing a range of gifts, souvenirs, and artisanal products, making it the perfect place to pick up a special memento of their time in Albuquerque.

13. Attend a cultural festival or event

Albuquerque hosts a variety of cultural festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating the city’s diverse heritage and traditions. From the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to the New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and community spirit of the city.

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14. Explore the Historic Route 66

As part of the iconic Route 66, Albuquerque offers a nostalgic journey through the history of this legendary highway. Visitors can explore vintage diners, retro motels, and quirky roadside attractions, experiencing the charm and nostalgia of America’s most famous road.

15. Visit the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum

The Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. From science experiments to educational workshops, the museum provides a fun and engaging experience that encourages curiosity and discovery.

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