Albuquerque

Albuquerque's terrain is diverse. Along the river in the North and South valleys, the elevation hovers at about 4,800 feet. East of the river, the land rises gently to the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, which climb to over 6,000 feet; the 10,378-foot summit is a grand spot from which to view the city below. West of the Rio Grande, where Albuquerque is growing most aggressively, the terrain rises abruptly in a string of mesas topped by five volcanic cones. The changes in elevation from one part of the city to another result in corresponding changes in temperature, as much as 10°F at any time. It's not uncommon for snow or rain to fall on one part of town but for it to remain dry and sunny in another, and because temperatures can shift considerably throughout the day and evening, it's a good idea to bring along a couple of layers when exploring.

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  • 1. ABQ BioPark

    Old Town | Garden/Arboretum

    The city's foremost outdoor attraction and nature center, the park comprises Tingley Beach (and its trout-stocked ponds) as well as three distinct...Read More

  • 2. National Hispanic Cultural Center

    Barelas | Museum/Gallery

    A showpiece for the city, and a showcase for Hispanic culture in Albuquerque's historic Barelas neighborhood, this beautifully designed space...Read More

  • 3. National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

    East Side | Museum/Gallery

    Previously known simply as the National Atomic Museum, this brilliant Smithsonian affiliate traces the history of the atomic age and how nuclear...Read More

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  • 4. Rail Yards Market

    Barelas | Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

    The Sunday market here (May–October, 10–2) is a fine excuse to explore this wondrous, light-filled, almost cathedral-like space, said to have...Read More

  • 5. Rio Grande Nature Center State Park

    North Valley | Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Along the banks of the Rio Grande, this 270-acre refuge in an especially tranquil portion of the bosque (about midway up on the Paseo del Bosque...Read More

  • 6. Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway

    Far Northeast Heights | Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

    Tramway cars climb 2.7 miles up the steep western face of the Sandias, giving you a close-up view of red rocks and tall trees—it's the world...Read More

  • 7. American International Rattlesnake Museum

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    Included in the largest collection of different species of living rattlers in the world are such rare and unusual specimens as an albino western...Read More

  • 8. Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum

    North Valley | Museum/Gallery

    This dramatic museum celebrates the city's legacy as the hot-air ballooning capital of the world. Albuquerque's high altitude, mild climate...Read More

  • 9. Downtown Growers' Market

    Downtown | Park/Playground

    Toe-tapping music and the freshest of fresh produce—and surely the delicious shade created by the towering cottonwoods here in Robinson Park...Read More

  • 10. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

    Los Duranes | Museum/Gallery

    The multilevel semicircular layout of this museum was inspired by Pueblo Bonito, the prehistoric ruin in northwestern New Mexico. Start by visiting...Read More

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  • 11. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    The wonders at Albuquerque's most popular museum include a simulated volcano (with a river of bubbling hot lava flowing beneath the see-through...Read More

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  • 12. Old Town Plaza

    Old Town | Plaza/Square/Piazza

    Tranquil, with the lovely 1793 San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church still presiding along the north side, Old Town Plaza is a pleasant place to...Read More

  • 13. Petroglyph National Monument

    West Side | Archaeological Site/Ruins

    Beneath the stumps of five extinct volcanoes, this park encompasses more than 25,000 ancient Native American rock drawings inscribed on the...Read More

  • 14. San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church

    Old Town | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Well over two centuries after it first welcomed worshippers, this structure, erected in 1793, is still active (mass is offered daily). The building...Read More

  • 15. Turquoise Museum

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    Just west of the hubbub of Old Town, this museum may be inside a small strip mall, but visitors will forget that once they focus on the beauty...Read More

  • 16. Unser Racing Museum

    Los Ranchos de Albuquerque | Museum/Gallery

    Albuquerque is home to the illustrious auto-racing family, the Unsers, whose four generations of drivers have dominated the sport since the...Read More

  • 17. ¡Explora!

    Old Town | Museum/Gallery

    This imaginatively executed science museum—its driving concept is "Ideas You Can Touch"—is right across from the New Mexico Museum of Natural...Read More

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