New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque is in the high desert and is a high-altitude destination that has lots of unique offerings. From cultural events and outdoor activities to a rich history and a thriving arts scene, there are plenty of things to do during your next trip. Check out 10 things to do on a weekend in Albuquerque.
The 10 Best Things to Do in Albuquerque
1. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Albuquerque is the hot air ballooning capital of the world and offers excellent conditions for balloon flights year-round. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or want to get a better view of Albuquerque while riding over the Rio Grande River, there are many hot air balloon companies where you can book your next ride. Perks include free photographs of your experience, a free souvenir wine glass, private picnics, and more. If you visit between October 1 and 9, you will get to experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – the biggest balloon gathering in the world.
2. Sandia Peak Tramway
The Sandia Mountains are known for their beauty, hiking and other outdoor activities like mountain biking and rock climbing. Enjoy a ride on the tram, which takes you on a 2.7-mile ascent to the op of the 10,378-foot peak of the mountains, which offer spectacular views of more than 11,000 square miles.
3. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Founded in 1986, this natural history and science museum is near Old Town and has many fun and educational exhibits, including dinosaur fossils, a planetarium and a theater. The Naturalist Center is a hands-on educational room where visitors of all ages can learn more about the natural world of New Mexico. The museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
4. Old Town Albuquerque
This historic district is a popular spot for visitors and consists of approximately 10 blocks of historic adobe buildings that surround Old Town Plaza. Founded in 1706, Old Town is home to more than 150 stores and galleries, restaurants, hotels, and other quaint spots. Spend an afternoon walking around and exploring, popping into the occasional shop where you can purchase souvenirs from the Southwest and more.
5. Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
Located on the Rio Grande, this park offers incredible bird watching opportunities year-round. Visitors can observe close to 250 bird species, from roadrunners to cranes. There are both indoor and outdoor wildlife viewing areas overlooking ponds, as well as two miles of nature trails that includes trail access to the Rio Grande.
6. Albuquerque Isotopes Baseball Game
The Albuquerque Isotopes are a Minor League Baseball team, whose home games takes place at Isotopes Park, often referred to as “The Lab.” The park has state-of-the-art amenities and have many great hospitality areas where guests can enjoy a hot dog or burger while taking in a game.
7. Casa Rodena Winery
Enjoy award-winning wines in the tasting room of this beautiful winery owned by the Casa Rodena family located in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Take a stroll around the beautiful grounds and pick up a few bottles of wine, along with their signature sauces, from the on-site gift shop to take home. The tasting room is open daily from noon to 7pm.
8. Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk
This is a must-do for anyone interested in the macabre and dark history behind Albuquerque. The 100-minute tour takes visitors past 1.3 miles of the town’s dark side, which includes reportedly haunted sites, historic buildings, the former red light district, and more. The tour guides are experienced paranormal investigators and during the tour, they will reveal stories about some of the ghosts, murders, and mysterious spirits that are said to haunt Albuquerque to this very day.
9. Central Avenue
Downtown Albuquerque recently completed a multi-million dollar revitalization that includes an upgraded movie theater, boutiques and shops, art galleries, and a bustling nightlife and entertainment district. Central Avenue, formerly Route 66, is the main thoroughfare in Downtown and is a great place to go shopping, see old buildings and nostalgic neon signs, and eat at one of the many restaurants or bars.
10. Tingley Beach
This recreational spot is located on the east side of the Rio Grande to the south of Central Avenue. Part of the Albuquerque Biological Park complex, Tingley Beach offers fishing, boating, picnics and hiking just minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Admission to the ponds is free and includes dog-friendly trails.
This article was written by Kamala Kirk.