While it’s a gateway to other New Mexican wonders like El Morro and Chaco Canyon, Albuquerque’s rich history and dramatic terrain make it a worthy destination in its own right. Albuquerque’s eccentric Southwestern culture can be found across the city, from the Pueblo- and Spanish-inspired architecture to the world-famous cuisine and art. In a place where the past weaves through the fabric of the present, find a culturally rich American destination when you visit this New Mexico metropolis.
Begin your trip in historic Old Town, the heart of Albuquerque since the city was founded in 1706. Most of the architecture in Old Town is adobe—traditional buildings with flat roofs, stucco walls with rounded edges, and ceilings supported with heavy wooden beams. You’ll also find artisan shops and storefronts that make and sell everything from fine art to handmade rugs and pottery.
When you’re not perusing Old Town shops, you can explore cultural centers located in the neighborhood. Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center for an introduction to Native American culture, history, and art. Learn about the city’s Spanish heritage at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. This venue features fascinating exhibits, exhilarating flamenco performances, and more. For more Albuquerque history, head to the west side of the Rio Grande River for the Petroglyph National Monument, a 7,236-acre park that’s home to more than 24,000 carved images. These petroglyphs were left behind by New Mexico’s first settlers and offer insight into the cultures of early inhabitants of the Rio Grande Valley.
The region’s high-desert climate and landscape make Albuquerque the perfect destination for outdoor adventuring. Enjoy some of the best hiking and mountain biking in New Mexico on the trails of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. To get a mountain-high view without the strenuous climb, ride the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway—the longest tramway in North America. At the crest, your view will be 11,000 square miles of stunning New Mexican landscape, including the majestic Rio Grande flowing through the cottonwood-filled valley. Watch as the sun splashes pink light over the 10,600-foot peaks of the Sandia Mountains and see the twinkle of city lights just after dusk. For an outdoor activity within city limits, hit the Paseo del Bosque Trail. This 16-mile-long walking and biking path traces the Rio Grande river through central Albuquerque, passing major sites like Old Town and ABQ BioPark, a unique four-facility environmental museum.
Whether you hit the thrilling trails or the charming streets of Albuquerque, you’ll be glad you came. Southwest® is proud to serve Albuquerque International Sunport often, which makes booking your desert getaway a breeze. And when you book with Southwest, you can do so with confidence. See what makes the Southwest® Experience unique and book your upcoming flight to Albuquerque.
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Things to do in Albuquerque.
- Paseo del Bosque Trail
- Piedra Lisa Canyon Trail
- Rinconada Canyon Trail
- Old Town
- Nob Hill
- Barelas and the South Valley
- Albuquerque Museum
- Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum Foundation
- New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science