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Outside Albuquerque

Albuquerque makes the perfect hub from which to explore the cities, towns and villages that comprise this Land of Enchantment. As the home of New Mexico’s only major airport, and centrally located, Albuquerque is the best location from which to begin your trip and at which it can end. Explore our day trips and regional itineraries and discover enchantment.

North of Albuquerque

Discover Native American pueblos, charming towns and pristine villages in the communities North of Albuquerque. On Albuquerque’s northern border lies Sandia Pueblo and the Sandia Resort & Casino, with a spa, golf course and several fine restaurants. The Resort’s 35,000-square-foot ampitheatre hosts regular performances and the 50,000-square-foot convention center is home to many annual events such as the National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show.

El Camino Real, the old trail to Mexico City, leads from Albuquerque to the village of Bernalillo, 16 miles north of Albuquerque. This historic village is home to the state’s largest wine festival, New Mexico Wine Festival, held each September. It is also home to Coronado State Monument, where visitors can explore Native American and Spanish Colonial history, including the reconstruction of a ceremonial kiva (chamber) used by the Kuaua people from 1300 AD.

Santa Ana Pueblo is 15 minutes north of Albuquerque and features the luxurious Hyatt Tamaya Resort & Spa, the Santa Ana Golf Club and Twin Warriors Golf Course, all within pristine high desert surroundings. The Santa Ana Star Casino has a 36-lane bowling center, 3,000-seat indoor event center and 10,000 square feet of banquet and conference facilities.

Placitas is beautiful community nestled in the Sandia mountains just 8 miles Northeast of Albuquerque. Placitas has wineries and many special annual events like arts and crafts fairs, artists’ studio tours and home tours.  

The Jemez Mountains, less than an hour’s drive Northwest of Albuquerque, are a favorite destination for hiking, fishing, camping and soaking in natural hot springs. The history and culture of the area can be explored at the Bandelier National Monument and the Jemez State Monument. Jemez Pueblo’s annual arts and crafts shows are not to be missed.

South of Albuquerque

South of Albuquerque lie the historic villages of Isleta Pueblo, Bosque Farms, Los Lunas and Belen. Isleta Pueblo, with the Isleta Casino & Resort and the Isleta Eagle Golf Course, borders Albuquerque to the south. The casino has live entertainment and concerts year-round.

Just 20 miles south of Albuquerque are the historic villages of Bosque Farms and Los Lunas, where you’ll find bucolic landscapes dotted with historic churches and ancient petroglyphs.

Belen (Spanish for “Bethlehem”), was founded in 1740. Just 36 miles South of Albuquerque on I-25, Belen is home to several historical attractions, including an original Harvey House, one of the few old railroad hotels to survive in New Mexico.

West of Albuquerque

Travel west of Albuquerque to experience authentic Native American villages or enjoy gaming and live entertainment at one of the many casinos. Laguna Pueblo, which dates back to 1450, is 45 miles west of Albuquerque. The pueblo draws large crowds for sporting events and for trading in arts and crafts. At Casa Blanca Village, visitors can buy authentic pueblo arts and crafts. Just 10 minutes west of Albuquerque on I-40 is the Route 66 Casino which features buffets, concerts and live entertainment in a 2,800-seat theater. Gaming, a full-service restaurant and a snack bar are available at Dancing Eagle Casino and Travel Center. 

Acoma Pueblo—also known as Sky City—is just 60 miles west of Albuquerque. It is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, and one of the best places for visitors to experience a traditional Pueblo. Hour-long guided tours of Acoma lead visitors to the top of the steep-walled 370-foot sandstone bluff that has been the home of the Acoma people for 2,000 years. The tour includes the San Esteban del Rey Mission, which was begun in 1629 and is today one of the largest Spanish missions in the New Mexico. Both the Mission and Pueblo are registered National Historic Landmarks.

The Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum opened in 2006, greatly enhancing visitors’ experience here. The museum showcases permanent exhibits of renowned Acoma pottery and textiles, while traveling exhibits feature other Native American art forms. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional pueblo food in the Cultural Center’s café. Las Vegas-style gambling is offered at Sky City Casino, which also hosts concerts and special events such as the World Posole Cooking and Eating Championships.

Other Communities

The cities, towns and villages in New Mexico and the Southwest are as diverse as the people who populate them. Albuquerque makes the perfect hub to explore the region and is the best location to begin and end your trip as the site of New Mexico’s only major airport. Explore our regional itineraries to discover why they call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment and so many artists, writers and people have decided to make their home here.