With its rich history and diverse outdoor activities, Albuquerque makes a unique vacation destination for visitors of all ages. Nestled between the peaks of the Sandia Mountains and ancient Native American pueblos, Albuquerque boasts sunny blue skies more than 310 days a year, plus one-of-a-kind sites and experiences year-round. One of the oldest cities in North America isn’t standing still, however—there are plenty of new ways to explore ABQ throughout the fall.

New Hotels & Renovations

The Restored El Vado Motel Opens on Route 66 in Albuquerque

This revitalized, historic property held its grand opening in July of this year. When it initially opened in 1937, El Vado was one of the state’s first motels to greet Route 66 travelers. Today, the restored El Vado is a unique blend of historic character and charm, combined with modern comforts and amenities. The space not only features custom Mid-Century Modern furnishings and one of a kind local artwork, but a changing lineup of up-and-coming restaurants, the El Vado Taproom, featuring a rotating selection of New Mexican brews, and several local boutiques and shops—making it a must-visit destination within Albuquerque.

De Anza Motor Lodge Reopening Set for Summer 2019

Development of the historic De Anza Lodge broke ground in November 2017. The iconic Route 66 property has been closed since 2002 and will be rebuilt to house a hotel, apartments, restaurant and office space. As part of the $8.2 million renovation, the motel’s historic Zuni murals and artifacts will be preserved, along with its neon sign. The entire project should take about 18 months, slating the reopening of the De Anza for summer 2019.

Culinary News

New Restaurant Rising on Sandia Crest

Construction of the new $7.5 million Sandia Crest restaurant that will replace the old High Finance at the top of the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is underway. Plans to demolish the ’60s-era High Finance Restaurant and Tavern and build a bigger venue on U.S. Forest Service-owned land were first announced in August 2015. The development team is aiming for an early spring 2019 opening for the new 13,000-square-foot business.

Three Sisters Kitchen Announces Grand Opening

Three Sisters Kitchen, a multi-use space for "foodpreneurs," opened in August and offers community cooking classes, a Community Dining Room for shared meals, pop-ups and community events, and a Commercial Test Kitchen for aspiring food entrepreneurs to experiment, learn, and develop new local food businesses. Three Sisters Kitchen will also serve as a local foods shop celebrating New Mexico made foods. An indoor lunch market is also planned in the coming months.

Attractions & Facilities

Internationally-Renowned Turquoise Museum Relocating to Downtown Albuquerque

New Mexico’s popular Turquoise Museum is relocating to the former 8,500-square-foot Gertrude Zachary Castle in downtown ABQ in the fall of 2018. The Museum, opened in 1993 by the Lowry’s—a New Mexican family with five generations of turquoise expertise—houses what is believed to be the world’s largest collection of turquoise. The new museum will feature exhibits including: the science and geology of turquoise; turquoise mining; turquoise around the world; hundreds of examples of turquoise jewelry; and an overview of imitation turquoise.  There will also be a new research library, a café and a flower shop on site.

New 50-Mile Activity Loop Expands Across City

Albuquerque is nearing completion on its 50-mile bicycling, running and walking loop that connects more than 400 miles of existing bike paths. The loop brings trail users through some of the city’s most popular destinations: beginning in downtown, along the Riverside Trail up to the Paseo Del Norte, on to Balloon Fiesta Park and along the Sandia Mountains.

Plans Proposed for Mountain Coaster atop Sandia Peak

Development plans for the proposed Sandia Peak mountain coaster are hopeful to move forward. The mountain coaster, would be located at the top of Sandia Peak, featuring coaster rides lasting approximately six minutes, giving riders the opportunity to control how fast they move up and down the mountain—the coaster would provide an entirely new way to experience the Sandia Mountains.


Highly Anticipated One Central Opens Downtown

One Central, a mixed-use project located in downtown Albuquerque, is officially open for business. Located on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and First Street, One Central features 68 studio and two-bedroom apartments, a 423-space parking garage, and will house several local businesses that will occupy the ground-level space, including Deep Space Coffee.

Sawmill District Continues Development in Historic Old Town

This area, just north of Historic Old Town, was once dominated by warehouses and industrial buildings, but is expected to be the next hip neighborhood in Albuquerque and will be a hub for local art, entertainment, food and shopping. A warehouse, once home to the Paxton Lumber business, will be converted into the Sawmill Market, a 25,000-square-foot food and market hall. There are plans to renovate more of the buildings as well. The Sawmill District’s location, next to historic Old Town and the majority of Albuquerque’s museums, make it the perfect place for travelers to jump back and forth between historic and modern elements of the city. The district’s newest retailer, Spur Line Supply Co., opened in September 2017 and features clothing, a children’s shop, records, stationary and florals.

Albuquerque Sunport Introduces First International Passenger Service in 8 Years

The city recently announced the first international passenger service out of Albuquerque International Sunport in eight years. The new carrier, Volaris, will offer new non-stop service between Albuquerque International Sunport and Guadalajara. The addition is an effort to make international tourism and trade more convenient out of Albuquerque Sunport. Volaris, Mexico’s largest low-cost carrier, is slated to bring international service to the Albuquerque International Sunport beginning Nov. 17.

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