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 summer.

New Hotels & Renovations

New Stops on Old Route 66

El Vado, a renovated motel property along Central Avenue in Albuquerque is slated for completion this summer. Once open, the revitalized, iconic Route 66 property will feature 22 boutique rooms, an event center, local food and drink purveyors like Zendo Coffee and a lobby area that’s been transformed into a tap room. New retail shops also are opening their doors on the New York Avenue side of the property, such as Metal the Brand, Arogya Center (an Ayurvedic spa), and the Southwest Cactus plant shop.

Also on the horizon for Route 66 is the development of the historic De Anza Lodge. The project at the iconic property broke ground in November 2017 and is being 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, putting the reopening of the De Anza in summer 2019.

An Insider’s View of the Santa Ana Expansion

The Santa Ana Star Casino on Santa Ana Pueblo is anticipating a July 4th opening of the $85 million expansion that will introduce the property’s first hotel, new restaurants, meeting spaces and an outdoor terrace for weddings and special events. The new hotel will feature seven floors, 204 rooms with 28 suites and two pet-friendly rooms, all with custom-made interiors and linens.

Culinary News

Pueblo Harvest Café Celebrates Native Cuisine with New Menu

The Pueblo Harvest Café’s new menu items provide meaningful insight into the wealth of flavors of an indigenous diet that are lesser known to mainstream culinary audiences. The pre-European-contact dishes highlight Native cuisine and allow diners to experience a rich flavor palette from 500 years ago. Among one of the first restaurants in the United States to offer a pre-contact menu, PHC opens a cultural and educational dialogue about the origins of the foods that Americans do or do not consume on a regular basis, and why.

ABQ’s Brewery Scene Continues to Boom

As the first city in the nation to officially designate a Brewery District (located off 1-25 near Candelaria), the city now has an official Downtown Brewery District as well. And with 40+ breweries and taprooms in the metro area (and more on the way), Albuquerque has more microbreweries per capita than Portland!

Attractions & Facilities

Summer Nights at the ABQ BioPark

The Albuquerque Zoo is introducing evening tours after its regular 5 p.m. closing time. Tours will take place between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and feature guided tours of the zoo, as well as the Botanic Garden.

Spain’s Prado Museum Brings Masterpieces to Albuquerque

Works of art from the Spanish Royal Family’s Collection are now on display at downtown Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza through August 31, 2018. The traveling exhibition, Prado on the Plaza, will feature images by well-known artists like Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, and El Greco, as well as ninety-two mounted, high-quality reproductions of paintings from Museo Nacional del Prado (The Prado Museum) in Madrid, Spain. Free and open to the public, the collection includes some of the most recognizable artworks in history such as Velázquez's Las Meninas from 1656 and Goya's 1814 oil painting The Third of May 1808 in Madrid, also called The Executions. Albuquerque is this exhibit's second stop in the United States.

ARTECHOUSE comes to Albuquerque

ARTECHOUSE, an innovative digital art experience powered by arts and technology, presents XYZT: Abstract Landscapes, a light and projection-based interactive exhibit designed by Adrien M. and Claire B. Company. The exhibit, located in the Sawmill District, comprises 10 dynamic installations on temporary display now through October 21st. Albuquerque is the only stop on the exhibit’s U.S. tour.


Internationally-Renowned Turquoise Museum Relocating to Downtown Albuquerque

New Mexico’s popular Turquoise Museum is relocating to downtown in fall 2018 to the former 8,500-square-foot Gertrude Zachary Castle. The Museum, opened in 1993 by the Lowry’s—a New Mexican family with five generations of turquoise experience and 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.  

Sawmill District Currently Being Developed 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. Will be a hub for local art, entertainment, food and shopping. A warehouse, once home to the Paxton Lumber business, will be converted to 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’s Newly-Renovated Civic Plaza Hosts Variety of Summer Events

Civic Plaza, adjacent to the Albuquerque Convention Center’s West Complex in downtown, has undergone an extensive redesign, unveiling a new, interactive water fountain with LED lighting, new playground and inviting leisure spaces, as well as amphitheater-style seating, large projection screen and an improved sound system. The Plaza has become a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors thanks to the variety of events they have going on throughout the summer, including a new Wednesday Lunch MarketABQ Food FridaysMovies on the Plaza, Shakespeare on the Plaza, and Summer of Soccer events.

Explore Albuquerque’s Outdoor Sights and Sounds

Plan your trip to Albuquerque this summer to experience a vast variety of outdoor events under our beautiful wide-open sky. Choose from more than 50 events over the course of 12 weeks and take in the live music, arts and culture that make this destination one-of-a-kind. From salsa and jazz in Albuquerque's Historic Old Town to reggae and folk in the picturesque ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, you're sure to get your groove on!

Find Upcoming Events at ABQ 365