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 winter and spring months.
Ten 3, New Restaurant atop Sandia Peak, Officially Open for Business
Ten 3, the new $7.5 million Sandia Peak restaurant that replaced the old High Finance at the top of the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is officially open for business. The new 13,000-square-foot restaurant seats 180 people and focuses on fine dining and features a sky bar.
St. Clair Rebrands, Adopting D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro Name
St. Clair Winery & Bistro has adopted the name D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro. The change is a way to go back to the Lescombes family roots with not only its bistros but its wines.
Hervé Lescombes immigrated to the United States from France in 1981 with his wife, Danielle, and their three children. He produced wine in Deming for several years and later purchased St. Clair in Deming in the early 1990s when the original investors were unsuccessful and closed. Hervé added St. Clair to the family’s existing Blue Teal wine and later expanded his product line with the family label D.H. Lescombes in 1991.
Development on Tin Can Alley Ramps Up
Construction on a new shipping container development in the Northeast Heights is underway. Located at San Pedro and Alameda, the 11,000-square-foot Tin Can Alley will house a variety of food and beverage offerings, including Santa Fe Brewing, Amore Pizzeria, Rustic Star Burgers, Nitro Fog Creamery, Pho Cup, Guava Tree Cafe, Epiphany Espresso and a 505 Southwestern restaurant kiosk. The project is expected to be complete in early 2020.
Fatburger Opens First New Mexico Location in Albuquerque
California-based Fatburger opened its first New Mexico location at Isleta Resort & Casino. Fatburger, a popular burger chain offering fresh burgers and hand-scooped milkshakes, is part of the casino's new food court development.
New Concept Near UNM Mixes Coffee Shop and Pub
The newly opened 50/50 Coffee House & Pub serves up a new take on the traditional coffee shop. The coffee shop offers both alcohol and coffee-based drinks, along with a blend of New Mexican “street” and “soul” food, in a 3,000-square-foot space at 2122 Central Ave. SE, in the University area.
Downtown ABQ Lands New Craft Distillery
Hollow Spirits, a new craft distillery serving up seasonal drinks in a laid-back brewery atmosphere, officially opened its doors to guests in 2019. In addition to serving an array of tasty beverages, the distillery also offers a variety of health-conscious food options created by award-winning executive chef Tristin Rogers.
ABQ’s Brewery Scene Continues to Boom
As the first city in the nation to officially designate a Brewery District (located off I-25 near Candelaria), the city now has an official Downtown Brewery District as well. With 40+ breweries and taprooms in the metro area (and more on the way), Albuquerque has blossomed into an acclaimed craft-brewing city, with one of the highest numbers of breweries and taprooms per capita in the country.
Electric Playhouse Introduces a New Kind of Art in Albuquerque
Blending art with technology is Electric Playhouse, which recently took over a former Staples store on Albuquerque’s West Side to create an immersive art space. Here, people can interact with digital projections like “wall ball,” where kids throw balls at interactive panels. It’s like living inside a 24,000-square-foot video game. The dining menu includes healthy options as well as adult beverages.
The Penguins Have Arrived at the ABQ BioPark
Penguin Chill, a new, immersive, indoor, year-round penguin exhibit at the ABQ BioPark Zoo is open. The new exhibit features a variety of interactive learning opportunities and is an amazing addition to Albuquerque's already spectacular BioPark. The 31 penguins that now call the exhibit home include gentoo, macaroni and king penguins which coexist in the wild.
Urban Air Adventure Park Opens in Albuquerque
Urban Air Albuquerque is open for business. This new attraction is a more than $10 million project, and offers indoor skydiving, an indoor trampoline park, indoor roller coaster, climbing walls, a ropes course and more.
Entertainment Complex Being Built in Renaissance Center
A former Sports Authority building is being transformed into a new entertainment venue, Revel. The 55,000 square-foot complex will accommodate 3,200 people and feature an Uptown Funk Dueling Pianos bar, a Draft Day Sports Bar and other local restaurants and entertainment. The complex is also set to host events ranging from live music to mixed martial arts tournaments.
Internationally-Renowned Turquoise Museum Reopens in Downtown Albuquerque
New Mexico’s popular Turquoise Museum has relocated to the 8,500-square-foot iconic downtown Albuquerque castle. The Museum, opened in 1993 by the Lowry family, houses what is believed to be the world’s largest collection of turquoise. The new museum is open and features 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.
Visit Albuquerque Opens New Visitor Information Center in Old Town
Visit Albuquerque has opened a Visitor Information Center in a new and remodeled location in Historic Old Town. Visitors and locals alike are encouraged to stop in to pick up the Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide and other materials and brochures on things to do, see, taste and enjoy in Albuquerque. The new Old Town location is 522 Romero Street NW. Winter hours are from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm daily.
ABQ to Revitalize Historic Rail Yards
Once a bustling industrial complex dedicated to maintaining and servicing rail cars on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, the site’s old blacksmith shop now is home to the Rail Yards Market, held every Sunday morning from May through October, with holiday markets in December. The City of Albuquerque is taking over efforts to revitalize the historic Rail Yards. The City recently announced $1.2 million in grant funding to redevelop the property. Funding will help to improve the streetscape to connect the Rail Yards to Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, among other developments.
Just steps from Old Town is new neighborhood that is undergoing rapid revitalization. The Sawmill District, where timber once was brought in by rail spur for finishing at local lumber yards, is quickly becoming one of the most buzzed-about neighborhoods. The former Paxton Lumber warehouse is transforming into the Sawmill Market, a food and artisan market hall. Slated for a February 2020 opening, it will be the state’s first food hall, focusing on fresh local produce and meats as well as prepared foods. Other redevelopments are planned for the Sawmill District, which is already home to destination shopping at lifestyle store Spur Line Supply Co. and accommodations at Hotel Chaco. The latter opened Craf+ed, a New Mexico wine, beer and spirit tasting room, in fall 2019.
Shops, Offices Coming to Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center will be expanding with the addition of a 130,000-square-foot office building, along with a new retail center and “innovation center” – a business incubator focused on agricultural food production and other skills. The $12 million-dollar retail complex is slated to break ground in January 2020.
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 Urban Taqueria and other local businesses.
Explora science center announces $4 million expansion
Albuquerque’s Explora museum will soon introduce X-Studio, an 8,000 square foot expansion to the museum that will entail training experiences targeting teens and young adults in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. X-Studio will educate teens and young adults on robotics, drones, 3D printing and more, allowing them to move from scientific play into more serious work involving STEAM jobs. Expected to open in February 2021, the $4 million project is nearly funded, with the final $400,000 expected to come from fundraising. It’s scheduled to open February 2021. The new center will also offer 30 paid internships to teenagers.
Somos Unidos! Albuquerque is Now Home to New Mexico United
New Mexico United USL soccer team kicked off its inaugural season in 2019. With chants of ¡Somos Unidos! (We are United!) and an overwhelmingly supportive fan base, New Mexico United will go into their second season in March of 2020.
Professional Hockey Comes to Albuquerque
The North American Hockey League's (NAHL) New Mexico Ice Wolves are now headquartered in Albuquerque, playing at Outpost Ice Arena. The NAHL is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior league, with 27 teams in 16 states around North America. The Ice Wolves' 2019-2020 season is currently underway.
New Professional Basketball Team Comes to Albuquerque
The Albuquerque Bullsnakes is a men’s professional basketball team playing in the American Basketball Association (ABA) starting in the 2019 season. The team is comprised of local young basketball talent under the ownership of Nick Lourenço. The Bullsnakes' 2019-2020 season is currently underway.
Southwest Airlines Announces Daily Service Between ABQ and Austin
Options to and from the Albuquerque International Sunport are continuing to increase with Southwest Airlines recently announcing expanded daily service to and from Austin, Texas, which officially kicked off in 2019.