With its rich history and diverse outdoor activities, Albuquerque makes a unique vacation destination for visitors of all ages. Beautifully situated between the peaks of the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande, Albuquerque boasts sunny blue skies more than 310 days a year, plus one-of-a-kind sites and experiences year-round. Explore what’s new and happening in Albuquerque in 2024.

1. Indulge at Must-Visit Wineries

A glass of frose from Sawmill Market

Photo Credit: Facebook

New Mexico is the oldest wine-producing region in the United States. Now, more than 400 years after Spanish colonists kicked off winemaking in the region, Albuquerque’s wine scene continues to expand and grow. The Rosé Bar is located in Sawmill Market and features a beautiful selection of fine rosé and icy frosé. Pasando Tiempo Winery opened a larger wine tasting room to accommodate the rising number of visitors and locals eager to taste their delicious, locally made wine. In addition to individual tastings, the larger venue allows for the winery’s vintner to host wine tasting dinners, classes and lessons. The renowned Gruet Winery recently announced a forthcoming additional tasting room, offering more opportunities for wine enthusiasts to taste and celebrate their family-made, world-class wines.

2. Visit a Unique Bed and Brew

An interior look at Ghost Light Saloon at Painted Lady Bed and Brew

The Ghost Light Saloon is officially open at the Painted Lady Bed & Brew with eight local craft beers on tap (along with hard cider, seltzer and a few select brews in cans). The Saloon is housed in a converted 20th century former Albuquerque Trolley Car.

3. Stay on Route 66

The renovation of the Imperial Inn includes a new building at the corner of Central Ave. (aka Route 66) and High Street and is slated to be completed in 2023. Originally named the Imperial 400, this historic Route 66-era building has been preserved, restored, and enhanced with the addition of two newly-constructed buildings. The renovated property now hosts 52 guest rooms, 16 residential suites, and approximately 4,410 rentable square feet of commercial space.

4. Experience the Shops at Avanyu Plaza

Exterior shot of Rainwater Wellness at Avanyu Plaza

Photo Credit: Facebook

Avanyu Plaza, owned by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and located across the street from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, serves as a vibrant and culturally significant gathering space in Albuquerque. Embracing the rich heritage of the many Pueblo peoples of New Mexico, the plaza offers a captivating blend of traditional and contemporary elements including shopping, restaurants, hotels and an outdoor area that is slated to host cultural gatherings and outdoor markets throughout the year. In addition to restaurants like Rude Boy Cookies, Sixty-Six Acres, Laguna Burger and 12th Street Tavern, there are a number of new openings, including Mama’s Minerals and Rainwater Wellness Mind, Body, Spirit. La Montañita Food Co-op is set to open a location in summer 2024

5. Take a Hike on a New Trail

There’s a new trail for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders to enjoy in the Sandia Mountains. The U.S. Forest Service officially opened the Challenge Trail Extension to the public in 2023. The 5-mile trail extends the existing Challenge Trail further down the Sandia Mountains. From top to bottom the whole trail is now about 9.2 miles. Still looking for more hiking opportunities? There are nearly 200 miles of trails throughout all parts of the Sandia Mountains, ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 feet elevation. There are always new views to be seen from the Sandias!

6. Explore New Exhibits at the ABQ BioPark

Malayan tiger explores its exhibit at the ABQ BioPark Zoo

Photo Credit: Facebook

The ABQ BioPark Zoo is just over halfway through a 15-year plan to grow the park. The new Asia exhibit opened in October 2023 with new homes for the sea eagles, Malayan tiger, snow leopards, orangutans and siamangs. The exhibit has new interactive areas where people can learn about these endangered species and conservation efforts. The plan isn’t just to benefit visitors, it’s also to give the animals more space and a better quality of life. Other exhibits under construction, including an expanded Australia exhibit, are set to open in 2024.

7. Find Art Around Albuquerque

A woman makes a recycled paper craft during a class at The Groove Artspace

Photo Credit: Facebook

The art scene in Albuquerque is a vibrant tapestry of creativity and diversity. From historic Old Town galleries that showcase traditional Native American and Hispanic arts to the avant-garde contemporary spaces Downtown, Albuquerque offers a rich variety of artistic expressions. The Groove Artspace is a newly-opened woman-owned arts teaching cooperative in downtown Albuquerque. This small business has partners who lease space (studios, gallery, teaching space) and run their independent art businesses in collaboration with The Groove Artspace. The beautification of the Barelas neighborhood is well underway. With large-scale artwork, vibrant tile and brightly colored benches, the enhancement of this historic neighborhood is bringing even more public art to the city. In addition to the celebration of local artists, the neighborhood is also undergoing renovations to make it more pedestrian-friendly with ADA-compliant sidewalks.

8. Dine at a New Restaurant

Burger from Stackers in 505 Central Food Hall

Photo Credit: Facebook

New Mexico is home to some of America's most cherished regional cuisines, so it’s no surprise that food is one of the things that people remember most about a trip to Albuquerque.

The new Stackers Burger Co. in 505 Central Food Hall is the brainchild of Tikka Spice owner Basit Gauba, a James Beard Award semi-finalist and Edible Magazine's Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown winner. The burger concept is the brick-and-mortar location of the popular food truck, featuring the Duke City Smash Burger with Hatch green chile, sauteed onions and a brioche bun.
The recently opened Wing It Up has signature wing recipes crafted with fresh, delicious ingredients.

Forage Café is a vending-machine-based cafe featuring vending machines stocked with local fresh food items, a little free library and outdoor seating. All proceeds support Meals on Wheels New Mexico.

Café Chica is a new adorable donut shop that opened in the El Vado courtyard in late 2023. They specialize in the Bombolini, an Italian brioche donut, beignets and Belgian liege waffles. Café Chica also boasts a fantastic and robust drink menu that includes coffee, tea and even Barbie lemonade (complete with edible glitter).
Sawmill Market features two new dining spots to visit. Sweets Soda Fountain reimagines the soda fountain experience as a modern sweet bar. The menu focuses on beverages, with refreshing Italian sodas, floats and even Prosecco on tap. The modern-day soda fountain also features bonbons, French macarons and cotton candy. Frenchies Sandwiches offers a modern take on French dip sandwiches, with a range of dips, including prime rib and portobello mushroom. Diners can get tots on the side smothered in green chile queso.

9. Try a New Sober Bar

Interior of Lost Cultures Tea Bar

Sober bars are a recent addition to the Albuquerque nightlife scene. Crafting the finest, health-conscious tea-based drinks, the Lost Cultures Tea Bar menu showcases a variety of unique flavors — from fragrant teas to expertly brewed kombucha and specially crafted non-alcoholic cocktails. Whether you’re looking to relax, study, get some work done, socialize or spend an evening out enjoying non-alcoholic cocktails, Lost Cultures has something for everyone. New Mexico’s first zero-proof bar, Luxe Lounge, opened in late 2023, offering delicious non-alcoholic cocktails, wine and beer. For other non-alcoholic options, check out some of the many mocktails to be found around Albuquerque.

10. Experience One of Albuquerque’s Signature Events

Dancers at the Gathering of Nations Powwow

Photo Credit: Will Huston courtesy of Gathering of Nations Limited

Immerse yourself in Albuquerque’s one-of-a-kind culture at a signature event. From April 24-27, 2024, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow brings together over 565 Native American tribes from around the United States and 220 from Canada to Albuquerque to participate in the largest pow wow in the United States and North America. Open to the public, Gathering of Nations guests can wander aisles of shopping vendors throughout the Indian Traders Market and enjoy Native foods, a Horse & Rider Parade and music on Stage 49.
Each summer, the city comes alive with the sights and sounds of flamenco during Festival Flamenco Alburquerque. (The festival uses the traditional spelling of Albuquerque’s name.) This nine-day event showcases the beauty and power of flamenco and honors the legacy the dance has in Albuquerque. Enjoy numerous flamenco workshops and performances from June 21-29, 2024.

The weather in Albuquerque is widely considered to be the best in the world for ballooning. In addition to year-round balloon ride offerings, each fall, pilots, crews and spectators from all over the world come to the city for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, the world's largest hot air ballooning event. Balloon Fiesta has grown from 13 balloons with 10,000 spectators to being known as the world’s most photographed event, with more than 25 million pictures taken from thousands of visitors. This year’s Balloon Fiesta takes place Oct. 5-13, 2024.