Albuquerque's many museums are a testament to the creativity and curiosity that drive the 505. Even more impressive than the number of museums–there are over 20 of them–are the types of museums Albuquerque has. From balloons to rattlesnakes, Albuquerque museums explore an incredible range of subjects, with museum themes not found anywhere else in the world. Here are eight museums you won't find anywhere but Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Museum

A view of an exhibit inside the Albuquerque Museum

Photo Credit: Dirt Road Travels

The Albuquerque Museum gives visitors an overview of the art and history that makes Albuquerque so unique. Learn about the history of the city and explore a sculpture garden with works by important American Southwest sculptors. Frequent rotating exhibits means there is always something new to explore.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $6, New Mexico Residents $5, Seniors $4, Youth $3, Free Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the first Wednesday of every month

American International Rattlesnake Museum

The entrance of the American International Rattlesnake Museum

Photo Credit: American International Rattlesnake Museum

Since 1990, the American International Rattlesnake Museum has fascinated thousands of visitors with its collection of rattlesnakes-–the largest collection of different live rattlesnake species in the world! Located in the heart of Old Town, the museum is dedicated to animal conservation and is filled with artifacts and memorabilia that will enrich your understanding of the notorious slithering critter.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. September through May; Tuesday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. June through August

Admission: Adults $8.95, Seniors, Active Military, Teachers, Students $7.95, Children $6.95

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

Balloons float over the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Photo Credit: Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

Did you know that a duck, a rooster and a sheep got to enjoy the thrills of hot air ballooning before people, during initial experiments in France in the 18th century? Fortunately, people can now soar through the skies too--a common spectacle in Albuquerque, the "hot air ballooning capital of the world." You don't have to visit Albuquerque during the International Balloon Fiesta to admire the wonders of hot air ballooning (although of course, the Balloon Fiesta is a must-see!). Explore the history, science and fun of ballooning at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, which combines historic artifacts and multimedia technology. The Weather Lab gives visitors a vivid explanation of the weather, giving new light to something we experience everyday but may not know all that much about.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $6, New Mexico Residents $5, Seniors $4, Youth $3, Free Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the first Friday of every month excluding October


A family plays at an exhibit at Explora

Explore science, technology, engineering, art and math at Explora. Hands-on learning activities give adults and kids alike the chance to learn more about things we interact with every day. For very young children, check out Toddler Time each Monday morning before Explora opens. The museum also hosts monthly adult nights.

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $11, Seniors, Students, Military $8, Children $7

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Exterior of the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Photo Credit: Facebook

America's only congressionally chartered museum in its field, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History delves into the complex history, science and technology of nuclear development. With interactive activities and the nine-acre Heritage Park–where visitors can walk around aircraft and missiles–the museum is invaluable for understanding nuclear technology of the past, and what that might mean for the future. 

Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $17, Seniors, Youth $15, Veterans, Active Military and dependents $11

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

Two dinosaur fossils on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

New Mexico has a rich prehistoric past, and the place to learn about it is the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Take a walk through time and learn how the landscape of New Mexico has changed over the years while viewing dinosaur fossils from species found in the state. Wind down with a show at the Planetarium or DynaTheater.

Hours: Wednesday-Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults $8, Seniors, Youth $7, Children $5 for museum only. See website for DynaTheater and Planetarium pricing

Tinkertown Museum

A close-up of the Western town at Tinkertown Museum

Tucked away in the East Mountains, the Tinkertown Museum is a true marvel, an ode to the imagination-and the perfect embodiment of "Albu-quirky." Folk artist Ross Ward spent more than 40 years developing the Tinkertown collection, which includes everything from meticulously crafted miniature scenes of the Old West to circus memorabilia to a 35-foot wooden sailboat used to sail around the world. "Delight someone," a Tinkertown sign recommends; Ward and his collection have delighted a great many.

Hours: Friday-Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April 1-Nov. 1

Admission: Adults $6, Kids $3

Turquoise Museum

A display at the Turquoise Museum

Photo Credit: Instagram

Turquoise, the official state gem of New Mexico, has been mined in New Mexico for more than 1,000 years. Known as the "sky stone" by the Zuni, turquoise was used for trade, ceremonies and ornamentation by Southwestern Native Americans; it appears in the creation myths of the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi. Mount Chalchihuitl, near Cerrillos, New Mexico, was home to the largest ancient turquoise mine in the world. Discover turquoise's storied past at the Turquoise Museum, featuring a large collection of natural turquoise, hands-on exhibitions and a peek into a working lapidary shop.

Hours: Friday-Saturday, Monday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday at 11 a.m.

Admission: Adults $20, Children $15