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Recognized as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, Albuquerque’s ethnic tapestry is reflected in its architecture, artwork, cultural centers and cuisine. Countless customs and traditions are a vibrant part of daily life in the city, making Albuquerque the cultural capital of the Southwest.

New Mexico’s largest city, the Albuquerque Metro area has over 908,200 residents and is growing at a steady pace of 1 to 2 percent a year. The area’s five-year growth rate is projected at 7.2 percent compared with the national rate of 4.0 percent. Even as a larger city, Albuquerque can’t help but retain its neighborhood feel.

Fun Facts About ABQ

  • Albuquerque enjoys blue skies and sunshine 310 days out of the year, making the city an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise and a magnificent place to enjoy outdoor sporting events, concerts, festivals and more.
  • The city spans 187 square miles at elevations ranging from 4,500 to 6,500 feet above sea level.
  • The breakfast burrito is said to have originated at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® in the 1970s.
  • The Sandia Mountains on the city’s east side rise to more than 10,600 feet in elevation and turn a watermelon pink color at sunset.
  • The official New Mexico state question is “Red or Green?” referring to red or green chile when ordering New Mexican food. For those who want both red and green chile, tell the server “Christmas.”
  • Albuquerque has more than a dozen museums, an Old Town area featuring more than 150 shops, restaurants and galleries, and a nostalgic stretch of Route 66 that combines old and new for an exciting visitor experience.
  • The biscochito, a small anise-flavored cookie, is the official New Mexico state cookie.
  • Albuquerque celebrated its 300th birthday in 2006.
Albuquerque International Sunport

Albuquerque is served by seven major commercial airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines. It also receives regular service from two commuter airlines: Boutique Air and Advanced Air. Find out more at

Albuquerque's Central Location
City Miles KM
Dallas  655 1,048
Denver 448 717
El Paso 267 427
Las Cruces, NM 225 360
Los Alamos, NM 94 150
Phoenix 452 723
Roswell, NM 202 323
Santa Fe, NM 59 94
Taos, NM 129 206
Albuquerque Weather


°F (°C)

Average Humidity

of Sunshine


47/23 (8/-5)




53/27 (12/-3)




61/33 (16/1)




70/41 (21/5)




79/50 (26/10)




89/59 (32/15)




92/64 (33/18)




89/63 (32/17)




82/56 (28/13)




71/44 (22/7)




57/31 (14/-1)




48/24 (9/-4)



Recent Albuquerque Accolades


Albuquerque featured as a destination in The 25 Places you need to travel in 2020 by Matador Network

Albuquerque named on the list of Where to Go in 2019 by AFAR

Albuquerque featured on list of 10 of the best road trips you need to take this summer by USA Today 10Best 

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta named as one of the 12 Best Fall Family Festivals in the U.S. 2019 by Family Vacation Critic

Albuquerque named one of the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2018 by Travel + Leisure

Albuquerque named one of the Best Small Cities by National Geographic Traveler

Albuquerque ranked in The Top 10 Most Affordable Vacation Destinations by Smart Asset 

Sunset Magazine named Albuquerque one the 20 Game-Changing Places to Live 

Albuquerque named as one of 18 Destinations to try in 2018 by the LA Times

Albuquerque named one of the The Hippest Cities in the US Everyone Wants to Move to by Insider

Hotel Chaco in Albuquerque received a Readers Choice Awards for Best New Hotel in USA Today's 10 Best

Albuquerque named one of 27 Underrated US Destinations Everyone Should Visit in their Lifetime by Insider

Albuquerque named one of The Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker: Big Cities by Mover Maker Magazine

Albuquerque named one of The Best Places to Travel Each Month in 2018 by Expedia

Albuquerque named one of 25 Best Pet-Friendly Vacations In America by TripAdvisor

Film Production in Albuquerque

MovieMaker Magazine named Albuquerque a top 10 “Best place in America to make movies and call home.” New Mexico offers outstanding incentives to production companies, which has helped generate broad interest in the state for movie and television filming. 

Recent movies and television shows produced in and around Albuquerque include: 

Notable Albuquerque Connections

• “I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque.” -Bugs Bunny 

• Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in Albuquerque in 1975 before moving to Bellevue, WA in 1979. 

• Carlos Condit, a UFC fighter and the former UFC Interim Welterweight Champion is an Albuquerque native who still lives and trains in the city. 

• Jesse Tyler Ferguson, a Screen Actors Guild Award winner and Emmy Award nominee is best known for his part on the show ABC’s Modern Family. Jesse moved to Albuquerque when he was young and was raised here. 

• Ben Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson, along with Larry Newman, piloted the “Double eagle II,” the first manned balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean. An international hot air ballooning museum in Albuquerque bears the Anderson and Abruzzo names. 

• Rudolfo Anaya, a famous Mexican-American fiction author who is best known for his novel Bless Me, Ultima resides in Albuquerque. 

• Coach John Baker, subject of the book and TV movie, A Shining Season, lived his highly inspirational life in Albuquerque until his untimely death from cancer. 

• Notah Begay III, the first full-blooded American Indian PGA golfer in the history of the game, was born and raised in Albuquerque. 

• Jeff Bezos, founder, president, chairman and CEO of was born in Albuquerque. 

• Bill Daily, a famous actor and comedian who is commonly known for his work in I Dream of Jeanie and The Bob Newhart Show resides part time in Albuquerque. 

• Neil Patrick Harris has won multiple Emmy Awards and is an American Golden Globe-nominated actor. Prominent roles include Doogie Howser, M.D., and Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. He is a proud Albuquerque native. 

• Tony Hillerman was an award-winning author of detective novels and non-fiction works best known for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels. Some of his works were made into big-screen and television movies. He was a long time Albuquerque resident. 

• Mike Judge, creator of the television show King of the Hill and writer and director of the movie Office Space, was raised in Albuquerque. 

• Don Perkins, the six-time Pro-Bowl NFL running back, started his football career at the University of New Mexico. 

• Freddie Prinze, Jr. is an actor who has stared in several Hollywood films. He was raised in Albuquerque. 

• Ernie Pyle was a beloved World War II correspondent. His house is now a branch of the Albuquerque Public library and it houses a display of his personal memorabilia. 

• Danny Romero, world champion boxer, was born in Albuquerque. 

• Steve-O, popular actor, stunt-man and slapstick-comedian is a native Albuquerquean. 

• Diego Sanchez, welterweight fighter with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), was born in Albuquerque. 

• The Shins, a Grammy-nominated indie rock group, was originally based out of Albuquerque. 

• Kate Snow, co-anchor of ABC news’ weekend edition of “Good Morning America,” began her career as a reporter with Albuquerque’s KOAT-TV. 

• Johnny Tapia, the five-time world champion boxer, was born in Albuquerque. 

• Al Unser Sr., Al Jr. and Bobby Unser, repeat winners of the Indianapolis 500 Auto Race.

• Brian Urlacher was a University of New Mexico Lobo football favorite before heading to the NFL as starting linebacker for the Chicago Bears. 

• Xzibit, rap artist and television host was born in Albuquerque. 

More Albuquerque Facts
  • MSS_balloon2Albuquerque is known as the “Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World” because of the excellent flying conditions, number of resident hot-air balloonists and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® 
  • Forbes and Popular Science magazines have recognized Albuquerque as one of the greenest cities in the country. The city also has one of the highest percentages of open space in the country. Albuquerque is committed to “green” initiatives. Details are outlined at 
  • Albuquerque’s KiMo Theatre is a Pueblo Deco style theater which was built in 1927. Pueblo Deco was a short-lived, flamboyant architectural style that fused the spirit of the Southwest and Native American cultures with the exuberance of America during the roaring 1920s. The theatre fell into disrepair and then in 1977 the citizens of Albuquerque voted to purchase the movie palace. After many years of discussion, the theatre was brought up to standards and renovated to its former grandeur by 2000. The historic KiMo is also rumored to have a ghost who is said to be a young boy who was killed in a boiler explosion inside the lobby of the KiMo. 
  • Historic Route 66 was first commissioned in 1926 with a giant S-curve connecting various cities in New Mexico with mostly unpaved road. In 1931 federal funds were designated to realign the road on a more east-west direction. The entire route from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA was paved in 1937. Today I-40 runs along much of the original roadbed with many of the original neon signs still dotting the path. 
  • The American International Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque Old Town is home to the largest collection of live rattlesnakes in the world. 
  • Five dormant volcanoes mark Albuquerque’s west side. They were formed about 190,000 years ago, but smoke was seen rising from them as recently as 1881. The volcanoes are still in the cooling stage and when it snows in Albuquerque, the snow melts first in the area of the volcanoes because of the residual heat. 
  • The “bosques” are groves of cottonwood trees that grow along the riverbed of the Rio Grande amongst an otherwise arid high desert environment. The ribbon of green (and golden yellow in the fall) provides a colorful contrast to the desert shades of the area. The Cibola National Forest also full of green, lines the eastern edge of the city along the foothills. 
  • Albuquerque is home to several wineries. New Mexico is the oldest wine-producing region in the country. The first grapevines were brought to the state in 1629. New Mexico’s sun-soaked soil and cool high-desert nights create an ideal climate for making wine. The state now has over 30 wineries, producing about 350,000 gallons of wine each year. 
  • Chile is featured in nearly every meal from breakfast through dinner in New Mexico and it is one of the top cash crops in the state with more than 66,000 tons of chile being produced annually.