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New Mexico is one of the nation’s most sparsely populated states. The state’s largest city by far, the Albuquerque Metro area has over 887,000 residents. The Albuquerque metro area is currently 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. Although it is a larger city, Albuquerque can’t help but retain its neighborhood feel. 

The Sandia and Manzano mountains border Albuquerque on the east; Petroglyph National Monument on the west, Sandia Pueblo to the north and Isleta Pueblo to the south. 

The city spans 187 square miles at elevations ranging from 4,500 feet elevation in the Rio Grande Valley to 6,500 feet in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. The greater Albuquerque metropolitan area, which includes Bernalillo, Sandoval and Valencia counties, covers approximately 400 square miles. 

Albuquerque enjoys blue skies and sunshine 310 days out of the year. The weather makes Albuquerque an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise and a magnificent place to enjoy outdoor sporting events, concerts, festivals and more. 

Albuquerque International Sunport Airport

Albuquerque is served by six major commercial airlines: American Airlines, Delta Air lines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways (and JetBlue coming April 2013). It also receives regular service from two commuter airlines: Great Lakes Airlines and New Mexico Airlines. www.abqsunport.com

Contact the Visit Albuquerque 

20 First Plaza NW, Ste. 601 (87102) PO Box 26866, Albuquerque, NM 87125-6866 

Web site: www.visitalbuquerque.org 

Public Visitor information: (800) 284-2282 (please use this number when publicly listing a phone number) 

Business Office: (800) 733-9918, (505) 842-9918 Fax: (505) 247-9101 

Visitor information e-mail: info@visitalbuquerque.org 

PR and Media e-mail: media@visitalbuquerque.org 

Distances from Albuquerque

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)



More Albuquerque Facts

Albuquerque 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 www.cabq.gov/albuquerquegreen 

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 almost 350,000 gallons of wine each year. www.nmwine.com 

The New Mexico state question is “Red or Green?” This refers to red or green chile when ordering New Mexican food. Chile is featured in 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. 

Film Production in Albuquerque

MovieMaker Magazine named Albuquerque a top 10 “Best place in America to make movies and call home.” Albuquerque Studios, a 28-acre, $74 million state-of- the-art motion picture and television production facility opened in 2007 with eight sound stages and a combined total of 168,000 sq. ft. of space. New Mexico offers outstanding incentives to production companies, which has helped generate broad interest in the state for movie and television filming. www.filmABq.com 

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

The Spirit 

Breaking Bad 

In Plain Sight 

Crash: Season One 

Terminator Salvation 

Swing Vote 

Easy Money 

Wild Hogs 



Hamlet 2 

Fan Boys 

The Eye 



Employee of the Month 

No Country for Old Men 

In the Valley of Elah 

Observe & Report 

Sunshine Cleaning 

Love Lies Bleeding 

The Lost Room 

Love Ranch 





First Snow 

21 Grams 



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 Amazon.com 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. The Unser Racing Museum highlights the family accomplishments and technologies of auto racing. 

• 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. 

Albuquerque Accolades


  • Among “Top 25 Places to Go in 2013” by Fodor’s Travel.
  • MSN named Albuquerque as one of the “Top 10 Destinations for Morning People.”

  • Ranked among “5 Remarkably Affordable Travel Destinations for 2013” by Forbes.com

  • Ranked one of the “2012 Top 10 Value Cities in the U.S.” by Hotwire.com®

  • TripAdvisor named Albuquerque one of the “15 Destinations on the Rise” in 2012.

  • Men’s Fitness ranked Albuquerque #3 in “25 Fittest Cities”.

  • Ranked #3 in “Top 10 Cities to be a Moviemaker” by MovieMaker.com in 2012.

  • Named one of the “25 Best Places to Retire in 2012” by Forbes.com

  • Livability.com ranked Albuquerque #7 in its list of “Top 10 Foodie Cities” in 2011.

  • TLC.com recognized Albuquerque as #4 for “Top 10 Cities for Families” in 2011.

  • Top 50 Best Places to live and Play by National Geographic Adventure magazine.

  • Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club as the Best the Southwest by Zagat Survey.

  • Top 25 art destination in AmericanStyle Magazine.

  • No. 16 of America’s 50 Greenest Cities by Popular Science on popsci.com

  • Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club ranked no. 3 in the U.S. for best public golf courses in Readers Choice Poll by Golf World.

  • Paseo Del Bosque Trail Ranked no. 1 for Top 10 City Bike Rides by Sunset Magazine

    For a complete listing of Albuquerque rankings, visit www.visitalbuquerque.org/albuquerque/whats-new/top-rankings

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