In 2006 Albuquerque celebrated it's 300th birthday. The city of Albuquerque has become the jewel of the American Southwest. Bask in the majestic red glow of the Sandia Mountains at dusk. Gaze at the colorful hot air balloons as they rise high into our azure blue skies. Nowhere else can you immerse your soul in a unique tapestry of cultures that unite to form a city unlike any other in the world. Every season offers exciting activities, events and sights for locals and visitors alike. Visitors can enjoy our city year-round with 310 days of sunshine a year and blue skies, mild temperatures and low humidity. Here in the Land of Enchantment, culture, history and beauty join together to create the city of Albuquerque.
Discover New Mexico's Native American culture in the ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs, and in the lifestyles found in the area's earliest civilizations. Nowhere are so many pueblos accessible to the public than in the Albuquerque area.The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center features the history, art and culture of New Mexico's 19 Indian Pueblos. Visit the center on the weekends for free Native American dances, bread baking and craft demonstrations. Acoma Sky City is an hour drive west of Albuquerque and is the "oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States;" a trip to the Acoma Pueblo is truly like stepping back in time. They live without electricity or running water on top of the mesa in the original adobe buildings. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the pueblo, and even walk through the mission. The Petroglyph National Monument offers the visitor the opportunity to view more than 15,000 prehistoric and historic Native American and Hispanic petroglyphs (images carved in rock). This park stretches 17-miles along Albuquerque's West Mesa. The day would not be complete without a visit to the Coronado State Monument. The monument includes partially reconstructed ruins of the ancient Pueblo of Kuaua, a Tiwa word for "evergreen." The monument is named for Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who is thought to have camped near this site with his soldiers in 1540 while searching for the fabled Cities of Gold. The pueblo of Kuaua was occupied from 1300 AD and abandoned near the end of the 16th Century.
From its birthplace in historic Old Town in 1706, Albuquerque has grown from small pueblos and Spanish farms to one of the Southwest's premier metropolitan centers. Don't miss the enchanting Old Town galleries filled with local art work and Native American masterpieces from sculpture and pottery to painting and weaving. Restaurants provide refreshing margaritas and the taste of our flavorful cuisine in a patio setting. Seven museums are within walking distance of Old Town: Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, the National Atomic Museum, Turquoise Museum, NM Museum of Natural History & Science, Explora! Science Center & Children's Museum, LodeStar Planetarium and of course the American International Rattlesnake Museum.
Just a short distance from Old Town is the ABQ BioPark. The BioPark consists of three separate facilities, the Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden. The ABQ BioPark Zoo spans more than 60 acres just blocks from Old Town and downtown Albuquerque, and has become one of the leading zoos in the nation. The ABQ BioPark Aquarium features a large Gulf shark tank, an eel cave, a schooling fish tank and a tidal pool. The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is divided into two wings - a Desert Pavilion that displays plants from the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts and a Mediterranean Pavilion with plants from around the world. The newest additions are the Children's Fantasy Garden, a Butterfly Pavilion and the Rio Grande Heritage Farm. Finish the day at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which is dedicated to preserving the rich artistic and cultural heritage integral to the Hispanic Community worldwide, and offers a visual arts museum and amphitheater.
Back roads often lead to great discoveries. Venture off the freeway just east of Albuquerque onto the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, and you'll see what we mean. The Scenic and Historic Area encompasses 15,000 square miles in the heart of central New Mexico. Drive back into history through the mining towns of Golden, Madrid and Cerrillos, now coming alive with art, crafts, theater, music, museums and restaurants. Along the way discover one of our hidden treasures, the Tinkertown Museum, located along the Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway, a major spur on the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. The museum is an amazing, animated, miniature Old West Town and Three Ring Circus set among relics from the past. See an antique wooden boat that's been sailed around the world! Glass bottle walls enclose a potter's studio and gift shop. End your day with a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, the world's longest aerial tramway that glides to more than 10,000 feet. Your sunset ride to the top of Sandia Peak will entrance your senses with a 14,000 square mile view. Enjoy the majestic colors of a New Mexican sunset before the city lights come alive at dusk. Finish the tram ride with a meal at the top or base of the tramway or venture back into the city for some traditional New Mexican cuisine. Add some spice into your life and order your chile "Christmas" and you'll get both red and green chile on your plate!
Northwest of Albuquerque is the Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway. The majestic drive through the middle of the Jemez Mountains is a trip like no other. Providing a variety of recreational opportunities and a rare look at the beauty and serenity of the Santa Fe National Forest and the Jemez Pueblo, this nationally designated scenic byway is an experience like no other. San Ysidro, the gateway to the Jemez Mountain Trail, where Highway 4 and US 550 meet, features a restored Spanish adobe church and the works of local artisans. Enter the Pueblo of Jemez where the village of Walatowa offers a visitor center, museum and gift shop featuring Jemez arts and crafts. Studio tours, bread baking demonstrations, and examples of traditional social dances are available with advance notice. Once in Jemez Springs sample delicious cuisine and wander through local galleries. Jemez State Monument Ruins of the ancient Towa Pueblo and the 17th century Spanish Mission of San Jose de los Jemez. Bandelier National Monumentis the site of the extensive 12th century pueblo cliff dwellings. Visit Anasazi ruins and explore the varied terrain of backcountry trails.