At the heart of New Mexico beats the pulse of a vibrant city. If you are looking for a Southwestern destination that is affordable, authentic in history, architecture and culture, and offers more than 310 days of annual sunshine and accessible outdoor experiences, consider Albuquerque.
The Albuquerque International Sunport kicked off a major renovation project in April of 2017. Known as the Terminal Improvement Project, or TIP, the $30 million renovation will upgrade both the arrival and departure levels. Highlights of the 15-month project include new ceilings, lighting, ticket counters, a more roomy and open bag claim area and new signage throughout the terminal. The city has already seen a number of increased lift and expects to see additional new direct flight routes as a result of the airport renovation.
Anchored by the new Hotel Chaco in Historic Old Town, the Sawmill District is a community development plan that will promote a popular live, work, and play lifestyle for current and future residents, business owners, and out of town visitors. The district’s first retailer, Spur Line Supply Co., opened in September 2017 and features clothing, a children’s shop, records, stationary and florals.
Downtown’s revitalization effervesces into other neighborhoods along the nine-mile Albuquerque Rapid Transit, which flows from the east to west side along dedicated bus lanes. ART is an electric-powered bus system—making Albuquerque the first in the country to run an eco-friendly system like it. Twenty subway-like platforms along the route will connect popular destinations like the ABQ BioPark, Downtown and Edo (East Downtown), the University of New Mexico, and Nob Hill. The line’s completion is slated for early 2018.
The convention center’s glass Territorial style–façade harkens classic New Mexico architecture and overlooks Civic Plaza, where January 2018 updates include a large projection screen and sound system (perfect for free family movie nights held there each summer), refreshed stages, and an interactive water splash pad. More shade and inviting leisure spaces beckon visitors to lounge during summer Shakespeare on the Plaza performances or Truckin’ Tuesdays, when Albuquerque's premier food trucks gather to serve lunch.
By spring 2018, the entertainment area One Central will transform the corner of Central Avenue and First Street with retailers, restaurants, entertainment and residences, and a 423-space parking structure. The parking structure is slated for delivery in November 2017, and the retail and residential portions will be delivered in the spring of 2018.
Hotel Chaco partnered with Chef Mark Miller to create a concept menu for the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and lobby lounge, Level 5. The restaurant, located on the fifth floor of the hotel, calls back to Chaco Canyon’s legendary Pueblo Bonito, which also had five stories. The restaurant features creative culinary and cocktail options, and guests are treated to stunning, unobstructed views of the Sandia Mountains.
Pueblo Harvest Cafe within the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (known for their Native fusion cuisine) has created a brand new, Pre-Contact menu, which launched in November 2017. The new winter menu is among the first in the United States to feature pre-European-contact dishes, including Hazruquive Stew, Rabbit, and Bison Poyha, among others.
Owner and Executive Chef, Shaun Weed’s new restaurant brings local partnerships and seasonal, organic cuisine. The restaurant partners with Marble Brewery and the Downtown Growers’ Market to bring comfort vegetarian food to the Northeast Heights, with a farm-to-table experience.
As the first city in the nation to officially designate a Brewery District (located off 1-25 near Candelaria), the city now has an official Downtown Brewery District as well. And with 40+ breweries and taprooms in the metro area (and more on the way), Albuquerque has more microbreweries per capita than Portland!
Sandia Peak Tram Company has announced the demolition or High Finance, located at the top of the Sandia Mountains, with construction beginning on a new, two-part restaurant concept (casual/fine-dining) in the summer of 2017. Construction is slated to be complete by the late 2018.
Albuquerque’s 50-mile cycling, running and walking loop that connects more than 400 miles of existing bike paths is slated for completion in late 2017. The loop brings trail users through some the city’s most popular destinations: beginning in downtown, along the Riverside Trail up to the Paseo Del Norte, on to Balloon Fiesta Park and along the Sandia Mountains.
In August 2017, The Weather Lab opened at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. Focusing on the relationship between weather and humanity, guests will see technology that has helped humans better understand and forecast the weather conditions. It includes four pods representing sun, wind, clouds and storms, plus a hands-on simulated forecast center.
Situated in the heart of Albuquerque between Historic Old Town and the upcoming urban Sawmill District, Hotel Chaco opened in May 2017, beckoning luxury travelers seeking authentic experiences. The premier hotel features design inspired by Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Archaeological site, and an unbeatable location within Albuquerque. Paying homage to the hub for the ancient pueblo people in these lands, design elements include pueblo features, natural wool variation employed by Navajo weavers and original artwork.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm received a $15 million bond to expand its hotel, restaurant and product business. This award-winning property, set among 25 acres of fields (including four acres of lavender fields), cottonwood trees, and gardens, leads Albuquerque in agritourism. The property more than doubled its room capacity from 22 rooms to 50 guest suites; tripled the size of its Farm Shop; and moved the onsite restaurant, Campo, to the restored 1934 dairy buildings, which includes a bar and bakery.
Development of the historic De Anza Lodge broke ground in November 2017. The iconic Route 66 property has been closed since 2002 and will be rebuilt to house a hotel, apartments, restaurant and office space. As part of the $8.2 million renovation, the motel’s historic Zuni murals and artifacts will be preserved, along with its neon sign.
Albuquerque is home to a variety of signature events, from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. To find out more information on all the events taking place during your trip dates, visit our Events page.