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American history doesn't get much older than in Albuquerque. The city's past melds like a big pot of chili, flavored by millennia of Native American culture, 17th-century Spanish conquistadors and padres, and the 20th-century artists who came here for inspiration. Dig into Albuquerque's past in the cobbled streets of Old Town, shopping for turquoise and silver, or make a more formal exploration at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Either way, the day is likely to end with spicy stuffed peppers or enchiladas.
Things to Do
Spanish and Native American residents shaped Albuquerque's Old Town over the course of 300 years. Poke around a maze of cobbled courtyards and russet adobe storefronts, ducking into the cool sanctuary of the 1706 Church of San Felipe de Neri for a break from the heat. The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History recounts this city's beginnings with 16th-century cowboy boots, 17th-century pottery, New Mexican landscapes by Georgia O'Keeffe and Spanish helmets that might have belonged to Don Quixote.
Albuquerque's galleries attract art-lovers from across the continent. Head to display windows along the Plaza in Old Town for Southwestern landscape paintings and nubby, hand-woven woolen textiles with red, green and black geometric designs. Traditional New Mexican souvenirs are the rule at the bustling Sandia Pueblo Craft Market, just outside of town. Native Americans produce and sell heavy silver bracelets brightened with deep blue turquoise and amber stones as well as feathered Hopi kachina dolls, equally charming to adults and children.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Downtown Albuquerque is all business during the daylight hours, but once the sun sets, a younger crowd flocks to this neighborhood's hip dance clubs and martini bars. Celtic and bluegrass music are the rule on weekends at O'Niell's Irish Pub near the University of New Mexico. For a quiet end to the evening, head to the Sandia Peak Tramway, where you can glide through the sunset far above the Rio Grande Valley, the lights of Albuquerque sparkling below.
Restaurants and Dining
"Red or green?" It's the state question in New Mexico, where locals want to know your favorite salsa. Try them both with salty, blue corn tortilla chips and a cold beer with lime at restaurants in Old Town. The neighborhood's Church Street Café dishes up New Mexican classics in a 1700s hacienda. At breakfast, try the huevos rancheros, eggs smothered in chili and served on corn tortillas, or a perfectly seasoned enchilada at lunch.
It couldn't be easier to discover the great American Southwest with convenient American Airlines flights to Albuquerque. It's a wonderful destination for so many because of the sheer diversity of what you'll find here. From romantic hot air balloon rides to family friendly museums, there is a wide variety of things to do in Albuquerque for everyone.
Many of our favorite activities in Albuquerque revolve around the fact that it's one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country. In particular, the Native American influence here is fascinating, and you can find many ways to explore it. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center highlights Native American traditions, along with details about visiting pueblos. You'll also find exhibits on pottery, jewelry and photography from the 19 pueblos in the state. At the Coronado State Monument, you'll be able to see pueblo ruins and murals from the 14th century, and at the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History you'll be able to enjoy a sculpture garden. There's even an American International Rattlesnake Museum dedicated to conservation and protection of rattlers and the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum with exhibits about gas and hot air balloons.
Speaking of hot air balloons, another one of our recommended things to do in Albuquerque is exploring the region's wide-open skies up close. After all, Albuquerque is known as the hot air ballooning capital of the world! A hot air balloon ride gives you an unforgettable vantage point for observing the impossibly clear blue sky over Albuquerque, and with 310 average days of sun annually, odds are pretty good you'll be able to go up no matter the time of year. If you'd like something with a little more connection to terra firma, opt for the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. You'll have a great view of the rugged canyons of the Sandia Mountains as you rise just over 10,000 feet to the peak for a view said to cover 11,000 square miles of New Mexico.
But perhaps the best activities in Albuquerque involve not doing much at all. There is an impressive range of pampering spas in and around Albuquerque, making this a favorite destination for girlfriend getaways. Plus, it's a great place to come for golfing, with affordable, award-winning public courses. The dramatic views of the high desert makes for great hiking, biking and horseback riding along the Rio Grande River. You could even choose to canoe, kayak or take a scenic float along the river.
However you'd like to spend your time here, American Airlines makes it easy to fly to Albuquerque. Both literally and figuratively, Albuquerque is a breath of fresh air, and we look forward to helping you discover it for yourself. Book your trip today!
Prices shown are round-trip fares, including taxes and carrier-imposed fees. Advertised travel may be operated by an American Eagle or an American Connection carrier. American Eagle® service is operated by American Eagle Airlines, Inc., SkyWest Airlines, Inc., ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., or Republic Airline Inc. American Connection® service is operated by Chautauqua Airlines, Inc.
|River of Lights||Nov - Dec 2013 (annual)||Rio Grande Botanic Garden|
|National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show||Mar 2014 (annual)||Sandia Resort and Casino Events Center|
|Gathering of Nations Powwow||Apr 2014 (annual)||University Arena|
|Albuquerque Folk Festival||Jun 2014 (annual)||Expo New Mexico|
|Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque||Jun 2014 (annual)||Albuquerque|
|Savor Albuquerque||Jun 2014 (annual)||Albuquerque|
|Albuquerque Summerfest||Jul 2014 (annual)||Albuquerque|
|Summer Nights Concert Series||Jun - Aug 2014; Thu only (annual)||Rio Grande Botanic Garden|
|¡GLOBALQUERQUE!||Sep 2014 (annual)||National Hispanic Cultural Center|
|New Mexico State Fair||Sep 2014 (annual)||Expo New Mexico|
|Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta||Oct 2014 (annual)||Balloon Fiesta Park|
|Weems International Artfest||Nov 2014 (annual)||Expo New Mexico|
|River of Lights||Nov - Dec 2014 (annual)||Rio Grande Botanic Garden|
|66 Diner||American||University & Nob Hill||1||1|
|Bien Shur||International||The Northeast Heights||4||4|
|Chef du Jour||Eclectic||In or near Old Town||1||2|
|Church Street Café||Mexican||In or near Old Town||1||2|
|Corn Maiden||American||Out of Town||3||3|
|Duran Central Pharmacy||American Regional||In or near Old Town||1||2|
|Flying Star Cafe||Cafe||University & Nob Hill||1||2|
|Gold Street Caffè||American||In or near Old Town||2||2|
|La Crêpe Michel||French||In or near Old Town||2||3|
|La Hacienda||American Regional||In or near Old Town||2||1|
|Prairie Star||American Regional||Out of Town||3||3|
|Range Café||American Regional||Out of Town||2||2|
|Sadie's||American Regional||In or near Old Town||1||2|
|Scalo||Italian||University & Nob Hill||2||3|
|Seasons Grill||American||In or near Old Town||3||3|
|Slate Street Café||American||Downtown||2||3|
|Terra||American||In or near Old Town||3||2|
|The Grove Café & Market||Continental||Downtown||2||3|
|The Laughing Lizard Inn & Cafe||American||Around Town||1||2|
|Yanni's Mediterranean Grill and Opa Bar||Mediterranean||University & Nob Hill||2||3|
|Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro||American||University & Nob Hill||3||3|
|Albuquerque Little Theatre||The Performing Arts||1|
|Burt's Tiki Lounge||The Club & Music Scene||1|
|Graham Central Station||Dance Clubs||1|
|Kelly's BYOB||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Laffs Comedy Cafe||Comedy Clubs||1|
|Martini Grille||Bars & Pubs||2|
|Musical Theatre Southwest||The Performing Arts||1|
|Mystery Cafe||Comedy Clubs||2|
|New Mexico Ballet Company||The Performing Arts||1|
|New Mexico Symphony Orchestra||The Performing Arts||2|
|O'niell's Pub||Bars & Pubs||1|
|Q Bar||Bars & Pubs||2|
|Vortex Theatre||The Performing Arts||2|
|A||Housewares & Furniture||2|
|Amapola Gallery||Arts & Crafts||2|
|Andrews Pueblo Pottery||Arts & Crafts||2|
|Barnes & Noble||Bookstores||1|
|Barnes & Noble||Bookstores||1|
|Bien Mur Indian Market Center||Arts & Crafts||2|
|Dartmouth Street Gallery||Arts & Crafts||2|
|El Paso Import Company||Housewares & Furniture||2|
|Ernest Thompson Furniture||Housewares & Furniture||2|
|Flea Market||Flea Markets||1|
|Gallery One||Arts & Crafts||1|
|Hispaniae in Old Town||Arts & Crafts||2|
|La Casita de Kaleidoscopes||Arts & Crafts||2|
|Mariposa Gallery||Arts & Crafts||3|
|Ortega's Indain Arts & Crafts||Arts & Crafts||1|
|R. C. Gorman Nizhoni Gallery Old Town||Arts & Crafts||2|
|R.C. Gorman Nizhoni Gallery Old Town||Arts & Crafts||2|
|Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory||Food||1|
|Schelu Gallery||Arts & Crafts||2|
|Skip Maisel's||Arts & Crafts||1|
|Strictly Southwestern||Housewares & Furniture||1|
|Tanner Chaney Galleries||Arts & Crafts||2|
|The Candy Lady||Food||1|
|The Pueblo Loft (at Gallery One)||Arts & Crafts||1|
|Weyrich Gallery (Rare Vision Art Galerie)||Arts & Crafts||1|
|Wright's Collection of Indian Art||Arts & Crafts||1|
|Albuquerque Biological Park: Aquarium and Botanic Garden||Zoo/Aquarium||3|
|Albuquerque Museum of Art and History||Museum||2|
|American International Rattlesnake Museum||Museum||2|
|Coronado State Monument||Historic Site||2|
|Indian Pueblo Cultural Center||Museum||2|
|Jemez State Monument||Landmark||2|
|National Hispanic Cultural Center||Museum||2|
|New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science||Museum||3|
|Petroglyph National Monument||Park/Garden||2|
|Rio Grande Nature Center State Park||Park/Garden||2|
|Rio Grande Zoo||Zoo/Aquarium||2|
|Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument||Historic Site||2|
|Sandia Peak Tramway||Tour||3|
|The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History||Museum||3|
|The Rio Line||Tour||2|
|University of New Mexico||Library/University||1|
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