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10 Things to Do in Albuquerque, New Mexico for First Time Visitors

If you're planning on making a visit to Albuquerque, NM for the first time, we have some excellent places for you to add to your itinerary. Those who are not familiar with the city and nearby area probably don't know about the fun and interesting attractions that it is home to, nor the exciting and interesting things to do. To make your stay an unforgettable experience, here are ten things we highly recommend checking out.

1. Visit the City’s Zoo

The Zoo is located within the Biopark. The park takes up 64 acres and features an excellent zoo that is home for a range of exotic animals from around the globe. There are many exhibits you can stroll through at your leisure. The habitats are spectacular and are well thought out so they give visitors an exciting and educational experience. Plan on spending a few hours there so you'll have time enough to see everything at least once.

2. Take the Sandia Peak Tramway

If you're a fan of breathtaking views, you won't want to miss out on a chance to ride the Sandia Peak Tramway. The ride begins on the 10,378-foot Sandia Peak and at the top, there is a large viewing deck which offers scenic views of the area. It's a good way for first time visitors to get a lay of the land and become acquainted with the area. You can see the entire city from above, and the view encompasses 11,000 square miles. It's a great place for watching the sun rise or set.

3. Go see the Rio Grande Nature Centre

This is the ultimate attraction for anyone who enjoys wildlife. The Nature Centre is also a State Park. They have a variety of wildlife available, but the most enjoyable and interesting creatures are the humming birds. you could watch them for hours. You'll see a lot of different bird species there as well. If you're not currently a bird watcher, one trip for a visit to the Centre may change your point of view.

4. Visit the local Balloon Museum and attend the Balloon Fiesta

The city is known for its international Balloon Fiesta. The Fiesta runs over a short period of time, but if your visit is timed right, you'll have the opportunity to watch 600 balloons take flight. The event draws ballooning enthusiasts from all over the world. If your visit isn't timed during the event, you can still get in on the fun and action at the Balloon Museum. Here, you'll learn just about everything that there is to know about hot air balloons. It all starts with the first balloons made, the early days of the sport, how difficult ballooning can be and some wonderful and interesting exhibits.

5. Go through Old Town Centre

You won't want to miss out on a trip through Old Town. It's brimming with unique shops, museums and restaurants. Old Town Centre is a historic district and it features a collection of old adobe buildings that house some highly interesting attractions. The Centre goes back in time to the year 1706, where you'll find the oldest building within Albuquerque. The San Felipe de Niri Church has survived all these years since it was first built back in 1793. When at the Centre, visit the Rattlesnake Museum and the Candy Lady's Store before you leave.

6. Go to a Festival

The city offers several festivals for new visitors to attend. They offer everything from Arts & Crafts fairs, the International Balloon Fiesta and the New Mexico Wine and Jazz Festival to the Mountain West Brew Fest and others. You’d almost have to plan your trip on purpose to miss out on some sort of festival in the area.

7. Check out the craft beer

If you enjoy sampling a novel craft beer, this city has an impressive collection of craft breweries and pubs. You could make a day of taking tours of their amazing beer scene. Begin with Marble Brewery which is Albuquerque's oldest and biggest craft brewery. Marble is renowned for their multiple award-winning beers, and they also operate a roof top bar at the top of their brewery pub. It's a great place for sampling their wares and for having an interesting experience. Don't stay too long though because there are other breweries for you to see. The Red Door Brewing Company offers a decent variety of craft brews and so does the Rio Bravo Brewing company. Here, you can view the large screen TVs or have fun with some gaming as you enjoy a brew. They have plenty of bar games available for play.

8. Check out the Public Art

Albuquerque is a city that is filled with public displays of amazing art. You’re not required to walk far before running into huge murals and gorgeous statues. The examples aren't placed that far apart. This is a great way for you to get some one of a kind souvenir photo of you and your traveling companions at interesting attractions. If you're less into wandering, visit the ABQ Public Art App by Google Play for a map that takes you through each public art installation throughout the city. The app is free, and it helps you build an efficient itinerary if you want a more structured self-tour.

9. Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Centre

This is a fascinating attraction where you can learn a lot about Native American culture. This is one of the city's most educational and interesting sites and it showcases the 19 pueblos or Native American communities that are brimming with their own unique culture and art.

10. Go through the amazing Albuquerque Museum

The city’s Museum takes you on a fascinating journey through the history of the area, the art and the culture. It's located within close proximity of the Natural History Museum and we recommend making a day of it, since you're there and seeing both. The Route 66 exhibit gives a good description of New Mexico's history and focuses on the history of the Spanish settlers through modern times.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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