Reader Recommendations: What to See in Albuquerque?

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I’m headed to Albuquerque for a day or two in October and super excited about my first trip to New Mexico! Would love recommendations from our readers on what I should see and where I should eat.

I might have time to squeeze in a few hours in Santa Fe, so welcome those recommendations as well.

Another side benefit to this trip is I may finally learn how to spell “Albuquerque” correctly on the first try. 🙂


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  1. Becky

    September 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Bookmarking this post – I will also be heading to Albuquerque in October (for the balloon fiesta, among other things) and look forward to reading some recommendations!

  2. Ben Hughes

    September 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I took a random road trip to New Mexico a few weeks ago. New Mexico is awesome!

    Definitely do the Breaking Bad driving tour, and check out the Nob Hill neighborhood of Albuquerque.

  3. Grant

    September 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    ABQ is not the most beautiful city in the world. It is a bit beat up but if you can look passed that, it is beautiful. You can see for 50+ miles in each direction. I went on an ABQ old town ghost walking tour which was fun (no ghosts spotted on my tour, but good history stories). I would check groupon for deals on activities there.

  4. Robin

    September 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Well, if you’re going in October, you probably already know about Balloon Fiesta. It’s certainly worth seeing, and watching the 100+ hot air balloons crowding the sky every morning for a week is 100% free (if you don’t count the higher airfare and hotel costs due to demand).

    Take the tramway up to Sandia Crest and have lunch or dinner at High Finance. Yes, it’s genuinely worth it. It takes 15 minutes to get from Albuquerque (5,000 feet) to the ridgeline of Sandia Peak (10,300 feet), and it’s a totally different climate and ecosystem. High Finance isn’t great food by any means, but you go there for the view. (Also, one beer at 10K feet is worth about 3 at sea level).

    Finally, rent a car. It isn’t Europe or the East Coast; public transportation is survivable, but won’t get you out of the central core. If you’re visiting Albuquerque, you want to be be able to get out of the center and see the surroundings.

  5. Melissa

    September 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Tram ride to the top of Sandia Peak in the evening. Dinner at High Finance is quite nice’

  6. LonK in the ATL

    September 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    We visited the Acoma Pueblo , a Native American pueblo sixty miles west of Albuquerque. The tour experience was unique and worth the drive. Of course you will need a rental car to get there and the time needed , but the chance to see this place was memorable and special. We arrived the night before and stayed at Sky City, the Native American owned hotel and casino right off I-40 . From there it was approx. 40 mins to get to the Pueblo. You go up to the village on top of a meas with a tour group that is lead through the village on foot. We spent a half day there and the headed back to Albuquerque.

  7. Michael

    September 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Great advice here – nothing I disagree with as a Albuquerque citizen and heavy traveler myself.

    1. Rent a car
    2. Stay at the Marriott Pyramid or Downtown at Hyatt or Embassy Suites
    3. Visit Vernon’s Hideaway (Opentable) for a unique experience and top tier food.
    4. Wear layers, it’ll probably swing 40 degrees in temperature in a given day in October.
    5. If you’re flying US, tell them Michael says hi.
    6. If you’re hitting a Casino, just go to Sandia – no drive out of town is worth it, and these guys have the best view in town (Bien Sur on the top floor is the view to die for, you can enjoy from the lounge or table).

  8. Ms. M

    September 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Please make sure you sample the local cuisine and squeeze in Santa Fe – you won’t regret it. Catch the balloon festival; definiately a bucket list experience!

    My husband and I traveled to Albuquerque and Santa Fe last October and it was a fabulous trip!

  9. Songer

    September 27, 2014 at 2:22 am

    it gets super cold in the early mornings and evenings so bring winter jackets, scarves and gloves. Not even exaggerating.

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