Information About Albuquerque

Recognized as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, Albuquerque's ethnic tapestry is reflected in its architecture, artwork, cultural centers and cuisine. Countless customs and traditions passed down over generations are a vibrant part of daily life in the city, and make Albuquerque an epicenter of authentic Southwestern culture.

Albuquerque’s backyard is a playground for adventurers of all types. Clear blue skies, 310 days of annual sunshine and wide open spaces offer an abundance of outdoor opportunities throughout the year. The Sandia Mountains soar to 10,678 feet, creating the city’s eastern boundary and an extremely accessible outlet for nature activities.

What to know

  • Weather varies substantially throughout the day and evening. Dress in layers as daytime temperatures tend to be warm and evening temperatures may be chilly.
  • If you’ll be outside, wear sunblock. Albuquerque is over 5,000 feet above sea level and the sun is strong.
  • Be aware that low humidity and high elevation means visitors need to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and using lotion.

What to bring

  • A jacket for the Thursday evening program and if you’ll be staying through for the Balloon Fiesta Mass Ascension on Saturday morning. Early morning and after the sun goes down can be quite cool.
  • Sunblock and lotion to stave off dry skin.
  • An umbrella… yes, really. We do occasionally have afternoon showers in September.
  • Good walking shoes

What to Do

Things to Do in Albuquerque, NM - Albuquerque Attractions with ratings from TripAdvisor

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History - #6 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque  
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center   - #7 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science   #8 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
San Felipe de Neri Church   - #13 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Albuquerque Museum   - #14 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
National Hispanic Cultural Center   - #41 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico   - #53 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque

Albuquerque BioPark Zoo - #4 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
ABQ BioPark Aquarium  & Botanical Gardens - #25 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Elena Gallegos Open Space Recreation Area - #27 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park   - #20 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Petroglyph National Monument  -  #12 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque  - #10 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Nob Hill  - #34 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Albuquerque Uptown/ Coronado Mall  - #58 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque

Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum   - #5 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Unser Racing Museum   - #16 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Albuquerque Isotopes Baseball   - #20 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
American International Rattlesnake Museum   - #26 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Sandia Casino   - #34 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk   #40 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque
Gruet Winery   #37 of 199 things to do in Albuquerque


50 Fun… and Little-Known Facts About Albuquerque
Whether you're visiting the Duke City for three days or three weeks, here are 50 fun facts you might not have known about Albuquerque!

1. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and is one of the nation's oldest inland communities.
2. Albuquerque's elevation of 5312 feet makes it the highest metropolitan city in America.
3. Albuquerque is the geographical center of New Mexico; known throughout the nation as "The Land of Enchantment."
4. Albuquerque is in the heart of Indian pueblo country -- the oldest farming civilization on the North American continent.
5. The Sandia Mountains at the eastern edge of Albuquerque are the first to be encountered west of the Mississippi River. "Sandia" is Spanish for "watermelon."
6. The 2.7-mile aerial tramway located five miles northeast of Albuquerque is the longest in North America. It has the third longest span in the world. The tram whisks visitors from the base of 6600 feet to the top of 10,378 foot Sandia Peak in about twenty minutes.
7. The 10,378 foot-high Sandia Crest, high point of the mountains east of Albuquerque, offers a panoramic view of more than 11,000 square miles.
8. Albuquerque was named in honor of Francisco, Duke of Albuquerque. who was viceroy of New Spain from 1653 to 1660; hence, our nickname, The Duke City!
9. A favorite spot with tourists is Albuquerque's famous "Old Town," the original town site founded in 1706.
10. Albuquerque is the nuclear capital of the United States. Much of the nation's nuclear research program is conducted or supervised here.
11. We have water! The enormous Cochiti Dam and Reservoir, second largest west of the Mississippi, located 45 miles northwest of Albuquerque, offers water sports and recreational facilities. The largest lake in the area is Elephant Butte, 150 miles south of Albuquerque. The reservoir encompasses 240 miles of shoreline, and it is the largest body of water in the state.
12. Albuquerque is the Hot Air Balloon Capital of the world, and site of international competitions annually. A minimum of 400 hot air balloons from all over the world compete.
13. According to Weather Bureau records going back over 50 years, Albuquerque receives 78% of all available sunshine.
14. Albuquerque is the home of multiple winners of the Indianapolis 500 Auto Race: Bobby, Al Jr., and Al Unser.
15.Within a day's drive from Albuquerque are nine national monuments (Aztec Ruins, Bandelier, Capulin Mountain, Salinas, Ft. Union, El Morro, Pecos, White Sands, and Gila Cliff Dwellings), and a national park (Carlsbad Caverns National Park).
16. The famed Rio Grande River bisects Albuquerque just west of "Old Town."
17. Prehistoric Man lived and hunted at Folsom Camp Site near Albuquerque more than 10,000 years ago.
18. The pueblo, which Coronado conquered and used as winter headquarters in 1541, is a state monument and is located 20 miles north of Albuquerque.
19. Petroglyph Park, 9.2 miles northwest of Albuquerque, contains the world's oldest art form and is a fascinating art gallery of an ancient civilization.
20. Golf is played year-round in Albuquerque.
31. Albuquerque is one of the few cities in the nation in which you can play tennis in the middle of winter in the city, or ski on excellent mountain slopes less than 30 minutes away. Sandia Peak Ski Area, located on the slopes of the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque, has a 7500-foot-long chairlift -- one of the longest in the world.
32. The five extinct volcanoes, which appear on the horizon west of Albuquerque, are rare and distinctive landmarks.
33. Situated on the north bank of a huge arroyo at the base of the Sandia Mountains, lay the archaeological remains of the Spanish Colonial village of Carnuel. It is the only stabilized ruins of a community from this time-period in the United States. The site is controlled by the city and is now called "Singing Arrow Park."
34. Historic old missions, ghost towns and ruins are part of the charm for tourists visiting the Albuquerque area.
35. Carlsbad Caverns, one of the wonders of the world, is located about 300 miles south of Albuquerque.
36. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque features a varied and interesting display showing the rich tradition of folk art from New Mexico's 19 Indian Pueblos. The center includes an Indian market, gift shop and restaurant, plus museum.
37. The city of Santa Fe, only 62 miles north of Albuquerque, claims the distinction of having the oldest capitol building in the United States -- the Palace of the Governors, built in 1610.
38. Sandia Cave, in which artifacts of primitive man dating back 25,000 years were found, is 25 miles northeast of Albuquerque.
39. Approximately 40% of the uranium reserve in the United States is found in deposits 70 miles west of Albuquerque.
40. Albuquerque is equidistant from Los Angeles to Kansas City, from New Orleans to San Francisco, from Phoenix to Denver, and from Salt Lake City to Dallas.
41. Albuquerque is the location for the Federal Aviation Air Route Traffic Control Center responsible for air traffic in a five-state area.
42. San Felipe Fiesta in Albuquerque's "Old Town" every spring (late May or early June) brings back the days of religious procession, dances in the plaza, piñata parties, and gran bailes (dances). Built in 1706, the walls of San Felipe Church in Albuquerque's "Old Town" are more than seven feet thick. The church was used as a fortress against the Indians.
43. Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque has been a crossroads since it was founded in 1706. Four flags fly over the Plaza: Spain, Mexico, the United States of America, and New Mexico. There are two cannons displayed in the plaza that has been buried by Confederate soldiers after a brief conquest of the plaza during the Civil War. Merchants, soldiers, Indians, explorers and pioneers have paused for food and drink in this shady, old-world plaza.
44. Almost all nationally affiliated adult and youth organizations are represented by at least one branch or chapter in Albuquerque.
45. Located on top of a 350 foot mesa, 60 miles west of Albuquerque is Acoma, the "Sky City" -- home of the Acoma Pueblo Indians.
46. Over 4.4 million tourists visit Albuquerque each year.
47. Kirtland Air Force Base, the sixth largest Air Force installation in the United States, is located in Albuquerque.
48. Albuquerque's Rio Grande zoo is one of the most attractive in the southwest. In addition to elephants, monkeys, cats, giraffes, and seals, it has a children's zoo, fowls, reptiles, and a world famous exhibit of hoofed animals, including a rare herd of Greater Kudu.
49. Albuquerque, located in Bernalillo County, is the population center of New Mexico. Over one-third of the state's population lives in Albuquerque.
50. Albuquerque was the home of Ernie Pyle, the famous war correspondent. Pyle's home is now a memorial library. Pyle wrote, "If we could only have one house, then it has to be in New Mexico, preferably in Albuquerque."

Dinner on your Own (with tour guide)  Following Reception on Thursday Night

Sign-up sheets will be available at Registration

Garduno’s of Mexico, 2100 Louisiana Blvd NE Ste 21, Albuquerque, NM 87110
New Mexican, Southwestern (Price Range: $12 - $20)

Cheese Cake Factory, 6600 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
American and CHEESECAKE of all types! (Price Range: $12 - $25)

Elephant Bar and Grille, 2240 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110-3581
American, Japanese, Asian (Price Range: $10 - $26)

Bravo Cucina Italiana, 2220 Louisiana Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110-3581
Pizza, Italian, Gluten-free (Price Range: $12 - $30)

Romano’s Macaroni Grill, 2100 Louisiana Blvd NE, Ste 209, Albuquerque, NM 87110
Italian (Price Range: $21 - $30)

Japanese Kitchen Sushi Bar, 6521 Americas Pkwy NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
Japanese, Sushi, Asian (Price Range: $15 - $30)

Alien Brew Pub, 6601 Uptown Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, NM
American, Pub Food (Price Range: $8 - $15)

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, 2100 Louisiana Blvd. NE, Building 213, Albuquerque, NM 87110
American (Price Range: $10 – $22)

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Albuquerque, NM


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