Located on the northern edge of the Sandia Mountains, the town of Bernalillo sits next to the Rio Grande, approximately 15 miles from Albuquerque. Founded in 1695 by Don Diego de Vargas, Bernalillo is one of the region’s oldest towns. In the modern day, the town is now a quickly growing part of the Albuquerque metro area, only a short ride away from the city on the state’s Rail Runner train system.

Festivals and Recreation

One of Bernalillo’s most popular festivals is the Las Fiestas de San Lorenz. Honoring Bernalillo’s patron saint, San Lorenzo, the festival is celebrated with a ritual dance known as Los Matachines. Held in August, the festival includes local entertainment, rodeos, a parade, as well as a car show.

If you would rather spend your time in nature, the Sandia Lakes Recreational Area may be just right for you. By taking I-25 to exit 234 west, then heading one mile north on NM 313, you will find a playground, shelters, and even a bait & tackle shop!


Bernalillo is home to a number of different day care centers, as well as two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. For students from sixth through eighth grade, there is also a local charter school.

Only a short commute from town, the University of New Mexico is in nearby Albuquerque. Additionally, UNM Los Alamos offers evening courses at Bernalillo High School, which can be fully transferred to the main Albuquerque campus. With small classes and affordable prices, this is an attractive option for many of the town’s residents.

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Bernalillo offers the perk of spacious lots with ample square footage in which to live. With only a little over 8,000 residents, the town has a peaceful environment with gorgeous views of the Sandias. The traditional pueblo style architecture fits in perfectly with the scenic setting, while offering a small-town lifestyle, right next to big city amenities.