Nestled in the Rio Grande Valley at the foot of the Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque is a high desert metropolis that welcomes millions of visitors a year. From stunning landscapes made familiar to many by the popular television series Breaking Bad, to museums that highlight the city’s American Indian and Southwestern heritages, Albuquerque offers an abundance of activities and sights for every traveler.
Here are the top 5 places to visit when you visit or move to Albuquerque:
Petroglyph National Monument
Petroglyph National Monument is a natural monument that stretches along Albuquerque’s West Mesa, a volcanic rock slope that dominates the city’s western horizon. One of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, the boulders feature more than 20,000 prehistoric images carved by Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. The stone relics allow those visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico to share the cultural heritage of those who lived and traveled through the Rio Grande Valley.
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
Located in the heart of Old Town, the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History is dedicated to preserving the art of the American Southwest and the rich heritage of Albuquerque. The museum has three permanent exhibits that portray the artifacts of colonial life in New Mexico, including conquistador armor, early maps, and weavings. The museum also hosts a range of special exhibits that depict art from around the world.
Sandia Peak Tramway
Sandia Peak Tramway, the longest aerial tramway in the United States, stretches from the northeast edge Albuquerque to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains. A trip on the 2.7 mile-long tramway offers breathtaking views of Albuquerque and the New Mexico countryside, including deep canyons and stunning terrain of the Sandia Mountains within the Cibola National Forest. Atop the Sandia Peak, sightseers have the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the Rio Grande Valley from an observation deck as well as to explore miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Owned and operated by the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center showcases the artifacts and history of traditional Pueblo cultures and their contemporary art. The center is best known for its collection of Pueblo pottery and murals, and houses more than 20 murals and 2,500 pieces pottery, jewelry, baskets, textiles, archeological artifacts, paintings, photographs, and prints. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center also offers traditional Native American dances every Saturday and Sunday, where visitors can experience dance groups from the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico as well as Plains Style, Apache, Hopi, and Navajo dancers.
American International Rattlesnake Museum
Hidden away in a quiet corner of historic Old Town is the world’s largest collection of different rattlesnake species. The animal conservation museum boasts live displays of 34 species, from albino snakes to a Gila Monster. The museum is also home to a unique array of snake-related artwork, artifacts, and memorabilia, including ceramics, jewelry, snakebite kits, and more. It’s a must-see museum for anyone charmed or thrilled by snakes.