Land Of Enchantment: A Top 5 Mustsee Guide For Albuquerque New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico's local guide to the Top 5 things you can't afford to miss. Discover Albuquerque's best restaurant, nightlife, day outing, and attractions!

The Land of Enchantment will welcome you with breathtaking landscapes, gorgeous sunsets, and endless scenic beauty. Boasting a deeply-rooted array of cultures including Anglo, Hispanic, and Indian heritages, New Mexico’s unique art, authentic cuisine, and numerous traditions captivate individuals from all around the world. Although there are abysmal attractions state-wide, Albuquerque claims some of the best. This is your local inside guide to the Top 5 things you don’t want to miss while exploring this beautifully exceptional city!

1. Best Annual Attraction: Balloon Fiesta

Thousands of guests from around the world gather every year to watch literally hundreds of hot air balloons paint Albuquerque’s skies with endless colors and shapes. Held annually for over three decades, the first week of October initiates the largest and most photographed ballooning event in the world. Crisp autumn air, roasting chile, and local art and music set the uniquely serene, yet exciting, ambience of the event. Having over 78 acres to explore, additional activities include live music, interactive education, pilot competitions, and hands-on opportunities with the balloons. Tickets are only $6 per adult, and free for children 12 years or younger.

2. Best Attraction Year-Round: World’s Longest Tramway

Take a ride atop Sandia Peak on the world’s longest 2.7 mile aerial tramway, dubbed affectionately “The Tram” by locals. Constructed with ideas stemming from European tramways, Albuquerque’s own attracts thousands of tourist’s annually. Bask in the awe of natural vegetation and wildlife, rocky granite-faced cliffs and buffs, spectacular views, and seemingly never-ending skies. Supported by only two towers and taking viewers up to a heart-stopping 8, 750 feet, the experience is unforgettable. Want more? After your ride enjoy dinner at the Peak’s restaurants, bicycle or hike your favorite trail with over 26 miles to choose from, or view the gallery and history of The Tram. Also offered are relaxing day trips down the chairlifts in the summer and skiing/snowboarding during the winter.

3. Best Authentic New Mexican Restaurant: Sadie’s

Featuring award winning salsa several times over, Sadie’s is one of the top favorites of locals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Specializing in authentic New Mexican cuisine, dining experiences initiate with homemade chips and salsa. Regardless of your chosen entrée, portions are enormous and have unparalleled taste. The token question “Red or Green” would be best answered with “Christmas” as the chile is fabulous albeit not for the faint of heart. Can’t handle spicy? Request to go easy on the chile, and select the “Not As Hot” option for your salsa enjoyment. With 9 to choose from, indulge in a superior and notably strong, margarita to complement your meal. With the option to dine in a comfortable lounge, a banquet room for large parties, or a serene outdoor patio complete with two fountains, Sadie’s is surely one experience you don’t want to miss!

6230 4th Street; (505)-345-5339

4. Best Day Trip: Old Town Plaza

Tucked away in the heart of Albuquerque is the history of a thriving 300 year old city and culture. Complete with some of the best fine dining and bars, 7 museums, numerous galleries and shops, a gorgeous gazebo, bed-and-breakfasts, and Albuquerque’s oldest Pueblo-Spanish adobe church, exploring Old Town will undoubtedly keep you entertained. Several local Native artists can also be found displaying their work on woven rugs that line the central streets of Old Town. With slightly more conservative shopping, this is the prime place for souvenir gurus. Enthusiasts of shopping, dining, art, culture, learning, and fun will delight in Old Town’s charismatic and distinctive ambience.

5. Best Nightlife Location: Nob Hill-Highland

Located on the famous Route 66, Nob Hill-Highland (just “Nob Hill” to locals) is sure to satiate your nighttime entertainment desires. Want to have an evening cocktail and listen to local live bands? Or maybe you want lounge with sports airing constantly and pick a beer from a lengthy locally-brewed menu? Prefer an upscale cigar bar with an outdoor, 2nd-story patio complete with fireplaces? Or would you rather participate in karaoke and dance until the wee morning hours? Or maybe you just lost a bet to get pierced? With establishments as diverse as New Mexican culture, you are sure to find your comfortable nighttime nook in Nob Hill. Not a nighttime person? Pick a day to stroll through hundreds of antique malls, stores and shops, cafes/fast-food/restaurants, theaters, galleries and more, that line Nob-Hill and Route 66 for several square blocks. 

Picture is courtesy of Stock.xchng

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