Where to Stay, Eat, and Play in Albuquerque

So you want adventure, history, and great food all in one vacation?

Then you want Albuquerque, the True Southwest city in New Mexico that boasts high desert, rich culture, and deep history. This, the largest city in the entire state, was first founded in 1706 by a Spanish colony, giving Old Town that authentic living history experience many travelers crave in this region. It is also considered to be one of the most up and coming cities in regards to its Downtown area and modern cityscape.

With over 3000 shops and galleries, hundreds of unbelievably delicious eateries, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities, it’s easy to say that you may need a travel guide before heading to Albuquerque. Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for!

Below we will discuss all the best places to stay, play, and eat in this southwestern sunshine city (really, the sun shines 310 days a year here!), from Native American History Hotspots and Hot Air Balloon rides to the neon glow of Route 66 and heavenly smell of smoked chiles downtown. 

Panorama of majestic sunset over the Chihuahuan Desert and the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, as seen from the peak of the Sandia Mountains

Panorama of majestic sunset over the Chihuahuan Desert and the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, as seen from the peak of the Sandia Mountains


Stay:

Los Poblanos: This is an upscale B&B and organic farm all in one, a spectacularly stylish and scenic stay where you know the food is fresh, every meal farm to table so you really taste the region! ($$$)

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Hotel Andaluz

Hotel Andaluz: Class and elegance meet history in this Old Town funky classic, the independently owned 4-star Andaluz. Guests love the local color design and hip atmosphere, and so do we! ($$)
Hyatt Place Albuquerque: If you are looking for a low-key, budget-friendly, modernly designed hotel in Albuquerque then you need the Hyatt. Conveniently located near the airport, this place is a steal for weary travelers. ($)
Albuquerque KOA Journey - RV, Cabin, and Tent Camping in a gorgeous setting near the Sandia Mountains. (Camping)

Play:

Hot Air Balloon Festival and/or Ride: While the highly popular and anticipated Hot  Air Balloon Festival happens only in October (this year the 1st-9th), you can always find a balloon waiting for a sail across blue skies in Albuquerque (Try Rainbow Ryders)! Take a ride during your visit anytime or make it out for the most photographed event in the world, the festival! ($$-$$$)

Botanical Gardens at ABQ

Botanical Gardens at ABQ

Albuquerque Biological Park: This environmental museum holds the Albuquerque Aquarium, Rio Grande Zoo, Tingley Beach, and ABQ Biological Park Botanical Gardens. You could spend all day learning and observing here, from the 64-zoo to the exotic plants of the ABQ! ($$)
Cliffs Amusement Park: Cliffs is a great option for younger kids or large groups looking to have a little fun. Enjoy over 24 rides, both thrill rides and water rides, as well as plenty of carnival-style games and festival foods. ($$)
Route 66: This is a true national landmark, an iconic historic route that gives way to American culture, history, and freedom. This street is awash in neon glow at night, both vintage and new, and stretches from the volcanoes in the west to the University in the east. (Free)

Eat:

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Pueblo Harvest Cafe

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: This cafe, the Pueblo Harvest Cafe, is the spot to find the most authentic and inventive foods from the region. While it may not sound Native at first, be sure to try any of the horno oven gourmet pizza, and also save time to look around at the history and art throughout the rest of the center. ($$)
Papa Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant: A more upscale in design New Mexican traditional eatery awaits you at Papa Felipe’s, an excellent adobe themed kitchen that has been making it’s highly talked about salsa and green chile stew from scratch for 35 years now. ($$) 
Mary & Tito’s Cafe:  This modest New Mexican restaurant is a well-known 4th Street classic that sells the best red chiles, at least, that’s the rumor. The James Beard Award this cafe has received is certainly no rumor, however. ($)
Frontier: Head to Frontier for a late-night, Western-themed snack or meal and you won't be disappointed. Try their famous breakfast burritos, juicy burgers, or sweet rolls, this vintage classic located right across from the University, giving it a unique history and atmosphere. ($)