Best of Albuquerque
Rio Grande Nature Center State Park: Savor a bit of country in the city in this bird-filled sanctuary along the river. Hiking and biking trails head north and south along the cottonwood-shaded irrigation channels.
KiMo Theater: A fantasia of South-western decorative styles, this former cinema is one of the few examples of pueblo deco style. Now restored and run with city money, it’s the showpiece of downtown.
Nob Hill: Hobnob and boutique hop in Albuquerque’s quirkiest shopping district, developed in sleek modern style in the 1940s. Sidewalk cafés and bars provide a place to rest up afterward.
Sandia Peak Tramway: Zip up the world’s longest single-cable tram to the crest of the mountain that looms over Albuquerque. At the top, you’ll get a vertigo-inducing view across the whole metro area and out to the west.
Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum: If you’re not in town for the Balloon Fiesta, come here to get some perspective on this elegant sport, with displays on history and science.
Acoma Pueblo: This windswept village on a mesa west of Albuquerque is one of the oldest communities in the United States. Visit for the views as well as for the delicate black-on-white pottery made only here.
Tinkertown Museum: An enthralling collection of one man’s lifetime of whittling projects, this folk-art exhibit is inspiring for adults and a delight for kids.
Valles Caldera National Preserve: In the crater formed by a collapsed volcano, 89,000 acres of grassy valleys are set aside for very controlled public access. You must make reservations to hike here, but it’s worth planning for.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition