Albuquerque Things to Do Tips by kymbanm Top 5 Page for this destination

Albuquerque Things to Do: 267 reviews and 485 photos

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A mini ranch at the Botanical Gardens - Albuquerque

A mini ranch at the Botanical Gardens

Gardens and Sea Creatures in one fun place :) Biopark & Zoo Review

The Albuquerque BioPark has been working hard over the years to become something more than a Zoo. There is now a Botanical Garden and an Aquarium. Though they've been here for years now, I finally took the time to visit just a couple of months ago and was quite pleased with my experience.

First off, I hate formal gardens. And growing up on coasts and islands, I am picky about my Aquariums too. So for me to even LIKE the day I spent there is high praise indeed!

The Aquarium was fun, filled with wonderful sea critters, and even had little halloween decorations in some of the tanks .... my favorite was the pirate's chest and the floating skeleton :) I loved the eels and the sharks (which you can see from the cafe which has one wall of glass to allow you to watch the critters during your meal).

The Botanical Gardens share a common courtyard with the Aquarium, and has many styles of plantings ..... my favorites were the children's garden in which you seem to shrink down to ant-like size and crawl about, and the southwest ranch/farm. The farm includes a farm house that is fairly typical for the region, plantings, wonderful local desert plant life, crops, and even a free wagon ride pulled by draft horses.

The most disappointing garden was the Moorish courtyard ..... barely noticeable Moorish inspired tile mosaics and weak plantings ... but that's okay. After a quick look I moved on to something more beautiful.

Oh, and if you want to make a full day of it. There is a train that takes you from this area to the Zoo about a mile away! A cute little steam engine reproduction that travels the irrigation ditches, along the Rio Grande, and along Tingley Beach Park ..... a bit of lushness in our desert region :)

So for $7 to visit the Aquarium and Gardens, or $12 to visit those, the Zoo AND ride the Rio Line, you really can't beat this as a something fun and cheap to do while in ABQ! BTW- the 3 park ticket is only sold before noon.

Address: 2601 Central Ave. NW

Directions: At the intersection of Central and New York Avenues just east of the Central Bridge

Website: http://www.cabq.gov/biopark/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 21, 2007
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Small Local Festivals ... GO! - Albuquerque
Small Local Festivals ... GO! Local Art & Culture Review

Keep an eye out for flyers and web postings to find little tiny festivals ... jewels of New Mexico can be found in unexpected places!

I find flyers posted all over the place, and just this week I found one from a little known group doing a Dia De Los Muertos Festival .... I love this time of year and the Day of the Dead is just one reason! When we arrived at the park on the flyer, it looked like a family picnic - but more energenic if that's at all possible :) There was a band, goats wandering about, one vendor, a potluck of vegan food that was amazing, a martial arts demonstration, folks were lounging about painting masks, wood panels and themselves too! The Aztec dancers were wonderful, I actually felt 'the spirit move' me as they called on the four traditional directions as well as the sky and earth. The full moon overhead, while the sun was still up added to our wonder.

Honestly, since this was a little event, I never, ever would have known about it if I hadn't taken time to actually READ a flyer in passing. So don't forget to do the same for yourself ... you never know just what you might find :)

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 5, 2006
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Beee n Kymba - browsing the murals - Albuquerque

Beee n Kymba - browsing the murals

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Regional Cultural Centers Review

I've lived here for over a decade, and can honestly say I don't spend enough time here. The Pueblo Cultural Center is a wonderful way to learn about the 19 local pueblos, and their cultures. In addition to the requisite musuem and gift shop, there are children's exhibits and cultural events every weekend. All but the musuems are free to the public. And if you snag a local, the museums entry will only cost you $6! The museums include more modern exhibits that cycle throughout the year, and the underground museum of pueblo history ... both amazing, both special!

My buddy's go to the restaurant several times a week for lunch, and they can't say enought about the food.

I love the courtyard ..... with the murals, green grass, traditional oven, and activity. This pic was taken on a weekday, so not too active. On the weekend, this is where the cultural dances and events occur, so it's quite a hub of activity on those days :)

Address: 2401 12th Street NW

Directions: On 12th, north of I-40 ..... west side of the street.

Phone: 505-843-7270

Website: http://www.indianpueblo.org

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 11, 2006
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Cliff Base Trail 'glyps - Albuquerque

Cliff Base Trail 'glyps

Petroglyph National Monument-Cliff Base Trail Volcanoes & Petroglyphs Review

Cliff Base Trail is the second shortest trailhead at Boca Negra Canyon. If you wander just the main part of the trail, you'll only need about 15-20 minutes to walk this route. If you take the short detours along the way - give yourself about 30-40 minutes.

The interesting sites along this trail include the contrast between old and new petroglyphs, as well as grafitti left behind from more modern visitors. The patina of the 'glyphs vary depending on the age: the older / authentic petroglyphs have a light brown coloration, while the vandalism is lighter and grey in color. (if you click on the pic to enlarge it, you can see the petroglyphs and an area of vandalism in the center of the star ....)

There are 2 small cave-like areas on the path where large volcanic boulders sit atop one another in a manner to create small indentations and much appreciated shade.

Address: ~5 miles from I-40 on Unser

Directions: Take I-40, exit #154 (Unser) to the North. ~3 miles down on the left is the entrance to the visitor center. And additional 2 miles North on Unser and on the right is the Boca Negra Canyon parking lot.

Phone: 505-899-0205

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 18, 2005
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Boca Negra Canyon - Albuquerque

Boca Negra Canyon

Petroglyph National Monument - Boca Negra Canyon Volcanoes & Petroglyphs Review

Boca Negra Canyon has 3 trailheads and a nice picnic area ... it's also close enough to a major intersection that it is easy to get to and to get 'stuff' afterwards - or to pick up your picnic gear :)

Macaw Trail, Cliff Base Trail and Mesa Point trails are all short - less than an hour each and along each route are various petroglyphs and display stands which provide information on the 'glyphs, as well as local flora and fauna.

About 1/4 mile north of Boca Negra is the entrance to the upper Canyon where there are less tended paths/trails and you can still view amazing petroglyphs.

BTW- feel free to pick up a Boca Negra Trail Guide for 75cents from the visitor center you'll pass on the way to the canyon. It provides information on local critters, the 'glyphs, as well as the trails themselves.

It's only $1 to park there for the day.

Address: ~5 miles north of I-40, north on Unser.

Directions: Take I-40, exit #154 (Unser) to the North. ~3 miles down on the left is the entrance to the visitor center. And additional 2 miles North on Unser and on the right is the Boca Negra Canyon parking lot.

Phone: 505-899-0205

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 21, 2005
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Macaw Trail Petroglyphs - Albuquerque

Macaw Trail Petroglyphs

Petroglyph National Monument-Macaw Trail Volcanoes & Petroglyphs Review

The macaw trail is the shortest trailhead at Boca Negra Canyon. It's less than a 15 minute walk around a short loop. There are some very nice petroglyphs along this loop - including the macaws .... trade w/ Mexico was important to the local natives who prized macaw feathers for ceremonial purposes.

Please be smarter than I was ..... DON'T WEAR STUPID SHOES!!!!! I wore birkenstocks, and though the trail is an easy one - the lack of tread led to a slip and slide event that could have been prevented by thinking about the day's activities BEFORE leaving the house :)

Address: Unser NW ~ 2 miles north of the Visitor Center

Directions: Take I-40, exit #154 (Unser) to the North. ~3 miles down on the left is the entrance to the visitor center. And additional 2 miles North on Unser and on the right is the Boca Negra Canyon parking lot.

Phone: 505-899-0205

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 21, 2005
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Hot Air Balloons-ABQ - Albuquerque

Hot Air Balloons-ABQ

International Balloon Fiesta Balloon Fiesta Review

The first 2 weekends in October, includes the week in between - some years we have over a thousand balloons up in the air at once ..... a beautiful site to see (and photograph!) By getting there early, and signing up in the crew tent/hut - you can help an out of town balloonist set up, fly, and take down their balloon. You can usually get a free flight out of it too! But to do that, you should agree to help them for a few days :) There are beautiful native american ruins, pueblos, nearby hotsprings, and Santa Fe is only an hour away. This is definitely a must see/ must do time to visit.....

Address: http://www.aibf.org/

Directions: Directions and other info on the website ...

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 2, 2004
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