The Best of Albuquerque

I've made more trips to Albuquerque than I can count so I decided to make a list of some of my favorite things to do in this fun city. So here is what I have deemed to be The Best of Albuquerque: 


These are some of my favorite activities and things to do in Albuquerque :)

Balloon Fiesta:

The absolute best thing to do in Albuquerque is the balloon fiesta. It is well worth it to wake up before the sun for the magic of hundreds of balloons taking flight. If you are considering Albuquerque you should center your time around this event for sure.

Tent Rocks:

My next favorite Albuquerque activity is a little bit of a drive but it's also well worth it. Tent rocks manages to be one of those places where you find yourself so confused and in wonder that a place like this actually exists (New Mexico has a lot of the Bisti Badlands...check out my post here). Do the hike from the bottom through the slot and up to the top for an excellent view. It is definitely worth it.

River of Lights:

If you aren't visiting during Balloon Fiesta or if you want to go back for more Albuquerque fun I recommend visiting during the Christmas season. The River of Lights is a really fun activity that happens every December and is a spectacle worth seeing. 


Obviously, if you are in Albuquerque you want to check out it's historic downtown. Its very cute but the food is definitely pricy compared to other parts of Albuquerque. However, if you don't mind the expense I think Gobble This (El Salvadorian) is a pretty solid bet for lunch.

Sandia Tramway:

A bit pricey but for sure worth doing at least once. This tramway is actually the longest one in the US (at present). The views of Albuquerque are rad and you can even see the wreck from an old plane crash on the way up. Plus, when you get to the top there is lots of fun hiking and stunning photo ops!


I definitely recommend Zendo, Trifecta or Humble Downtown for coffee. However, I conveniently wrote an entire post on the Albuquerque coffee scene that you can check out here :)


A few recommendations for food and drinks in Albuquerque :)


They have an interesting cocktail menu with lots of local New Mexican spirits. And their green chile mac and cheese is for sure worth trying (it's even on my list of unique green chile foods of New Mexico that can be found here).

Holy Cow:

When my friend brought me here for lunch I was skeptical since I'm not a big burger eater. However, their tuna burger was one of the most delicious burgers I've had. I for sure recommend it! 

Zinc Wine Bar:

This place is fun because they have some delicious small plates as well as an impressive wine/cocktail list. While it's a bit pricy for drinks and a meal, if you're up for the expense I recommend the ahi tuna poke. It was delicious and probably the best thing I've eaten in Albuquerque (only rivaled by the green chile breakfast burritos at Zendo).

Thai Boran:

I ate here on a work trip and really enjoyed the experience. I remember the food being good but mostly I remember how delicious their iced coffee was. So go here and get a delicious iced coffee.

Left Turn Distillery:

They don't have much by way of food here (other than a few snacks), but it's a fun place to drink local. Some of their drinks were delicious, others I didn't care for as much. So make sure you try their spirits before committing to a drink. Still, I'm always a fan of supporting local craft spirits.

Pop Fizz:

I found these guys on instagram and had to check them out. I quickly fell in love with their delicious popsicles and was surprised at how delicious their other food was too. While there I ate the Albuquerque Turkey sanwich and it did not disappoint. I can also confidently recommend their strawberry cheesecake pop (if they are available) or their pineapple jalapeño pop. But likely any pop you get will be delicious. Enjoy! 

Do you have other favorite places in Albuquerque or things I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments section!