10 Unique Things To Do in Albuquerque

unique things to do in Albuquerque

When thinking about unique things to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico, you might possibly think of it as that place where “Breaking Bad” was filmed, which is pretty cool, but there’s more to it than meth labs and Walter White’s underpants.

Breaking Bad Tour

I know I know, very predictable. But hear me out…

First off, if you’re a fan of “Breaking Bad,” you simply can’t miss the tour if you also marathoned what many (including myself) consider the greatest TV show of all time.

It’s like stepping right into your telly, except it’s sunny and you’re not sat on your sofa with a cuppa with your heart racing a million miles an hour. You’ll see Jesse’s house, the car wash, and even Saul Goodman’s office. It’s a brilliant time for fans, and you’ll leave with all of the bragging rights next time you see your telly nerd friends who are unapologetic essay masters on the cult classic.

Sandia Crest Run

Now, for those who fancy a bit more of a physical challenge and bruised knees, the Sandia Crest Run is right up your alley. 

It’s not just any old run; it boasts an annual marathon trail option that’ll test your ligaments and tendons to their limits. 

Picture this: you’re charging through breathtaking landscapes, with panoramic views that’ll make you want to weep with joy (or maybe that’s just the sweat in your eyes). It’s a fantastic way to connect with nature and get a good workout in.

Roller King

Fancy a bit of retro fun? 

Head over to Roller King for a whirl around the rink. It’s a throwback to the ’80s, and get connected with your inner child. 

Don’t worry if you end up on your backside; it’s all part of the fun. Plus, it’s a cracking way to burn off some of those holiday treats.

Dirt Biking

For the thrill-seekers, dirt biking in Albuquerque is an option for unique things to do in Alberqueue. 

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of the wind in your hair (apparently, I lost mine at 19) as you tear through the desert. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a bit of a novice, there’s something for everyone. Just take note it can get filthy on a rainy day, so plan accordingly and make sure you know a good Albuquerque personal injury attorney in case you lose your bearings.

ATV Trails

If dirt biking sounds a bit too intense, give the ATV trails a go. 

They may be more expensive to use as a tour but It’s a fantastic way to see the rugged landscape without having to do all the legwork. Plus, it’s a good laugh, especially if you go with a group of mates. 

Just be prepared for a dusty ride.

Sandia Casino

Feeling lucky? Then the Sandia Casino is worth a flutter. 

It’s not just about gambling; there’s top-notch entertainment, grub, and even a golf course. It’s a great night out, even if you don’t win big. 

It shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Macau vs Las Vegas, but Sandia doesn’t pretend to be anything else than a fun night out.

Just don’t spend all your holiday money in one go, eh?

Brave a Red or Green Chilli

Braving a Red or Green Chilli in Albuquerque isn’t just a culinary choice; it’s a rite of passage. This city, with its rich tapestry of flavors, asks every visitor a simple yet profound question: “Red or green?” And for those with a daring spirit, the answer is “Christmas” – a delightful mix of both, offering a symphony of flavours that are tasty and terrifying at the same time.

Some of the top spots to indulge in this vibrant tradition include Mary & Tito’s Café and the locally-loved El Pinto, offering a scenic dining experience and Sadie’s of New Mexico, where the portions are as generous as the flavours, also – The Frontier Restaurant, an Albuquerque staple beloved by locals and visitors alike for its authentic New Mexican dishes. 

Each of these locales serves up the red and green chilli with its unique flair, making them must-visit destinations for anyone eager to brave the heat and savour the essence of Albuquerque’s culinary scene.

Take The Tram up the Sandia Mountains

The Sandia Peak Tramway, renowned as one of the longest aerial trams in the world, offers a spectacular 15-minute ride that sweeps you over deep canyons and lush, verdant forests, culminating in breathtaking panoramic views that span over 11,000 square miles of New Mexico wilderness. 

As you ascend, the landscape transforms before your eyes, showcasing the diverse ecology of the region, from rugged desert to alpine tundra.

Upon reaching the summit, you’re greeted by the tranquillity and awe-inspiring beauty of the Sandia Mountains’ crest, standing over 10,378 feet above sea level. The facilities at the top cater to both the adventure-seekers and those longing for relaxation. There’s Sandiago’s Grill at the Tram, where you can indulge in a meal with a view, savouring local cuisine while overlooking the vast landscape.

International Balloon Fiesta

The International Balloon Fiesta is an event that has profoundly shaped the cultural and social landscape of the city since its inception in 1972. 

Originally launched with a mere 13 balloons to celebrate a local radio station’s 50th anniversary, it has since burgeoned into the largest balloon event in the world, attracting hundreds of pilots and balloons, and drawing crowds of nearly 900,000 visitors from across the globe.

For those travelling with little ones, this would be an ideal event to attend as a family.

Eat at 10,000 Waves

Lastly, for a bit of relaxation, head to 10,000 Waves. It’s not your typical spa; it’s inspired by Japanese mountain hot spring resorts, the owner Duke Klauck is not Japanese although he lived there in the 80s and is a self-confessed Japanophile.

The food is top-notch, and the soaking tubs are bliss. It’s the perfect way to unwind after all those adventures.

That concludes the slightly unusual and unique things to do in Albuquerque, whether you’re an American or a tourist visiting via the (illustrious to me) ESTA visa. Feel free to let me know if I missed out on any obvious quirks.

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Anthony Middleton

A former loser who took a risk. I now live in Chiang Mai, Thailand after visiting over 100 countries. Stay tuned for the next challenge against that clock!
Ultra runner walking in desert

Hi, I'm Anthony!

In November of 2010, I took on a mammoth challenge against the clock in a quest to upgrade my miserable life. I went out of my comfort zone and turned it all around. Ten years later, I’m completely location independent…

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