Old Town Albuquerque#1 in Best Things To Do in Albuquerque
- 5.0Food Scene
For more than 300 years, both Native American and Spanish cultures have been shaping this neighborhood (this is the site of the original city settlement in 1706). Anchored by the central plaza, Old Town's cobblestone streets are filled with brightly colored adobe huts that now house galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops. The stunning San Felipe de Neri Church – Albuquerque's oldest building – can also be found here.
Many visitors recommend spending a few hours wandering around Old Town, likening it to a less crowded (and more affordable) Santa Fe. Along with the interesting shops and restaurants, reviewers also loved the area's clean streets and talented street performers. However, if you're heading to Old Town in search of Southwestern souvenirs, recent shoppers advised watching out for knockoffs.
Old Town sits about 6 miles west of downtown Albuquerque. Businesses in Old Town operate their own hours and prices. If you choose to drive, you'll find free two-hour parking on all the streets in the Old Town area. There are also nearby lots that charge $1 to $6, depending on how long you stay. Rapid Ride buses also stop here (Red Line No. 766 and Blue Line No. 790). For more information, check out Old Town's official website.
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#2 ABQ BioPark
Sitting along the Rio Grande River just southeast of Old Town, the ABQ BioPark is the ideal venue for a relaxing day spent outdoors and a must-see, according to recent visitors. This massive park is home to four distinct attractions: an aquarium, a botanic garden, a zoo and Tingley Beach. The aquarium is a particular hit with children thanks to its 285,000-gallon shark tank, while the zoo's 200-plus species (snow leopards, kangaroos and polar bears included) are sure to keep their attention. If you're not really interested in the animal kingdom, spend an afternoon exploring the 36-acre botanic garden, which features numerous exotic plant species, meticulously manicured grounds and serene walking paths. You can also enjoy the many opportunities to hike, bike and fish at Tingley Beach during a summertime visit.
To save money at each of these traveler favorites, previous visitors recommended purchasing the package deal, which grants you access to the zoo, the aquarium and the botanical garden, as well as unlimited train rides at the zoo. Keep in mind: The combo ticket is only available to purchase Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon. After noon, there is not enough time to get through all of the attractions, according to the park. Combo tickets cost $22 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12.
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