Petroglyph National Monument#9 in Best Things To Do in Albuquerque
If you're interested in (very) early American history, take a trip to the west side of the Rio Grande River where you'll find Petroglyph National Monument. This 7,236-acre park is home to more than 24,000 carved images left behind by New Mexico's first settlers.
Before you head out to interpret the petroglyphs for yourself (the park features numerous hiking trails), stop by the visitor center. Keep in mind: The petroglyph viewing trails are a one-mile to a 6½-mile drive from the visitor center, so if you're being dropped off at the visitor center by a cab, have the driver wait for you to transport you to the trailheads. Staff members can direct you to specific attractions within the park, while on-site educational programs offer further insight into the ancient rock art. As far as the trails go, recent visitors raved about their accessibility and scenic views.
Petroglyph National Monument is located about 10 miles northwest of downtown Albuquerque. There is no public transportation to the monument, so you'll need to drive or take a cab to reach it. The park welcomes visitors every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. According to the National Park Service, your trip to the area can take as little as 30 minutes to as long as four hours, though the average visit is about one hour. The NPS does not charge an admission fee to enter the park, but you will have to pay a small fee to leave your car at Boca Negra Canyon. Drivers will have to pay $1 per vehicle on weekdays and $2 on weekends. For more information, check out the NPS website.
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#1 Old Town Albuquerque
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.
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