Albuquerque is made for lovers. At the foot of the picturesque Sandias, this New Mexican hub’s buzzing food culture, crystal-clear air, and wide open spaces make it the perfect getaway for two people looking for a city with a view. Here are our top 10 things to do in the city.
1. Ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway.
Let your honey grab your arm as you soar 10,000 feet in the air over the eye-popping Sandia Mountains. The Sandia Peak Tramway runs every 20-30 minutes, and takes you all the way up and back down without you having to break a sweat. You’ll be riding the longest aerial tram in the country, and from the top you’ll see the whole city.
2. Visit the ABQ BioPark Botanical Garden.
Get lost together among the manicured corners and nooks of the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden and Aquarium, a fanciful playground of desert and Mediterranean plants covering 32 acres along the Rio Grande River. Take all 1.5 miles of winding scenic footpaths to get to know each other, and if you want it a little cozier, drop in at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium for a little mood lighting among the sharks.
3. Watch a boxing or MMA Match.
Fighting is one of Albuquerque’s favorite sports (Albuquerque is the hometown of both Holly Holms and Johnny Tapia) and area casinos, like Sandia Casino or Isleta Casino, frequently host amateur and professional bouts between up-and-comers. Get the scent of sweat and adrenaline in your nose to wake up those animal instincts.
4. Take a balloon ride for two.
You’re in the home of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta — the largest balloon festival in the world! See what being up in the sky feels like for yourself. Romantics and steampunk enthusiasts alike will appreciate the retro flight and the 360-degree views (Hint: it’s also a memorable way to propose.) Companies like Air Carriage are happy to oblige.
5. Take a long weekend at Los Poblanos Lavender Farm.
For a romantic (and aromatic) weekend away, book a night at the memorable Los Poblanos Lavender Farm. Dine at the award-winning farm-to-table restaurant, where dishes include duck rillette and housemade linguini — stay in luxury rooms stocked with Los Poblanos’ own line of luxury bath products and creams, and wander through fields of heavenly lavender. You’ll sleep like babies.
6. Go to a tasting at Casa Rondena Winery.
Make merry at a winery in the oldest wine-producing state in the country. Visit the vineyards, sample the tastings, and if things go well, you can even get married here. The tasting room is open every day, no reservation needed.
7. Tour Albuquerque’s Old Town.
Get a taste of the old west by touring Albuquerque’s Old Town; take pictures of each other (and selfies together!) in a fantasyland of adobe nooks and old vigas. Visit the Albuquerque Museum, sip a latte at Velvet Coffee, and pop into the myriad unique boutiques in this historic district.
8. Go to a Lobos Game.
Albuquerque may not have a professional basketball team but it doesn’t need one when Lobos basketball is practically a religion. Grab some earplugs and get two seats at the Pit to watch the red-shirted college crowd go wild in one of college basketball’s loudest arenas as their team does battle on the pines.
9. Spend the night at Hotel Andaluz.
Enjoy a magical Casablanca-esque night in Albuquerque’s own Moroccan-inspired hotel. Sip a drink on their glamorous rooftop patio, stay in one of their lush modern rooms, and have paella, tapas, and wine at their restaurant, Mas — Tapas y Vino, helmed by eight-time James Beard-nominated chef James Campbell Caruso.
10. Catch a movie or show at the KiMo.
Go back to the Roaring Twenties, when people dressed up to go to the theater (or even a movie), and make it an event at Albuquerque’s own authentic Pueblo Deco theater. If your mind wanders from the flick, you can always look around at the gorgeous details in the pristine ’20s architecture and interior. The KiMo has events every night, ranging from movies to film festivals to magic shows.
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