By Stephanie Hyland, Storage.com

Between its rich culture and breathtaking landscapes, Albuquerque has a number of unique characteristics to offer potential residents that make it the perfect place to call home. If you’re thinking about moving to Albuquerque, here are 11 things you should know about living in this New Mexico city!

1. ABQ.

Photo by Mr.TinDC
Photo by Mr.TinDC

“What is ABQ?” is usually the first question new residents and visitors have when wandering around Albuquerque. Don’t worry—it’s not some crazy code! It’s just what residents and people from the surrounding area call Albuquerque because it’s faster to write and say. You’ll undoubtedly hear it in conversations and see it at shopping centers, businesses, the airport, in buses, and more!

2. CELEBRATE PUEBLO CULTURE.

Photo by Mr.TinDC
Photo by Mr.TinDC

“The Duke City” prides itself on educating the masses about its Native American history. One of the most well-known stops that residents and visitors love in Albuquerque is the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. This museum is home to a permanent, contemporary exhibit that gives visitors an overview of the Pueblo culture while displaying original pieces of artwork and crafted items from the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. The museum also has a small theater that shows two short movies about the lives of Pueblo women.

3. FLOAT AWAY.

Photo by a4gpa
Photo by a4gpa

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta hosts hundreds of pilots and balloons at its own 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park each year. The event has a number of different activities that can be enjoyed by all ages, such as hot air balloon rides, bands, performers, a chainsaw carving competition, and much more! Because of their tremendous safety record, the Fiesta is also one of the only aviation events that allows spectators to walk up to the balloon launch sites and visit with the pilots.

4. UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO.

Photo by miguel
Photo by miguel

The University of New Mexico was founded in 1889 and is located in the heart of Albuquerque. This nearly 800-acre campus offers a variety of degree programs to more than 34,000 students, from engineering to fine arts. The school is also one of the area’s (and the state’s) largest employers. The university stays true to its Pueblo roots, too, which can be seen all over campus through its architecture.

5. GO ISOTOPES!

Photo by Ryan Poplin
Photo by Ryan Poplin

Looking for a new team to support? The Albuquerque Isotopes, a minor league baseball team that was founded in April 2003, have a strong following in the area. The team is a Triple-A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies and was named one of the most valuable teams in Minor League Baseball by Forbes.

6. FOODIES WILL LOVE ABQ.

Photo by Eugene Kim
Photo by Eugene Kim

Albuquerque is home to a variety of cuisines, from Mexican and Italian to contemporary American. Grab a “Beefalo” Burger at Fork and Fig or a beef, black bean, and plantain-stuffed Arepa Pabellón at Guava Tree Cafe. Or try some of the Sunday brunch favorites at The Range Cafe, like Huevos Rancheros. If you want some serious Mexican food, stop by El Paisa, Backstreet Grill, Cocina Azul, or Taqueria Mexico. Fun fact: In 1996, the New Mexico State Legislature declared “Red or Green?” the official state question. This question refers to whether an individual prefers red or green chile when ordering a Mexican dish.

7. THE STATE COOKIE.

Photo by Megan Eaves
Photo by Megan Eaves

New Mexico was the first state to ever have a state cookie. In 1989, the biscochito was made the official cookie by the New Mexico State Legislature. The biscochito is a small, liquorice-flavored cookie first brought to the New Mexico area by early Spaniards. The cookie is typically served at wedding receptions, baptisms, and holy days. If you’ve never had a biscochito before, grab one at Celina’s Biscochitos!

8. PHOTOGENIC LANDSCAPES.

Photo by Bureau of Land Management
Photo by Bureau of Land Management

Albuquerque and its neighboring cities are full of majestic mountains and perfect sunsets. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you will love Abo Pass Trail, Tent Rock National Monument, Jemez Mountain Trail, and Sandia Crest Trail. All of these locations give visitors an up-close look at ancient ruins, geological formations, and the iconic views that New Mexico is known for. Many of these areas offer picnic tables, hiking destinations, and skiing if you want to make a day out of it.

9. ART IS EVERYWHERE.

Photo by Richie Diesterheft
Photo by Richie Diesterheft

With more than 100 different pieces of public artwork in Downtown Albuquerque, walking art tours have become a popular pastime for residents and visitors. Albuquerque is proud to promote the talented artists in the area and strive to further develop local, artistic facilities. But public outdoor artwork isn’t the only art ABQ has to offer. In fact, you can take in the fine arts with the New Mexico Ballet Company, Albuquerque Theatre Guild, Albuquerque Little Theatre, New Mexico PhilharmonicDuke City Repertory Theatre, and many more!

10. STATE FAIR FUN.

Photo by sburke2478
Photo by sburke2478

The New Mexico State Fair at Expo New Mexico is an event that residents and surrounding cities look forward to all year! The ten-day event is full of classic carnival rides, a parade, livestock shows, a rodeo, and games. Several concerts are also held during this annual event at Tingley Coliseum.

11. THE HOME OF WALTER WHITE.

Photo by Rex Brown
Photo by Rex Brown

Calling all Breaking Bad fans! Albuquerque was the city Walter White called home. Many restaurants and businesses in the area, such as Crossroads Motel, Octopus Car Wash, Dog House, and Twisters advertise that certain scenes from the series were filmed at their locations and welcome visitors. Bus tours are also available for those fans who are looking for a more in-depth tour of where the show was filmed.

What did you think of our list? Is there anything about Albuquerque you would add?

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.
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