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First time to ABQ NM

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Bronx, New York
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First time to ABQ NM

Hello everyone,

I am going to attend a conference in old town ABQ mid Oct and would like to stay two or three more days after the conference for some sightseeing. I don't drive so walking and public transportation are the only means to get around. I am not a night life person and am interested in more cultural type of experiences to get to know ABQ and maybe Santa Fe better. Any suggestions on where to stay and what to do? Any inputs will be greatly appreciated.

Albuquerque, New...
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1. Re: First time to ABQ NM

This sort of question comes up about once a year. Often it's commented that ABQ is a bit tough without a car and even tougher on weekends. Just about the only place you can stay and walk anywhere is Old Town, but there is plenty to do near there, particularly the Albuquerque Art & History Museum, inexpensive and a bit of a gem. Nice Slate Street satellite cafe inside. Kth always strongly suggests the trolley tour from Old Town as a great introduction to ABQ and it'll get you out and about a bit. There's some good places to eat around Old Town--Season's, Duran's Pharmacy, Church Street Cafe, St. Claire, Little Anita's, High Noon. (Anyone try Monica's El Portal? I think I know this place but don't really know.) Even a nice Starbucks across from the Hotel Albuquerque. Buses can be tough to use for some sights in the city, but Central (old Route 66) is very easy between, say, Old Town, downtown, UNM and Nob Hill. Downtown is where you can pick up the Railrunner train to Santa Fe. Check limited schedule, but a great way to go. And round trip not expensive. From Santa Fe depot (last stop), you can check out that area and walk to plaza. Less than one mile. Free shuttles, except Sundays, via Santa Fe Pick Up. Lots to do around plaza area, many fine museums, sights, good places to eat, shopping and just hanging out. UNM has some good museums and a nice campus. Nob Hill has funky shops and some tasty restaurants and is pleasant for walking. Off Central, things get trickier by bus and you may have to call for a taxi.

I might add that Santa Fe is a good option for a pedestrian and you may enjoy an overnight there, too. Some reasonable places to stay near depot and plaza.

Edited: 25 July 2012, 17:20
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2. Re: First time to ABQ NM

I once spent a day doing things in Albuquerque just using the bus system...even though I had a car. I like using local transport when I can and this worked great. A ride costs $1 or $2 for an all day pass. No change given so have exact chage. You can buy the pass when you board your first bus. The two routes that you will most want to use are 766 (Red Line) and 777 (Green Line). The one other route I'd recommend is 36 should you wish to visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center ( http://indianpueblo.org/ ).


The 766 and 777 are both express routes. The key stops that you might be interested in are ABQ BioPark Botanic Gardens and Aquarium, Old Town, Downtown, University of New Mexico and Nob Hill. That's from west to east. 766 serves all of them. 777 does not serve the BioPark or Old Town.

ABQ BIO PARK: Not particularly large but I enjoy it.


OLD TOWN: Definitely take the ABQ Trolley Co. tour as bleicherblog noted. The museum is, as indicated, a small but worthwhile gem. I always visit when in Abq. Across the street is the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Fine dinosaur exhibit and other pieces of New Mexico's natural history. For the quirky try the American International Rattlesnake Museum. For ONLY if you have interest there's the Turquoise Museum. Plus there's the opportunity to stroll, shop, check out the galleries and eat. Bleicherblog has already given a number of good options there.









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3. Re: First time to ABQ NM

(Oops, hit post too soon...to continue...)

DOWNTOWN: Skip Maisel's is a great place for more inexpensive (and thus lower quality...but I still like it) Indian Jewelry and Craft. Be sure to walk around and check out a number of great public art wall murals (you'll be exposed on the Trolley tour). The plaza area is also quite nice. There's also the New Mexico Holocaust and Intolerance Museum and 516 ARTS, both of which I have not visited but will do so this coming Saturday on my next trip. I love to eat at Java Joe's for breakfast and Cecilia's for lunch when in downtown. There's also a Flying Star Cafe, a sort of local chain worth visiting.






UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO: Beautiful campus and a few museums worth visiting: UNM Art Musuem, UNM Geology Museum, UNM Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. The Frontier Restaurant across the street from the university's main entrance. An institution for the university and Albuquerque. Great sweet rolls and breakfast burritos.






NOB HILL: Cool area to walk around. Shops, etc. Great comic book store. While I didn't go in, my favorite public art mural is on the side of their shop. Great signage. Grab a brew and a burger at Kelly's Brew Pub. On one of my visits I used the downloadable neighborhood walking tour guide. Was enjoyable.





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4. Re: First time to ABQ NM

I'll revive this old thread, since I was thinking of asking the annual question.

Keith, it sounds like you're saying transit works well up and down the Central Ave. axis from Old Town to Downtown to Nob Hill to UNM. There are connections to the Airport and the Railrunner. A lot of the city's visitor attractions are along this axis, but not everything. Otherwise it sounds like transit is pretty weak, and there's no service at all to the Tramway.

Albuquerque, New...
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5. Re: First time to ABQ NM

A pretty fair summary.

Public transportation has improved over the years, but still a bit tricky for visitors who want see sights off the "Central Ave. corridor." Then again, most things visitors want to see and do are along that corridor. There aren't a lot of recommended accommodations along the corridor, and this may be a special problem for visitors without cars. With two or three exceptions, there are few good places to stay along the corridor outside of the few near Old Town and in Downtown. The Red Line express bus does get you to Uptown easily, where you can find hotels, eateries and shopping. There was a recent post on connections between Railrunner and airport. The tram is definitely not on bus access. Always shuttles to consider (especially to and fro airport of course) and taxis (which may require a call). Local bicycle system is outstanding, but that doesn't usually help the visitor.


Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: First time to ABQ NM

check out some of my recent reviews of restaurants and of course try the railrunner to sante fe for a day trip. i did not do this trip but have in the apst...love NM and so glad to hear you have an chance to experience this place...it is lovely enjoy...

7. Re: First time to ABQ NM

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