A remote urban oasis in a starkly beautiful desert, Albuquerque, NM isn't an obvious choice for a quick weekend getaway. However, intrepid travelers will discover that the city has an abundance of nature, culture, and food on offer. Be to hit these must-see spots if you're visiting the Duke City.
New Mexico is home to three of the country's major nuclear research facilities, so it's not surprising that Albuquerque's National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is, according to its website, "the nation's only congressionally chartered museum in its field." Appropriate for all ages, the museum's permanent and rotating exhibits delve into the history of nuclear science and its applications in the present day. You can indulge your inner child chatting physics with a life-sized animatronic Einstein or brush up on some serious facts about Albuquerque's crucial role in the development of the atomic bomb, all in a morning's visit.
Right around the corner from the museum district is Albuquerque's oldest neighborhood, the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon. Dating back to the 1700s, Old Town's picturesque adobe buildings house dozens of shops, art galleries, and restaurants where you can savor traditional New Mexican dishes like sopapillas and green chile stew.
Albuquerque evenings are best spent appreciating the city's spectacular sunsets, and the Sandia Peak Tramway provides a thrilling front-row seat. The world's third-longest aerial tram departs from the base of the Sandia Mountains in northeast Albuquerque and ascends nearly 4,000 feet to the mountains' crest, the perfect spot to watch the mountains turn pink in the setting sun.