Can’t think of anything to do while you’re in Albuquerque for NFLC 2019 from November 9-10? Think again! Located in the heart of New Mexico, Albuquerque is an oasis in the high desert, full of rich history and inspiring ideas. No matter your interests, there are countless opportunities for you to explore. We know this plethora of choices might be overwhelming in light of the conference… so your FBLA Social Media Ambassadors have compiled a list of the top attractions you don’t want to miss!
1. Ride the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway
Where’s the world’s longest tramway? If you said Albuquerque, you nailed it! Ride 2.7 miles to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains. At the top, you’re able to see quite the view of Albuquerque - which on a clear day, can be more than 11,000 square miles of spectacular beauty. If the tramway isn’t your thing, no worries! Check out the hiking trails along the ridgeway, and enjoy the sunset with your newfound FBLA buds
2. Explore the Skies in a Hot Air Balloon
You might not know it, but as the ‘Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World,’ Albuquerque offers super air ballooning conditions year-round. Embark on a truly memorable balloon ride with a company such as World Balloon, and bond with your FBLA chapter members! As they put it, “Missing a balloon flight in Albuquerque would be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower.” If ballooning sounds too scary, check out the Albuquerque Balloon Museum instead!
3. Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Before the Spanish conquistadors entered New Mexico, it was home to the Pueblo people. Today, the Pueblo Cultural Center preserves the culture of this indigenous group, and hosts a variety of cultural events intended to revive and strengthen Pueblo art and history. If you’re lucky, you might see the Pueblo dancers performing, or get a taste of the Pueblo Harvest Cafe, with traditional dishes.
4. Experience the Musical Highway
Have you heard of a rumble strip? Probably. Have you heard of a rumble strip that sings ‘America the Beautiful’? Probably not. If drivers cross this stretch of Route 66 at just the right speed (45 mph), the grooved lines are engineered to sound like the song ‘America the Beautiful.’ Installed in 2014 as a partnership between the NM Department of Transportation and National Geographic, the musical highway aims to encourage drivers to adhere to the speed limit while on the historic road. Ask a local about this!
5. Wander the Old Town
The Old Town is the site of the original city settlement in 1706, and for decades, have been shaped by Native American and Spanish influences alike. From the cobblestone streets and brightly colored adobe huts, to Albuquerque’s oldest building and to talented street performers, immerse yourself within the city’s central cultural identity and experience Old Town’s old-town charm.
6. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument
Did you know that in this 7,236 acre Petroglyph National Monument, there are more than 24,000 carved images left behind by New Mexico’s first settlers? Featuring numerous hiking trails allowing you to interpret these carvings yourself, the park also includes a visitor center, guided tours, and an on-site educational program offering insight into ancient rock art. Get your daily dose of scenic views and Petroglyphs today!
7. Walk the Paseo del Bosque Trail
Need some fresh air, or to get your steps in while you’re at the conference? Paseo del Bosque Trail is the spot for you! The 16-mile-long walking/biking path along the Rio Grande winds its way through central Albuquerque. Not only do you pass major historical sights such as Old Town (#5) and the ABQ BioPark (#9), and discover great public artwork/ wildlife. Even better? This path is free of charge and open 24/7 - so we’ll see you by the trees!
8. Visit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Diverse cultures, authentic art, and vibrant traditions have and continue to shape the centuries-old story of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Presenting more than 12 billion years of the region's history, learn about it’s origins, dinosaurs, ancient sea coasts, constellation patterns, and more at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. From walking through a *live* volcano to investigating the night sky through a tapestry equipped with UV interactive thread, come explore + discover! (or just chill at the IMAX theater).
9. Relax at the ABQ BioPark
A must see according to recent visitors, the ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque is an ideal venue for a relaxing day spent outdoors. From a 36-acre botanic garden, to an aquarium which includes a 185,000 gallon shark tank, to the zoo’s 200+ species (snow leopards or kangaroos, anyone?), this massive park contains attractions that are sure to pique your interest. Feet tired after a full day of walking at the conference? Don’t miss the zoo’s train ride!
10. Explore Albuquerque - Try to Find the Auto Hawk!
30 colorful car doors. 24 foot tall structure. One enormous, eye-catching structure of a mighty hawk’s feathers. In 2017, the city of Albuquerque commissioned this piece for $75,000 from the city’s art tax - an artists’ representation of what Alburquerque means. There’s no identifying information by the artwork… so think you can find this? Better get your exploring cap on and start searching!
If you stop by any of these attractions, snap a photo and use the conference hashtag #NFLC18 when you post on social media! Your FBLA Social Media Ambassador team wishes you a great NFLC in Albuquerque - and if you find yourself some free time during the conference, check out these not-to-miss attractions!