10 Things to Do in Albuquerque – Spas, Fitness, Food and Fun
Deep in the heart of southwest lies Albuquerque, New Mexico, a beautiful, yet underrated part of country. New Mexico and its healing deserts are a beautiful place to visit, but Albuquerque doesn’t get the recognition it deserves often enough.
If you’re a spa, fitness, outdoors and wellness enthusiast like us, here are our Top 10 Things to Do in Albuquerque.
TAKE THE WATERS
Day Spas and Spa Resorts
This gorgeous spa resort is located North of Albuquerque and is an easy destination for the full spa immersion experience. It’s the perfect location in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe to take in both of these destinations on our list. For spa enthusiasts, the Hyatt’s Tamaya Mist Spa and Salon is a full service luxury spa with massage and reflexology, body treatments, herbal wraps and scrubs, skin care, waxing, manicures, pedicures, spa packages for singles and couples, and hair care for the entire family.
Husband and Wife owners Michelle Collins and Henry Bruner were inspired by the many cultures which have long traditions of communal bathing; Japanese bathhouses, Russian banyas, Scandinavian saunas, as well as New Mexico’s own hot spring resorts. The baths have incorporated the spirit of these traditions in a beautiful, modern design. Enjoy a Finnish cedar sauna, cool off with a dip in the Blue Hole, rest in the beautiful garden courtyard and then do it all again. Schedule a scrub and massage, too!
Founded in 2000, Betty’s Day Spa gives visitors a serene spa experience in the heart of downtown Albuquerque. Known for its baths, facials and messages, Betty’s delivers on a peaceful getaway right in the heart of the city.
Head outside to experience these beautiful parks, trails, and natural wonders.
GET A BIRD'S EYE VIEW
Albuquerque’s claim to fame is its annual 2 week Balloon Fiesta at the beginning of October. However if you happen to visit during the other 50 weeks in the year, there are a variety of companies who will take you up in the sky, including Rainbow Ryders.
YOU CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES
Nestled in the Sandia Mountains, the Sandia Peak Tramway is the world’s longest tramway. After a beautiful 2.7 mile ride, you’ll land on the observation deck atop the 10,378 foot Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest, which offers visitors incredible views of the city as well as the surrounding desert terrain. If you’re visiting in Winter, you can also hit the slopes on the other side of the mountain at the Sandia Peak Ski Area
LACE UP YOUR RUNNING SHOES
Whether you’re a runner, hiker, cyclist or a a general lover of the outdoors, don’t pass up a chance to visit the Paseo del Bosque / Riverside Trail. Located along the tranquil Rio Grande, this 16-mile multi-use trail passes through the Rio Grande Valley and also offers visitors a chance to pass through other landmarks such as the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park (pictured) and the Albuquerque BioPark.
SUNDAYS IN THE PARK
The Albuquerque BioPark includes a zoo, aquarium, botanical gardens and Tingley Beach, a fishing and recreation area, in one convenient location. If you’re visiting during the summer, be sure to schedule a Night Tour, and check out the Summer Music Series every Friday night.
HIKE TO A MONUMENT
The Pueblo people call Tent Rocks National Monument “Kasha-Katuwe”, meaning white cliffs. This geological phenomenon boasts natural forming volcanic rocks that give the appearance of — you guessed it — tents. It’s a hikers dream.
RIDE THE RAPIDS
Rafting along the Rio Grande is also a popular day trip activity. Most river rafting takes place in the Middle Box, the Taos Box and the Lower Gorge. This scenic area is about an hour north of Albuquerque and is worth the views. Or travel a little further afield to to Rio Chama, a major tributory on the Rio Grande. See the folks at New Mexico River Adventures to set up a day on the water.
Fueling with Farm to Fork Food
SUNDAYS AT THE MARKET
If you’re fortunate to visit Albuquerque between May and October, make sure to stop by the Rail Yards Market Sunday mornings. Only in its second season, the Rail Yards, in a former blacksmith shop with soaring windows, is already loved by locals and visitors. Each week plays host to a different theme and offers a variety of events and activities and artisan vendors. At the end of the year in December, it hosts a Holiday Market to celebrate the spirit of giving and support and nourish those in need with food, gifts, and supplies.
FARM TO FORK
Just like its name suggests, Vinaigrette at 1828 Central Ave SW in Albuquerque specializes in entree worthy salads featuring local produce. Not just a haven for veggie lovers, Vinaigrette has a variety of fresh and innovative entrees featuring poultry, beef, seafood and more, homemade soups and sandwiches to tempt any palette. The menu changes throughout that year to emphasize what’s in season and according to it’s website, most of the produce come from the owner, Erin Wade’s 10-acre farm. Farm tours are available, and Vinaigrette has a Santa Fe location, as well.
Fueling with Farm to Fork Food
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SANTA FE?
It’s almost impossible to plan a trip to Albuquerque and not sneak in a day or two to visit Santa Fe. The oldest state capitol in the U.S., Santa Fe offers visitors a step back in time. The rustic streets of old town provide an ample amount of art galleries, museums, and historical information. The palace of the governors is a one-stop-shop for custom, one of a kind Native American jewelry.
Our pick for a spa resort between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, with its full-service spa and salon, fine dining, family friendly activity calendar and in-house equestrian program with wranglers offering riding lessons.
For something more intimate, visit the Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe. The Inn anchors the historic, 17th century Barrio de Analco, or Quarter “Across the Water” in the language of the Mexican Tlaxcalpa Indians, who came to Santa Fe in 1598 with the Spanish. This is the oldest inhabited block in the United States.
FIND NEW MEXICO SPAS
Click here to browse our complete directory of New Mexico Day Spas, Spa Hotels, Resorts and Retreats.
Browse our Spa Packages, Deals and Coupons to help choose your next spa-cation.
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Compiled by SpaIndex.com Guide to Spas and Albuquerque resident Ashley McElroy.
What are you favorite places to visit and things to do in Albuquerque? Let us know in the comments.