65 Fun Facts about Albuquerque!



Whether you're a life-long resident or visitor to the Duke City, here are 65 fun facts you might not have known about Albuquerque!

  1. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and is one of the nation's oldest inland communities.
  2. Albuquerque's elevation of 5312 feet makes it the highest metropolitan city in America.
  3. Albuquerque is the geographical center of New Mexico, known throughout the nation as "The Land of Enchantment."
  4. Albuquerque is in the heart of Indian Pueblo country -- the oldest farming civilization on the North American continent.
  5. The Sandia Mountains at the eastern edge of Albuquerque are the first to be encountered west of the Mississippi River. "Sandia" is Spanish for "watermelon."
  6. The 2.7-mile aerial tramway located five miles northeast of Albuquerque is the longest in North America. It has the third longest span in the world. The tram whisks visitors from the base of 6,600 feet to the top of 10,378 foot Sandia Peak in about twenty minutes.
  7. The 10,378 foot-high Sandia Crest, high point of the mountains east of Albuquerque, offers a panoramic view of more than 11,000 square miles.
  8. Albuquerque encompasses a metropolitan population of about 500,000.
  9. A favorite spot with tourists is Albuquerque's famous "Old Town," the original town site founded in 1706.
  10. Albuquerque is the nuclear capital of the United States. Much of the nation's nuclear research program is conducted or supervised here.
  11. The University of New Mexico is probably best known for its departments of Medicine, Electrical Engineering, Anthropology and Romance Languages. The School of Medicine operates in conjunction with the Bernalillo County Medical Center.
  12. Albuquerque's Sunport was renamed Albuquerque International Airport October 1, 1971. It has US Customs facilities for international charters and general aviation.
  13. The enormous Cochiti Dam and Reservoir, second largest west of the Mississippi, located 45 miles northwest of Albuquerque, offers water sports and recreational facilities.
  14. Albuquerque is the Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World, and site of international competitions annually. A minimum of 400 hot air balloons from all over the world compete.
  15. Albuquerque was the home of Larry Newman, the late Maxie Anderson, and Ben Abruzzo, the three pilots of the world-famous "Double Eagle II," the first manned balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
  16. According to Weather Bureau records going back over 50 years, Albuquerque receives 78% of all available sunshine.
  17. Albuquerque is the home of multiple winners of the Indianapolis 500 Auto Race: Bobby, Al Jr., and Al Unser.
  18. The Sandia Mountains house the world's highest television towers belonging to Albuquerque's three commercial and one educational network.
  19. There are definite changes of season in Albuquerque. Winter is crisp, sometimes cold and snowy, but the sun is usually warm. Summer temperatures rise into the 90's with mile-high plus elevation and fresh, clean air but, it is seldom oppressive.
  20. Albuquerque is located at the junction of two interstate highways: East- West Interstate 40 and North-South Interstate 25, better known as the "Pan American Highway."
  21. Within a day's drive from Albuquerque are nine national monuments (Aztec Ruins, Bandelier, Capulin Mountain, Salinas, Ft. Union, El Morro, Pecos, White Sands, and Gila Cliff Dwellings), and a National Park (Carlsbad Caverns National Park).
  22. The famed Rio Grande River bisects Albuquerque just west of "Old Town."
  23. Prehistoric Man lived and hunted at Folsom Camp Site near Albuquerque more than 10,000 years ago.
  24. The Pueblo, which Coronado conquered and used as winter headquarters in 1541, is a state monument and is located 20 miles north of Albuquerque.
  25. The largest lake in the area is Elephant Butte, 150 miles south of Albuquerque. The reservoir encompasses 240 miles of shoreline, and it is the largest body of water in the state.
  26. Hunting is a favorite pastime near Albuquerque. The State Game & Fish Department has imported rare animals from Africa. Deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and other varieties of game are abundant throughout New Mexico's forests.
  27. The Albuquerque Public Library system includes a multi-million dollar main library, 11 branches, one county and one city bookmobile.
  28. Albuquerque is known throughout the nation for its Christmas decorations. Many homes use traditional "luminarias" -- small paper sacks with light provided from votive candles. During Christmas, it is known as the "City of Little Lights."
  29. Petroglyph Park, 9.2 miles northwest of Albuquerque, contains the world's oldest art form and is a fascinating art gallery of an ancient civilization.
  30. Golf is played year-round in Albuquerque.
  31. Albuquerque is one of the few cities in the nation in which you can play tennis in the middle of winter in the city, or ski on excellent mountain slopes less than 30 minutes away.
  32. Albuquerque is the perfect destination for a vacation, offering all kinds of outdoor recreation, plus most kinds of spectator sports. Indian pueblos, ceremonial dances, ancient ruins, and archaeological sites add greatly to vacation interest.
  33. Sandia Peak Ski Area, located on the slopes of the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque, has a 7,500-foot-long chairlift -- one of the longest in the world.
  34. The chairlift is met at the top of Sandia Mountain by the aerial tramway. Restaurants are located at both the base and summit of the tram, offering exciting views of Albuquerque and the Rio Grande Valley.
  35. The five extinct volcanoes, which appear on the horizon west of Albuquerque, are rare and distinctive landmarks.
  36. Situated on the north bank of a huge arroyo at the base of the Sandia Mountains lay the archaeological remains of the Spanish Colonial Village of Carnuel. It is the only stabilized ruins of a community from this time-period in the United States. The site is controlled by the city and is now called "Singing Arrow Park."
  37. Historic old missions, ghost towns and ruins are part of the charm for tourists visiting the Albuquerque area.
  38. Carlsbad Caverns, one of the wonders of the world, is located about 300 miles south of Albuquerque.
  39. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque features a varied and interesting display showing the rich tradition of folk art from New Mexico's 19 Indian Pueblos. The center includes an Indian market, gift shop and restaurant, plus museum.
  40. The charming city of Santa Fe, only 62 miles north of Albuquerque, claims the distinction of having the oldest capitol building in the United States -- the Palace of the Governors, built in 1610.
  41. Sandia Cave, in which artifacts of primitive man dating back 25,000 years were found, is 25 miles northeast of Albuquerque.
  42. Albuquerque and its suburbs stretch into three counties: Bernalillo, Valencia, and Sandoval.
  43. Approximately 40% of the uranium reserve in the United States is found in deposits 70 miles west of Albuquerque.
  44. Albuquerque is equidistant from Los Angeles to Kansas City, from New Orleans to San Francisco, from Phoenix to Denver, and from Salt Lake City to Dallas.
  45. Albuquerque is the home of the New Mexico State Fair each September. The Fair ranked number one in the nation in per capita attendance and number six in overall attendance, and includes outstanding exhibits of livestock, agricultural products, industrial improvements, fine arts, Indian and Spanish arts and crafts, and horse racing with pari-mutual betting.
  46. Albuquerque is the home of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute that offers comprehensive programs in business, electronics, engineering, lithography, drafting, food preparation, telecommunications, and optical technology for young American Indian men and women.
  47. Albuquerque is the location for the Federal Aviation Air Route Traffic Control Center responsible for air traffic in a five-state area.
  48. San Felipe Fiesta in Albuquerque's "Old Town" every spring (late May or early June) brings back the days of religious procession, dances in the plaza, piñata parties, and gran bailes (dances). Built in 1706, the walls of San Felipe Church in Albuquerque's "Old Town" are more than seven feet thick. The church was used as a fortress against the Indians.
  49. Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque has been a crossroads since it was founded in 1706. Four flags fly over the Plaza: Spain, Mexico, the United States of America, and New Mexico. There are two cannons displayed in the plaza that has been buried by Confederate soldiers after a brief conquest of the plaza during the Civil War. Merchants, soldiers, Indians, explorers, and pioneers have paused for food and drink in this shady, old-world plaza.
  50. Albuquerque has an abundant supply of natural gas for fuel supplied by the Gas Company of New Mexico from rich oil gas fields in the San Juan Basin in the northwestern part of the state.
  51. Every major denomination is represented in Albuquerque's more than 420 churches, temple, and synagogues.
  52. Almost all nationally affiliated adult and youth organizations are represented by at least one branch or chapter in Albuquerque.
  53. Located on top of a 350 foot mesa, 60 miles west of Albuquerque is Acoma, the "Sky City" -- home of the Acoma Pueblo Indians.
  54. Over 4.4 million tourists visit Albuquerque each year.
  55. Kirtland Air Force Base, the sixth largest Air Force installation in the United States, is located in Albuquerque.
  56. Albuquerque's Rio Grande Zoo is one of the most attractive in the southwest. In addition to elephants, monkeys, cats, giraffes, and seals, it has a children's zoo, fowls, reptiles, and a world famous exhibit of hoofed animals, including a rare herd of Greater Kudu.
  57. Albuquerque, located in Bernalillo County, is the population center of New Mexico. Over one-third of the state's population lives in Albuquerque.
  58. "The Avengers" (2012) was filmed in Albuquerque.
  59. Albuquerque was the home of Ernie Pyle, the famous war correspondent. Pyle wrote, "If we could only have one house, then it has to be in New Mexico, preferably in Albuquerque." Pyle's home is now a memorial library.
  60. Of Albuquerque's more than 1,172 developed parks, Los Altos Park is the largest. It includes an enclosed heated swimming pool, baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, lighted golf course, and children's recreational area.
  61. Albuquerque is the convention city of the Southwest. Approximately 200,000 delegates attended conventions here last year.
  62. The city of Albuquerque encompasses 133 square miles.
  63. Albuquerque has a professional ice hockey team: the New Mexico Scorpions.
  64. Albuquerque’s newest professional sports team is the 3-A baseball team, the Isotopes, taking a cue from Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons”.
  65. Fan of the AMC series "Breaking Bad"? Shot in Albuquerque, you can take a location tour!