Rio Grande, New Mexico Area Guide

Make Our Hotel Your Stylish Starting Point in Old Town Albuquerque

The BEST WESTERN PLUS Rio Grande Inn  is the most convenient resting spot in all of Albuquerque. The Rio Grande Inn is bordered by I-40 to the North, the Downtown District to the East, Route 66 to the South, and the Rio Grande River to the West. The Inn resides in the Historic Old Town District, which is home to over one hundred-fifty shops, restaurants, and attractions. Our Old Town Albuquerque hotel is located off I-40, exit 157A on Rio Grande Blvd. Our complimentary shuttle radius includes attractions like the Rio Grande Zoo, Albuquerque Bio Park, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Alvarado Transportation Center, Albuquerque Convention Center and Old Town Plaza. 

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1015 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

History and Ghost Tours of Old Town

303 Romero St. NW, Plaza Don Luis N120

Albuquerque, NM 87104

Old Town

Historic Old Town has been the heart of Albuquerque since the city was founded here in 1706 by a group of Spanish families. The settlers organized their new town in the traditional Spanish colonial way, with a central plaza anchored by a church. When the original adobe church collapsed after the long, rainy summer of 1792, they rebuilt, and in 1793, San Felipe de Neri Parish was completed.  Although the church is the neighborhood's most elaborate structure, you'll notice that most of the architecture of Old Town Albuquerque is adobe, in the Pueblo-Spanish style. Despite centuries of change, the Albuquerque Old Town area has retained its charming character.

History and Ghost Tours of Old Town

History & Ghost Tours of Old Town specializes in informative, interesting and entertaining outdoor walking tours which share a wide variety of interesting trivia and historical facts in the heart of the Duke City. History Tours held daily at 12pm (March through October). Ghost Tours held nightly at 8pm (year round). Special events held monthly: Scavenger Hunts, Ghost Hunting Tours, Moonlight Ghost Tours. Private tours and Group Tours available. Featured on the Travel Channel's hit shows, "Weird Travels" & "The Dead Files". They know Old Town! They know the sights, sounds, flavors, people, shops, products, places, photo opportunities and all of the unique things that give visitors the complete “Old Town Experience”. Whether you're visiting Old Town for just a few hours or for several days, they ensure that you won't miss a thing! Reservations Required.



Neighborhood Museums

To learn more about Albuquerque and this area, you can visit some of Old Town's five museums. Just off the plaza, the newly-renovated Albuquerque Museum of Art & History showcases the cultural heritage of New Mexico through its vast collections and traveling exhibitions. Across the street, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science stands out with the prominent dome of its planetarium. This innovative and hands-on museum explores botany, geology, computer science and paleontology (dinosaurs!). The museum's Lodestar Astronomy Center includes a world-class planetarium theater with the biggest screen in New Mexico. At Explora!, kids of all ages will be amazed by more than 250 interactive science, technology and art exhibits. Fans of Southwestern jewelry will enjoy the Turquoise Museum, where visitors experience the depths of a turquoise mine and view rare and spectacular turquoise specimens from all over the world. To test your bravery, visit the American International Rattlesnake Museum. This unique museum in the heart of Old Town offers the world's largest collection of live rattlesnakes!

Albuquerque Zoo

The Rio Grande Inn is 2.0 miles or an eight minute drive from the Albuquerque Zoo. The hotel's complimentary shuttle will transport guests to and from the Albuquerque Zoo. Located next to the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the 64-acre Zoo has been offering guests close encounters with exotic and native animals since 1927.

Route 66

Historic neon signs still glow on old Route 66 through Albuquerque, which is now Central Avenue. Alongside the vintage signs, you'll see new versions put up by businesses that are continuing the aesthetic traditions of old Route 66, adorning their shops with bright, buzzing neon. The famous Route 66 continues to guide visitors through Albuquerque, from the volcanoes on the city's far west side past the Rio Grande Botanic Garden and the Albuquerque Aquarium, through historic Old Town and the Downtown business district, and continuing eastward through the University of New Mexico and the trendy Nob Hill area. The Rio Grande Inn is .6 miles or a ten minute walk from Historic Route 66.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world-renowned attraction and destination for kids of all ages. For more than three decades, the first week in October brings the smell of roasting chilies and the beautiful, magical moving picture show of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air. From its modest beginnings in 1972 with 13 balloons launching from a shopping mall parking lot, the Balloon Fiesta has grown to multiple events launching year-round at the custom-designed, 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. Our signature event remains Balloon Fiesta—which, with 700 balloons, is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.

Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway

The 2.7-mile ascent to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains is a thrilling, can't-miss attraction. The adventure begins as you board the tram, already high above the city in the foothills of the dramatic Sandia Mountains. Immediately you will be amazed as you ride the 2.7-mile Sandia Peak Tramway and are whisked gently over the canyons and lush forests that lie beneath the 10,378- foot Sandia Peak. During the day you might see mule deer, black bears or bobcats roaming the forest beneath you, while hawks, golden eagles and even the occasional hang glider coast through the air. Once atop the peak, you can see a panorama of more than 11,000 square miles of spectacular beauty. At night, the city lights below sparkle like a million jewels. In the summer you'll be free to venture out on a hike or take a leisurely walk through the wildflowers; during winter you can grab your snowboard and hit the slopes on the eastern slope Sandia Peak ski area.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is located in Northern New Mexico, an hour's drive North of Albuquerque. Train service provides access to Santa Fe on a daily basis. The New Mexico Rail Runner Express carries passengers in and out of Santa Fe between Albuquerque and points south. The Rail Runner terminates (80 minutes after leaving Albuquerque) at the tiny Santa Fe depot in the historic Railyard District, popular for shopping and entertainment. Across the tracks at the Sanbusco Market Center, you can browse specialty shops and import bazaars and enjoy a delicious meal at El Tosoro Café or one of the other eateries. The best part: Our hotel shuttle will drop and pick you up at the ABQ downtown station.

University of New Mexico

The Rio Grande Inn is 4.6 miles or a nine minute drive from the University of New Mexico. Founded in 1889 as New Mexico’s flagship institution, the University of New Mexico now occupies nearly 800 acres along old Route 66 in the heart of Albuquerque. From the magnificent mesas to the west, past the banks of the historic Rio Grande to the Sandia Mountains to the east, Albuquerque is a blend of culture and cuisine, styles and stories, people, pursuits and panoramas.


We welcome you to Old Town Albuquerque and to some of the most unique and amazing courses in the United States. Albuquerque has a glorious year-round climate that lends itself perfectly to playing golf. Weather is a key variable for a golf vacation, and Albuquerque has some of the most reliable weather conditions in the country, with 310 days of sunshine and an average annual high temperature of 70 degrees. The city golf courses are open 364 days of the year, weather permitting, and executive courses are always open to the public doing tournament play when the 18 holes course is closed. Albuquerque's prime golf season is April to October, which is one of the longest playing seasons among major golf destinations. The shoulder months are often outstanding as well, but can be less predictable. Still, with an average winter high near 50 degrees and frequent sunny blue skies, golfers are out on the courses almost every day during the winter off-season.