Albuquerque Tourism 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 Interstate 40 to the North, Downtown 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 ABQ hotel is located off I-40, exit 157A on Rio Grande Blvd. The highway proximity puts this hotel near the University of New Mexico, Sandia Peak Tramway and Balloon Fiesta Park.

Our complimentary shuttle radius includes attractions like the Albuquerque Zoo (Rio Grande Zoo), Albuquerque Museum, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Alvarado Transportation Center, Albuquerque Convention Center and Old Town Plaza. Check out our Albuquerque Map for recommended businesses in Albuquerque Old Town.

Plan your New Mexico vacation in Old Town Albuquerque, at the Rio Grande Inn and Stay Culturally Centered.

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BEST WESTERN PLUS Rio Grande Inn

The Rio Grande Inn, a full service Albuquerque hotel, is located just a few blocks from Historic Old Town Plaza.

The ambiance at this three diamond AAA rated Albuquerque hotel reflects the genuine style and warm, traditional hospitality of New Mexico. You'll find over 2,500 square feet of meeting space, an outdoor swimming pool, an exceptional restaurant, a full service lounge, and of course, our signature service.

Old Town Plaza

The focal point of community life since it was founded in 1706 by Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez. Centered around the plaza, Albuquerque's Old Town encompasses about ten blocks of historic adobe buildings. On the north side of the plaza is the San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in the city, which was built in 1793. Surrounding the church, the city's settlers had built their homes, shops and government offices, many of which have since been converted into the restaurants, art galleries and shops that comprise Old Town today.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Museum Exhibits Admission

Adult (13-59) $6        

Senior (60 & older) $7

Child (3-12) $4

Dynatheater Admission

Adult (13-59) $10      

Senior (60 & older) $8

Child (3-12) $6

Planetarium Admission

Adult (13-59) $7        

Senior (60 & older) $6

Child (3-12) $4

San Felipe de Neri Church

Weekend Masses
Saturday 5:30 pm 
Sunday 7:00 am
8:30 am (in Spanish)
10:15 am

Confession
Saturday 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Daily Masses
Monday 7:00 am
Tuesday 7:00 am, 9:00am (with school)
Wednesday 7:00 am, 6:00pm
Friday 7:00 am

Turquoise Museum

Admission

General  $10.00 HMT Fee $2

Senior (55+) Admission  $8.00 HMT Fee $2

AAA Admission $8.00 HMT Fee $2

Military Admission $8.00 HMT Fee $2

Child (-18) Admission $8.00 HMT Fee $2

A 90 minute energetic and interactive guided museum tour featuring the largest collection of natural turquoise on display, world history of turquoise, hands on exhibits, and so much more. Spy into a working lapidary shop and understand how this beautiful gemstone goes from the mountain to the jewelry.

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

The Museum is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

General Admission - Out of State             

Senior (65 & older) $2

Adult (13-64) $4               

Child (4-12) $1

The Albuquerque Museum has served as the city's cultural center since 1967. Located in the heart of Old Town, the Museum maintains a reputation for being one of the leading institutions for art, history and culture in the Southwest. Today, through the support of the City of Albuquerque, Cultural Services Department and the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, The Museum continues to celebrate the rich culture of the people, history and art through local, regional, national and international exhibitions.

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".  We know Old Town!  We 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, we ensure that you won't miss a thing!  Reservations Required.

RIO GRANDE INN GUESTS RECEIVE A 10% DISCOUNT OFF OF REGULAR ADMISSION RATES. PLEASE ENTER CODE BWRGI DURING THE ONLINE CHECKOUT.

St Clair Winery and Bistro

American cuisine with a local flair served with over 40 New Mexico wines. Open for lunch and dinner. Wine bar, ample outdoor patio seating, and jazz (Thursday – Sunday).

Hours of Operation:

Sunday – Thursday 11 am – 9 pm

Friday – Sunday 11 am – 10 pm

Old Town Albuquerque

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. Despite centuries of change, the Albuquerque Old Town plaza remains the center of Albuquerque Tourism. Most of Albuquerque's museums, attractions, restaurants and tours are located in Old Town Albuquerque.

Visit the Old Town Albuquerque App website to see an “Introduction to Old Town” and find discounts and deals on tours, restaurants and attractions.

www.oldtownalbuquerqueapp.com

Rio Grande Zoo

Admission

  • Adult (13-64): $12.50
  • Senior (65+): $5.50
  • Child (3-12): $4
  • Children under 3 are free

Hours

Gates open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily
Park closes at 5 p.m

June - August.: Park open until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Summer Holidays (Memorial Day, July 4 & Labor Day).

Ticket booths close a half-hour before closing.

The Rio Grande Inn is 2.0 miles or an eight minute drive from the Rio Grande Zoo. The hotel's complimentary shuttle will transport guests to and from the Rio Grande 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.

Botanic Garden

Admission

  • Adult (13-64): $12.50
  • Senior (65+): $5.50
  • Child (3-12): $4
  • Children under 3 are free

Hours

Gates open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily
Park closes at 5 p.m

June - August.: Park open until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Summer Holidays (Memorial Day, July 4 & Labor Day).

Ticket booths close a half-hour before closing.

Explore over one and a half miles of paths through formal and whimsical gardens designed to delight your senses.

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Museum Exhibits Admission

Adult (13-59) $6       

Senior (60 & older) $7

Child (3-12) $4

Dynatheater Admission

Adult (13-59) $10     

Senior (60 & older) $8

Child (3-12) $6

Planetarium Admission

Adult (13-59) $7       

Senior (60 & older) $6

Child (3-12) $4

Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Digital 3D is Here!

Dynatheater - With partners D3D Cinema, Barco, and Dolby, the enhanced large-format Lockheed Martin DynaTheater now features the world's first 2D/3D digital 4K dual projection system. The system features two new projectors, new digital surround sound, and a new five story white screen. With optimum viewing throughout the renovated theater, there isn't a bad seat in the house!

The Planetarium at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is an amazing theater that blends art, science, and fun! The largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in New Mexico, our 55' Sky-Skan Definiti, full-dome theater features educational and entertaining multimedia presentations on astronomy and space science.  Whether it's learning about the constellations in our night sky tonight or watching mind-bending fractal zooms, the Planetarium will be an experience that you and your family will not soon forget!

The Museum's permanent exhibit halls illustrate a journey through time, covering the birth of the Universe (≈13.6 billion years ago) to the Ice Age (≈10,000 years ago). The eight journey through time halls are as follows:

Origins

Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Jurassic Super Giants

New Mexico's Seacoast

Age of Volcanoes

Evolving Grasslands

Cave Experience

New Mexico's Ice Age

San Felipe de Neri Church

Weekend Masses
Saturday 5:30 pm 
Sunday 7:00 am
8:30 am (in Spanish)
10:15 am

Confession
Saturday 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Daily Masses
Monday 7:00 am
Tuesday 7:00 am, 9:00am (with school)
Wednesday 7:00 am, 6:00pm
Friday 7:00 am

The original church of San Felipe de Neri was started in 1706 under the direction of Fray Manuel Moreno, a Franciscan priest who came to Alburquerque [the spelling was later changed to Albuquerque] with 30 families from Bernalillo in 1704 or 1705. The church was initially named San Francisco Xavier by Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, who founded the city of Alburquerque and named it after the Viceroy of New Spain. The Duke of Alburquerque ordered that the titular saint be changed to San Felipe de Neri in honor of King Philip of Spain.

A written account dated 1715 chronicled a convicted criminal en route to exile (in El Paso) who took sanctuary in the church. By 1718-19, the first church was completed; it stood on the west side of the town plaza, north of the current Basket Shop. The cemetery was east of the church, and the convento (rectory) was to the south.

During the very rainy summer of 1792, the old church collapsed. The church that now stands on the Old Town Plaza was constructed the following year. This church, in the shape of a cross, was constructed of adobe; the walls are 5 feet thick. A one-story convento for the Friars was added on the east side and the westernmost room of the structure was a sacristy.

In 1817, the administration of the parish was assumed by diocesan clergy. The Franciscans were asked to leave after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821. One notable figure of that time was Father Jose Manuel Gallegos, who arrived in 1845. Father Gallegos studied in the Taos Seminary under Father Antonio Jose Martinez. He later became a politician and served in the territorial assembly and in the territorial council during American rule.

A French priest, Father Joseph Machebeuf, was named pastor of Albuquerque by Bishop Lamy in 1853. Around this time, San Felipe de Neri was remodeled with a new roof, altar, and pulpit.

During the time of the Civil War, a sketch done by a Confederate soldier showed the two towers that had been constructed in 1861. Subsequently, the Union forces recaptured Albuquerque after the defeat of the Confederates near Pecos. The Union army leased the rectory of San Felipe de Neri for several years after the war.

Jesuit priests from Naples, Italy, came in 1867 at the invitation of Bishop Lamy. The Jesuits oversaw a major facelift to the church and adjacent buildings. In 1878 they built a school for boys on the northwest side of the church. At the same time, the land to the east was enclosed for a playground, stable, and corral. Today, the former school building is leased for use as retail shops.

A two-story convent was built on the west side of the church in 1881. Sisters of Charity, who staffed the parish school, occupied the convent until the late 1970s. In 1890, the Jesuits built a portico around the inner courtyard, a second story to the rectory, a 30-foot porch, a decorated gable above the front door, and a "widow's walk" on the pitched roof.

The church was the most elaborate building in the area and became the social center for the entire community.

San Felipe underwent renovations again in 1916. The inside was painted, a pressed tin ceiling was added, and a new wood floor was laid.

In late 1965, the administration of the church, rectory, school, and convent was returned to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and, after 98 years of service, the Jesuits left Old Town.

Except for its tin ceiling, brick floor, and south entrance, today's church is the same structure as in 1793. In 1995-96, the roof of the rectory was restored to the original look given by the Jesuits in 1890. The new pitched tin roof has a decorative gable above the front door and a "widow's walk."

As the new millennium dawned, San Felipe de Neri Parish began a major restoration project. In the first phase, the exterior and roof of the church were repaired and refinished. In the second phase, the interior of the church was refurbished. In the third phase, now under way, the offices and the parish hall are undergoing significant structural repair and remodeling. Contributions to the Arise and Rebuild Fund may be sent to the parish office, and they will be greatly appreciated.

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

General Admission - New Mexico resident         

Senior (65 & older) $2

Adult (13-64) $3               

Child (4-12) $1

General Admission - Out of State             

Senior (65 & older) $2

Adult (13-64) $4               

Child (4-12) $1

Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

The Museum is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

The Albuquerque Museum has served as the city's cultural center since 1967. Located in the heart of Old Town, the Museum maintains a reputation for being one of the leading institutions for art, history and culture in the Southwest. Today, through the support of the City of Albuquerque, Cultural Services Department and the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, The Museum continues to celebrate the rich culture of the people, history and art through local, regional, national and international exhibitions.

In addition to world-class exhibitions, the Museum offers a wide variety of programming including educational classes for children of all ages; live performances in its amphitheater; docent-guided tours in the Museum, its Sculpture Garden and Old Town; the MuseumStore and the Museum's café, Slate at The Museum.

US 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, New Mexico (NM); from the volcanoes on the city's far west side past cheap iconic motels, 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.

Turquoise Museum

The Turquoise Museum and its collection of turquoise have been used as a source of information and pictures for over 20 years. Uncover the mystery of turquoise, delve into its’ rich history, learn about the different mines, specimens, and stories of colorful characters at The Turquoise Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Authors of books, magazines, articles, and research papers have all used the museum as a source of information. Its rich repository of turquoise specimens from over one hundred mines, educations, and histories make it a must see in its’ travel exhibits and permanent location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The museum is still privately owned and operated to this day.

http://www.turquoisemuseum.com

Buy Tickets

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.

RIO GRANDE INN GUESTS RECEIVE A 10% DISCOUNT OFF OF REGULAR ADMISSION RATES. PLEASE ENTER CODE BWRGI DURING THE ONLINE CHECKOUT.

http://www.toursofoldtown.com/

HIGH NOON HISTORY TOURS

GHOST TOUR OF OLD TOWN

Aquarium

Admission

  • Adult (13-64): $12.50
  • Senior (65+): $5.50
  • Child (3-12): $4
  • Children under 3 are free

Hours

Gates open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily
Park closes at 5 p.m

June - August.: Park open until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Summer Holidays (Memorial Day, July 4 & Labor Day).

Ticket booths close a half-hour before closing.

Located next to the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Take a journey down the Rio Grande from Albuquerque to the Gulf of Mexico, visiting aquatic animals along the way. 

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.