Old Town Orientation Walk (Self Guided), Albuquerque

Old Town, Albuquerque is an active commercial, residential and community center tracing history back to 1706. Buildings around the Old Town plaza are authentic adobes up to 300 years old. Many of them feature a distinctive Albuquerque's "Territorial Style". The Old Town is also famous as a thoroughfare place with a huge number of boutiques, restaurants and bars, much as for the abundance of museums – science, history, and art. This orientation walk will lead you to some of the most famous tourist sights of Old Town, Albuquerque.
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Old Town Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: Old Town Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Albuquerque (See other walking tours in Albuquerque)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Author: doris
1
Explora Science Center and Children's Museum

1) Explora Science Center and Children's Museum (must see)

"Explora" is a science center located near Old Town Albuquerque. The museum employs a hands-on, inquiry-based learning approach to science, math, and art. The museum has 20,000 square feet of exhibit space on two floors, which contain over 250 interactive exhibits that cover a broad range of science, technology, and art. Notable exhibits include a laminar flow fountain, an experiment bar, an arts and crafts area, and a high-wire bike. In addition to the exhibits, the building houses a performance theater, gift store, educational program areas, the in-house exhibit workshop and staff offices. ¡Explora! is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. In November 2010, ¡Explora! was named a recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Why You Should Visit:
Great tactile experience for kids of all ages! Lots of exploring and learning in a fun & friendly environment.

Tip:
Bring your lunch for the picnic area, because you're not going to want to leave until the kids have had a chance to explore every inch of this place!
Also, make sure you check out the elevator. It's a large elevator for moving exhibits around; however, during open hours it has an entire living room set in it so you can relax.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 12pm-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

2) New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (must see)

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a natural history and science museum near Old Town Albuquerque and was founded in 1986.
The Museum's permanent exhibit halls illustrate a "journey through time", covering the birth of the Universe to the Ice Age. 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, and New Mexico's Ice Age. Bronze statues of two dinosaurs, a Pentaceratops named "Spike" and an Albertosaurus named "Alberta", stand at the entrance. Many dinosaur fossils have been found in New Mexico, and a few of the ones on display in the museum are only known from New Mexico. Other permanent exhibits include a planetarium and two floors of exhibit galleries dedicated to astronomy and space exploration.

Why You Should Visit:
Definitely for all ages. Lots of room, brightly lit, fabulous dinosaurs, and you can learn about many more recent discoveries. For an extra cost, you can also watch a 3D film and/or enjoy the planetarium.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Albuquerque Museum

3) Albuquerque Museum (must see)

The Albuquerque Museum is dedicated to preserving the art of the American Southwest and the history of Albuquerque and the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico. The museum also contributes significantly to the cultural and educational programs in the city of Albuquerque. The museum features art of the Southwest and its global influences, as well as 400 years of Albuquerque history with permanent installations and special exhibitions of national and international origin. The museum was first opened as the Museum of Albuquerque in 1967 and located in the Albuquerque International Sunport. The collection outgrew the available space in the terminal, and the current location was built in 1979.

The museum's permanent exhibits include early maps, conquistador armor, weavings, and other artifacts of colonial life in New Mexico. The museum also hosts changing exhibits, a massive photo archive, art galleries, and maintains an outdoor sculpture garden on the grounds.

Why You Should Visit:
Very low-cost museum, but also very modern and beautiful. The outdoor gardens and sculptures are a great place to take pictures. There is also a small restaurant with limited indoor seating and some outdoor seating as well.

Opening Hours:
Tue–Sun: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
American International Rattlesnake Museum

4) American International Rattlesnake Museum (must see)

The American International Rattlesnake Museum is located in Old Town Albuquerque and is devoted to snakes, particularly rattlesnakes. With the staff that is a participant in regular international viper research events, the museum hosts a diverse collection of living rattlesnakes and an extensive library of study material and educational tools. The museum claims to host more different species than the Bronx Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, the National Zoo, the Denver Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo combined. In addition to rattlesnakes, the museum holds a live Gila Monster. The museum also houses a large collection of snake-related artwork, artifacts, memorabilia, and a gift shop.

Why You Should Visit:
You can learn more about snakes here than you ever wanted to know, and more. A very welcome escape from the normal museum!

Tip:
Don't forget to buy a t-shirt to let everyone know that you learned a whole lot about rattlesnakes in Albuquerque!

Opening Hours:
September - May: Mon-Fri: 11:30am-5:30pm; Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 1pm-5pm;
Summer: Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 1pm-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
San Felipe de Neri Church

5) San Felipe de Neri Church (must see)

San Felipe de Neri Church is a historic Catholic church located on the north side of Old Town Plaza. Built in 1793, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city. Originally, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez named the church San Francisco Xavier, after the Viceroy of New Spain. Shortly afterward, The Duke of Albuquerque changed the name to San Felipe, after the King Philip of Spain. San Felipe de Neri was established in 1706 under the direction of Fray Manuel Moreno and initially stood to the northwest of the Plaza. The original building was completed in 1719. The original church building collapsed in 1792 after a heavy rain and was replaced by the current structure the following year. The towers were added in 1861, a parish school was constructed in 1878, and a convent for the Sisters of Charity was built on the west side of the church in 1881.

Why You Should Visit:
Worth a look just for the history and adobe architecture, and it's a very peaceful place, with a garden in the back, good for contemplation.

Tip:
Check out the gift shop! You will be surprised to find local artisan work and imports from Mexico that you don't find in the shops surrounding the plaza in Old Town.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Turquoise Museum

6) Turquoise Museum

Turquoise Museum is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Albuquerque. The museum's exhibitions aim to relate the history, geology and mythology of the blue stones. Here, you can learn about places where turquoise is mined, how to determine the quality of the stone, and the numerous varieties of turquoise. The museum also features a gift shop and a cafe.
7
ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden

7) ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden (must see)

The ABQ Biopark Botanic Garden is a must-see place once you visit Albuquerque. The garden showcases plants of the Southwest and other arid climates and includes a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) conservatory, formal themed gardens, and a demonstration garden. One wing of the glass conservatory houses colorful plants native to Mediterranean climates zones; a second wing features xeric plants from North American deserts. Paths behind the conservatories allow visitors to experience New Mexico Habitats, including desert, grasslands, lava flows, and sandhills.

Children and adults alike love to visit the miniature trains and villages of Railroad Hill and the gigantic vegetables and insects of the Children's Fantasy Garden. From mid-May through September, the PNM Butterfly Pavilion offers visitors an intimate experience with hundreds of colorful North American butterflies. The Heritage Farm represents farm life along the Rio Grande in the 1920s and 1930s and Colores offers delights in every season with blossoms, seed pods, and interesting foliage. Opened in the fall of 2007, Sasebo Japanese Garden features a 16-foot waterfall that tumbles into a large pond, which is surrounded by winding paths that reveal beautiful views and interesting plant combinations.

Why You Should Visit:
This is a must for families with children of all ages. Even if you just want to get away for a peaceful day, this is the place to go.

Tip:
Try to take the nocturnal tour during the summer as it's truly a different botanic experience.
Don't forget your camera for all the unique photo ops, and your souvenir coin before leaving!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
ABQ BioPark Aquarium

8) ABQ BioPark Aquarium (must see)

The Albuquerque Aquarium was built as a themed aquarium, with visitors starting at a fountain that depicts the headwaters of the Rio Grande and ending at a 285,000-US-gallon saltwater tank which holds species from the open ocean of the Gulf of Mexico. After entering the museum, visitors first view freshwater tanks that display fish from the Rio Grande, both currently found and those no longer found in the river today. Adjacent to this exhibit is a model boat exhibition hall and a movie theater displaying informational films on aquatic life. Following this is a Gulf of Mexico Coast Gallery, which contains several exhibits depicting the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, with fish and bird species from this region as well as stingrays and a retired shrimp fishing boat. A replica of a coral reef displaying such fish as parrot-fish, angelfish, grunts, porcupine-fish, and trigger-fish comes next; followed by an eel cave which displays green moray eels, spotted eel, purplemouth eel, and goliath groupers. The next exhibit is a series of small tanks exhibiting "oddities" such as clown-fish, seahorses, pipe-fish, and jellyfish. On occasion, there will also be a touch pool tank open that contains stingrays and bamboo shark pups. A restaurant and a gift shop are also located in the building.

Why You Should Visit:
Easy to navigate and with lots of interactive opportunities (especially for kids), plus very friendly staff.
The restaurant at the shark tank is fun and fascinating – feels like you're in the sea.
Good representation of Pacific life and local aquatic life.

Tip:
The combo ticket is worth the price if you get to either the Zoo or Aquarium at opening time and immediately head to the other site first. They are over 2 miles apart from each other and if you ride the train, please check the train schedule first to plan your day!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Create Your Own Walk in Albuquerque

Create Your Own Walk in Albuquerque

Creating your own self-guided walk in Albuquerque is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Shopping Tour in Albuquerque

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km