Albuquerque is a city located in the middle of the state of New Mexico just southwest of the state capital of Santa Fe. It is the largest city in the state and has a rich Native American and Spanish influenced culture with lots of unique places to explore.
In this article, we will review a bit of Albuquerque’s history as well as cover some of the stranger laws it has on the books. We will also tell you about the awesome museums, city tours, and family friendly tourist attractions Albuquerque has to offer.
What Is the History of Albuquerque?
Before any European settlement occurred, Albuquerque was home to a number of Native American tribes including Apache, Comanche, and Navajo peoples. In the early 18th century, it was settled by the Spanish Empire who held it as their territory until Mexico claimed it in the early 1820s.
Only laying claim to the area for about twenty-five years, the city fell under the jurisdiction of the United States of America where it became a part of the state of New Mexico. Today, Albuquerque is the most populous city in the state.
Are There Any Weird Laws in Albuquerque?
Albuquerque can definitely count itself as one of America’s cities that has some truly bizarre laws. You better know all the words to “The Star Spangled Banner,” otherwise don’t attempt to sing it. If you incorrectly sing the national anthem in public, you could go to jail.
Speaking of musical offenses, it is illegal to wear a sombrero while dancing so check your headwear at the door. Giving glue to a child without asking his or her parent’s permission can also get you thrown in the clink.
Apparently, Albuquerque is very proud of how its citizens conduct themselves in public because other violations of the law include spitting in public and possessing hairy armpits if you are a woman. Last but not least, do your best to avoid tripping a horse because that would most certainly cost you a legal fine.
What Museums Does Albuquerque Have to Visit?
Albuquerque has some pretty unique museums to visit and the best one to start with is the Turquoise Museum. This gorgeous collection of rare pieces of turquoise stone and turquoise art is housed in the amazing venue of the Turquoise Castle. This place really does rock!
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History is a Smithsonian affiliate that was established in the late 1960s. The museum covers the entire history of nuclear science starting with the birth of the Atomic Age and culminating in the creative and peaceful nuclear technology of today.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is another must-see museum to visit. With exhibits on the Ice Age, dinosaurs, and the geological history of southwestern America, you won’t want to miss this amazing experience. They even have a walkthrough volcano!
A unique hole-in-the-wall museum that is well worth the visit is the American International Rattlesnake Museum. Learn everything you never knew about rattlesnakes and observe the world’s biggest collection of live rattlesnakes featuring a multitude of different species.
The Unser Racing Museum celebrates the life and career of famous race car driver Al Unser. From Indy cars to championship dirt cars to NASCAR, Unser had an incredible career and you can learn all about him at this one of a kind museum.
The Albuquerque Museum is the best place to learn all about the rich history of the city and the southwestern culture of the United States. Featuring art and artifacts from the different cultural influences including Native American, Spanish, and Mexican, the Albuquerque Museum is one you won’t want to miss.
What Unique Tours of Albuquerque Can I Take?
If you’re looking to experience Albuquerque in a way unlike any other, take a sunrise hot air balloon tour. With views of the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande, you will never forget this spectacular trip which leaves plenty of time during the day for other activities and exploration.
Explore Albuquerque’s Old Town in the spookiest way possible with an authentic ghost tour. Walkthrough dark alleys, haunted cemeteries, and historic buildings with the chance of catching a paranormal spectacle in your selfie.
You can tour the set of one of AMC’s most popular drama series Breaking Bad with places like Walter White’s house, the RV Junkyard, and the SuperLab on the docket. See where the filming was done and enjoy lunch and refreshments from Los Pollos Hermanos.
What Are Some Kid Friendly Places to Visit in Albuquerque?
Albuquerque offers some great family fun adventures that your kids will be talking about for years to come. Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center complete with a museum and center where you can learn about the Pueblo people. Every weekend features traditional Native American dances and there are lots of activities for children to learn about the Pueblo culture.
The Petroglyph National Monument is a seventeen mile stretch of canyon that features prehistoric art on volcanic rock. Witness a window into the past by learning about the people who lived here thousands of years before European settlement.
The Albuquerque BioPark features botanical gardens, an aquarium, and a zoo. With dozens of plant species and animal exhibits from elephants to sharks, your whole family will enjoy all the wonders of nature in one centralized location.
The La Luz Trail is a great place to take the family hiking in the Sandia Mountains. Once you get to the top of the trail, you can look down at the city and enjoy the view. The unique rock formations of the mountains and the wildlife you’ll encounter are unforgettable.
What kid doesn’t love trains? Bring the whole family to the New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society for tours of a working steam operated train. Volunteers will help you explore this behemoth locomotive and answer any questions you may have about its operations and functionality.