Though the Harvard Crimson may be the main attraction in Albuquerque this week, the town has plenty of sights to keep you busy when you're not at a basketball game. Albuquerque is a place heavily influenced by Hispanic and Native American cultures, with a fusion of food, art, architecture, and music that can be hard to find in the Northeast. Below are Flyby's top five tourist stops.
Old Town Albuquerque
Old Town is the historical and geographical heart of Albuquerque. Since its founding in 1706, the neighborhood has grown to include five museums and over 100 shops and restaurants. The architectural centerpiece is the San Felipe de Neri church, established in 1706 and rebuilt in 1793. With thick adobe walls and rounded arches, the church is a jewel of Southwestern architecture. Be sure to check out the traditional arts and crafts sold in shops and on sidewalks, and try a traditional dish with green chilies.
American International Rattlesnake Museum
This museum is not for the faint of heart. Located in Old Town, the American International Rattlesnake Museum holds over 30 living species of snakes. The museum's website claims that they "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.
Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway
Just as skyscrapers comprise the skylines of New York and Boston, the Sandia Mountains are the outstanding feature of the horizon in Albuquerque. The word "sandia," which means "watermelon" in Spanish, describes the color of the mountains at sunset. The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway takes visitors 2.7 miles above canyons and scrub brush to the top of a 10,378-foot mountain. From there, you can hike around or have lunch before your descent.