By Chris Clapp
Albuquerque, New Mexico is recognized as one of the most culturally unique and eclectic cities in the country. Its diverse background is reflected in just about every aspect of the city, from architecture and artwork to cultural centers and cuisine. The city itself is characterized by countless customs and vibrant traditions that have been passed down over generations. Albuquerque is best known for a unique local cuisine that blends Native American and Spanish ingredients and preparations. While the southwest cuisine obviously shines, you can find anything from sushi to pasta as well.
Whether you are a resident or simply stopping though, Albuquerque, New Mexico is the epicenter of authentic southwestern culture and definitely worth exploring.
Museums and Festivals
New Mexico is known for its arts community and culturally aware population. The state’s museums feature folk art, sculpture, and world famous paintings. In addition to its permanent collection, The Albuquerque Museum of Art and Art History hosts many cultural events throughout the year. Jazz workshops, curatorial seminars and lectures, and theatrical performances are just a few of the highlights. The museum’s Harvest Festival; however, is one event you do not want to miss. Admission is free for this two-day event, where activities include traditional weaving and blacksmith demonstrations, horno bread making, and children-friendly crafts. The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, also located in Albuquerque, is the nation’s only congressionally chartered museum in its field. From early research of nuclear development to the current peaceful uses of nuclear energy, there is no better place to learn the intriguing story of the Atomic Age. In Albuquerque, there really is a museum for just about every interest.
Nature has always played a significant role in New Mexico’s culture, and the parks and nature preserves are a reflection of that. The 52-acre Rio Grande Botanic Garden at the ABQ BioPark is nestled between the Rio Grande River and the Albuquerque Aquarium. Whether participating in one of the Garden’s many educational activities or relaxing on a self-guided tour, the Botanic Garden is sure to provide beautiful and enjoyable scenery. The garden includes a 10,000 square-foot glass conservatory, a 10-acre Heritage Farm, the PNM Butterfly Pavilion, a Japanese Garden, a model train display, and a Children’s Fantasy Garden. The Botanic Garden embraces the ABQ BioPark’s mission to express and commemorate the horticultural and agricultural traditions of the Rio Grande Valley and all of New Mexico.
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