Albuquerque is a hidden gem offering stunning natural beauty and rich local culture.

Enjoy a day of adventure in the city’s outdoor playground, learn why treasure hunting is artful, gain a new perspective from a hot air balloon—the list of things to do is endless.

Get your visit started off right by booking your Albuquerque hotel with Hipmunk. Here are a few must-see destinations that won’t break the bank.

Four Seasons of Outdoor Fun

English: View of the Sandia Mountains in Albuq...

English: View of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico near the University of New Mexico stadium and arena. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Situated about a mile above sea level, Albuquerque’s desert climate offers warm days and cool evenings. The city still sees all four seasons, so don’t plan to hit an outdoor water park in January. Bring your own bike for a completely free experience mountain biking through the Sandia Mountains and stop for a personal tour of the Sandia Man Cave. Channel your inner cowboy and stay at the Cedar Crest Country Cottage and Stables, where you can see the mountainous countryside on horseback. For a more relaxing experience, float away on a hot air balloon ride with the Above and Beyond Affordable Balloon Rides.

Theater and Arts

The natural scenery of Albuquerque certainly influences the city’s arts scene. The Cell Theatre offers live entertainment 250 nights each year, with the majority of those shows open to patrons of all ages. Find unique souvenirs and amazing local art at Amapola Gallery, a cooperative gallery showcasing the work of 50 local artists who fuse the region’s rich cultural past with the modern Southwest. Rodey Theater, located at the University of New Mexico, regularly offers interesting productions, and the Sunshine Theater is a great place to catch live music. Book a stay at the Embassy Suites to be near the theaters.

Fantastic Cuisine

Albuquerque’s signature cuisine is a fusion of Native American, Mexican, and Spanish flavors. The state fruit is a chili pepper, so you can imagine the kick you’ll find in 50-year-old traditional dishes from El Pinto Restaurant. For a more private and tranquil dining experience, visit Casa de Benavidez, a family-owned restaurant serving traditional New Mexican eats surrounded by garden waterfalls. Albuquerque boasts a pretty vibrant food truck scene, and foodies will want to check ABQ Food Trucks’ Facebook page to see where the trucks are headed next.

Into the Night

Though downtown and Nob Hill are known for bustling nightlife with wine breweries and pubs, locals say that the casinos are worth a second look. If you need to get your sports fix on vacation, Altitude Sports Grill has wall-to-wall televisions along with happy hours and trivia competitions. For a more relaxing, quiet evening, Cantina at the Crowne Plaza offers the best margaritas in town for you and your company. Looking for an oasis in the Albuquerque desert? Visit Burt’s Tiki Lounge for cheap beer, surf decor, and rock music.

Albuquerque is a city filled with adventure for any traveler. Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments!