New Mexico’s nickname is the Land of Enchantment for a reason. There’s so much to do and experience that it’s easy to fall in love with the state! 

New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque, is a hub of culture and economic activity in the American Southwest. It has vibrant arts, culture, film, science and space industries, and hosts several notable landmarks and events, including Historic Route 66 and the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It is also home to several higher ed institutions, including the state’s flagship institution, the University of New Mexico. 

As you plan your trip for HighEdWeb 2024, why not consider extending your stay to explore all that Albuquerque and the surrounding region have to offer? Below are some ideas and recommendations to help you plan your New Mexico getaway. 

Looking for more information on how to get to ABQ? Check out our location and venue resources.

An excited family prepares to take off for a hot air balloon ride.

An excited family prepares to take off for a hot air balloon ride. Photo credit: New Mexico Tourism Department.

Geography and climate

What’s left of Albuquerque? The city sits in the center of New Mexico at the northernmost edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. It is surrounded by breathtaking views on all sides. Natural landmarks include the Sandia Mountains to the east and the Rio Grande River, which flows through the center of the city.

It’s a dry heat. Albuquerque offers more than 310 days of sunshine – perfect for outdoor adventuring. In September, the average temperatures reach highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s.

High desert. At 5,312 feet above sea level, Albuquerque has one of the highest elevations of any major U.S. city. Drink plenty of water, and you’ll get acclimated in no time!

Get outdoors

Albuquerque offers a variety of options for scenic hiking, biking, golf and other outdoor activities. Visitors can experience the landscape by riding the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, exploring Petroglyph National Monument and so much more!  

The region is also known for hot air ballooning and aerial adventuring. HighEdWeb 2024 will take place just weeks before the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Conference attendees will see many balloons in the sky during our event. You can even plan your own balloon ride!

Find out more:

A Sandia Peak Tramway cable car suspended mid air looking west above Albuquerque at sunset.

A Sandia Peak Tramway cable car suspended mid air looking west above Albuquerque at sunset. Photo credit: Minh Quan.

Arts and culture

Whether you’re interested in history, native culture, science or modern art, Albuquerque has museums and attractions to satisfy all your curiosities. The city is a popular filming location for movies and television, offering you the chance to tour sites of popular shows like Breaking Bad.

Less than two miles east of the Albuquerque Convention Center, Old Town Albuquerque features historic architecture and modern amenities. You can dine, shop and explore cultural attractions like the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque Museum of Arts and History, and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

Located an hour north of Albuquerque, Santa Fe is home to even more museums, cultural attractions and restaurants. Highlights include the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Museum Hill, Canyon Road and Meow Wolf, an interactive arts complex with ties to author and Santa Fe local George RR Martin

Dining and culinary experiences

Albuquerque is home to a wide variety of restaurants, exceptional culinary experience; and award-winning craft breweries, wineries and distilleries. The city even has great options for enjoying your favorite mocktails.

During your visit, there will be plenty of opportunities to experience Northern New Mexican cuisine, a rich blend of flavors and traditions centered around the New Mexico chile

Red, green or Christmas?

  • The New Mexico chile is so important to local dining that it inspired the state question: “Red or Green?” (Hint: Answer “Christmas” if you want to try both options with your meal.) 
  • A hub of chile production, the Village of Hatch is located less than three hours south of Albuquerque. It has a reputation of being the “Chile Capital of the World.” 
  • Chile roasting season spans late summer to early fall, coinciding with HighEdWeb 2024!
A group of tourists enjoying street corn at Sawmill Market.

A group of tourists enjoying street corn at Sawmill Market. Photo credit: Mark Read Photography.

Health and wellness

From natural hot springs to resorts and farmer's markets, Albuquerque and the region offer an array of opportunities for you to relax and recharge.

Albuquerque spas offer a wide range of services designed to soothe and pamper, often using indigenous ingredients such as clay, blue cornmeal, juniper and sage.

Los Poblanos includes a spa, organic restaurant and organic lavender farm.

More information