Gay Vacations in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque Highlights

  • Don't rush in and out of town. If you're passing through Albuquerque's clean and efficient airport, spend a night or two in the city at the beginning and end of your trip. Albuquerque will tell you much more about the real New Mexico than more touristy Santa Fe and Taos.
  • Albuquerque has inexpensive lodging options. The city's hotels charge about half of what you'd pay in Santa Fe, and there's a choice of gay and lesbian B&Bs.
  • Driving is easy. Albuquerque's traffic is not that bad compared to other cities (just watch I-25 and I-40 during the afternoon rush hour), and parking is plentiful. Only the large downtown hotels charge for parking.

Most tourists speed through this southwestern city on their way to more glamorous spots like Santa Fe and Taos. That's a shame, because Albuquerque is slowly shedding its sleepy, dusty image and coming out of its cocoon. The largest city in New Mexico also has the largest LGBT scene in the state, including the only lesbian bar between Dallas and Phoenix. The local gayborhood is the alternative, progressive Nob Hill area, located around the old Route 66 near the University of New Mexico. Several queer bars are here, as well as funky coffee shops, diners, and music and clothing stores. The city's downtown is in the midst of a renaissance, and a lot of happening (albeit straight) nightlife is clustered there too. The historic Old Town district abounds with curious attractions like the quirky Turquoise Museum and the American International Rattlesnake Museum.

Albuquerque is set amid dramatic desertscapes at the foot of the Sandia Mountains. A touristy but worthwhile attraction is the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, with its panoramic views of the region (as well as skiing in the winter). Also be sure to head three miles north of town to the Petroglyph National Monument, where Indians carved drawings into the lava rock in ancient times.

Visit in early June for Albuquerque gay pride celebrations, or in late September and early October for the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The city's most popular and well-known event, the stunning Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October, is the largest of its kind in the world.

Published: 16 Jul 2008 | Last Updated: 7 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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