Albuquerque’s claim to fame used to be as the place that Bugs Bunny couldn’t get away from fast enough. But these days, ABQ is seeing a revival, and travelers are starting to pick up on the city’s cool factor!

After the hit TV series Breaking Bad put Albuquerque back on the map, more and more people are giving the city a try. If you haven’t given Albuquerque a shot yet, you totally should. The city gets 310 days of sunshine a year, for cryin’ out loud! Here’s how to experience the best of ABQ’s cool.

Light’s, Camera, Action!

"Breaking Bad House" by Ayleen Gaspar is licensed under CC 2.0.

Breaking Bad House” by Ayleen Gaspar is licensed under CC 2.0.

Hollywood, schmollywood. Albuquerque is becoming its own epicenter of film tourism. Recently, the city has played host to a number of A-listers and film crews as it’s become a popular location to film TV series and movies. The most famous? Obviously Breaking Bad.

Albuquerque acts as its own character on the show, and as a result, Breaking Bad themed tours are all the rage! Whether you go with an organized group or on your own, you can see tons of locations from the series in real life—from Walter White’s house to Los Pollos Hermanos and more! Keep an eye out for celebrities too—Breaking Bad isn’t the only series to be filmed out in ABQ. The city often gets selected as a film location because of its annual sunshine and unique landscape. Prepare to be starstruck!

An Unexpected Beer Scene

MaxyM / Shutterstock

MaxyM / Shutterstock

For locals and residents of Albuquerque, the beer scene is old news, but for outsiders, the city is a surprising new hotspot to check out innovative and tasty brews. It might have something to do with the fact that breweries like Marble Brewery are drawing national attention for their pints of perfection.

Founded in 2008, Marble Brewery sits in the heart of Albuquerque. It became a favorite spot for the film crew and actors of Breaking Bad to toss back a few cold ones after a long day of filming. Marble Brewery even won the 2014 Great American Beer Festival Small Brewery and Small Brewery Brewer of the Year award. Impressive! Albuquerque has a brewery scene that rivals San Diego and Denver—and the proof is in the pint glass.

It’s All Happening Here

rozbyshaka / Shutterstock

rozbyshaka / Shutterstock

Like an over-scheduled coworker, Albuquerque always has something going on. That means, no matter what time of year you drop by, you’re sure to find something cool to pass the time.

The Viva New Mexico Chile Festival celebrates the centuries long tradition of agriculture in the area, with a three-day long festival of food, music, and of course, chile contests. Maybe even cooler, every October sees the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world! Extremely cool.

Such Great Heights

Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock

Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock

Albuquerque has a base elevation of 5,000 feet, so you might have to get used to the air up there when you arrive. If you want the real ABQ experience, though, you can stretch a little bit higher.

The Sandia Peak Tram whisks riders up more than 10,000 feet in minutes, covering 2.7 miles suspended in air over deep canyons. From the observation deck, you can appreciate the Rio Grande Valley with its 11,000 square mile panoramic perch. Located on the eastern edge of Albuquerque, the tram offers the perfect opportunity to watch a classic New Mexico desert sky sunset. It literally doesn’t get any cooler than that.

Who knew Albuquerque was so awesome? Will you be visiting this up-and-coming city anytime soon? Which spots do you think are the coolest? Tell us in the comments!

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About The Author

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at