Attractions Events Rio Rancho New Mexico * Hotels by Attractions Events Rio Rancho New mexico

Attractions That Amaze and Inspire

Rio Rancho is home to a colorful tapestry of attractions, events , and day trips . Experience the culture of New Mexico's past, present and future at nearby Indian Pueblos . For sports enthusiasts and fans of the outdoors , Rio Rancho is the place to play. Need directions? Click here for a map of nearby attractions .

Things to do and see in and around Rio Rancho

Sharks in the desert? This is one of the Southwest’s most amazing attractions, documenting the life of the seas. Don’t miss the Albuquerque Biopark zoo and neighboring greenhouse conservatory. 2601 Central Ave. NW (505) 764-6200.

America’s most popular national monument, Bandelier is about an hour and a half drive north of Rio Rancho on the Jemez Mountain Trail. Park offers 12th century Indian pueblos and spectacular scenery. (505) 672-3861.

Casa San Ysidro is a beautifully restored Spanish Colonial rancho filled with rare Hispanic New Mexico artifacts located in the quaint rural Village of Corrales . Call for tour information, (505) 898-3915. Across the street is the adobe San Ysidro Church, dating from the 1800's. (505) 898-8220.

Originally the site of a 14th century Tewa Indian pueblo, Coronado wintered here in 1540-1541. Experience a ceremonial Indian kiva; try on a suit of conquistador armor! The Coronado State Monument is just north of Rio Rancho. (505) 867-5351.

Try your luck! Area casinos include Santa Ana Star Casino (505) 867-0000, Casino Sandia (505) 897-2173 and San Felipe’s Casino Hollywood (505) 867-6700.

This fine private museum contains exhibits of more than 60 restored vintage autos including Model T Fords, Packards and Mustangs! The J&R Vintage Auto Museum also has a book store and gift shop. 3650 Hwy. 528. (505) 867-2881.

This National Scenic Byway is considered by many to be the state’s most beautiful drive. The Trail takes you to LOS ALAMOS. Visit JEMEZ STATE MONUMENT along the way. Learn more about this scenic day trip .


Just 40 minutes from Rio Rancho, short trails wind through slot canyons and past giant cone-shaped formations of volcanic pumice. Incredible views from the top of the Tent Rocks trail. Take I-25 north to exit 259. Go to Cochiti Pueblo, then Forest Road 266. (505) 761-8700.

Before 1938, old Route 66 passed through Sandoval County. Retrace this historic road through Algodones, Bernalillo and Sandia Pueblo to 4th Street in Albuquerque.

About 20 minutes from Rio Rancho, Old Town brings to life the colorful beginnings of the Albuquerque area. Historic San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church, plus dozens of specialty stores, galleries and trading posts.

Created in 1990 to protect 15,000 ancient petroglyphs and other archaeological sites, the Petroglyph National Monument is just west of Albuquerque. (505) 899-0205.

“The City Different” is an hour’s drive north from Rio Rancho on I-25. Santa Fe is a family adventure of galleries, shopping and Native-American culture. (800) 777-2489.

Ride the world’s longest aerial tramway to the top of Sandia Peak at nearly 11,000 feet! Spectacular views and sunsets; fine dining, too. (505) 856-7325.

With 310 days of sunshine a year, Albuquerque is the perfect place to revel in the great outdoors. There are a variety of things to do in Albuquerque. Whether you're visiting one of our 14 beautiful golf courses, taking a hot-air balloon flight , mountain biking in the Sandia Mountains, hiking among dormant volcanoes, horseback riding along the Rio Grande or strolling through Old Town , you'll find Albuquerque offers a real breath of fresh air. Don't miss the stunning views of the city from Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway , as it slowly climbs the 10,350 foot peak of the mountains that form Albuquerque's eastern border.

Prefer high heels to hiking boots? There are lots of indoor Albuquerque tourism opportunities as well. Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, is packed with activities, cultural attractions and distinctive sightseeing opportunities . Start your Albuquerque experience with a visit to the National Hispanic Cultural Center , the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center or one of our 19 museums and immerse yourself in art, culture, cuisine and special cultural performances.

Year after year, Albuquerque is ranked as a favorite arts destination by American Style magazine. Even if you don't visit any of our many galleries or museums, during your stay you will likely encounter some of the many public art pieces that enliven the city. There is so much to do, you may need to add an extra day to your visit!

Arts galleries and theaters

Traditional and creative cultures flourish in Albuquerque. The diversity and quality of our unique culture give rise to the abundance of art, galleries and theaters. From fine to classical to avant-garde, our city is thriving with arts. Home to more than 100 galleries and studios, Albuquerque offers a variety of fine art, authentic Southwestern jewelry , pottery and contemporary art. Your vacation won't be complete without a trip to an Albuquerque theater or a visit to an Albuquerque art museum .

New Mexico art is a unique expression of the the Southwest experience connects you to the people and the land of Albuquerque. Experience cutting-edge performances at Albuquerque's Tricklock Theatre, dances at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center , or classical music and performances at the University of New Mexico 's Popejoy Hall. Our city is rich with performing arts. Regular performances are scheduled throughout the city. The arts in Albuquerque are locally supported and world-renowned.


Albuquerque is blessed with a variety of ecosystems and abundant natural beauty, and we have a number of resources devoted to providing information about our high desert environment.

The Albuquerque Biological Park includes the Rio Grande Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Zoo, the Albuquerque Aquarium and Tingley Beach. At the Albuquerque Zoo you'll find more than 250 species of exotic and native animals, including jaguars and Mexican wolves. At the Botanic Garden, you'll see how the plants differ in the Chihuahua Desert, the Mojave Desert and in desert grasslands, like Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Aquarium contains spectacular exhibits with both native and tropical fish, including trout, jellyfish, sharks and stingrays. The eel tunnel is a must-see! Tingley Beach, just off the Rio Grande, offers fishing equipment, paddle boat and bicycle rentals in the summer.

See our Albuquerque Calendar of Events for details about events at Albuquerque's nature centers, gardens and zoos. Also find out about our Tours & Day Trips for your upcoming visit to Albuquerque.

At the Rio Grande Botanic Garden you'll see how dry stream beds, called arroyos, suddenly fill with water during the thunderstorms that mark our summer monsoon season, and see the amazing diversity of plants that live in these regions. The Botanic Gardens' heritage farm recreates a local farm of the 1920s, with live animals and crops.

The BioPark hosts many regular and special events, including summer concert series at the Zoo and Botanic Gardens as well as occasional sleepovers in the Aquarium.

Rio Grande Nature Center is located in the bosque, or cottonwood forest, that lines the river along its course. This state park, which includes an interpretive center, encompasses 270 acres of woods, wetlands, meadows and farmland where native wildflowers and animals flourish. As you walk along the trails here you might see roadrunners, sandhill cranes, Cooper's hawks, great horned owls, turtles, beavers, muskrats, cottontail rabbits, rock squirrels and even coyotes! The Nature Center frequently hosts lectures, tours and other special events.

If you want to learn more about black bears, mountain lions, elk, pronghorn antelopes, prairie dogs and other animals native to this region, you can visit them at Wildlife West Nature Park, just east of Albuquerque in Edgewood. This 122-acre facility has 30 wildlife exhibits connected by two miles of trails. Wildlife West hosts chuck wagon suppers, hayrides and harvest festivals.

Albuquerque Aquarium - Albuquerque Biological Park
Location: Old Town
2601 Central Avenue, NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Phone: (505) 764-6200
Fax: (505) 848-7192

Experience a fascinating journey through the marine habitats of the Gulf of Mexico.

Credit Cards: Accepted

Albuquerque Biological Park
Location: Old Town
903 10th Street, SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: (505) 764-6200
Fax: (505) 764-6281

The Albuquerque Biological Park is a unique environmental museum comprising four facilities.

Total Meeting Space (Sq. Ft.): 150

Albuquerque Aquarium, Rio Grande Botanic Garden, Rio Grande Zoo and Tingley Beach (fishing lakes). Our mission is to provide Albuquerque residents and visitors with exciting new recreational opportunities and to foster environmental awareness, education and stewardship. The BioPark is a division of the City of Albuquerque's Cultural Services Department.

Rio Grande Botanic Garden - Albuquerque Biological Park
Location: Old Town
2601 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Phone: (505) 764-6200
Fax: (505) 848-7192

Celebrate the world of plants in our Mediterranean & Desert Pavilions.

Credit Cards: Accepted

Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
Location: North Valley / Los Ranchos / Corrales
2901 Candelaria, NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: (505) 344-7240
Fax: (505) 344-4505
Days Open: Daily -Except Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's
Hours of Operation: 8-5

Visitor Center 10 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.. Kid's interactive nature exhibits, ponds & 2 miles of trails winding through cottonwoods. Gift Shop. Free weekend guided nature & bird walks. $3.00 parking.

Admission: $3.00 Parking
Miles To Airport: 12

Rio Grande Zoo - Alb Biological Park
Location: Barelas/South Valley
903 10th Street, SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: (505) 764-6200
Fax: (505) 764-6281

Explore the diversity of animal life in naturalistic habitats.

Credit Cards: Accepted

Tingley Beach - Alb Biological Park
Location: Old Town
1800 Tingley Drive, SW
(South of Central Ave)
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: (505) 764-6200
Fax: (505) 764-6281
Days Open: Daily
Hours of Operation: 10-3

The Tingley Beach train currently operates daily from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

Located south of Central Ave on Tingley Drive,Tingley Beach is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. Currently, the south Catch & Release Lake, the Central Lake & the Children's Pond are stocked & may be fished. The children's pond may be fished only by children ages 12 & younger. A NM fishing license is required for ages 12 & older.

Access to Tingley Beach is free.>/b> Public restrooms are located at the south end of the train station and are open from sunrise to sunset.

Please review the Tingley Beach Access, Fishing & License Information for rules & regulations located on our website.

Tingley Train - Alb Biological Park
Location: Old Town
1800 Tingley Drive, SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: (505) 764-6200
Fax: (505) 764-6281
Days Open: Daily (Closed Holidays)
Hours of Operation: 10-3 (Weather Permitting)

The narrow gauge train at the Tingley Beach Train Station operates daily from 10:00am to 3:00pm (weather permitting). The train does not run on Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Days.

Admission: Yes

Tickets may be purchased in the Aquarium & Tingley Beach gift shops: $2 for adults & $1 for children ages 3 -12.

The Tingley train route loops from the Tingley train station north along the perimeter of the botanic garden & south from the station to the back of the zoo. The train will arrive at the Tingley Station approximately every hour & will stop at the Aquarium/Garden depot where passengers may disembark & buy a ticket from the cashiers to visit this facility. The train will also stop at the Zoo-Asia depot to pick up combo ticket passengers, but at this time, passengers with tickets to ride the Tingley route may NOT get off at the Zoo station.

Wildlife West Nature Park
Location: Neighboring Communities: East Mountains
87 N Frontage Rd
Edgewood, NM 87015
Phone: (505) 281-7655
Toll Free: (877) 981-9453
Fax: (505) 281-7170
Days Open: Mon-Sun
Hours of Operation: Summer: 10-6 pm. Winter: 12-4 pm.

Summer hours 10-6 daily. Regular admission $5. Call for event prices.

balloon rides

A hot air balloon flight is an unforgettable experience, from the incredible sensation of the initial launch, floating into the sky, to the exhilarating feeling of gently drifting with the wind and the thrill of landing. The hot air ballooning capital, Albuquerque offers superb conditions and is the perfect place to embark on your very own hot air ballooning adventure. Albuquerque balloon pilots offer hot air balloon rides all year long, providing an unparalleled chance to enjoy a bird's eye view of magnificent New Mexico terrain. Many balloon companies offer a continental breakfast and champagne toast at the conclusion of your flight. For a real hands-on experience, you can even be part of a balloon crew and help prepare the balloon for launch and pack it up again at the conclusion of the ride. Flights generally take place during the early morning hours, but balloon launch times vary depending on the season. Ballooning companies will often work with you to schedule a ride around a special occasion. No matter what season you fly, be sure to dress in layers because the early morning hours can be quite chilly, even during the summer months. Bring your camera and be ready for the thrill of a lifetime.

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