If, when you travel, you like to check out local museums, you’re not alone—there’s a reason that popular destinations often have a lot of attractions for visitors, and that’s because not every group visiting likes the same things. Some people are more interested in art museums than they are science museums, and vice versa. If you’re a museum fanatic and are trying to find some unique ones to cross off your “must-visit” list, check out our guide for some of Albuquerque’s best local attractions.
1) ABQ BioPark
Located at 903 10th St. S.W., the ABQ BioPark is an interesting setup—four facilities make up this conglomerate of displays that focus on natural life. The facilities include the Albuquerque Aquarium, the Rio Grande Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Zoo, and Tingley Beach. At each of the facilities, as you can imagine, something different is the focus, and visitors have the opportunity to learn and see a lot of different exhibits in one convenient location.
2) American International Rattlesnake Museum
With an Indiana Jones feel, this museum takes you on an adventure around the world to learn about different types of rattlesnakes. Not for the faint of heart, this museum has the largest collection of live rattlesnakes, outdoing the Bronx Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, National Zoo, Denver Zoo, San Francisco Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo—combined! That’s an awful lot of snakes! Species from North, Central and South America are all represented in recreated habitats. It might not be the best place for someone who’s afraid of snakes, but if you want to take a walk on the wild side, this is the place to do it!
3) Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico
For the history buff, the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum is perfect. It showcases historical conflicts caused by prejudice, with a mission of combating hate and intolerance through education. This museum features exhibits from the Holocaust, the Armenian and Greek genocides, the inhumane treatment of Native Americans, and slavery in the United States. Not the most cheerful topics, but this is a museum that’s certainly powerful.
4) J&R Vintage Auto Museum
Just outside of Albuquerque in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, you’ll find the J&R Vintage Auto Museum, which features more than 60 antique cars and trucks, fully restored. Also on display are vintage books and die cast toys. If you’re a gearhead, this one’s for you.
5) Tinkertown Museum
In Sandia Park, NM, you’ll find this gem—open from April to November, it’s located on the Turquoise Trail and is a folk art museum created more than 40 years ago. What was once a four-room summer cabin is now a 22-room collection of one man’s life’s work. The construction features more than 50,000 glass bottles and other recyclable materials, constructed to display an animated miniature western town, a circus, a saddle show, and more. A truly unique attraction.
6) Turquoise Museum
If it’s actual gems (well, stones, but you get the idea) you’re looking for, check out the Turquoise Museum. This attraction features a 90-minute interactive guided tour that features the largest collection of natural turquoise on display, as well as a world history of turquoise, hands-on exhibits, and more.
Plan your stay in Albuquerque today. To book your stay at the Barcelona Suites, contact us any time.
7) National Museum of Nuclear Science and History
This museum was established in 1969, and serves as an intriguing and unique place to learn the story of the “Atomic Age,” from early research of nuclear development through today’s use of nuclear technology. Visitors can learn about how nuclear science influences modern day society, as well as the diverse applications of nuclear energy in the past. Exhibits include: “Electricity: Spark Your Curiosity”; “Nuclear Medicine”; “Nano: Imagine and Discover the World You Can’t See”; Nuclear Waste Transportation—an exhibit that features how radioactive waste is managed in a safe way; Heritage Park which showcases planes, rockets, missiles, cannons and nuclear sub sail; The Uranium Cycle, which explains the processes used to dispose of Uranium after use; Energy Encounter; Radiation 101; Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Cold War; Atomic Culture/Pop Culture; Little Albert’s Lab, which is perfect for kids; Decision to Drop; and Pioneers of the Atom.
If you’re interested in nuclear energy and power and want to learn more about all different aspects of it, this is the museum for you—unique to Albuquerque, you’ll learn more than you might think possible about nuclear technology.