Ryan’s family recently relocated to Albuquerque, so last week we headed out for a visit! New Mexico is actually one of only six states that I had yet to visit, so I loved checking it off my list and getting to know a new town. We made it a point to try some places that were off the beaten path, along with some tried and true ABQ recommendations, and we ended up finding some total gems. Read on for our favorite things to do in Albuquerque with family and kids. And as we visit more, I’m sure we’ll be updating the list! xoxo
Things to Do in Albuquerque
This place is a gem. A GEM. It’s so beautiful it almost seems fake, but it’s a functioning farm with a beautiful inn (we’d love to stay here on our next visit!) and a restaurant with the most insane brunch ever. (See more on brunch below.) Come early to get your visit started when there aren’t too many people, especially if you’re looking for some great photos. You can wander the lavender fields, explore the farm buildings, check out all of the native vegetation, and spend some time drinking coffee on the patio while you feed the birds. Put this on the top of your list of things to do in Albuquerque.
A little touristy, but I’m a total sucker for history. Old Town is the original heart of Albuquerque, founded in 1706. The center of old town houses a beautiful adobe church, which is then surrounded by a few blocks of adobe buildings on all sides. These buildings were originally the settler’s homes, and now serve as shops and restaurants. The architecture is so cool, and I love to find places like this with historical significance. Keep an eye out for all of the New Mexico chiles drying in bunches in the sun.
I love classic car culture (thanks, Dad!), and Route 66 always holds a special place in my heart. I love the history behind the old highway and the way that it shaped parts of America. These days in ABQ it’s known as Central Avenue, but you can still cruise up and down and find old neon signs and plenty of places to stop and find some nostalgia.
We found some bangin’ food. Like, insanely good. For starters, whatever you do, make plans to have a meal (preferably brunch!) at CAMPO, which is the restaurant at Los Poblanos Lavender Farm. The chilaquiles are unreal and I loved the rice & steel-cut oat bowl. Henry also demolished his blue corn pancakes. The atmosphere is beyond and I wish we could go back for drinks at the bar!
For a more local, hole-in-the-wall vibe, hit up Padilla’s. If you’re looking for an Instagram photo, this is not your spot. But if you’re looking for the most delicious green chile chicken enchiladas you’ve ever had, and some sopapillas to finish them off, you have to try this place. Get #8, with chicken and green chile.
I promise I’m not exaggerating: I found my new favorite store in America. Not kidding. If you’re in ABQ and you like shopping, you HAVE TO go to Spur Line. Honestly one of my favorite things to do in Albuqerque. It has everything from kids stuff to gardening to home decor to paper to clothing and accessories and more. Like way, way more. It’s the most beautifully curated shop I’ve seen in a long time, and even the kids loved it. They also have a cute little donut and coffee shop inside, which obviously we had to try out.
Jackalope is a kooky little stop but definitely worth it to get an Albuquerque vibe. We ended up getting some handwoven baskets and some beads for a future project, along with a couple of trinkets for the kids. But they’ve also got an awesome selection of blankets, rugs, and lots of home decor.