Ultimate Offbeat Guide to Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tread lightly on this offbeat adventure through ABQ.

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Created by johille - March 25th 2019

New Mexico might be the Land of Enchantment, but in Albuquerque, it's the Land of the Weird. Whether you find yourself pondering the meaning of ancient petroglyphs, spending the night in opulent mansions, or attempting to escape from devious traps, This Ultimate Offbeat Guide to ABQ will have you exploring the strangest corners of the city.

424 San Felipe NW, Albuquerque, NM, US

The Candy Lady

The Candy Lady has been serving up sweets to the local community for three decades, but when the producers of Breaking Bad came knocking, the shop suddenly became known for whipping up batches of the iconic blue "meth" used on the series. Fortunately for us, they've continued producing it, and have made it available to fans in their shop.

Tips: Grab their readily-available "Heisenberg" disguise and the staff will snap a photo of you holding the candy. If you're over 18 (and not easily offended), head to the back of the shop to get a load of the most scandalous chocolate molds you've ever seen.

Albuquerque, NM, US

Old Town

Founded in 1706, historic Old Town contains some of the oldest buildings in Albuquerque, and they've gone to great lengths in order to keep them looking just as they did hundreds of years ago.

With five museums and loads of historic architecture, a walk through Old Town is like a stroll through the past.. except these days, Old Town is also home to the best grub in town.

Tip: Be sure to take a peek inside the San Felipe de Neri church, an adobe church with walls five feet thick, the oldest building in Albuquerque! And get this - it's still functioning!

Photo of BaDTour

208 San Felipe Street NW, Albuquerque, NM, US


As the center of television's Breaking Bad universe, an iconic landmark from the show is always just a stone's throw away, which means coordinating your pilgrimage can get a little tough. Fortunately, the BaDTour will have you treading lightly to all of the best filming locations, including the hard-to-find hidden secrets. The best part? They'll do the driving.

Photo of Bottger Mansion of Old Town

110 San Felipe St NW, Albuquerque, NM, US

Bottger Mansion of Old Town


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Ever wanted to spend the night in a mansion? Now's your chance! The Bottger Mansion Bed & Breakfast, located in historic Old Town, features photographs, antiques, and more memorabilia dating back to the arrival of the railroad in 1879. Don't worry, though, the looks are deceiving. They've still got all the modern amenities.

Their guest rooms, all named for prominent Albuquerqueans, come decorated and furnished with biographies and historic photos of the influential citizens, so you'll know the exact identify of the ghost that comes to haunt you later in the evening.

Tips: Be sure to book your reservation well in advance - as one of the best B&Bs in the city, they fill up fast! Also worth nothing is that not every room has an air conditioner, so if you've visiting in the summer months, you might want to request a room with A/C.

202 San Felipe NW, Albuquerque, NM, US

Rattlesnake Museum

The American International Rattlesnake Museum is an awesome attraction that won't just educate you on one of the Southwest's most misunderstood creatures, it'll give you a good primer on just what to do should your run-in with a rattlesnake go south.

Tips: The museum only consists of a few rooms, so you probably won't spend more than half an hour here unless you're lucky enough to meet Bob, the owner, who is a killer storyteller. Come early when the snakes are especially active!

Photo of Petroglyph National Monument

Western Trail NW, Albuquerque, NM, US

Petroglyph National Monument

Hidden in the Boca Negra Canyon, this 2-mile hike will put you face-to-face with over 100 ancient petrogylphs. In fact, Petroglyph National Monument holds one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, which features arcane symbols carved by Native Americans as long as 700 years ago

Tip: Bring your hiking boots. The climb can get tough and rocky, but it's totally worth the effort.

Photo of Twisters

4275 Isleta Blvd, Albuquerque, NM, US


Jose La Rivera, the manager of Twisters, a South Valley burrito joint, counts between 30 to 40 fans a day who pull up in cars and cabs, sometimes straight from the airport, all of them curious to meet the real-life Gus Fring.

The popularity of Breaking Bad has been great for La Rivera, as the fan interest in the restaurant has brought an estimated 10% extra profit to the joint, and loads of new customers excited to sit in the most coveted seat in the place: “Walt’s Booth”.

Tip: When you visit, be sure to have Jose snap your picture next to the huge Los Pollos Hermanos mural.

14305 Central Ave NW Albuquerque, NM 87121, Albuquerque, NM, US

Enchanted RV and Trading Post


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Located along historic Route 66, the Enchanted Trails park is about as scenic as a campground can get. Flanked by three extinct volcanoes, the location offers campers incredible views of the surrounding desert vistas and unbeatable sunsets.

Don't have an RV? No problem! They've got a wide variety of vintage trailers from the 40s through the 80s that are fully restored and available to rent!

3916 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM, US

Monte Carlo Steakhouse and Liquor Store

At the Monte Carlo Steakhouse and Liquor Store, not only will they grill you up the best prime cuts in the state, you can grab a bottle of your favorite spirit. Strangest steakhouse ever? Definitely, but you've gotta give them points for convenience.

Tips: The prime rib is only available after 5PM, so plan accordingly. Wondering about the wine selection? The place is attached to a liquor store - pick any wine in the store and they'll have it corked and brought to your table!

1405 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM, US

66 Diner

For an authentic Route 66 meal, make a pit stop at the 66 Diner in Albuquerque, where you can load up on classic grub like burgers and fries, strawberry shakes, and the biggest banana split you've ever seen.

The 66 Diner doesn't just serve authentic 50s-style food either, they go out of their way to look the part too. Chrome tables, a jukebox loaded with period-appropriate 45 records, and wait-staff in 50s-style outfits make this a place out of time. In fact, this diner is so accurate, local photography clubs often make use of it for pin-up calendars!

Tip: The sundaes here are comically giant. Get one to share - the banana split has eight scoops!

Photo of Imbibe Bitcoin ATM

Central, Ne Nob Hill, Albuquerque, NM, US

Imbibe Bitcoin ATM

You want to get a glimpse into the future? Head to the Imbibe cigar bar to check out their new Bitcoin ATM. The machine, manufactured by Lamassu, is operated by Enchanted Bitcoin, run by Eric Stromberg.

What is Bitcoin? Completely anonymous currency that can be traded freely for goods and services. In other words, it's the future of a cashless society.

Tip: Already got a nice wallet of Bitcoin? Good news - you can actually spend it at Imbibe!

Photo of Tewa Motor Lodge

5715 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM, US

Tewa Motor Lodge


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With its bright neon signs and funky architecture, the Tewa Motor Lodge looks straight out of a wistful dream of the 40s era of Route 66, but that's because it is.

Built in 1946, this incredible relic of the Mother Road is a beautifully-restored motel will send you back in time. It's such an iconic piece of Route 66 that it's actually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Tip: Rooms cost less than $40, so don't expect any crazy amenities, just a cheap room on the Route with some amazing classic architecture.

601 Eubank Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM, US

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Get ready to learn everything you never knew you wanted to know about the benefits of nuclear energy... and its potentially devastating effects. The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History offers an amazing collection of artifacts from full-size Cold War aircraft to miniature nuclear power plants.

Tip: Don't be afraid to ask questions! Most of the tour guides are retired military personnel with hands-on experience working with nuclear science!

800 Eubank Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, US

Owl Cafe

The Owl Cafe is a classic diner that oozes quicky Route 66 charm, but it's the food that's the star here. Home of an incredible green chile cheeseburger (a Southwest staple), they offer over 20 flavors of milkshakes, breakfast all day, and a legendary coconut creme pie.

Tip: Be sure to bring extra quarters so you can spin your favorite 50s tunes from the mini jukebox at your table!

Carlisle Blvd Ne 2500, Albuquerque, NM, US

Hotel Cascada


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Inexpensive rooms, lots of amenities, and, oh yeah, freakin' waterslides that whip in and out of the building! The Hotel Cascada definitely isn't a luxury resort, but the killer indoor waterpark and jacuzzi are a weird addition that make this place a great home base for your ABQ adventures, especially if you're traveling with kids.

Tips: The waterpark is only open from Friday to Sunday, so if you want to hit the slides, plan accordingly.

3916 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, US

Nm Escape Room

Do you and your friends want a challenge you'll never forget? How about escaping from a locked room by solving a series of brain-busting puzzles in under sixty minutes?

NM Room Escape offers three distinct challenge experiences that will put your problem solving skills to the test. If you and your team manage to escape in under an hour, you get bragging rights and a special prize.

Good luck!

Photo of Walter White's Grave

6855 4th St, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM, US

Walter White's Grave

Pay your respects to Breaking Bad's Heisenberg with a visit to Walter White's final resting place, a headstone that was erected a few years back as a way of giving fans of the series a little extra closure.

Tip: The headstone can be a little tough to find, but poke around the back of the strip mall, and you'll discover Walt's headstone mounted to the wall.

9201 Balloon Museum Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM, US

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, which is designed to look like a hot air balloon resting on its side, houses artifacts that tell the story of hot air ballooning, from crossing the Atlantic Ocean to crossing the planet.

Tips: Never been on a hot air balloon ride? You can try out their simulator and decide whether the heights are for you.

If you visit during October, you'll be able to catch the awe-inspiring sights of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, when hundreds of hot air balloons fill the skies above the city.

8050 Academy Rd NE, Suite 101, Albuquerque, NM, US

Tim's Place

Tim's Place is open 7 days a week, from 7AM to 3PM, serving breakfast, lunch and hugs! The minute you walk into the restaurant you're greeted by an incredibly friendly staff and treated to a tasty homecooked meal, but it carries a pretty great distinction: Tim's Place is first and only restaurant owned by someone with Down Syndrome.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico proudly carries the motto: Comfort. Food. Hugs... and it's just that. What is a "Tim Hug" you might ask? It's "Calorie Free, Guilt Free. Sweet, but not too sweet. Guaranteed to improve your lease on life! Ask your server."

121 Sandia Crest Rd, Sandia Park, NM, US

Tinkertown Museum

An amazing attraction for people of all ages, the Tinkertown Museum is the result of one man's obsession with tinkering. Throughout the museum are hundreds of intricate carvings, painstakingly-crafted mechanical doo-dads, and tons of funky coin-operated machines that will be a smile to anyone's face.

While you might have a hard time describing this hidden gem, one thing is for certain: you'll never see anything else like it.

Tip: Be sure to bring a few quarters! Admission to the amazing Tinkertown Museum is only $3, but many of the coolest pieces are coin operated and well worth the scratch.

With all of its quirky roadside attractions, incredible food, and Route 66 icons that will transport you back in time, Albuquerque is practically built for weekends of offbeat exploration. With this guide, you'll have no trouble tracking down all the bizarre hidden gems. Now hit the road, weirdo!