For many, the opportunity to change cities may arise. Whether it be for work, school, or a simple change of scenery, making a move to a new city can be a huge deal. It is also important to know that the city you choose fits your needs and is a good place to live.
Albuquerque, NM may not quite be up on many lists as a Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York would be, but does that mean it’s not a good place to live? With a growing tech scene, more and more filming, beautiful scenery, and unique indigenous heritage, those are just some of the benefits that can be had in moving to Albuquerque.
Table of Contents
- Why Albuquerque Is A Good Place To Live
- Is Albuquerque a Good Place to Live?
Why Albuquerque Is A Good Place To Live
A Growing Film Industry
It is seemingly impossible to mention Albuquerque, NM these days without bringing up what it is most well-known for: Breaking Bad. The hit AMC television show, which some argue is the greatest television show of all time, was filmed right in Albuquerque.
But that isn’t all the filming that happens in the city. Films like Independence Day: Resurgence, The Avengers, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot have all been shot in the city. Better Caul Saul, a spinoff of the aforementioned Breaking Bad is also filmed there. Even cooler, tourists can visit each of the show and film locations to learn more about them.
A Ton of Local Breweries
If you are looking for a city that has an awesome beer scene, look no further. The local breweries offer some of the coolest, most creative beers and taprooms that you will find. Even better, there are plenty of free tours available.
Albuquerque is home to La Cumbre Brewing Co, which also hosts live music in their taproom every Saturday. Other local favorites include Marble Brewery, Nexus Brewery & Restaurant (which has a killer fried chicken sandwich), and Tractor Brewing. The latter in particular has been offering award-winning crafts since 1999.
The local brewery scene is more than enough to keep beer enthusiast busy for months when they move to Albuquerque. Even better, many of these establishments serve up their own style of cuisine that brings in patrons regardless of their feelings on the beer.
Unique Food Scene
You can’t try out a bunch of great beer without having so truly awesome grub to go along with it. Given its location in the American Southwest, Albuquerque has a unique blend of Spanish, New Mexican, and Native American flavors.
Frontier Restaurant, for instance, offers up fiesta chicken sandwiches, their own style of burritos, and their famous sweet rolls dating back to 1971. You can grab chorizo and eggs, huevos rancheros, Amaretto bread pudding, and so much more.
Whatever your tastes are, you can find a little bit of something for everyone across the city. The National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show is also a must-see. It is three days of hot sauces, spicy barbecue, marinades, salsas, and a ton of desserts that will leave you counting down the days to the next show.
The Chile Scene is Like No Other
You can’t talk about Albuquerque, or New Mexico in general, without discussing their signature food. If you place an order at an Albuquerque restaurant, be ready to answer “red or green” to the question about chiles. You can have both, requesting “Christmas” instead.
There is a chile harvest season running from August through September, ensuring that you will smell that smoky musk of roasting chiles across the city. There is even a Chile Pepper Institute located on the campus of New Mexico State University. Visitors can browse books about chile pepper, see rare seeds, and gander at artwork as well.
One of the truly unique aspects of Albuquerque is Old Town. Old Town combines dining, unique shopping, and a historical district, all of which is centered by a stunning plaza. The plaza has over 150 shops across the 10-block area, too.
Old Town offers handcrafted jewelry, minerals and the largest bead and rock store in the city, and a plethora of unique eateries. Combined with the Albuquerque Photographers Gallery, American International Rattlesnake Museum, and the Albuquerque Museum, there is so much to see in Old Town.
Tons to Do
If you get through all that there is to do at Old Town, don’t fret: there is still a whole lot more to do in Albuquerque. Check out the Explora science museum, for instance. At Explora, there are a ton of offerings like camps, classes, and even interactive exhibits that are perfect, especially for kids of all ages.
There are also a ton of other destinations like the Botanic Gardens, Tingley Beach, the Zoo, and the Aquarium, all of which are located at the ABQ BioPark. The BioPark has over 900 animals to see in 32 acres of beautiful green space.
There is also the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, where visitors can see missiles and rockets, and learn all there is to know about the world behind nuclear science. And those are just a few of the many museums, attractions, and cultural hotspots across the city.
One of the local secrets to Albuquerque is the events and festivals that happen on a regular basis. The National Institute of Flamenco partnered with the University of New Mexico puts on the Festival Flamenco Albuquerque each year. It is eight entire days of cultural happenings and incredible performances.
There is also the massive Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is the largest hot air balloon festival on the planet. It hosts over 800,000 spectators each year with a ton of contests, rodeos, and even fireworks to cap everything off.
The Harvest Wine Festival is a great place to gather with friends and connoisseurs to taste 200 wines from over 20 different wineries, partake in live music, take a free painting class, and so much more.
Cheaper Cost of Living
It seems like no matter where you are looking these days, the cost of living is incredibly high. But the good news is that those looking to relocate to Albuquerque can get in at a living cost that is 5% lower than the national average.
The median home price in Albuquerque is around $185,400 while the median rent is just $816. The latter is almost 14% lower than rental costs across the nation. Even better, there are lower property taxes and the state income tax is a whopping 24% below the national average.
Albuquerque is an incredibly affordable place to work, live, and even settle down for retirement while still getting so much.
Those who have not been to Albuquerque but have watched Breaking Bad know what the scenery in New Mexico can offer. The city averages 310 days of sun a year, but still has the unique perspective of getting all four seasons.
Those who enjoy seeing a snowy mountainside but having mostly sun will get the best of both worlds. The summer temperatures rarely top 79 degrees while the lows during the winter hover around 35 degrees. Never too hot, never too cold.
Snow is a rarity in the city limits, but the Sandia Mountains see up to 111 inches over winter, making it a great skiing destination. When you hear about “the best of both worlds”, there is nothing quite like Albuquerque.
Thriving Startup & Tech Communities
What may surprise some is that Albuquerque is home to some of the fastest-growing tech startups out there. The State Investment Council’s Catalyst Fund and the Technology Research Collaborative make the city one of the best places around to start a business. That is especially true for tech startups.
Some of these tech startups have a focus on things like software technology in retail, government, healthcare, and manufacturing. Among the most prominent tech companies in the city are Lavu Inc, RiskSense, APPCityLife, Trilumina, and Sennheiser.
The American Southwest is home to the largest population of Native American tribes in the country. Among them are 23 different tribes, including the Mescalero Apache, Fort Sill Apache, Navajo Nation, and the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
Since Albuquerque is centrally located, it makes for a great place to tour each of the local tribe heritage offerings. There are tours aplenty, which gives both tourists and residents the one-of-a-kind experience to teach them all there is to know about the various indigenous tribes of the region.
Albuquerque is also host to a number of heritage festivals and events for Native Americans. The Gathering of Nations Pow Wow is one of the largest and these events feature things like traditional singing, dancing, cultural demonstrations, and so much more.
Truly Unique Stargazing
While staring up at the sky may not sound like the best of selling points, there is no stargazing quite like Albuquerque stargazing. The city is over 5,000 feet above sea level and the low light pollution combined to make it one of the best cities in the country for stargazing.
The University of New Mexico has an observatory on their campus. It is free to the public on Fridays, making for a great event for both children and adults. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science also has several stargazing events on a monthly basis. The “Starry Nights” take place across the city and throughout the area, giving a one-of-a-kind look at the stars that only Albuquerque can produce.
For those who love being outdoors and ending their day with a gaze at the stars, there may be no beating Albuquerque. It really does offer a little bit of something for everyone.
Is Albuquerque a Good Place to Live?
There is everything that you could think of and more offered by Albuquerque. The food scene is unique, the beer scene comprehensive, and there are so many cultures that it would take living there for years to see much of it.
That is not even covering the lower cost of living and the propensity of tech startups within the city. Albuquerque offers a comprehensive package to its residents: great food, great culture, lower cost of living, and a unique scenery that few areas of the country can match.
It is the kind of scene that fits just about anyone. Singles, students, married couples with children, retirees; anyone can find more than enough for them in Albuquerque.