Local points of interest

If you are traveling to New Mexico from afar, you may wish to consider extending your stay in order to explore Albuquerque and the surrounding region. New Mexico is known as “the Land of Enchantment,” and for good reason. Santa Fe, an easy hour’s drive north of Albuquerque, is one of the most celebrated tourist destinations in the world, and has been a legendary trading center for hundreds of years. It is a city famous for its unique Southwestern cuisine, colorful markets, world-class galleries, and diverse visual arts—ranging from ancient to contemporary—and is one of the largest and most important art centers in the country. It is also home to beautiful sunsets and frequent summer rainbows. Albuquerque is home to the annual International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon event in the world, held annually each fall. Several companies offer private balloon flights, and the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum is well worth the visit.

A unique place to visit is the Very Large Array (VLA), one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories, consisting of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin, fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico, and a two hour drive from Albuquerque. The VLA was featured in the film Contact, based on the novel by Carl Sagan.

Petroglyph National Monument protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago.

Closer to Albuquerque, you may want to ride the Sandia Peak Tramway up to the crest of the Sandia Mountains, explore some of the many beautiful hiking trails, or visit the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum—which features a massive-scale art installation by UNM Professor Andrea Polli and the Social Media Workgroup.

Much more information can be found on the Albuquerque and Santa Fe visitor websites.


Great places for lunch within short walking distance of the Workshop

There are many excellent lunch spots within easy walking distance of the Science and Math Learning Center Workshop location. These are indicated on this local-eateries map. For a fast and easy meal, you may want to try the Student Union Building (SUB), located a short walk from the SMLC. Across from the University on historic Route 66 (Central Avenue), try the Frontier for burritos, burgers, roasted green chile, homemade flour tortillas, fresh squeezed orange juice, and the famous Frontier Sweet Roll. The Frontier is a favorite late-night student hangout, and was also featured in one of Tony Hillerman’s Joe Leaphorrn/Jim Chee Navajo police mysteries. Winning’s Coffee Co. offers a fun and funky atmosphere, as well as cafe fare served all day, with kitchen-crafted soups, daily specials and fresh pastries. Down the block from Winning’s is El Patio, which serves classic New Mexico cuisine, and around the corner from El Patio on Silver Avenue is Annapurna, which serves vegan Indian and vegetarian cuisine.


Dinner and fine dining

A short drive from campus in the Nob Hill area, Bistronomy B2B is a cheery, more casual dinner spot that serves locally sourced grass-fed-beef burgers, shakes, beer and wine in a colorful space. Scalo features globally-inspired bistro fare amid white linen tablecloths & a heated patio.  At Yanni’s, blue and white decor, dramatic pillars, and Mediterranean art set the stage for Greek fare and drinks. Shogun serves Bento, tempura, sushi, and sashimi in a modern, laid–back setting with a sushi-go-round bar. Thai Vegan on Central serves reinterpreted vegan versions of Thai classics, along with wraps & burgers. Zinc is an upscale, airy wine bar and bistro. Los Cuates is a local favorite restaurant, providing a casual atmosphere and traditional New Mexican cuisine.

In downtown Albuquerque, Seasons Rotisserie & Grill features a casually elegant dining room, and excellent American-style cooking. Tucano’s Brazilian Grill is a vibrant restaurant serving churrasco and specialty meat and vegetable skewers. Antiquity, located in historic Old Town, is a fine dining steakhouse with an rustic, intimate environment. The Vinaigrette salad bistro serves fresh salads, plus soup & sandwiches, in a modern, colorful space.

El Pinto (half hour drive from UNM) is a beautiful New Mexican restaurant located in an old hacienda surrounded by lush gardens. They serve excellent green chile, sopapillas, carne adovada, and much more.