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Albuquerque, NM

Officially founded in 1706, Albuquerque ranks as one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Situated on the Rio Grande and bordered by the beautiful Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque's 11 distinct neighborhoods reflect the rich history and culturally diverse influences of the area.

Weather conditions have also shaped the lifestyle in Albuquerque, with the number of sunny days averaging more than 300 per year. Outdoor enthusiasts have a wide array of recreational options from which to choose, including hiking and biking trails, rock climbing, golf and even skiing.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Albuquerque, being the largest city of New Mexico, is also its economic center, and it accounts for almost half of the state's economic activity. The business activities of the city cover sectors such as government, service, trade, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and research and development.

The city's medical services and facilities also play a vital role in the development of the local economy. The city attracts nearly 4 million tourists every year to ski the Sandia Mountains and to absorb its ethnic heritage.

Some of the major employers are Kirtland Air Force Base, the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Public Schools, Sandia National Laboratories and the City of Albuquerque.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

The city is known for its picturesque cityscape in the nighttime, and most of the buildings have exteriors in vibrant colors.

The city has expanded rapidly since the mid-1940s. There is a vast difference in the buildings constructed pre- and-post 1940s. The older areas include the North Valley, South Valley, various neighborhoods near the downtown and Corrales.

The city is divided into four major quadrants:

BEST BETS

Petroglyph National Monument: At this national park, visitors can wander among the thousands of images carved on basalt rock by the Native Americans and Spanish explorers who lived in the area. Hiking trails also lead to several volcanoes, and archaeological sites dot the park.

Old Town: With 10 blocks of flat-topped, adobe buildings that appear much as they did when built more than 200 years ago, Old Town is Albuquerque's original village. The San Felipe de Neri Church, built in 1793, is one of the most recognizable and popular buildings in the area. Other Old Town attractions include art galleries and museums (among them the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science), more than 100 shops lining the streets (featuring Southwest jewelry, pottery, textiles and crafts) and the Albuquerque Biological Park, which is home to:

The KiMo Theatre: Located in Downtown Albuquerque, the KiMo Theatre was originally constructed in 1927 as a movie palace and theatre for vaudeville acts. Restored to its original condition, it is a well-known landmark that hosts civic and cultural events throughout the year.

Route 66: Now Central Avenue, this historic road leads through the restaurants and art galleries of Nob Hill and the bright lights of Downtown Albuquerque.

Collegiate sports: These play an important role in the city, and UNM's basketball teams compete in an arena nicknamed The Pit. Originally constructed in 1966, The Pit was built roof first; then contractors excavated the hole and built the arena. Known as one of the loudest arenas in the country, The Pit has undergone several expansions to accommodate the growing crowds of spectators. Sports fans can also catch a baseball game with the Albuquerque Isotopes, basketball with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, or hockey with the New Mexico Scorpions.

FOR VISITORS

EDUCATION

Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico. Founded in 1889 and with almost 25,000 students enrolled, the university is a vibrant part of the community. UNM also serves as a cultural center, housing the University Art Museum, theater and dance companies and a symphony orchestra.

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