Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and sits at the center of the state and is regarded as a high desert metropolis. Although it is the largest city in the state, Albuquerque is often overshadowed as a tourist destination by Santa Fe, 60 miles to the north. But Albuquerque has a number of great attractions in its own right, with pleasant scenery, colorful history, and a spectacular hot-air balloon fiesta in the fall. Its modern Downtown core contrasts with Old Town, dating to the city’s 1706 founding as a Spanish colony. Old Town is filled with historic adobe buildings, such as San Felipe de Neri Church, and shops selling Native American handicrafts. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center traces the area’s tribal history.
The city is noted as a center for health and medical services in the region, and government agencies, nuclear research, banking, and tourism are important to the economy. There is a growing high-tech center in Albuquerque, and Intel Corp.'s largest manufacturing facility is located there.
Albuquerque is the seat of the University of New Mexico. It’s numerous attractions include the Albuquerque Biological Park, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the National Atomic Museum, Petroglyph National Monument, and the Sandia Mountain Wilderness.
Albuquerque is a heavily planned city. In much of the city, the major roads are lined primarily with businesses with residential mazes on the insides. The city is divided into four quadrants --NE/NW/SE/SW. By and large it's difficult to get truly lost in Albuquerque, thanks in large part to the looming presence of the Sandia Mountains to the east. If you can also remember that I-25 runs north-south, I-40 runs east-west, and the Rio Grande runs along the bottom of the valley in the western part of the city, you should be able to make your way around the city without too many problems.