Best Places to Live

Albuquerque, NM

Population: 573,160
iStock Photo/halbergman

Pop quiz: In what city can you enjoy year-round sunshine, eat some of the best food in the world, ski on the weekends, sample amazing local beers, hike among petroglyphs — all without breaking the bank?

Answer: Albuquerque.

This magical New Mexico city earned a place on our Top 100 Best Places to Live list for all the reasons above, but it scored particularly well in the amenities category, thanks to a long list of parks, museums, restaurants and fun things to do that keep residents entertained.

Looking for a job? Livability named Albuquerque one of the 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers in 2018, and the city is also home to a growing startup scene and many TV and movie productions.

Local Obsession: Chile peppers are so iconic and central to cuisine here that the unofficial state question is, “Red or green?”  

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: Golf and ski in one day.

Top Industries: Albuquerque has carved out a reputation as a hotspot for STEM jobs, but it also deserves credit for its film industry opportunities and entrepreneurial ecosystem

Local Dream Job: Location scout for the many TV shows and movies that are filmed here

Quintessential Meal: Huevos Christmas (huevos rancheros with red and green chile)

Favorite Weekend Activity: Enjoying the sunshine and amazing natural spaces surrounding the city — from hiking to snowshoeing to horseback riding, Albuquerque residents love taking advantage of the amazing weather and getting outside.

 After-Work Meetup Spot: Hit up The Copper Lounge for great food, amazing cocktails and karaoke on Wednesdays.

Best Brewery: La Cumbre Brewing Co. 

Beloved Bookstore: Page 1 Books

Free Way to Have Fun: Hiking in the Sandia foothills.

Hidden Gem: Golden Crown Panederia, an amazing bakery serving up super homey pizza, biscochitos, and seriously cute vibes.

- Winona Dimeo-Ediger

Read More:

11 Reasons to Start a Business in Albuquerque

Albuquerque is One of the Best Cities in America for STEM Workers

City of Stars: Albuquerque is a Great Place to Take in the Night Sky

“This is a small city, but it has everything you need: from a beautiful local culture, nice food, creative people, to education and jobs and the easiest airport ever — a very fulfilled life can be lived here. Within a few hours' drive or less of Albuquerque you can experience mountains, snow, sun, forests, sand, life-changing sunsets and landscapes you have seen in paintings and didn't realize were real. And 300+ days of sunshine each year!”

Darcie Chambers
Marketing Manager

Albuquerque, NM Ranking Data