Best Places to Live

Albuquerque, NM

Population: 573,160
LIV
SCORE
631
iStock/Sean Pavone

There’s a reason why New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment — and Albuquerque is a huge part of that. You literally won’t want to leave once you arrive in Albuquerque, home to more than 500,000 residents. This southwestern city is alive with culture, from flamenco to unique New Mexican cuisine. It’s an affordable place to live with outdoor recreation opportunities at your doorstep. Your children will grow up in a place where diversity is everywhere and people from all walks of life feel comfortable and at ease. Want to work for top companies like Netflix, NBC Universal or Intel? Give Albuquerque a try. This small city’s economy is strong and its quality of life is even stronger.

Top Industries and Employers: Technology, research, aerospace, film and healthcare. Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratory are two of the largest employers.

Best Coffee Shop: Villa Myriam Coffee, where you can watch the coffee roasters at work through large windows while sipping an Aztec latte.

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Marble Brewery, where you’re sure to bump into a friend or two on any given night at their downtown taproom. Food trucks, beers and a sunny rooftop deck? Yes, please.

Must-Have Meal: A green chili cheeseburger or a breakfast burrito smothered in “Christmas” chili — both red and green. You’ll find these iconic New Mexican dishes all over town.

Best Co-Working Space: FatPipe ABQ, located inside the Old Albuquerque High School library, circa 1940. There’s also an incredible courtyard for when you feel like working outside or just taking an inspiration break.

After-Work Meetup Spot: Margaritas, live music and happy hour bites on the patio at El Pinto

Creative Hub: The National Hispanic Cultural Center, a true community gathering space with dance classes, kids camps, exhibits, book talks, flamenco performances and more. They even regularly host “happy arte hour,” during which adults can sip beer and wine while creating a piece of art. While there, be sure to see Frederico Vigil’s masterpiece “Mundos de Mestizaje,” a massive fresco spanning 4,000 square feet.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Hit up one of Albuquerque’s farmers markets before walking or biking along the Paseo del Bosque trail, a beautiful 16-mile path along the Rio Grande.

Free Way to Have Fun: ABQ Artwalk, held every first Friday of the month downtown featuring art shows, community events and live music.

Local Dream Job: Curator at an art museum so you can live and breathe Albuquerque’s robust arts scene.

Read More:
Don’t Want to Give Up Big City Life? Move to Albuquerque! 
Go There: An Arts & Culture Weekend in Albuquerque
10 People on What it's Really Like to Leave NYC for a Smaller City

- Sarah Kuta

"It seems that there is a greater appreciation for creativity and the arts here, because it is so embedded in the culture and traditions. It is hard to describe the energy of the city, because it is so diverse. You are really able to experience a little bit of everything, from farmers markets and art walks to festivals and parades." 

 

Jessi Penrod
Manager and Potter, Hanselmann Pottery

Albuquerque, NM Ranking Data

Civic
45
Demographics
48
Economy
49
Education
67
Health
52
Housing
58
Infrastructure
49