Welcome to Albuquerque

As the fifth largest state in the union, New Mexico is a vast land of colorful contrasts. Towering mountains as high as 1,300 feet combine with crimson mesas, spectacular canyons, and hauntingly beautiful deserts in this self-proclaimed “Land of Enchantment.” New Mexico embraces ancient Native American villages, space-age installations, turn-of-the-century Western towns, modern cityscapes, and small communities that are reminiscent of the Midwest.

Serving as the state’s economic heartbeat, the leading city of Albuquerque has earned a national reputation for quality of life. The community is well-known for its wonderful weather, natural beauty, and premier recreational and cultural opportunities. Albuquerque was recently ranked as the “Most Creative Mid-Size City” by Professor Richard Florida, author of the Rise of the Creative Class.

Situated in the geographic center of the state, Albuquerque enjoys an ideal location between the spectacular Sandia Mountains and the rolling Rio Grande River. The city will be celebrating 300 years as a community in 2006, which distinguishes it as one of America’s oldest continually inhabited areas — a designation usually reserved for founding communities within the original 13 colonies.

Incorporated in 1891 during the development of railroad infrastructure into New Mexico, Albuquerque is traversed by Route 66. Officially designated by the federal government in 1926, this landmark highway was instrumental in the city’s early reputation as a commercial and transportation hub within the Southwest. Recent decades have seen Albuquerque transform into a hotbed of high-tech manufacturing and research, although the region still maintains its status as New Mexico’s commercial and financial hub.

Metropolitan Albuquerque claims more than 750,000 people and encompasses a three-county region in central New Mexico. Rio Rancho joins Albuquerque as a major city, and both communities are surrounded by smaller towns and suburbs. In spite of Rio Rancho’s rapid growth since its incorporation in 1981, Albuquerque is unrivaled as the heartbeat of New Mexico. The city offers a bustling downtown district, a well-maintained historical area, an international airport, and the great majority of development from residential to industrial and commercial.

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