New Mexico isn't the most populous state in the country but at least in Albuquerque we are close to most of the finer things in life. Just in the past few months we have gotten a Dick's Sporting Goods, Chipotle, and BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse.
But as nice as those are, Burque is still missing some of the things the rest of the first world take for granted. Here's how far the Duke City is from popular attractions and amenities.
When it comes to movies, bigger is better, right? Well, unfortunately for Burqueños, we still lack a IMAX screen. Sure, Rio Century 24 has its fancy XD screen but let's call that what it is - a wanna-be IMAX (and no the IMAX at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science doesn't count. If you can't watch Iron Man, it's not a real IMAX). To watch a movie on a really big screen, you'll have head east 278 miles to Amarillo, TX for the closest IMAX.
But good news, there is an IMAX in the plans near Uptown ABQ.
Don't get us wrong, Albuquerque has a number of fine and respectable burger joints but sadly you can't get your burger "Animal Style" anywhere in New Mexico. The iconic burger stand In-N-Out has yet to set up shop in the land of enchantment. If you wanted a 3x3 with a milkshake you'd have to pack your bags and drive 451 miles to the nearest In-N-Out Burger in Tucson, AZ. More specifically, the store on 7111 E Broadway Blvd.is the closest In-N-Out burger.
Unlike all our neighbors (Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado), New Mexico is void of a professional sports team. To watch a big-league game, the nearest spot is in Denver, but the trip might be worth it. The Mile High City boosts not only the Broncos and the Rockies but also the Nuggets (basketball) and the Avalanche (hockey). Technically, Mile High Stadium is the closest professional stadium from Albuquer... but Coors Field (449 miles) and University of Phoenix Stadium (467 miles), where the Cardinals play, aren't too far away either.
Back your bags and your passport because if you want to visit the nearest beach from Albuquerque, you have to cross the border and head to Puerto Peñasco in Mexico. In just under 10 hours, you can be dipping your toes in the ocean at this tourist spot. Puerto Peñasco has been dubbed "Arizona's beach" because of it's close proximity to Phoenix and Tucson. In fact, before 1990, Puerto Peñasco was mainly a fishing town until Mexico decided to pursue tourism. In the 1920s it was a harbor for Americans seeking an escape from Prohibition. It is said Al Capone frequented the town during that time.
Chances are if you're from New Mexico, riding underground is a very alien concept yet for million commuters around the world, it's the only way to make it to work on time. But, if you are so inclined to travel subterraneanly, the nearest subway system is in Los Angeles (yes, L.A. has a subway).
But, hey, just because you live in New Mexico doesn't mean you can't dream, right? One talent local artist envisioned what an ABQ subway would look like. You can even order a post of the Albuquerque Subway Map.
One thing Albuquerque is not short on is wide open spaces so it makes sense there aren't a lot of tall buildings here. While the Albuquerque Plaza Office Tower is 22 floors, it's more or less a high-rise rather than a skyscraper. If you really want to go on an elevator ride, you travel the 1,998 miles to New York City to visit the new World Trade Center. At 1,776 feet and 105 floors, the still under construction building is the tallest building in the US and the western hemisphere (and the fourth-tallest in the world).
This is a readers' choice. When we asked on our Facebook page what national chains Albuquerque is missing, Cheesecake Factory ranked up there with In-N-Out. While we do have Dee's Cheesecake Factory, it's not quite the same as the national franchise known for its novel-sized menus and 1,400-calorie sandwiches. To dine at the Factory, you'd have to travel 431 miles to Littleton, CO, for the nearest one.
In Albuquerque, we are blessed with sun, but maybe too much sun? On average we get 310 days of sunshine. If you think too much sun is a good thing and you wouldn't mind a couple days of clouds and overcast, you can head the 1,434 miles to Seattle, which boosts 71 days of sunshine. If you really want to avoid the sun head to the city between October and May, when six out of seven days is mostly or partly cloudy.
If Disney Land is the happiest place on earth, then Albuquerque is a long way from happiness. Luckily, Disney Land is just a plane ride or one long road trip away. Just 784 miles separates us from Pirates of the Caribbean and the It's a Small World After All.
After traveling hundreds of miles for a burger or for a movie, driving less than 40 minutes from downtown Albuquerque to take courses at UNM West will seem like a breeze. Did you know you could get UNM experience at UNM West? UNM West is not a brach campus, meaning students can take courses leading to degree completion in several educational disciplines. Check out 10 things you should know about UNM West.