5 Great Neighborhoods in Albuquerque

Learn more about Albuquerque, New Mexico and its diverse neighborhoods.
By: Tamara Shope
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Neighborhoods in Albuquerque are as diverse as the city itself. A drive around town reveals architectural influences ranging from Spanish colonial to midcentury modern to spaceships, and development types ranging from estate homes on farmlands to tract homes on cul-de-sacs. Many homes in the downtown and Old Town area are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and reflect the city’s economic and cultural influences at various points in its history.

The city itself is bordered to the east by the Sandia Mountains and divided in half by the Rio Grande. Money has always followed the river; there are many luxury homes and upscale neighborhoods along its shore. Major suburban growth came when bridges allowed Albuquerque to cross the river and build sprawling neighborhoods west of the city.

WEST

Ventana Ranch

When growth is debated in Albuquerque -- from the city council to coffee shops -- one can bet that Ventana Ranch will be discussed. Ventana Ranch is a planned community of about 10,000 residents, mostly young families and empty nesters. It is home to Central New Mexico Community College’s west-side campus as well as a handful of new schools and parks.

The neighbors: Young families with children who want affordable housing and don’t mind a commute to the city 

SOUTH

South Valley

This is where the city’s agricultural heritage thrives. The area is known for its older neighborhoods and a more rural feel. The South Valley boasts some of the city’s premiere performance venues as well, including the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

The neighbors: Horse people, working-class families, retirees, gentleman farmers

NORTH

North Valley

Albuquerque’s North Valley follows the path of the Rio Grande through the city. It’s the greenest, lushest area of town with vineyards, cottonwood trees, horse stables, farm fields and large homes. Houses are generally older and many families have lived in this area for generations. Some of the city’s priciest homes and largest plots of residential land are situated along Rio Grande Boulevard.

The neighbors: Horse people, millionaires, middle-class families with children 

CENTRAL

Nob Hill

In the 1950s, this was the western edge of town but now it’s a premiere district of shopping, dining and entertainment in the city’s center. Housing is diverse, with much of it featuring eclectic architecture. The University of New Mexico is nearby, so many students and professors live in these neighborhoods, as do business owners and artists. Nob Hill is considered one of the most walkable parts of Albuquerque.

The neighbors: UNM students and faculty, artists, young professionals

EAST

Foothills

Some of the city’s premier homes are in the sagebrush-dotted foothills of the Sandias. This is a district of sweeping views of the city and custom homes where neighborhood covenants keep the landscape as close to native as possible. The area abuts the Cibola National Forest so it’s not uncommon to see mule deer and jackrabbits darting in the pinon and cactus. There are plenty of trails for hiking, biking and even horseback riding. The area is bordered by San Antonio to the north, the Sandias to the east and Juan Tabo and Montgomery boulevards to the west.

The neighbors: Wealthy retirees, upper-middle class families, executives

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