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Alburquerque, NM, USA

Sports, art and nature in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque is often overshadowed by nearby Santa Fe, but as New Mexico's largest city and one of the state's richest in history, this locale is worth a visit of its own. Its known past reaches back to 2,000 B.C., when the Pueblo people thrived here and created a unique culture found in the ceramics, masonry and other ancient artifacts left behind after Spanish exploration took over. Now, the city has an abundance of attractions waiting to be explored, such as these top spots:

University Stadium

Situate your Albuquerque car rental in one of the more than 4,000 parking spaces that surround University Stadium for an afternoon or evening of sports excitement. Opened in 1960 and upgraded in 2000, this outdoor stadium seats as many as 40,094 fans and is actually part of a three-part sports trifecta that also includes University Arena (basketball) and Isotopes Park (baseball). University Stadium is where locals and visitors alike go for a thrilling game of football - it's home to the University of New Mexico Lobos football team, which is part of the Mountain West Conference and participates in the NCAA Division I. Keep in mind that the best time to catch a game is September and early October, when the a soft, warm wind blows over the field from the Sandia Mountains.

Georgia O'Keefe Museum

Located at 217 Johnson Street in nearby Santa Fe, the Georgia O'Keefe Museum is one of the top recommended attractions for anyone in the area. Though she was born in the Midwest, O'Keefe became known for her sweeping landscapes portraying the beauty of New Mexico, making her one of the most iconic names of American Modernism. The institute houses more than 3,000 works, more than 1,000 of which are drawings, paintings and sculptures by O'Keefe. You'll also find works by some 150 of her contemporaries, such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Sherrie Levine. Note that there is no on-site parking for this museum, but you can plant your Albuquerque car rental at the corner of Sandoval and East San Francisco streets or in one of the many paid parking garages around the building.

Albuquerque Biological Park

Those seeking an exploration of nature without hiking along dusty trails can drive their Albuquerque rental cars to Albuquerque Biological Park. This site is an expansive environmental museum made up of four different facilities: a zoo, botanic garden, aquarium and the delightful Tingley Beach. At the Albuquerque Aquarium, you'll find a spectacular 285,000-gallon shark tank, then head to the Rio Grande Zoo to meet some 200 species of animal. Stroll through some of the botanic garden, which spans 36 acres, then relax for the rest of the afternoon at the beach, where fishing is the main activity but hiking, biking and rollerblading along the many paths also provide for an entertaining experience.