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This sunny southwestern city has long had a strong following among artsy types, outdoors enthusiasts, and members of the LGBTQ community. Historic Route 66 runs directly through this town that offers a wide variety of hip and progressive restaurants and shops, endless options for outdoor recreation and fun, and plenty to see and do, Albuquerque is a diverse, thriving, and welcoming community that has much to offer.
A Bit of Albuquerque History
Now a major metropolitan area in New Mexico, Albuquerque began as an ancestral Native American homeland, which was the case for more than 12,000 years. It was occupied by Native American pueblos at the time that the Europeans arrived in 1540. Albuquerque was officially founded in 1706 by Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdes, who was governor and captain general of New Mexico, and who named it for the Duke of Albuquerque. Prior to officially becoming a part of the United States, it was an important trading center on the Chihuahua Trail from Mexico. Possession of the town, along with the rest of New Mexico, passed to the United States in1846. This brought increased commerce and Albuquerque prospered as a trading hub and U.S. Army post, eventually growing with the development of railroads and the influence of other commerce into the city that it is today.
Fun Facts About Albuquerque
Check out more fun facts about Albuquerque here.
The LGBTQ Community in Albuquerque
Albuquerque has a thriving and welcoming LGBTQ community, one where everyone can find their place. To help encourage diversity and promote inclusion and acceptance across the community, Albuquerque offers a number of community resources. A few of many include:
PFLAG Albuquerque is Albuquerque’s local chapter of PFLAG National. PFLAG is a national support, education, and advocacy organization for LGBTQ people, as well as their families, friends, and allies. PFLAG is grassroots-based family organization, and the largest of its kind, with over 200,000 members and supporters, as well as local organizations in more than 500 communities across the United States, and abroad.
The Albuquerque LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce is a statewide, equal-opportunity Chamber of Commerce that is comprised of LGBTQ and other supportive businesses and professionals. Its mission is to:
The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico offers many groups to help answer questions, create friendships and provide support and resources for the LGBTQ/Transgender community.
Albuquerque Weather -Sunshine and All Four Seasons
Albuquerque gets plenty of sunshine – an average of 310 days a year, in fact. Albuquerque typically has very hot summers, and short, yet very cold winters. It is dry and fairly clear year-round. Summers are hot, the winters are short and very cold, and it is dry and mostly clear all year. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 27°F to 93°F. Albuquerque has very low humidity, meaning that even when temperatures rise in the summer, it is still typically very comfortable. Average rainfall each year is about 9 inches.
The Albuquerque Pride Festival, typically held in October, has, since 1976, been providing a safe space for the LGBTQ community, friends, and allies to network, celebrate, and explore what the LGBTQ community in New Mexico is all about. Its mission is to strengthen and affirm the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer/questioning community by offering education, outreach and advocacy through production of quality events, including parades, lectures, gatherings, a yearly candlelight vigil, and more.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a hot air balloon festival that takes place each year in Albuquerque, during early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event that includes over 500 beautiful hot air balloons each year.
Where to Live in Albuquerque
While almost all of Albuquerque is welcoming and wonderful, here are two of the neighborhoods which are particularly popular with the LGTBQ community:
Located near the campus of the University of New Mexico, and bisected by Historic Route 66, Nob Hill has a high concentration of shops, restaurants, and bars popular with the LGBT community. It is a funky, vibrant district with eclectic shops, excellent dining options, and chic nightspots. The median price of homes currently listed in Nob Hill is $329,500.
Old Town Albuquerque is the site where the city was founded in 1706 by the Spanish on the Camino Real from Mexico City to Santa Fe. Old Town is known for its wonderful shops, restaurants and sights to discover. Members of the LGBTQ community will find that Old Town is a welcoming and wonderful place to call home.
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Arts and Entertainment in Albuquerque
The Way Out West Film Festival has been held in Albuquerque since 2003, and runs for seven days each October. It is run by Closet Cinema, an Albuquerque-based nonprofit organization dedicated to showcasing queer cinema. The Way Out West Film Festival is one of the largest in the state, drawing crowds of over 4,000 people each year. The festival screens over 75 features, shorts, and documentaries from filmmakers from all over the world.
The Albuquerque Museum formerly known as The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico in Old Town Albuquerque. The museum features art of the Southwest, as well as its broader global influences, and celebrates nearly 400 years of history in Albuquerque through both permanent installations and rotating special exhibits.
Parks and Recreation
Ringed by beautiful mountains and extinct volcanoes, Albuquerque is a gorgeous place to enjoy the outdoors. In fact, the city offers172 city parks and a complete system of hiking and biking trails for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. Some other unique local outdoor attractions include:
Enjoy both art and hiking by visiting the Petroglyph National Monument, where early Native Americans etched life symbols onto boulders. Learn about the history and way of life of the native peoples who once occupied the area, and get your steps in at the same time!
Experience all that the beautiful outdoors has to offer in Albuquerque with the Gay Outdoors New Mexico Meetup Group. Make friends, get some exercise, and enjoy the great outdoors, all at once.
One of the city’s most popular gay hangouts, Effex is one of the city’s most popular bay hangouts. It is a spacious venue offering three levels, a main room, a lounge, and a rooftop patio, each with its own DJ.
Located in the LGBTQ-friendly Hotel Albuquerque in the Old Town neighborhood, QBar Lounge is a gay-friendly, upscale club and bar which offers a number of activities including Latin dancing classes, a media room, a piano lounge, and a billiards room. There’s something here for everyone to enjoy.