ABQ Visitor’s Guide

Click on the numbered areas to go directly to that section in the Visitor’s Guide below:

  1. Must Know
  2. Getting Around
  3. Activities
  4. Food/Drink
  5. Entertainment/Shopping
  6. Map of Campus & Conference Rooms

Must Know:
  • Albuquerque is known for its diverse cultures, public art and music, show-stopping sunsets, and dynamic traditions in a centuries old  progressive city.
  • Albuquerque’s revitalized downtown area is nearby to the west, just beyond a landmark freeway interchange. A little farther on, enjoy the shops, museums, and churches of Old Town and city parks along the Rio Grande.


  • Albuquerque in the summer can get very hot during the day but then is offset by comfortable nighttime temps and 24/7 low humidity. Hats, sunscreen, and lots of water are highly recommended!
  • You are about a mile up in altitude, between 4,900 and 6,700 (feet) elevation. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself a little breathless. Be sure to acclimate yourself, as the altitude may affect your response to alcohol.

Getting Around:

It is not necessary to have a car in Albuquerque.  Transportation to/from Albuquerque International Sunport and other metro locations is readily available.  There are bikes, rental cars, Uber/Lyfts and buses. The city is also fairly walkable, especially around campus.

Transportation Options:


  • All public transportation in Albuquerque is free!
  • Visitors who arrive at Alvarado station on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief from Chicago to LA will also find easy bus transportation to the UNM campus. Rental cars are available at the Sunport or at the Crown Plaza hotel, just north of the UNM campus.
  • Bus, both in and around Albuquerque as well as to other metro locations. For more information about transit and ABQ RIDE visit this website.


  • Albuquerque is a bike-friendly city, with hundreds of miles of trails and designated bike lanes, as well as bike-friendly loading on buses or the Rail Runner train, which can take you north for a day trip to Santa Fe.
  • The pandemic caused the temporary shut-down of some bike rental businesses, so it’s best to check on the latest availabilities and prices. A few reliable shops for rentals and tours, including e-bikes, are:
  • Check out the interactive route map, rules of the road, and more here.
  • Need a bike? Check with your hotel – many have a fleet of bikes available for you to use.


  • Albuquerque is very pedestrian-friendly. There are multi-use trails everywhere as well as safe sidewalks. Be sure to use crosswalks for your own safety.

Parking and Charging

  •  There is a parking garage near the student union. The cheaper lot (R/E) is located just off of Central ave and Girard Blvd.
  • Last year, UNM tripled its number of on-campus EV charging stations, to 12.
  • The City of Albuquerque has announced some 18 new stations. Most EV owners have an app to help find favorite stations, but many ChargePoint locations come up on a simple Google search. Tesla owners will find that one of the only super-chargers for their drive is located near UNM, at 2600 Menaul NE, near a wi-fi equipped Applebee’s. Then there are at least two Tesla super-charging locations near Santa Fe.

  • There is no end to the adventures you can find in outlying Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico. See the official Albuquerque Tourism website to get started
  • Bike riding: ABQ’s interactive bike map . Come bike with Marlene Brown the weekend before the conference. There is a 50 mile loop around ABQ and many bike trails that go to the foothills of the mountains and along the Rio Grande. 
  • Walk along the Rio Grande and Rio Grande Nature Center at 2901 Candelaria Ave. NW. This is a State Park in the middle of the city. It is $3 to park there. There is also access to an education center and bathrooms.


  •  Interested in hiking in the Sandia mountains? Join the hike with Marlene Brown the Saturday before the conference – register online. Albuquerque has great trails for every ability.
  • Learn more about the top rated hiking trails in Albuquerque. 

Beyond Albuquerque

  • BioPark and Aquarium
    • The BioPark and Aquarium are on the same property. The BioPark has beautiful flowers and the Aquarium has sharks. There is music in the summer on Thursday nights and you can buy food or bring your own.
  • ABQ Zoo
    • A great place to support and walk around. I did a PV install class here. It was the first PV system on a City Facility in ABQ and it was only 1 kW. Go see the monkeys and big cats. There is a Penguin exhibit also. Music on Friday nights during the summer.
  • If you have a car, travel the Turquoise Trail (NM Route 14) northward, to experience Albuquerque’s East Mountains and the reimagined coal mining town of Madrid (46 miles).
  • A little farther up the road toward Santa Fe is Cerrillos, where pre-contact Puebloans mined turquoise that found its way around the world. The region is still a center for solar and off-grid living.
  • Those ready to traverse dirt roads can find out more at Ampersand Sustainable Living Center.



Coffee and Breakfast

  • Most coffee shops near the Central corridor offer outdoor seating, including Satellite Coffee and Michael Thomas Roasters.
  • If you visited Albuquerque the last time it hosted the National Solar Conference in the late 90s, you may want to revisit the Double Rainbow, which was renamed Flying Star and still offers great coffee, healthy cuisine, and lots of room for meeting old friends.
  • Einstein’s Bagels 

Cafes and Lunch Eateries



Entertainment & Shopping:


  • Guild Cinema – Independent movie theater and walking distance from UNM.


Map of Campus & Conference Rooms:

SOLAR 2022 will be held at the Student Union Building (SUB) on the University of New Mexico Campus in Albuquerque, NM. Review this map of the building, the conference will take place in Ballrooms A-C and throughout levels 2 and  3 in multiple rooms.



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