Skip to main content

Albuquerque Named a Best Place for Outdoor Enthusiasts to Live and Work

Parks and Open Space acreage create more outdoor recreation opportunities

Albuquerque was named one of SmartAsset’s best places for outdoor enthusiasts to live and work in 2020. In a study of 96 cities across the country, Albuquerque ranked in the top 30, coming in at 26 thanks to a high number of parks, open spaces, and outdoor recreation opportunity.

“The coronavirus pandemic has made indoor activities challenging this past year, but we are lucky to live in Albuquerque, with our abundance of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors all across our city,” stated Mayor Tim Keller. “With more than 29,000 acres of Open Space and nearly 300 City parks, it’s easy to get outside here.”

With nearly 300 days of sunshine annually, four distinct seasons, moderate winters, and excellent proximity to mountains and huge expanses of national, state, and local public lands, Albuquerque has the perfect climate and locations for year-round outdoor activities.

The City of Albuquerque boasts numerous outdoor recreation opportunities across the city. From hiking in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains or along the banks of the Rio Grande to dozens of athletic fields and courts in parks across Albuquerque, outdoor enthusiasts have an abundance of options for recreation and relaxation. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department maintains nearly 3,000 acres of parkland at 290 City parks and more than 29,000 acres of Major Public Open Space. Additionally, the Department manages more than 170 miles of paved, off-street trails in addition to world class mountain bike trails in the Sandia foothills. The City also features four municipal golf courses that offer one of the best golf values in the region.

To conduct this study, SmartAsset compared 96 cities across the following metrics: housing costs as a percentage of income, five-year change in median household income, July 2020 unemployment rate, percentage of commuters who walk or bike to work, nature parks and campgrounds per 100,000 residents, air pollution, percentage of the city that is parkland, state outdoor recreation economy, and state and national park coverage. Albuquerque was boosted by the fact that nearly a quarter of the city is designated as a park or Open Space area.

More information on the study can be found at