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Explore Albuquerque: One-Day Itineraries with Pickleball Built-In

Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a city rich with vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and a burgeoning sports community, especially for pickleball enthusiasts. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, integrating the thrill of pickleball into your day of exploring can add an exciting and healthy twist to your sightseeing plans. Here are three specially crafted one-day itineraries, each featuring a different local pickleball hotspot, to help you make the most of your day in Albuquerque.


Itinerary 1: Cultural Delights and Manzano Mesa Pickleball

Morning: Start your day with a stroll around the historic Old Town Albuquerque, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and Spanish-influenced architecture. Visit San Felipe de Neri Church, browse through local artisan shops, and enjoy a traditional New Mexican breakfast at a nearby café – a few of my favorites are Church Street Cafe, Little Anita's, or Cocina Azul.

Midday: Head over to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. This museum is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture. Here, you can learn about the native history and see incredible traditional dances and art exhibitions.

Afternoon: After soaking in some culture, it's time to get active at the Manzano Mesa Pickleball Complex. With numerous free public courts, this facility is a haven for pickleball players of all skill levels. Join a game or simply practice your shots in a friendly community atmosphere.

Evening: Cap off your day with dinner at one of the popular eateries in the Nob Hill area, where you can savor dishes ranging from New Mexican cuisine to innovative fusion foods. The local beloved gem is Frontier Restaurant, but I'm also partial to Fan Tang, Gyros, and checking out the food truck of the day at Tractor Brewing. Really, it's hard to go wrong in this neighborhood!

Itinerary 2: Nature Trails and Ken's Courts Pickleball


Morning: Begin with a visit to the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden to enjoy the lush plant life and serene walking paths. Don’t miss the Japanese and fantasy gardens! Alternatively, take a trip up the Sandia Peak Tramway and have a late breakfast at 7000 feet above sea level!

Midday: Grab a quick lunch at literally any restaurant in Nob Hill – get adventurous! – then prepare for an afternoon of outdoor adventure at the nearby Sandia Foothills. These trails offer stunning views and a variety of difficulty levels for hiking and biking enthusiasts.

Afternoon: After your hike, unwind with some pickleball action at Ken's Courts. This smaller, more intimate setting is perfect for meeting local players and enjoying a few rounds of play.

Evening: Stay in the neighborhood and spend a few hours at Green Jeans Food Hall. They've got the eats, drinks, and activities to mark the perfect end to the perfect day. If you want to keep the party going, check out local dives Louie's Pub or Billiard Palace.

Itinerary 3: Art, Brews, and Albuquerque Pickleball Meetuppexels-atoosa-ryanne-arfa-889847941-19804727

Morning: Kick off your day in the artsy Sawmill District, exploring galleries and workshops that showcase the work of local artists. Don’t forget to visit the Sawmill Market for a variety of local food vendors.

Midday: Head to the industrial district and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the craft breweries, where you can sample locally brewed beers and hearty pub grub. Try La Cumbre, Canteen, Lizard Tail, and/or scoot down the road to Steel Bender!

Afternoon: Take a guided tour of the Albuquerque Museum for a deep dive into the region’s art and history. Alternatively, you could explore the quirky and colorful murals that decorate the downtown area.

Early Evening: Wrap up your day with an exhilarating session of pickleball at the Albuquerque Pickleball Meetup, usually held in the early evening. This is a great opportunity to mingle with the local community and play in a relaxed and social environment.

Night: Finish your day back where you started, dining on the rooftop at LVL 5, overlooking the cityscape, the perfect setting to reflect on your action-packed day in Albuquerque.

Each itinerary blends the best of Albuquerque’s sightseeing with the lively and welcoming spirit of its pickleball community. No matter which schedule you choose (or a combination!) you’re sure to have a memorable day enjoying all that this unique city has to offer. Join us at our next meetup and make new friends while playing your favorite sport!