All About Rio Rancho
Rio Rancho is a beautiful city to the north of Albuquerque, New Mexico. With a population of just over 100,000 people, it provides plenty of exciting restaurants, activities, and amenities to the Greater Albuquerque Area.
History of Rio Rancho
Much of New Mexico has long been settled by various peoples throughout history (just visit one of the many pueblos!) But Rio Rancho as it is today began in the early 1960s when a land development corporation (AMREP Corporation) purchased 55,000 acres to the north of Albuquerque and started developing it.
Initially, Rio Rancho was marketed as a retirement community to people in the Midwest and the Eastern US. But as the city grew and home loans changed, the area began attracting more and more young families. Rio Rancho was incorporated in 1981 with a population of 10,000 people. Now, 40 years later, the population is 10x that and the City of Vision is a New Mexico treasure.
Best Restaurants in Rio Rancho
Rio Rancho, and New Mexico in general, is known for our amazing and unique style of food—appropriately named New Mexican food! New Mexican food is often a fusion of Pueblo Native American influences, Spanish influences, and Mexican influences. And, Rio Rancho is also known for some incredible local brews. Here are some of our favorite restaurants and breweries!
- Hot Tamales New Mexican Kitchen—Family-friendly restaurant offering tamales, fajitas, and other Mexican eats, plus weekend breakfast.
- Turtle Mountain Brewing Company—Neighborhood brewery/restaurant modeled after “Cheers” that specializes in wood-fired pizzas.
- M’Tucci’s—Vibrant, casual dining spot serving familiar Italian standards such as pasta, pizza, and meat entrees.
- Brew Lab 101 Beer & Cider Co.—Amazing locally brewed beers, ciders, wine, and spirits with a cool science theme and relaxed vibe!
Fun Things to Do in Rio Rancho
Rio Rancho is located in the perfect place to easily access so many of the things people love about New Mexico! Close to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and the Sandia Mountains, there is something for everyone. Here are some of our favorite things to do here!
- A Park Above—Ample playground equipment, plus a splash pad, and featuring wheelchair swings and accessibility for children of all abilities.
- Bosque Access—Rio Rancho offers easy access to the Bosque (river and forested area) for all kinds of recreation like kayaking and paddleboarding.
- Petroglyph National Monument—This national monument offers great hiking and preserves incredible petroglyphs from ancient peoples.
- Sandia Casino & Resort—This resort is a 4-star hotel with a beautiful golf course, casino, spa, outdoor pool, outdoor amphitheater, fine dining, and more.
- Wineries—The geography of the area makes Rio Rancho and the surrounding cities an ideal place for wineries, including Casa Rodeña Winery, Corrales Winery, and Gruet.
Certainly, there is plenty to love about Rio Rancho! Learn even more about the different neighborhoods in the city below.