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One of the best places to kick off the day is the Downtown branch of Flying Star restaurant, where you can enjoy breakfast in the heart of Downtown before checking out the handful of shops and galleries on Gold and Central avenues. From here, it's a short drive or 30-minute walk west along Central to reach Old Town, where you can explore the shops and museums of the neighborhood. Once in Old Town, check out the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, and also try to make your way over to the Albuquerque BioPark, which contains the aquarium, zoo, and botanic park. For lunch, try the atmospheric Monica's El Portal near the Old Town center.

Later in the afternoon, drive or take the Red Line bus a couple of miles east along Central to reach the University of New Mexico's main campus and the nearby Nob Hill District. Start with a stroll around the UNM campus with its many historic adobe buildings; if you have time, pop inside either the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology or the UNM Art Museum. When you're finished here, walk east along Central into Nob Hill and check out the dozens of offbeat shops. If you plan to have dinner in Nob Hill, try Nob Hill Bar and Grill or El Patio. If you're still up for more, check out one of the neighborhood's lively lounges or head back Downtown for a bit of late-night barhopping.