Thinking or relocating to a peaceful town in the southwest? You should consider moving to Bernalillo, a town north of Albuquerque with a rich history and an affordable cost of living. Bernalillo is known for its proud heritage and annual wine festival. Settlement in the area dates back nearly a thousand years and became a center for the wine industry in the 17th Century. Founded in 1695 by Don Diego de Vargas, it soon blossomed into a major commercial center for the local pueblos by the 1800s. Today, Bernalillo is a good place to live, with natural beauty and a small-town atmosphere. Here’s a glimpse into living in Bernalillo NM.
Where Is Bernalillo?
Bernalillo, NM is in Sandoval County and also the county seat. It’s located at the intersection of US Route 550 and 1-25, just north of Albuquerque. Located at the base of the Sandia Mountains, the Rio Grande River flows directly through Bernalillo. Adjacent communities include Santa Ana Pueblo, Pueblo of Sandia Village, Placitas, and the city of Rio Rancho. The town of Bernalillo is separate from Bernalillo County, which is directly south of Sandoval County.
Bernalillo is in a very central location. Downtown Albuquerque is only 18.4 miles away, or a 20-minute drive, and Santa Fe is 48 miles or a 47-minute drive.
Bernalillo Population & Demographics
The population of Bernalillo is 8,977, according to the 2020 census. It’s a small town that is relatively spread out, and the population density is 1,837.7 residents per square mile. However, it is steadily growing, and the population has increased by 7.6% since 2010.
Bernalillo is a fairly young and diverse town, and the largest age demographic is 20-29-year-olds at 17%. About 31% of adults over the age of 15 speak a language other than English at home.
Other Bernalillo Demographics
- The median age is 43.7 years old.
- There is an exact ratio of males to females, and the population is 50% men and 50% women.
- The racial and ethnic breakdown is 66.5% white (29% non-Hispanic), 64% Hispanic or Latino, 4.6% American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.1% Black or African American, 0.3% Asian, and 13.9% two or more races.
- The median income is $54,850, which is about the same as the New Mexico average but slightly lower than the rest of the Albuquerque metro area.
- The foreign-born population is 11.8%.
- The average household has 2.3 people.
Bernalillo does have a high crime rate compared to the rest of the US, but lower than the rest of the state. The total crime rate is 3,062 per 100,000 residents, which is 31% higher than the national average but 16% lower than the statewide average.
The violent crime rate is 821 per 100,000 residents, which is 112% higher than the rest of the US but 5.3% higher than the rest of the US. The property crime rate is also 14% higher than the national average but 23.6% lower than the statewide average. So, living in Bernalillo is just as safe as anywhere in New Mexico.
Crime in the city is handled by the Town of Bernalillo Police Department, which employs 24 commissioned officers, one animal controller, and two civilian support staff.
Cost of Living in Bernalillo
The affordable cost of living is one of the major draws of moving to Bernalillo. The cost of living index for the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho metro area is 93, which indicates the cost of living in Bernalillo, NM is 7% less expensive than the rest of the US. With the US average represented by 100, the COLI compares the affordability of an area to the rest of the country.
The Family Budget Calculator developed by the Economic Policy Institute states that the typical family of four with two adults and two children should earn an income of $84,336 to afford to live in Sandoval County.
Typical Bernalillo Living Expenses
- Bunch of bananas: $3.31
- Doctor’s visit: $113.54
- A gallon of milk: $2.39
- Carton of eggs: $2.21
- A gallon of Gas: $3.15
- Average monthly Bernalillo utilities: $363
Bernalillo real estate is also very reasonable. Redfin indicates that the median listing price of homes for sale in Bernalillo is $278,000, which is 40% lower than the nationwide median. The median price per square foot of homes for sale in Bernalillo, NM, is $206, which is up by 15% since last year.
Residents will find a wide range of Bernalillo NM real estate available. The city also has a lot to offer tenants, and the rent in Bernalillo, NM, starts at $1000 for a studio and goes up to $2800 for a four-bedroom, according to RentCafe. Bernalillo apartments vary in style from luxury buildings to pueblo-style single-family homes. You can even find mobile homes for rent in Bernalillo, starting at $850 per month.
Bernalillo Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Bernalillo
Bernalillo is a small town that is only about 5.3 square miles and doesn’t have very many distinct neighborhoods. However, it offers an excellent quality of life no matter where you live. The most desirable communities tend to be in the western part of the city, while the most affordable are in the northeast. But moving to Bernalillo offers friendly neighbors and a calm pace of life anywhere you look.
Bernalillo NM Climate
The Koppen classification system indicates that Bernalillo has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters. The average temperature usually remains around 26°F to 92°F, although it can get as cold as 16°F in the winter and up to 98°F in the summer. It’s just north of the Chihuahuan Desert region and has a very arid climate. The best time to visit is from late May to late September.
Although it is in a desert region, Bernalillo gets a fair amount of precipitation and averages 11 inches of rain and 10 inches of snow per year. So, keep an umbrella and a snow jacket in the closet if you plan on moving to Bernalillo.
Things to Do in Bernalillo
You’ll find a plethora of fun things to do in Bernalillo, NM, from historic sites to outdoor adventure. There are a few shops and boutiques scattered around New Mexico State Road 313, such as Vavavoom Beauty Boutique and Rose’s Pottery House. It’s also a short drive to the Cottonwood Mall or Coronado Center in Albuquerque for more shopping.
The Conando Historic Site is a historic attraction that features the ruins and artifacts of the Kuaua Pueblo, a village settled in 1325 and abandoned in the 16th century. It’s a state-run archaeological site that is open to the public and features a visitors center with murals and artifacts belonging to the tribe that inhabited the area.
485 Kuaua Rd, Bernalillo, NM 87004 (505) 867-5351
The Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel is a local resort featuring a luxury hotel, state-of-the-art casino, bowling, dining, and other attractions, making it one of the best things to do in Bernalillo, NM, for tourists and visitors.
54 Jemez Canyon Dam Rd, Bernalillo, NM 87004 (505) 867-0000
Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures is a canoe and kayak touring agency that offers rentals and guided excursions along the Rio Grande River.
105 D, Pleasant View Dr, Bernalillo, NM 87004 (505) 771-1234
Additional Attractions Near Bernalillo
- ABQ BioPark Zoo
- Petroglyph National Monument
- Sandia Peak Tramway
- National Museum of Nuclear Science and History
The Town of Bernalillo Recreation Department is in charge of maintaining the parks in town and hosts frequent community events, which are listed on their website.
For a small town, there are many great restaurants in Bernalillo, NM, ranging from authentic Mexican to comfort food. Check out the best places to eat in Bernalillo, NM.
The Range Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Bernalillo NM if you want classic New Mexican fare and craft beer with entrees like blue corn enchiladas and country fried steak.
925 S Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM 87004 (505) 867-1700
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Abuelita’s New Mexican Kitchen is another local favorite serving Mexican and American cuisine, including their signature dish, the Tacopilla, which is a big sopapilla on top of a plate of refried beans, cheese, and lettuce, guacamole, and other ingredients.
621 Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM 87004 (505) 867-9988
Kaktus Brewing Company is one of the top Bernalillo, NM restaurants if you’re looking to have a drink and a snack with an award-winning selection of craft beers and a small menu of healthy pizzas, salads, and desserts.
471 South Hill, Bernalillo, NM 87004 (505) 295-3186
Jobs in Bernalillo
There are close to 100 businesses in the town of Bernalillo, ranging from restaurants to financial services companies. You can find a full directory on the town government’s website. Many residents living in Bernalillo NM also commute to Albuquerque for additional work opportunities.
Bernalillo has a labor force of about 3,913 people. Most jobs in Bernalillo, NM, are in education training, office and administration, or executive management and administration. About 64% of Bernalillo jobs are white collar, and 36% are blue collar. Payscale states that the average rate for an hourly worker in Bernalillo is $18.52, which is a 2.3% increase since the beginning of 2023.
Major employers in Sandoval County include:
The town is within the Bernalillo School District, which includes ten schools and serves around 2,719 students. There are two elementary schools in Bernalillo, NM, Bernalillo Elementary and WD Carroll Elementary. La Escuelita Preschool is also in town and part of the Bernalillo Public School System.
Bernalillo High School is the only high school in the district that has an average student-to-teacher ratio of 16:1 and enrolls about 2,719 students. Students and residents living in Bernalillo can also visit the Martha Liebert Public Library to take out books and other media.
Bernalillo Statistics & Information
- Bernalillo County: Sandoval County
- Bernalillo area: 5.33 sq mi
- Bernalillo zip code: 87004
- Bernalillo area code: 505
- Bernalillo elevation: 5,052 ft
- Bernalillo time zone: Mountain Time (MT)
Closest airport to Bernalillo: The Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is 22 miles away.
Bernalillo NM Map
Check out more local attractions, restaurants, and fun things to do with this map of Bernalillo.
Ready to relocate to this peaceful southwestern town? Trust our expert Bernalillo movers to help make your upcoming move simple and stress-free. Call 505-471-3434 for a free, personalized moving estimate.