A Rich Cultural Experience
Belen is a historic community in the Rio Grande Valley. We were founded in 1740 as Nuestra Senora de Belen, interwoven with Spanish, German and other cultures over almost three centuries. We're a city that grew out of the wild west, shaped by our railroad and nestled next to the life-giving Rio Grande.
Belen's most important attraction is our historic downtown, where you can see the only Harvey House museum in the State of New Mexico, open daily except Sunday. Our Harvey House, built by the famed Fred Harvey, supported the Santa Fe Railroad for decades in Belen. Many other buildings in downtown still show what a historic railroading community would have looked like in the early 1900s -- our Belen Hotel, Central Hotel, old city hall, Onate Theater and Sugar Bowl Lanes, all built during the bustling early years of the railroad. Some of these buildings are filled with businesses catering to visitors, like Pete's Cafe.
Mom and Pop Shops
Belen offers a unique experience -- far from being any Anytown, USA.
Some of the best traditional New Mexican food in the Albuquerque area comes from Belen, where year-round you can walk into any restaurant and get your fix of green and red chile, sopapillas and even Spanish barbeque, like chicarrones.
We also have a number of locally owned and operated clothing stores, art shops, antique stores and other retail businesses.
Belen has three hotels available to visitors and those just passing through: Holiday Inn, Oak Tree and Super 8.
If you come to Belen at the right times of year, Belen is host to many annual festivals and events that can charm any visitor:
- Hispano Matanza, a traditional Spanish barbeque, in January
- St. Patrick's Day Hot Air Balloon Rallye in March
- All-American Fourth of July in July
- Our Lady of Belen Fiestas in August
- Valencia County Fair in August
- Becker Street Festival in September
- Miracle on Main Street Light Parade in November
- Historic Bugg Lights, a Harvey House holiday display, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve