In terms of the cost of living, Winston-Salem is the best choice. If you’re looking for non-traffic roads and love beaches, this is the place for you. Meanwhile, Albuquerque is ideal for those looking for Pueblo Native American, Spanish, and Mexican-mixed cuisines and wanting to build their dream tech company.
Albuquerque is a major city with a stunning high desert setting and remarkable geology, including watermelon-colored mountains and a mysterious river. It is also known for its visual arts, music, dance, literary, cinematic, ethnic, artisan groups, museums, festivals, and fun events.
Meanwhile, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is known as the “Twin City” because of its two distinct histories and as “the Camel City” because of its long history in the tobacco business. Winston Salem is a fast-paced city where people live and work near one another. There’s always something fresh to eat and drink here, whether at a restaurant or a bar.
There is so much you can enjoy in both cities. However, like in any city, these places may not suit everyone. If you’d want to learn more about what it’s like to live in these cities, this article is for you.
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What Are the Pros and Cons of Albuquerque vs. Winston-Salem?
Despite its top-rated schools and no-traffic roads, the pollen season and business operations are sure to disappoint you in Winston-Salem. In Albuquerque, you can enjoy the outdoor activities and various museums, but the poor education, crime rate, and wildfire catastrophe will alarm you.
Living in Albuquerque
- International cuisine
- Outdoor activities
- Best for a startup company
Albuquerque is one of the top cities in the Southwest for New Mexican cuisine. The city serves a meal with influences from the Pueblo Native American, the Spanish, and the Mexican flavors.
French, Italian, Mediterranean, and Portuguese cultures have all influenced the cuisine. These influences combine with the cowboy chuck wagon and saloon fare to create a global cuisine.
Tingley Beach, a collection of ponds designed to drain water from the Rio Grande, is a great place to go fishing if you’re looking for a fun and adventurous day. The region was formerly a famous bathing hole, but it was blocked off in the 1950s, and it is now a popular fishing site. The lake is an excellent place to spend the whole day.
If you like heights, the Sandia Peak Tramway is a must-see attraction. You can go high enough above the city to get spectacular vistas of the mountains as well as the town below.
The tramway, which runs along the summit of Sandia Peak, is the world’s longest. From the observation deck, which is nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, you can obtain some fantastic views after you reach the summit.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has more than eight displays that take you through the ice period from the dawn of time. You’ll witness giant dinosaurs that once dominated the world, as well as the effects of age on a volcano.
You can also learn about the universe’s origins, which occurred more than 13.6 billion years ago, through a planetarium and museum’s two entire floors that are devoted to investigating space and astronomy. Furthermore, a Microsoft-sponsored part walks you through the personal computer history.
Albuquerque is an excellent environment to start a company, particularly for tech enterprises, thanks to funding initiatives like the Technology Research Collaborative and the State Investment Council’s Catalyst Fund. Software firms serving healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and government make up a large portion of the tech startups.
- Low-quality education
- Alarming crime rate
Despite having the top-ranked schools, the city’s public K-12 schools are among the worst in the country. Most grades 3-12 could not pass the state-mandated arithmetic examinations. There were also only 31% of students who managed to complete their English tests in one sitting.
With over 100,000 people, Albuquerque is currently one of the top ten most dangerous cities in the United States. The number of homicides contributes to the city’s reputation for violence. During the first three quarters of 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation documented 111 violent offenses per 10,000 people in Albuquerque.
The most prevalent natural catastrophes — tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes – provide little to no danger in Albuquerque. On the other hand, wildfires pose a threat to houses and property. You can visit the city of Albuquerque’s Wildfire Safety page to stay up to date and learn what to do in the event of a wildfire.
Living in Winston-Salem
- Top-rated schools
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a highly-educated city for private and public colleges and universities and some of the best high schools in the state. Here are some of the top-rated schools:
- Salem College
- Wake Forest University
- Winston-Salem State University
- Carolina University
- Carolina Christian College
- University of North Carolina
Go for a stroll after lunch to burn off some calories in one of the numerous parks and hiking trails that can be found in the city. At Quarry Park, you can walk your dog while taking in views of the downtown skyline. Don’t forget to bring your camera for some fun shots while you’re here. Other exciting experiences include:
- The Chocolate Factory at Black Mountain
- Exhibits at the Museum of Old Salem and Gardens
Traffic in Winston-Salem is manageable. Even during “rush hour,” you’re seldom more than a ten or fifteen-minute drive from A to B in this metropolis. Even the central business district of Winston-Salem is simple to travel about. You can also hire scooters and bikes in the downtown area if you prefer that mode of transportation.
The city is a fantastic vacation destination for those who want sand between their toes and an ocean breeze in the summer. There are beaches within a two-and-a-half-hour drive if mountains are not your thing. While Wrightsville Beach is the nearest beach to Winston-Salem, you can also visit Topsail Beach and the Outer Banks.
- Business operation
- Local language
If you want to stay out late in Winston-Salem, you may have to be like the Beastie Boys and battle for your right to party—or go someplace else. While there are several pubs and restaurants in the area, most shut their doors by 10:00 PM. A piece of pie at 3:00 AM can’t be found on a street corner here as it can in other cities.
The second disadvantage of relocating to Winston-Salem is that you’ll have to learn the language of the people who live here. If you don’t understand the local slang, you’ll have difficulty following along.
There were a lot of expressions like “bless your heart” and “fixin’ to,” that you will not fully understand when you first arrive in this city, but you have to accept the culture of the place you’re visiting.
Pollen season begins early in Winston Salem, making springtime difficult for those with severe allergies. You can get a massive bottle of allergy medication from Costco if you want to smell the cuisine at all of the fantastic restaurants and view the artwork created by the local artists.
Winston Salem isn’t the only North Carolina city with high pollen counts; the state has them.
Winston-Salem isn’t truly a walkable city outside of downtown Winston and a few other locations. However, Winston Salem’s ability to listen and act on complaints is one of the qualities that make the city attractive.
Walkability is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the city. They’re working on a strategy to make the city more pedestrian-friendly to improve city life.
Albuquerque or Winston-Salem – Which Is Cheaper?
The overall cost of living index (taxes excluded) states that Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is 10.5% less expensive than Albuquerque, New Mexico. The most significant component in the cost of living difference is the median home cost. The median home cost is 29% lower in Winston-Salem.
The table below presents the cost-of-living indices written in percentage:
|Food & Groceries||96.0%||95.2%|
Data is 100 = US National Average
> 100 means more expensive than the national average
< 100 means cheaper than the national average
Winston-Salem’s cost of housing is 33.8% less expensive than in Albuquerque. Winston-Salem’s median home cost is only $134,900 compared to $203,500 in Albuquerque.
Winston-Salem’s cost of utilities is 0.7% less expensive than in Albuquerque. The essential utilities of electricity, water, cooling, heating, and garbage for 85 square-meter apartment cost $136.80 per month in Winston-Salem compared to $140.94 in Albuquerque.
Food and Groceries Cost
The cost of food and groceries in Winston-Salem is 0.8% less expensive than in Albuquerque. For example, as of January 2022, the price of regular milk is only $0.63 per liter in Winston-Salem, whereas Albuquerque has $0.83.
Winston-Salem’s transportation cost is 15.5% less expensive than in Albuquerque. For example, the gasoline price in Winston-Salem is only $0.59 per liter compared to $70 in Albuquerque.
Winston-Salem’s healthcare cost is 28.0% higher than in Albuquerque. In Winston-Salem, you will spend an average of $100.34 on visiting a doctor, while in Albuquerque, that is only around $86.3.
Is Albuquerque Bigger Than Winston-Salem?
Based on the 2020 population, Albuquerque is 55.7% more extensive than Winston-Salem. In terms of land area, Albuquerque is 28.7% bigger than Winston-Salem.
Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, has 564,559 inhabitants in 2020, ranking it as the 32nd most populous city in the United States and the 4th largest in the southwest. Its total land area is 187.7 square miles.
Meanwhile, in 2020, with a total of 133.82 square miles, Winston-Salem has 249,545 residents making it the 2nd largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region, the 5th largest city, the 3rd largest urban area in North Carolina, and the 89th largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Is Albuquerque Safer Than Winston-Salem?
With 100 as the safest, Winston-Salem’s crime index is 66, while Albuquerque has an index of one. In comparison, the annual crime rates in Albuquerque and Winston-Salem are 63.28 and 7.81 per 1000 residents, respectively. Thus, Winston-Salem is safer than Albuquerque.
Albuquerque seems to be a dangerous place to visit based on data. It was listed as the 9th most dangerous city in the United States in a report issued in 2020. It has 35,723 crimes each year on average. If you live here, you have a 1 in 20 chance of being a victim of property crime and a 1 in 75 cases of being a victim of violent crime.
Winston-Salem residents have a broad perception that the city’s west side is the safest. According to crime data, Winston-Salem ranks 10th among the safest cities in the United States. Only 1,948 crimes (property and violence) are recorded in the Winston-Salem metro region every year.
Is Albuquerque Warmer Than Winston-Salem?
The average temperature in Albuquerque ranges from 27°F to 93°F throughout the year, whereas Winston-Salem has 32°F to 87°F. Thus, Albuquerque is warmer than Winston-Salem.
Summers in Albuquerque are hot and dry, and the winters are brief, frigid, and snowy, while summers in Winston-Salem are warm and muggy, and the winters are freezing and snowy. The weather temperatures in Albuquerque are seldom falling below 18°F or rising over 99°F while Winston-Salem has 19°F or above 94°F.
According to the tourist score, the perfect time to visit Albuquerque for warm-weather activities is from late May through late September, whereas Winston-Salem is from mid-August to early October.
Is Albuquerque Better Than Winston-Salem?
According to the recent data, there are now 6 million international tourists to Albuquerque annually and just 1.8 million to Winston-Salem. Thus, Albuquerque has a higher chance of attracting new inhabitants.
Albuquerque’s international cuisine, fun activities, museums, and being budget-friendly have enticed 6.2 million annual visitors.
On the other hand, in 2019, over 120 restaurants, retail outlets, and bars within walking distance of the hotel have become an enormous asset of Winston-Salem to drive more than 1.8 million visitors each year.
Albuquerque and Winston-Salem are two of the best cities in the country to visit. In Albuquerque and Winston-Salem, there is so much to see and do. In both cities, year-round warmth, exciting activities, and awe-inspiring scenery await you.
So, can you see yourself kicking either of the city? Did you find what you were looking for, or is something missing? Let me know in the comments below.