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New Mexico lies in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital is Santa Fe. It is without a doubt one of my favourite of the United States to explore. I’m bringing you the best places in New Mexico from start to finish, so buckle up, sit back and relax for one heck of an adventure!
New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment because of it’s scenic beauty and rich history. There are two national parks and three UNESCO World heritage spread throughout the state as well as unique museums focusing on aliens. You can go for hot balloon rides, hiking and skiing or spend the day with your family at a botanic garden and zoo.
Here are my Top Places to visit in New Mexico
Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the United States and is the best place to come visit in New Mexico especially if you are an art enthusiast. There are about 300 art galleries to visit in this city and lots of street art.
For foodies, dine at the Coyote Cafe, El Faro and Chez Mamou.
Cultural highlights include the open air Santa Fe Opera House, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the Meow Wolf.
Explore the Plaza located in the downtown area of Santa Fe. The Plaza is a popular place to shop and enjoy a stroll through the old area of the city. Learn about the town’s rich history with visits to the Palace of the Governors and the Loretto Chapel’s “helix to heaven” stairway.
One of my favorite cultural highlights is the Meow Wolf art collective. It is an interactive art exhibit that is full of fun and colors.
Albuquerque is a colorful town seeped in Native American and Spanish history that’s surrounded by natural beauty. Explore historic downtown for arts, museum and culture.
If you love to shop, you can also shop for Native American arts and crafts and other merchandise. Aside from these, try their Red and Green chili dishes.
Taos is known for its scenic location in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, beautiful historic architecture, Taos ski valley and art heritage.
Rio Grande Gorge is like a mini Grand Canyon. At 650 feet (200 m) above the Rio Grande, it is the fifth highest bridge in the United States.
In 1966 the American Institute of Steel Construction awarded the bridge “Most Beautiful Steel Bridge” in the “Long Span” category. If you are adventurous, you can take. rafting trip down the Rio bridge. This bridge has also appeared in several films, including Wild Hogs, Paul, Terminator Salvation, Natural Born Killers and White Sands.
Search for aliens in the town of Roswel- the supposed landing place of aliens. Evidence of the alien invasion is everywhere. As you explore downtown Roswell, it’s easy to be captivated by the McDonald’s shaped like a spaceship, the murals of little green men, and the alien-shaped streetlights. But also watch for public Alien heads top street lamps.
The UFO Museum explores the phenomena amid a collection of kitschy exhibits. Stop by the Chaves County Courthouse on Main Street, a beautiful beaux arts building topped with a green tiled dome. Completed before New Mexico became a state, the courthouse is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
WHITE SANDS NATIONAL PARK
White Sands National Park is the site of the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, which covers 275 square miles. The dunes were formed millions of years ago after the evaporation of the Permian Sea.
White Sands Missile Range is located in the area. They conduct missile tests, the road is actually closed to traffic for up to three hours so check the website to make sure if they are open.
CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK
Set in limestone that predates the dinosaurs, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is spectacular with full of archaeological treasures. You will see fossilized prehistoric plant and animal life to Ice Age native artifacts. The Big Room is my favorite and we reached this area after an hour walk through several cave corridors. The Big Room is the most popular cave and keep in mind it is a steep switchback path (the equivalent of walking down 75 flights of stairs) or with an elevator.
Bat flight is 7:30pm, you can watch thousands of them fly out of the main entrance every evening from May through October during a ranger-led bat flight program.
Chimayó is a little village about 40 mins from Santa Fe.
There are many miraculous stories associated with the specific location. Each year during Holy Week, thousands of people make a pilgrimage to the Santuario. Many believe the small pit of Holy Dirt holds healing and restorative powers.
TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES
Truth or Consequences is a colorful little town located in central New Mexico. The town’s “original” attraction is its hot springs and used to be called Hot Springs. The city changed its name to “Truth or Consequences” as the result of a radio show contest.
As you are driving or wandering around town, notice the colorful murals painted on shops, bath houses, homes and vacant buildings.
My boyfriend and I stayed in an Airbnb in Albuquerque for a month and took road trips to visit these wonderful places.
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