Discover New Mexico – The Land of Adventure, History, Culture, and Natural Wonders That’s Waiting Just For You!

NM vistas
Photos courtesy Izolda Trakhtenberg

 

Whether you’re a fan of outdoor recreation, rich history, inspiring culture, or incredible natural wonders, you’re in the right place if you’re in New Mexico.

Let me let you in on a secret. You can go on dazzling adventures right in the heart of Albuquerque. In the cold months, grab a pair of skis and ride the tram to the 10,000+ foot top of Sandia Peak. You can whiz downhill, cruise cross-country, or play with snowboards just minutes from downtown. A couple of hours away, just north of Santa Fe, you climb even higher to one of the highest ski areas in the country in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. If skiing is your weakness, the stunning ski areas just a few hours outside Albuquerque will have you reaching for your poles and flying down the slopes.

skiing
Skiing in New Mexico, photo courtesy Dr. Aimee Smidt

 

Or perhaps you want to climb high but don’t want anything to tie you down. Then, a hot air balloon ride will be just the ticket. One of the best times to hitch a ride or just revel in all those gorgeous colors is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta that takes place every October. They festoon the sky with color year-round but especially during the fiesta. Don’t miss it either from the ground or aloft!

balloon fiesta
The Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico, photo courtesy Dr. Mary Logue

 

But if more down-to-Earth adventures are more your style, you have your pick of stunning vistas to explore. You might want to head to the bosque, west to the plains, or east to the mountains. Only a few minutes outside of town you can explore the rich landscapes New Mexico displays like jewels in its crown. If you want to travel farther afield, you’ll find jagged peaks, sultry deserts, and hidden hot springs. Simply choose a direction and go, and adventure will find you.

desert sands
Desert sands, New Mexico, photo courtesy Dr. Aimee Smidt

 

When you spend time in New Mexico, you feel the wisdom of proud, ancient people like the Apache and Navajo. If you want to visit the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States of America, you only have to take Route 66 to Acoma Pueblo. The pueblo sits atop a mesa with sheer rock walls that until modern times could only be accessed by a staircase hand-cut into the rock. Take a tour of the San Estevan Del Rey Mission and the Pueblo and learn all about the Sky City from a native Acoma guide.

acoma pueblo
Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, photo courtesy Izolda Trakhtenberg

 

If historic outlaws and gunfighters are more your speed, you might also be able to sense the ghosts of outlaws like Billy The Kid and Pancho Villa in the towns and open country of this beautiful State. You can find echoes of Henry McCarty in Santa Fe and Silver City where he lived as a boy and returned as Billy the Kid, the young outlaw who loved to sing and dance.

Let’s say music and art inspire you more than outlaws. Whether it’s the elegant performances of the New Mexico Philharmonic, a golden voice like Chevel Shepherd, beatboxing fire by Ashley Moyer, or the awe-inspiring flutes of Grammy winner Robert Mirabal, the music scene in New Mexico will thrill you with its quality and variety.

You might head to Santa Fe and visit the Georgia O’Keefe museum and view her evocative paintings. Or, perhaps, the artisans that sell their crafts in the Old Town Portal Market in Old Town Albuquerque will have just the unique piece of art or jewelry you want. If you want a true taste of southwest art, this is the place to find it.

storyteller statue
Storyteller, Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico, photo courtesy Izolda Trakhtenberg

 

Everywhere you turn, you’ll find art and culture with stunning paintings, pottery, music, and other performances. So what are you waiting for?

Perhaps, you look for your panoramas in their natural state out in the wild? New Mexico boasts several world-renowned national parks like Carlsbad Caverns National Park, that houses the Big Room, the largest single cave “room” in North America (by volume). Or perhaps, you want to see more flora and fauna. Then, head over to Valles Caldera, the canyon left after a volcanic eruption about 1.25 million years ago.

Of course, just about everywhere you look, you’ll find stunning views. Whether you’re in the Sandia or the Sangre de Cristo mountains, you’ll see beautiful blue skies, and stunning, soaring peaks of scarlet clay, coniferous trees, and natural monuments to the Earth. If it’s the stark beauty of the desert that draws you, look no further than the Chihuahuan Desert, North America’s largest one.

And if you want to add a dash of history to your stunning views, head to Bandelier National Monument. It covers over 33,000 acres of mesa and canyon country. Walk the main loop trail and see the archaeological sites from the people who lived there 11,000 years ago. You can climb inside some of the caves and imagine the dwellers of ages past.

After you finish your adventures, it’s time for delicious food and drinks. Go find you some Navajo Tacos with Christmas Chili (trust us). Or perhaps BBQ is more your speed. Either way, New Mexico has many cuisines that are sure to please your palette. And remember to make a delicious tangy Margarita the perfect punctuation mark to a perfect day.

Wow! What an adventure! You must be tired. Wait, what? You’re not? We should have figured you’d be ready for more. We’ve barely scratched the surface on the many cultures and peoples of New Mexico. Head over to the History and Culture page to get the scoop on the sacred, secret, and spectacular peoples that have called this great land home.

Sources

https://www.newmexico.org/ https://www.visitalbuquerque.org/ https://www.nps.gov/whsa/learn/nature/chihuahuan-desert.htm https://www.nps.gov/band/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm https://sandiapeak.com/ https://skinewmexico.com/