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Best places to visit in new mexico.

New Mexico offers visitors an authentic taste of the American Southwest. With its melting pot of cultures, archaeological sites and stunning landscapes , New Mexico has more than earned its Land of Enchantment moniker. To help you decide where you should go on vacation in this diverse state, U.S. News compiled a list of the best places to visit in New Mexico using factors like culture, accessibility and attractions. Have a favorite destination? Vote for your top spot below to help determine next year's ranking.


Gila cliff dwellings national monument, white sands national park, carlsbad caverns national park, silver city, petroglyph national monument.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Known as "The City Different," Santa Fe showcases a mix of Hispanic, Anglo and Native American cultures. This artistic capital city features 250-plus art galleries, more than 100 of which you'll find lining Canyon Road. Additionally, Santa Fe is home to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, where you can see hundreds of the renowned artist's works, and the New Mexico Museum of Art, which was the state's first building dedicated to art. When you need to satiate your appetite, get a taste of Santa Fe's fantastic food, including international bites and dishes made with red and green chiles, a New Mexico trademark.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Taos' "Soul of the Southwest" nickname can be attributed to the town's rich cultural heritage. Taos Pueblo embodies Taos' early history with 1,000-year-old adobe homes, while various museums in town reflect its Spanish influence and arts scene. With its location at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos also offers ample opportunities to enjoy summer activities like rock climbing, ballooning and even llama trekking. Meanwhile, winter is when Taos' highly regarded ski destinations – Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire Resort, Red River Ski & Summer Area and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort – welcome skiers in droves.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Albuquerque's proximity to the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande make it a popular base for outdoorsy weekend getaways . Bike the Paseo del Bosque Trail, or hike La Luz Trail to the top of Sandia Peak before riding the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway back down to the city. After breaking a sweat, learn more about the city's culture and history at Old Town Albuquerque institutions like the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Albuquerque Museum. For an extra memorable New Mexico experience, arrive in early October to see hundreds of colorful balloons take flight during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in southwest New Mexico offers a glimpse into the lives and culture of the Mogollon people, who made their homes in its caves in the late 1200s. During your visit, you can tour the cliff dwellings and learn more about the site's former residents at its visitor center. You can also go hiking, bird-watching and fishing in the surrounding Gila National Forest. The area is home to several hot springs, so remember to bring a bathing suit with you. Keep in mind, this region does not have cell phone reception, so prepare to go off the grid.

new mexico tourist attractions map

White Sands may be one of America's newest national parks, but it has drawn travelers for decades with its otherworldly landscape. Nestled in the Tularosa Basin, the park features more than 73,000 acres of white gypsum sand, making it the world's largest gypsum dune field. Visitors can sled down the wave-like dunes or explore the park on foot, by horse, by bike or by car. Note that Dunes Drive (the park's scenic thoroughfare) occasionally closes when missile tests occur at the park's missile range.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Carlsbad Caverns National Park's network of 100-plus caves delights visitors with its fascinating rock formations. Travelers can take their time exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site's caves via two self-guided trails or discover other areas on a ranger-led tour. To observe this southern New Mexico park's resident bats, visit between May and October to watch them exit the cavern during the free evening Bat Flight Program. The warmer months are also an excellent time to stargaze during a night hike or ranger-guided night sky program. (Note: Due to flood damage sustained in 2022, several roads and trails are closed.)

new mexico tourist attractions map

Named for its prior life as a silver mining town, Silver City still retains some of its former charm in its central Historic District, which features Victorian-, Queen Anne- and Italianate-style buildings. Here, history buffs can learn about the town's ties to legendary 19th-century figures like Billy the Kid and Geronimo at the Silver City Museum, and art lovers can pop into galleries or admire Silver City's 50-plus murals. Meanwhile, outdoorsy types can hike part of the Continental Divide Trail and trek the paths in boulder-filled City of Rocks State Park 33 miles southeast.

new mexico tourist attractions map

With the peaks of the Organ Mountains looming in the background, Las Cruces' Main Street charms visitors with its coffee shops, bookstores, local restaurants and nostalgic theaters. Attractions like the Museum of Nature & Science and the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum appeal to culture hounds, while shoppers can peruse stalls at the renowned Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces. Beyond the city center, this southern New Mexico city's desert-meets-mountain landscape and ample sunshine allow for year-round outdoor activities, including hiking and biking, horseback riding and excursions to nearby White Sands National Park.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Outdoor adventures top the list of things to do in Farmington. Situated in the Four Corners region (where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet), Farmington is a confluence for three rivers and is surrounded by wide-open spaces for fly-fishing, golfing, kayaking, mountain biking and driving off-road vehicles. What's more, the town is just more than an hour's drive from must-visit wonders like the Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the badlands of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area. In town, visitors can partake in local festivals and learn more about the Native American tribes that have long called the area home.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Petroglyph National Monument contains more than 25,000 carved images from the area's early Pueblo people and Spanish settlers, making it one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. Because the property offers so much to see, start your visit at the information center to learn more about the monument and its available activities. Then, take a short drive to one of three areas – Boca Negra Canyon, Rinconada Canyon or Piedras Marcadas Canyon – to hike to various petroglyphs. Be careful where you step, though, as the monument is home to several kinds of snakes, including venomous rattlesnakes.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Located on historic Route 66, the small town of Gallup attracts visitors seeking authentic cultural exploration and natural splendor. With trading posts selling jewelry, art, dolls and clothing made by Native American artisans; events like the Summer Indigenous Dance & Arts; and exhibits at the Gallup Culture Center, Gallup prides itself as being the "Gateway to Native America." Red Rock Park, a 640-acre park featuring awe-inspiring sandstone cliffs, is another reason to visit. Beyond its trails and scenic views, the park is also home to a rodeo arena, a museum with Native American artifacts and a balloon rally held every December.

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

new mexico tourist attractions map

Bandelier National Monument

new mexico tourist attractions map

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18 Best Places to Visit in New Mexico, According to Locals

Come to see historic small towns, scenic hiking trails, the "Grand Canyon of New Mexico," and more.

new mexico tourist attractions map

For a true taste of the American Southwest, consider a trip to New Mexico. Spanning approximately 121,000 square miles, the state is famous for its rich Indigenous history, vast landscapes (from towering dunes to subterranean caves), amazing archaeological sites, national landmarks (cliff dwellings, well-preserved adobe buildings, and centuries-old churches, to name a few), and an incredible arts and culture scene. It’s no surprise, then, that New Mexico is nicknamed the Land of Enchantment.

To narrow down the state’s best attractions, we reached out to local experts for their top recommendations. Without further ado, here are the best places to visit in New Mexico, from sprawling national parks to tiny towns and everything in between.

White Sands National Park

Mary Robnett/Travel + Leisure

Spanning 275 square miles, White Sands National Park is the world’s largest gypsum dune field, and it looks and feels like an entirely different planet . The wave-like, powder-white sand dunes resemble mounds of snow, and visitors can hike or sled down them any time of year. It’s also worth noting the park is home to a handful of white-hued animals — which have changed to a lighter color over time to adapt to the environment — including mice, lizards, crickets, spiders, and moths. 

Couse-Sharp Historic Site

Visit New Mexico

Angelisa Murray, CEO of guided tour operator Heritage Inspirations in Taos, describes the Couse-Sharp Historic Site as a “true gem” and “one of [her] favorite museums.” Here, you’ll find the former homes and art studios of Taos Society of Artists (TSA) founding members Joseph Sharp and E.I. Couse. “Our guests can see the actual moccasins and pottery that Couse painted in his paintings ... and journey back in time to get a real feel of Taos in the early 1900s,” says Murray.

“ Abiquiú is one of my favorite small towns to take our guests,” says Murray. The town, which was settled by the Spanish in the mid-18th century, looks and feels like it was plucked out of a classic Western, and visitors may even recognize it from fan-favorite flicks like Indiana Jones . However, it’s also famous for being the home of renowned American artist Georgia O'Keeffe. Don’t leave without visiting the O’Keeffe Home and Studio and Ghost Ranch (the artist’s summer home, about 20 minutes northwest). Murray also recommends popping into the state’s first general store, Bodes , which “offers an otherworldly experience for the intrepid traveler,” according to Murray.

Bandelier National Monument

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Known for its magnificent mesas, canyons, and ancestral Pueblo dwellings, this national monument spans more than 33,000 acres of rugged landscape, making it a must-visit for history buffs and nature lovers alike. The 1.4-mile Pueblo Loop Trail winds through various archaeological sites and is a popular hike. If you’re looking for more thrills, hop on one of the ladders along the route to climb into small human-carved alcoves. Alternatively, experienced hikers may opt to tackle the challenging Frijoles Canyon and Rim Trail (eight miles one way). Keep in mind those who wish to visit Frijoles Canyon and the Pueblo Loop Trail will be required to take a shuttle, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily (mid-June through mid-October).

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The Washington Post via Getty Images

For a first-hand look at Pueblo culture, head to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Spanning more than 80 acres, the center is owned and operated by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. On-site offerings include a museum, exhibition galleries, murals from Pueblo artists, and the Indian Pueblo Kitchen , which serves freshly prepared Native American cuisine. Don’t leave without stocking up on some souvenirs, including Native American artwork and a wide selection of traditional and contemporary crafts, jewelry, pottery, rugs, and more. Pro tip: Check the events calendar for a schedule of the latest programming.

Santuario de Chimayo

Diana Robinson Photography/Getty Images

Marama Nengel, chef concierge at Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection , recommends taking an afternoon trip to Santuario de Chimayó , about 27 miles from Santa Fe. According to Nengel, thousands visit this picturesque adobe church — now a National Historic Landmark — each year. It’s best known for its holy dirt, which is believed to have healing properties. Per Nengel, no trip here is complete without a visit to the Centinela Traditional Arts gallery to see eight generations of Trujillo weavers. Finally, when hunger calls, tuck into some Southwestern fare at Rancho de Chimayó .

Puye Cliff Dwellings

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Located in Los Alamos, this National Historic Landmark was once home to 1,500 Pueblo Indians. It’s no surprise, then, that the site boasts some stunning Pueblo architecture and well-preserved cliff and cave dwellings. The panoramic valley views are an incredible added bonus. It’s worth noting that guided tours are available Monday to Thursday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Santa Fe Plaza

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Santa Fe Plaza is both a beloved tourist attraction and a popular gathering place for locals. This National Historic Landmark, established by the Spanish in the early 17th century, is renowned for its Spanish Pueblo architecture. The bustling location hosts a slew of events throughout the year, including the Traditional Spanish Market in the summer months. Come holiday season, the square gets decked out in twinkling lights, making it even more magical. In recent years, the area surrounding the Plaza has evolved into a buzzy hot spot with dozens of eclectic restaurants, shops, museums, and hotels.

El Rancho de Las Golondrinas

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El Rancho de Las Golondrinas (“The Ranch of the Swallows”) is a historic ranch-turned-living history museum near downtown Santa Fe, though its rural surroundings make it feel worlds away, What’s more, a visit to this 200-acre site, which is dotted with striking adobe buildings, feels like a step back in time to New Mexico in the 1800s. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the ranch served as an official rest stop for travelers on El Camino Real, which stretched from Mexico City to Santa Fe. Note the site is closed for general admission between November and March.

Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway

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The 65-mile Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway — named for the precious stone the Pueblo mined here centuries earlier — links Santa Fe and Albuquerque. As such, it makes for an excellent day trip from either city. The historic route winds through old mining and ghost towns such as Madrid , Golden , and Los Cerrillos . Carve out some time to stop at Casa Grande Trading Post , Cowgirl Red , and Tinkertown Museum , as well as Sandia Peak Tramway to soak up the postcard-worthy views from up high.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

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According to Hans Loehr, adventure center architect at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe , the Sangre de Cristo Mountains offer something for everyone, including scenic trails for hikers of all experience levels. Additionally, he tells Travel + Leisure , "Guests can enjoy exploring forests of aspen, ponderosa, and pinyon-juniper and meadows filled with colorful wildflowers, relaxing near alpine lakes, bagging some high mountain peaks, and pausing to take in breathtaking views from ridgetops and mountain summits.”

Rio Grande Gorge

Stretching nearly 50 miles, the magnificent, 800-foot-deep Rio Grande Gorge is considered the Grand Canyon of New Mexico. Soak in sweeping views of the rugged landscape from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge , which, at 650 feet above the ground, is one of the country’s highest bridges. It’s also a popular spot for hiking.

Courtesy of Meow Wolf

Sontanna Sanchez, a concierge at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, recommends visiting Meow Wolf for a unique and immersive art experience. The kaleidoscopic “House of Eternal Return” features “more than 70 rooms, taking participants on a macrocosmic adventure only found in Santa Fe,” says Sanchez. All in all, the playful exhibit is sure to delight art lovers of all ages.

San Miguel Chapel

Michael Warren/Getty Images

Located along the Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe’s Barrio de Analco Historic District , this Spanish colonial mission church is considered the oldest in the United States. While initially constructed in 1610, it has since been rebuilt twice (most recently in 1710). In terms of design, prepare to be dazzled by the adobe architecture; the interiors are equally spectacular with centuries-old wooden beams and the 750-plus-pound San Jose bell, which has its own fascinating history.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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This national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the Chihuahuan Desert in the southern part of the state. The enchanting attraction is home to nearly 120 caves. Travelers can easily spend the entire day exploring these captivating caverns, admiring the mystical stalagmites and stalactites, and spotting wildlife like bats and cougars. Don’t miss the Big Room, North America’s largest single cave chamber by volume. The 1.25-mile trail is a relatively easy 90-minute trek.

Old Town Albuquerque

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With its narrow winding streets and adobe architecture, Old Town Albuquerque oozes small-town charm. While lots has changed since its 1706 establishment, this dynamic destination has remained the city's heart. Despite its tiny 10-block radius, Old Town is packed with more than 150 independent restaurants and boutiques. It also hosts more than 40 events annually, including a car show, live music performances, and the world-famous Balloon Fiesta Week .

Taos Downtown Historic District

Despite its small size, Taos packs in plenty of charm and character. What’s more, this storied mountain town is renowned for its many galleries , scenic hiking trails, and, in the winter, world-class skiing. At the center of town is the Downtown Historic District , where you’ll find the 1796-era Taos Plaza. Here, locals and visitors alike gather to listen to live music and attend farmers markets and other events, including dozens of art-forward programming. An abundance of shops and galleries can also be found within easy walking distance. When it's time to refuel, head to one of the nearby cafes and restaurants . 

Taos Pueblo

Kathleen Messmer/Travel + Leisure

About three miles northwest of Taos Plaza lies the Taos Pueblo , which is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. The Pueblo has been inhabited for more than a millennium, and many of the adobe structures appear the same as when the Spanish first arrived in New Mexico in the 1500s. Hlauuma (north house) and Hlaukwima (south house) are the location's most famous buildings, and they’re considered the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the country.

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The Milky Way galaxy over Fajada Mesa at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

A 9-mile drive loops through ‘downtown Chaco,’ passing six major sites, with further opportunities to hike to more remote ruins and petroglyphs.

new mexico tourist attractions map

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Southeastern New Mexico

While a cave might not sound quite as sexy as redwoods, geysers or the Grand Canyon, there’s no question that this one measures up on the national parks’…

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Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

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Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

A relatively small site, these remarkable 13th-century cliff dwellings were only occupied by a small Mogollon group (30 to 80 people) for 20 years…

Santa Fe, New Mexico– April 30th, 2017: Meow Wolf art collective in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States. Open to the public the main exhibit is the The House of Eternal Return..; Shutterstock ID 632888321; Your name (First / Last): Alexander Howard; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Southwest POIs

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Taos Pueblo

Central New Mexico

The Pueblo is centered on twin five-story adobe complexes, set on either side of the Río Pueblo de Taos, against the stunning backdrop of the Sangre de…

new mexico tourist attractions map

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area

This undeveloped realm of multicolored hoodoos, sculpted cliffs and balancing rocks is a surreal dream for photographers. Off the beaten track, it's well…

Santa Fe, NM: People outside the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in downtown Santa Fe, NM on a winter day.

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

With 10 beautifully lit galleries in a rambling 20th-century adobe, this museum boasts the world's largest collection of O'Keeffe’s work. She’s best known…

White Sands National Park

Undulating through the Tularosa Basin like something out of a dream, these ethereal dunes are a highlight of any trip to New Mexico, and a must on every…

El Santuario de Chimayo pilgrimage site in New Mexico.

El Santuario de Chimayó

Santa Fe Region

Often called the Lourdes of America, the chapel was built in 1816, over a spot of earth said to have miraculous healing properties. The faithful come to…

The facade of the Albuquerque Museum.

Albuquerque Museum


Formerly known as the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, this showpiece museum shouldn't be missed. With an engaging Albuquerque history gallery that's…

new mexico tourist attractions map

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Renowned among wildlife photographers the world over, these fields and marshes, 18 miles south of Socorro, are the wintering ground for over 100,000…

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Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Collectively run by New Mexico's 19 Pueblos, this cultural center is an essential stop-off during even the shortest Albuquerque visit. Revamped in 2016,…

Palace of the Governors santa fe new mexico

Palace of the Governors & New Mexico History Museum

The oldest public building in the US, this low-slung adobe complex began as home to New Mexico’s first Spanish governor in 1610. It was occupied by Pueblo…

New Mexico, Aztec Ruins National Monument. Anasazi. Kiva Ruins.

Aztec Ruins National Monument

This prehistoric pueblo was built around AD 1100, and connected with the larger settlement at Chaco via a road that ran due south. Its central feature, a…

UFO Museum.

Roswell Museum & Art Center

Roswell's excellent museum deserves a visit. Twelve galleries showcase Southwestern artists including Georgia O'Keeffe, Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth,…

New Mexico, Santa Fe, Museum Hill, Museum of International Folk Art

Museum of International Folk Art

Santa Fe’s most unusual and exhilarating museum centers on the world's largest collection of folk art. Its huge main gallery displays whimsical and mind…

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier's 1.2-mile Main Loop Trail in Frijoles Canyon offers an excellent introduction to the main ruins and history of the park. The trail first passes…

SANTA FE, NM - OCTOBER 20, 2013: An adobe structure on Santa Fe, New Mexico's historic Plaza is home to the New Mexico Museum of Art. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

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Interior of the Western New Mexico University Museum, featuring displays of Mimbres Mogollon Prehistoric pottery.

Western New Mexico University Museum

Fresh from a $3.2 million renovation, this excellent museum in the schools's former gymnasium boasts the world's largest collection of 1000-year-old…

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Millicent Rogers Museum

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New Mexico, La Mesilla, . (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

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Museum of Indian Arts & Culture

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Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - August 2, 2016: Exterior of American International Rattlesnake Museum, Old Town Albuquerque.

American International Rattlesnake Museum

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El Morro National Monument

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Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner

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New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

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New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

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Spaceport America

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Very Large Array Radio Telescope

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Botanic Garden

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Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA - March 18, 2013: The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in downtown Santa Fe focuses primarily on Native American Art.

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Primarily showing work by the students and faculty of the esteemed Institute of American Indian Arts, this museum also has the finest contemporary…

Ghost Ranch

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Los Alamos Historical Museum

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Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

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23 Best Things to do in New Mexico

By Jamie Gambetta · Last updated on May 4, 2024

Mixing rich history and spectacular environments, New Mexico is teeming with underrated destinations. From Santa Fe and Albuquerque to towering mountains and enthralling monuments, travelers will uncover ancient civilizations from centuries ago, historic adobes and plenty of art and culture.

New Mexico has been shaped by Native Americans and Spanish settlers. A unique combination that is unrivaled in the United States. The cultural diversity plays out in the local food scene and in the many things to do in New Mexico with interesting museums and galleries that can be found throughout the state.

So, whether you’re after adventure, history or a mix of both, there is always some you’ll find what you’re looking for in New Mexico.

23. Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument

Comprising over 25,000 ancient images from the Puebloans and early Spanish settlers, the Petroglyph National Monument is one of the largest in North America. The unique monument is a fascinating look into the life and cultures of those that have come before. With intricate stories showcasing daily life, spirituality, and community.

The best way to see the majority of the petroglyphs is along the monument’s hiking trails. Easy to moderate trails lead you to nearby etchings, with more strenuous treks taking you into beautiful canyons, where caverns have formed over thousands of years. For a simple hike, capture 100 petroglyphs on the Boca Negra Canyon trail, while the Rinconada Canyon Trail is longer but leads to approximately 300 historic petroglyphs.

22. Lincoln National Forest

Lincoln National Forest

Established in 1902, the Lincoln National Forest was developed over multiple years to combine several mountain ranges and a vast range of landscapes that are an adventurer’s dream. However, the national forest is best known for being the birthplace of the iconic Smokey the Bear.

Explorers will have their choice of three mountain ranges, Capitan, Sacramento, and Guadalupe. With the elevation range stretching from 4,000 feet to towering 11,500 feet peaks. There are endless trails ready to take you through the mountains that will suit all hiking abilities. Wander through five distinct life zones from subalpine forests to the Chihuahan desert.

21. Riverbend Hot Springs

Riverbend Hot Springs

As you travel around the beautiful landscapes of New Mexico, take the time to relax and appreciate the scenery at the Riverbend Hot Springs. Along the shores of the surging Rio Grande River, recharge your batteries in the natural springs.

You can find the Riverbend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences, where the revitalizing waters were believed to be sacred by the Apache and Mimbres peoples. Here, rival Native American warriors would put aside their differences, down their weapons and seek healing in the springs.

The Riverbend Hot Springs feature a high mineral concentration, spectacular views of Turtleback Mountain and haven’t lost their power over the centuries.

20. Meow Wolf (Santa Fe)

Meow Wolf

Owned by the one and only George R. R. Martin, Meow Wolf in Santa Fe has a different take on the art gallery experience. Rather than halls of paintings, photographs, and sculptures to admire, Meow Wolff has created an interactive experience where you can be a part of the art.

Within Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return, you can experience the gallery’s exhibits through various senses, from sight to sound and touch. Rather than just admire the art from a distance, you can decide how each piece makes you feel through your own hands-on experience.

19. Billy the Kid Museum (Fort Sumner)

Billy the Kid Museum

Celebrating the life of one of America’s iconic outlaws, the Billy the Kid Museum is a wonderful look into his life and the culture of the Old West. The museum is in Fort Sumner and runs out of a small building by a local couple, Don and Lula Sweet.

The building marks the exact spot Billy the Kid died at just 21 years old, having already mustered up a memorable reputation. Inside, you’ll find several displays from his very own rifle to his saddle spurs. Walk through the museum to see rows of old photographs, wanted posters from the Wild West, along with some eye-opening portraits.

18. Four Corners Monument

Four Corners Monument

Ever wanted to be in four places at one time? Well, at the Four Corners Monument, your wishes have come true. The only such occurrence in the United States, here, the borders of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona collide.

The small monument is a paved square with a circular plaque in the center where each state corner meets. With your legs on two sides and arms on the other, you can be in four states at once.

Compared to cliff dwellings and ancient ruins, it may not stand out as a fascinating attraction. But standing on this unique spot is sure to be a fun icebreaker for years to come.

17. Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness


For otherworldly landscapes on your travels around New Mexico, you’ll have a hard time topping the Bisti Badlands. Otherwise known as the De-Na-Zin Wilderness, which means “standing crane” in Navajo, the rock formations and petroglyphs are majestic.

The wilderness is 2.5 hours northwest of Albuquerque , placing you in what feels like the middle of nowhere. The eerie silence is complemented by the wondrous natural scenery that is best seen under the rising light of sunrise or the blazing dusk. Have your camera well-charged to capture the man-made statues, petroglyphs, and spires of colorful sandstone.

This is a genuine off-the-beaten path experience, so load up before you arrive as there are no on-site amenities.

16. Gila Cliff Dwellings

Gila Cliff Dwellings

Ancient civilizations and historic architecture are no strangers to New Mexico. Whether that be the Puebloan people or the Mogollon tribe. The latter of which built the incredible Gila Cliff Dwellings 700 years ago at the beginning of the 14th century.

You can explore these dwellings from the old mining town of Silver City at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Begin at the visitor center to learn more about the Mogollon culture and the monument’s geological history. From there, join one of several trails into the park. Some guide you to natural caves and hot springs. Or sign up for a guided tour of the cliff dwellings to see how the Mogollon people lived and thrived.

15. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (Santa Fe)

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Chronicling the life work of Georgia O’Keefe, the museum in her name showcases some of the finest nature-based art in the United States. O’Keefe created a broad range of works that focused on flora and the environment of New Mexico, capturing the beauty of the desert landscape like few else.

Visitors can discover the full length of her career as she progressed from a young, up-and-coming creative to a nationally renowned artist. You won’t just find beguiling paintings here. O’Keefe’s works include sketches, photography, and sculptures. You can explore the museum on a self-guided tour with the help of the museum’s app, or join a guided experience for an in-depth exploration of her life’s work.

14. Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument

The Puebloan people called what is now New Mexico home for centuries. Many attractions on our list can be traced to the ancient community, with one of the best examples being the Bandelier National Monument. The monument comprises epic landscapes and enthralling history from vast mesas to excavated ruins.

South of Los Alamos, the Bandelier National Monument is within Frijoles Canyon where the Puebloan lived between 1150 and 1550 A.D. Explore the museum to learn about the civilization and the park’s geology before embarking along one of the 70 miles’ worth of hiking trails. Including the Main Loop Trail that brings you to historic cliff houses and alcoves above the canyon floor.

13. Very Large Array

Very Large Array

With its not-so-subtle name, the Very Large Array is a vast collection of giant antennas that combine all their power into a single radio telescope. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is in central New Mexico and all up there are 27 enormous antennas, creating one of the most incredible vistas in the state.

The Very Large Array is just shy of 7,000 feet above sea level, with the dry desert surroundings bringing immense clarity to astronomers. Through these antennas, astronomers are able to explore the expanse of space to learn about quasars, black holes and cosmic gases. Visitors can embark on self-guided tours to get up close to the giant antennas, while there’s also a museum and theater.

12. Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley

From as high as 12,500 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain, the majestic Taos Ski Valley is the best of its kind in the state. It can be hard to wrap your mind around the desert-laden New Mexico being a ski destination, but Taos Ski Valley’s average snowfall of 25 feet will quickly change your perception.

Blue bird powder days are common under the New Mexico sky. Have your choice of 110 runs serviced by 14 lifts with over 3000 feet of vertical. The mountain is popular with advanced skiers, with over half the runs being black or double black diamonds. But the range of green and blue runs is enough to keep newbies skiing all day long.

11. Sandia Peak Tramway (Albuquerque)

Sandia Peak Tramway

Taking you from the desert floor high into the mountains, the Sandia Peak Tramway is a wonderful way to appreciate the scenery around Albuquerque and the Rio Grande Valley. The tramway is 2.7 miles long and, depending on the time of year, it may deliver you to a snow-capped peak.

The 15-minute journey leaves you on the crest of the Sandia Mountains, from which you can embark on a bevy of hiking trails, or rush down on a mountain bike. For those that like to do things backwards, you can hike the La Luz trail to the top of Sandia Peak before relaxing on the tramway back to the valley. In the winter, there are 25 miles of slopes to ski.

10. International UFO Museum and Research Center (Roswell)

International UFO Museum and Research Center

Inspired by the Roswell Incident of 1947, the International UFO Museum and Research Center opened 45 years later in Roswell . The informative museum is your one stop shop to learn all about the suspicious events that put the small New Mexico town on the map.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the research center has gone all in on the certainty that aliens exist and that each conspiracy theory is true. However, what makes the experience here so great is that the center takes an unbiased look at each event, laying out the timeline and educating visitors on both sides of the story, leaving all of us to make up our own minds.

9. Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railway

Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railway

Traveling from Chama, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado , the Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railway is your ticket to the Old West. The railroad first operated in 1881 when its coal-fired steam engine carried passengers through dramatic mountain canyons, alpine desert, and vast valley meadows.

The railroad led to an economic boom along the route with more opportunities, especially in Chama, where the logging industry thrived. Today, the spectacular scenic railway provides a six-and-a-half-hour experience through the beautiful landscapes crossing the 10,000-foot Cumbres Mountain Pass and the Toltec Gorge.

Aside from the memorable scenery, you’ll bear witness to several original structures, including a stop in Osier, Colorado, a historic railroad settlement.

8. Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

From the 9th to 13th centuries, the Native American Puebloan people resided in Chaco Canyon. The community was a major trade and commercial hub, and its dozens of striking ruins can be explored today.

To the northwest of Albuquerque, Chaco Canyon National Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its preservation can be best appreciated from in front of the 15 enormous structures that once formed this ancient city. The stunning archaeological site offers a range of interpretative experiences from ranger tours to self-guided hikes.

Far from civilization, Chaco Canyon is also noted for having a brilliant starscape. The park presents several astronomy events plus overnight camping.

7. Blue Hole (Santa Rosa)

Blue Hole

At a pleasant 62-degrees, Blue Hole is your welcome respite to the heat of day in New Mexico. Santa Rosa is the “City of Natural Lakes” with Blue Hole being the best of the lot. You can find the bell-shaped lake along the iconic Route 66. Blue Hole is an artesian well fed from deep below the surface of the Ogallala Aquifer, thanks to the dissolution of the limestone bedrock.

At 80 feet deep, with crystal clear waters straight out of the Caribbean, it’s a popular destination for casual swimmers and scuba-divers alike. In the height of summer, Blue Hole fills up quick, so get in early to grab a prime spot.

6. Canyon Road (Santa Fe)

Canyon Road

In the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the half-mile Canyon Road meanders through the Historic District of Santa Fe. Like Broadway in New York, the stretch of tar cuts through the heart of town, lined by fine art galleries, boutique shops and the best restaurants in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe has a historic art scene, where within the old adobe homes of eras past visitors can explore over 100 galleries, studios, and independent jewelers. Visitors will find all genres along the “Magical Half-Mile” from contemporary to Native American and expressionism.

Get about on foot and explore on a whim following your intuition into any gallery, shop or restaurant that piques your interest.

5. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

There are over 600,000 bridges in the United States, but only five are higher than the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Standing 650 feet above the surging Rio Grande, it was called the “Bridge to Nowhere” in the 1960s, because there was no money to build the road on the other side.

The funding eventually came and now you can drive across one of the most beautiful long-span bridges in the country. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge has appeared in multiple movies, from the Terminator to everyone’s favorite awkward bike gang, Wild Hogs.

While you can appreciate the view from the driver’s seat, it gets better on foot. Walk alongside the sheer drop to soak in the amazing views.

4. Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo

From straw and mud bricks, the Puebloan Native Americans created the oldest continuously inhabited residence in the USA. The Taos Pueblo is an invaluable look into the past. The homes date back to the 11th century and while the world is ever changing, 150 people still call these historic structures home. Some of which are five-stories high.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors are free to make their way through the town or sign up for a locally led tour. Life in the village has changed little over the centuries. Without water and electricity, the community lives off what they grow, create, and sell.

After your tour, continue to explore the town that includes a number of beautiful plazas, historic churches, and insightful museums.

3. Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns

An intricate network of over 100 caves, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park is teeming with stalactites, natural history and yes, plenty of bats. The caverns were formed 250 million years ago, when the limestone sediments were left to their own devices as the inland sea evaporated.

Erosion swept through like a talented artist, creating miles of accessible caverns, with hanging stalactites like icicles dangling from the ceiling above. To your left and right, stalagmites rise from the cave floor, creating an eerie experience befitting of such a location. You can tour the Carlsbad Caverns beside a ranger or embark on your own through the limestone chambers. From May to October, visitors can see the bats fly out in unison during the free nightly Bat Flight event.

2. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Forget Cappadocia and the effervescent Turkish sunrise. The largest hot-air balloon festival is held right here, in Albuquerque. It all began with just over a dozen balloons in 1973. Out of a humble parking lot, the fiesta grew into a phenomenon, attracting annual crowds of over 80,000 people.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta lasts for nine days and begins with a bang. On the first morning, the Mass Ascension event takes place, where over 500 hot-air balloons take to the sky to welcome the desert sunrise. It’s one of the world’s most popular photo-ops and the fuel for an amazing fiesta. Over the ensuing days, there are endless balloon-inspired events, while life on the ground is just as exciting with live entertainment and activities.

1. White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park

There are no surprises upon reaching White Sands National Park. Here, sparkling white sands paint the landscape that’s constantly evolving with the wind. You can traverse the towering dunes on a number of trails to gain an appreciation for a mesmerizing place that stands in stark contrast to the ever-blue sky.

The white gypsum sand has a smattering of desert brush and shrubs, disturbing the blank canvass. Choose between the elevated Interdune Boardwalk or the Dune Life Nature Trail. The fragility of the landscape means you’ll see most of it from afar, but that’s the perfect way to capture the sheer scale of the unique ecosystem.

If you have time, bring along your camping gear to sleep alongside the dunes under the black, starry sky.

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16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Santa Fe, NM

Written by Jim O'Donnell and Lura Seavey Updated Mar 23, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Santa Fe, the New Mexico capital, lies on a tributary of the Rio Grande on the southwestern slopes of the snowcapped Sangre de Cristo Mountains . This fun and fascinating city gains its particular atmosphere from the mingling of Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American cultural influences.

Among Santa Fe's many attractions are its picturesque streets and lanes, low adobe houses, beautiful Spanish colonial churches, as well as the profusion of Native American arts and crafts and contemporary art.

In the forest-covered mountain country around the town, you can discover a number of fascinating Native American pueblos that are still occupied.

During the last 20 years, excellent winter sports facilities have been developed in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe.

Plan your next New Mexico trip with our list of the top things to do in Santa Fe.

See also: Where to Stay in Santa Fe

1. Visit Canyon Road's Galleries

2. explore history at the museum of new mexico complex, 3. santa fe opera house, 4. go skiing, southwest style, 5. visit the plaza & downtown, 6. museum of international folk art, 7. cathedral basilica of st. francis of assisi, 8. georgia o'keeffe museum, 9. santa fe farmers' market, 10. loretto chapel, 11. el rancho de las golondrinas, 12. become a glassblower at liquid light glass, 13. museum of indian arts and culture - laboratory of anthropology, 14. san miguel mission chapel, 15. randall davey audubon center, 16. wheelwright museum of the american indian, where to stay in santa fe for sightseeing, map of things to do in santa fe, nm, santa fe, nm - climate chart, history of santa fe.

Sculpture on Canyon Road

Canyon Road was once a trade route leading to the community of Pecos on the eastern slope of the mountains. Today, a half-mile-long stretch has become the heart of Santa Fe's arts district, home to over 80 galleries and a wide assortment of artisan jewelry stores and boutiques. Many of these businesses offer workshops, including those that focus on Native American traditional crafts.

Spend a day perusing the shops and enjoying the public art and architecture that make the half-mile stretch so beautiful. In addition to all the visual arts, you'll have plenty of choices, including light fare at Café Greco , fine dining at Geronimo , divine treats at Kawaka Chocolate House , and even a Tea Room .

The arts community on Canyon Road also hosts numerous special events throughout the year, including the Spring Arts Festival, an Edible Art Tour, and seasonal events for Halloween and Christmas.

To make visiting even more convenient, tourists can use the Santa Fe Pick-Up shuttle , a free service, to get to and from the Canyon Road shops, with several stops in the area. The shuttle connects to many of the city's top tourist attractions, including several museums, as well as other popular neighborhoods.

Official site:

The Palace of the Governors

The Museum of New Mexico Complex houses four museums that explore the state's heritage. The New Mexico History Museum chronicles the state's history from the 16th century onwards by way of exhibits that look at the native populations, colonization, and the ways the Santa Fe Trail shaped the state's economy and development.

The museum is housed in The Palace of the Governors , the former 17th-century seat of the Spanish government, which is a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can tour this adobe palace and see rooms complete with period furniture, set up as they would have been during the 1600s. Palace Press offers a unique chance to see live demonstrations of the first printing press in the state of New Mexico.

Gates at the Palace of Governors

Another attraction at the complex includes the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library , which contains archival materials and historic documents, and the Photo Archives , where you will find more than 750,000 images that date back as far as the mid-19th century. The complex also hosts a Native American arts market that operates daily.

Address: 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

Santa Fe Opera House

The Santa Fe Opera House is the state's top performing arts center, presenting a wide variety of operatic works that range from traditional favorites like Madame Butterfly to contemporary performances like Doctor Atomic . One of the most endearing traditions here in Santa Fe is tailgating - a unique sight indeed as throngs of theatergoers in formal wear mingle in the parking lot while nibbling on upscale finger-food.

In addition to seasonal performances, the opera house provides apprenticeship programs for all aspects of production, and backstage tours are available year-round.

Address: 301 Opera Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

Ski slopes near Santa Fe

If you're visiting in winter, there are several good ski areas in New Mexico , some of which are within driving distance of Santa Fe. Many people are familiar with Taos Ski Valley , which is known for it's advanced terrain and attracts visitors from across the country, but a number of nearby resorts offer more family-friendly skiing.

Ski Santa Fe is just 15 miles from the city, and tourists who don't have a car can take a shuttle right from downtown. This popular ski area has over 650 acres and more than 80 trails, with plenty of variety in terrain.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is located less than an hour's drive from Santa Fe, covering 750 acres and offering 45 trails. With fewer trails and more space, this is a favorite ski area for families and beginners.

Another excellent smaller ski area is Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort , located a little over an hour's drive from the city. Here, tourists will find three terrain parks in addition to over 40 trails, as well as recreational facilities during the summer months.

View of a colorful plaza walkway

The busy hub of the town's life is the Plaza, a market square that was built by the Spaniards at the spot where the Santa Fe Trail ended. The Plaza itself is a lovely tree-shaded park that sits in front of the Palace of the Governors , a central point that's close to many top tourist attractions.

Today, the busy streets surrounding the Plaza are a lively place to visit, filled with numerous shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafés, as well as vendor tents during the city's frequent events. Tourists will find that it is the best place in the city to find Native American arts and crafts, especially jewelry.

The Plaza is just as popular with locals as it is tourists and is an ideal spot for people-watching. Many of the city's special events, especially Native American cultural celebrations, are held here.

Address: 63 Lincoln Ave, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Museum of International Folk Art

Established in 1953, the Museum of International Folk Art has the largest collection of international folk art in the world , including baskets, textiles, wood carving and ceramics.

The collections are divided up by geographical region: Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Contemporary Hispano and Latino, European and North American, and Latin American. There are also sections covering Spanish Colonial, and Textiles & Costumes.

The foundation of the collection comes from Florence Dibell Bartlett, who founded the museum. Many other individuals have made sizable donations to the museum and the collection has expanded greatly over the years.

The museum features a number of temporary exhibitions each year as well as events. Check the calendar to see about upcoming features that include music, films, lectures, and other programs.

Official site:

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a lovely example of Romanesque Revival architecture, characterized by its Corinthian columns, rounded arches, and square towers. Built between 1869 and 1886, it took the place of a much older adobe chapel.

The last remaining piece of the original church houses a statue of the Virgin Mary known as Our Lady La Conquistadora. The statue was first brought to the site in 1626 from Spain and is the oldest of its kind in the United States.

The cathedral's interior is impressive yet simple, enhanced by features such as a Brazilian granite baptismal font, stained glass imported from France, and delicate woodwork. One of its most remarkable features, and one that has spurned much debate over the centuries, is the keystone with a carving of the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew.

Address: 131 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

Pedernal by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1942

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe has the world's largest collection of O'Keeffe's work with more than 3,000 of her paintings, drawings, and assorted works. Different parts of the collection are available to the public throughout the year, making every visit a unique experience.

The museum also hosts special exhibitions of O'Keeffe's work or that of other modernists such as Pollock, Warhol, and Levine. Year-round activities include lectures, workshops, and kids' activities. It is also responsible for the maintenance of O'Keeffe's former home in Abiquiu, a National Historic Landmark that can be toured by appointment.

Address: 217 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

Heirloom tomatoes at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market

More than 150 local growers and vendors converge every Saturday morning at the refurbished Santa Fe Railyard for the Santa Fe Farmers' Market. The market itself has been in operation since 2002 with an ever-expanding array of products, from dried beans and peas to squashes, apples, corn, breads, breakfast burritos, and coffee.

Local musicians and other artists also perform at the market adding to the excitement. The market's parent association requires all items to be locally grown. Eighty percent of the ingredients and materials used in processed products are likewise expected to come from northern New Mexico.

Address: 1607 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

Loretto Chapel

In 1850 Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy requested that the Sisters of Loretto send seven members from Kentucky to Santa Fe to help him grow the struggling New Mexico educational system. In 1853, the sisters opened the Academy of Our Lady of Light for 300 girls and Lamy rewarded them by constructing this touching Gothic Revival-style chapel.

Designed by French architect Antoine Mouly, the spires, buttresses, and stained-glass windows of the chapel make the spirit soar. The chapel is also home to a unique spiral staircase made entirely of wood and supported by a hidden central column that gives the structure the appearance of hanging free in the air.

Address: 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

El Rancho de Las Golondrinas

Located 10 minutes south of Santa Fe, El Rancho de Las Golondrinas is a living history museum located on a former Spanish ranch dating back to 1710. This expansive 200-acre facility has 33 historic buildings, including originals, as well as relocated historic buildings from around the state. These include a variety of homes, as well as barns, a chicken coop, general store, schoolhouse, and mills.

Living history interpreters provide demonstrations of everyday life, including spinning, weaving, cooking, tin-smithing, farming, and blacksmithing, among others. The ranch also has traditional corrals and hosts special events throughout the year.

Address; 334 Los Pinos Rd, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

Handmade Glass Blowing and Decorating

Liquid Light Glass is a studio and gallery created by the acclaimed glass-blower Elodie Holmes. Admire the finished pieces, watch as the artists shape new creations, and even take a class. Workshops vary in length, and students can learn how to design and make their own glass creations, including paperweights, blown glass cups, and flowers.

Convenient for tourists just passing through Santa Fe, the studio will gladly ship the finished piece once it is ready. Liquid Light glass is located in the Baca Street Arts District , which occupies part of the old Railyard on its southern end. Here, you will find a variety of unique shops, galleries, and quirky eateries within the heart of Santa Fe's art scene.

Address: 926 Baca Street, Ste 3. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

One of the centerpieces of the entire Southwest, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture was founded in 1909 with the mission to preserve the material culture of the Native Americans of the region – a people who at that time were enduring major transition and perhaps extinction.

In 1947, the museum was combined with JD Rockefeller's Laboratory of Anthropology, an institution dedicated to the ongoing study of the cultures of the Southwest.

Today, the museum hosts impressive collections of pottery, jewelry, basketry, and saddle blankets, as well as regular performances of Native American music, dances, storytelling, and other traditions. The facility is also home to extensive archives and research collections that include photographs, ethnographic records, and archaeological materials.

Address: 710-708 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

San Miguel Mission Chapel

One of the oldest religious buildings in the United States, and the oldest of its kind in Santa Fe, the chapel of San Miguel was originally built in 1636. It was later burned and rebuilt at the start of the 18th century. It contains a number of fine statues and a high altar from 1798, with the likeness of St. Gertrude.

The adobe structure, which seems to change color throughout the day when the sun strikes it at different angles, features an open bell tower with a cross jutting from the top. The interior has white walls and wood beams on the ceiling and is decorated with unique works of art.

Address: 401 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Randall Davey Audubon Center

The 135-acre Randall Davey Audubon Center, on Upper Canyon Road in Santa Fe, has bird-watching tours and nature walks. It is a peaceful setting with a little history to it as well.

Set in the Santa Fe River Watershed and surrounded by forest, the center sees approximately 130 different species of birds. You can wander the trails on their own or take a guided walking tour to learn about the environment and its inhabitants.

The complex, which maintains several buildings, is home to the historical Randall Davey House . This unique building was originally a sawmill that Davey turned into his home and art studio. He died in 1964, and his family later donated the property to the National Audubon Society for use as a sanctuary and cultural center. You can tour the house, which is today a museum, and see his artworks, the studio, and furnishings.

Address: 1800 Upper Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

The Wheelwright Museum

The Wheelwright Museum focuses on the arts and crafts of the Native Americans of the American Southwest.

In addition to a great variety of cultural objects, woven fabrics, silverware and sand paintings, it has a collection of old writing and even some documents inscribed in clay. The exhibits include contemporary works as well.

The museum is named for Mary Cabot Wheelwright, who established the museum in the 1930s with the help of Hastiin Klah, a Navajo "medicine man" with whom she had long been a friend.

Address: 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Official site:

While Santa Fe is large and spread out, many of the attractions are located in the quaint, old city center, near the historic Plaza. This is the best place to stay for sightseeing and general ambience. Below is a list of some of the highly rated hotels and inns in this area of the city:

Luxury Hotels :

  • In the heart of Santa Fe is the iconic La Fonda on the Plaza , built in 1922, and located on the site of the city's first inn, which stood here in the early 1600s. This adobe style building features uniquely designed rooms and suites, some with fireplaces, and an outdoor pool.
  • One of the finest hotels in New Mexico, Inn of the Five Graces is a boutique hotel set in a group of restored adobe structures, with exquisitely furnished rooms and spaces.
  • Two blocks from the Plaza, near the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, is the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza , with southwestern décor and a lovely outdoor pool area.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • The Old Santa Fe Inn , with a charming Southwestern style and atmosphere, is a good mid-range option within walking distance of the downtown attractions.
  • The Las Palomas Hotel is another well located property with a great ambience and beautifully designed rooms, including some with fireplaces.
  • The quaint Inn of the Turquoise Bear is an 11-room bed and breakfast in a historic adobe mansion, surrounded by gardens, and within walking distance of downtown and the major attractions. Rooms are all individually designed and stays include a complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea.

Budget Hotels:

  • Less than a mile from the Plaza, the Guadalupe Inn is a reasonably priced, quaint little B&B with lots of charm.
  • El Sandero Inn offers basic accommodation but a central location in the city center. For more budget options it's best to head outside the downtown area.
  • About a 15- to 20-minute drive from the city center are the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites and the Santa Fe Comfort Inn , both with reasonable rates and comfortable rooms.

In 1542, the first Spaniards arrived to find a populous Native American village. It was abandoned soon after. In 1609 the Spanish founded a town, which became the religious and administrative center of the province of New Mexico. In 1680 the Spaniards were driven out by the Native Americans, but returned twelve years later.

After Mexico broke away from Spain in 1821, Santa Fe remained the capital of New Mexico and built up a lively trade with the Americans. The principal transport route was the Santa Fe Trail, which ran through the valley of the Rio Grande to reach the Missouri at Kansas City. Another important route was the Old Spanish Trail, which led to Los Angeles in California.

In 1846, during the Spanish-Mexican War, Santa Fe fell to the United States without any serious fighting and later became capital of the US territory of New Mexico. In 1862 the town fell briefly into the hands of the Confederates. The economy of the town and surrounding area was given a boost by the opening of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1880, and since the early part of the 20th century, Santa Fe has been a hub for artists of all stripes.

Santa Fe (Downtown) Map - Tourist Attractions

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Welcome to the Town of Taos!

Hundreds of years of rich cultural interaction among Spanish explorers, Native Americans, and American immigrants have created a diverse climate of understanding among Taoseños. The pace is slow, the air is clean, and the water is clear—all contributing to a trusting, small-town feeling of hospitality . Taos offers newcomers and visitors a warm and friendly community.

ADDRESS: 1139 Paseo del Pueblo Sur Taos, New Mexico 87571 REGION: NorthCentral

PHONE: 575.758.3873

Virtual Tour Taos

View Lodging in Taos

Must-see attractions, taos pueblo.

Taos Pueblo is the only Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. Made entirely of adobe, the multi-storied homes are still occupied today, embodying a living culture.

Ken Price Altar at the Harwood in Taos, New Mexico

Arts & Culture - Galleries & Museums

Taos has long been an inspiration to many artists and visionaries. Household names such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, and Mabel Lujan Dodge have all been called to the area. Today, Taos remains an art colony like no other.

San Francisco de Asis Church

Artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams have been fascinated by the adobe contours and sculptural buttresses of this church for more than 300 years. Their artful depictions of the rustic architecture of San Francisco de Asis have made the church nationally famous. 

Things to Do

Raft the rio grande and rio chama.

The state's premier whitewater run is 17 miles through the Rio Grande Gorge, a black basalt chasm that offers few easy exits from beginning to end.

Woman Enjoying New Mexico's Natural Hot Springs

Hot Springs

When the Spanish explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries stumbled across New Mexico's natural hot springs, they discovered the healing properties that the Native Americans had known about for centuries. Some claimed they'd found the Fountain of Youth. Visitors now discover the relaxing and calming hot springs are a cure for their souls.

Camping and Hiking

Camping and Hiking

At 13,161 feet, Wheeler Peak highlights this region in which the hiking and camping opportunities are almost innumerable. The Carson and Santa Fe National Forests are located nearby, offering more than 1,300 miles of trails and 63 campgrounds.


Fish the Rio Grande and Red River

Ski the southern rockies.

In New Mexico, you have access to world-class art, Native American heritage, and some of the country’s most cinematic terrain. Skiing here is a cultural experience—not just a sporty one.

Ojo Caliente

Visit these locations & attractions close to taos.

Abiquiu | Angel Fire | Cerrillos | Chama | Eagle Nest | Española | Los Alamos | Nambé Pueblo |  Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo | Ojo Caliente |  Picuris Pueblo |  Pojoaque Pueblo | Questa | Red River |  San Ildefonso Pueblo | Santa Clara Pueblo | Santa Fe | Taos |  Taos Pueblo | Taos Ski Valley |  Tesuque Pueblo | Tierra Amarilla | Truchas

Taos Area Businesses


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    The pace is slow, the air is clean, and the water is clear—all contributing to a trusting, small-town feeling of hospitality. Taos offers newcomers and visitors a warm and friendly community. ADDRESS: 1139 Paseo del Pueblo Sur Taos, New Mexico 87571. REGION: NorthCentral. PHONE: 575.758.3873. Visit Website.