There is no better place to explore the culture, arts, history and environment of the southwestern United States than New Mexico. The variety of experiences visitors have is astounding! Albuquerque, the largest city and centrally located, is a rapidly growing metropolis offering all the big city amenities and urban New Mexico hotels for your stay. Take a hot air balloon ride, sample local dishes and relax with a hot stone massage at a soothing spa. This is the place to unwind!
The state capital, Santa Fe, is about an hour northeast of Albuquerque. This vibrant city is notable for its annual Indian Market, popular with art lovers, the Old Santa Fe Trail, now a National Scenic Byway, and the country’s oldest church, the San Miguel Mission. Visit nearby Bandalier National Monument, west of the city, to view ancient Pueblo archeological sites; Pecos National Historical Park, to Santa Fe’s east, is popular for its Santa Fe Trail sites, Civil War history and pueblo ruins.
Another hour and a half to the north brings you to a remarkable arts and cultural center and the Taos Ski Valley, providing year-round outdoor action in clear, crisp New Mexico air. The second largest city in the state is Las Cruces, located due south of Albuquerque almost to the Mexican border, famous for its White Sands Missile Range. Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park, on the edge of Carlsbad, lets you take a 1.3 mile self-guided tour where you might see endangered gray wolves, eagles, a mountain lion, foxes, elk and bison. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, about an hour southwest of Carlsbad, is the site of more than 117 known caves and those famous colonies of insect-devouring bats.
Gila National Forest, in the southwestern corner of the state, is remote and highly undeveloped. Visitors get a glimpse into the way the Mogollon people lived there 700 years ago at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. On the edge of this Forest is City of Rocks State Park, the place to see rare formations, a botanical garden and to study the stars at its astronomical Observatory. New Mexico – you gotta see it!