Welcome to New Mexico
New Mexico lives up to its moniker, the Land of Enchantment. Visitors fall under a spell when exposed to the exquisite blend of Native American, Spanish and Mexican cultures found throughout the diverse region. Equally enchanting are the expansive deserts and massive mountains that loom across the landscape.
Colorful, Cultural Cities
New Mexico’s spirit shines brightly in Santa Fe. Even modern buildings are built in a cohesive adobe style, giving the city a look that aligns nicely with its heritage. New and old intermingle seamlessly. Traditional Native American arts markets stand beside high-end art galleries. Street vendors sell tamales on sidewalks beside some of the nation’s finest restaurants.
For a unique experience in the great outdoors, head to White Sands National Monument, where a sea of rolling dunes fills a 275-square-mile patch of the Tularosa Basin. Whether you take a driving tour, go for a hike, or hit the sands on a sled, the natural beauty is astounding.
Take the Turquoise Trail into Albuquerque to visit New Mexico’s largest city. Visit the Old Town area for a step into the past, get some Route 66 relics or go into the modern museums. Take the tram up to Sandia Peak for an amazing 11,000-square-mile panoramic view.
Find an Oasis in the Desert
A refreshing body of water is a welcome site in New Mexico’s dry, desert landscape. For relaxation or recreation on the water, Elephant Butte Lake and Navajo Lake state parks are popular choices. Paddlers seeking serene waters and natural beauty will find both at Abiquiu Lake or the Gila River, both offering unparalleled landscapes.
Chile Time & UFOs
The small town of Hatch is home to another big festival, the Hatch Chile Festival, held every Labor Day weekend. Now in its 49th year, the event celebrates this iconic staple of New Mexican cuisine with food, music, a carnival and more. For a quirkier taste of New Mexico, take part in the annual UFO Festival, held each July in Roswell. While the world might never know whether or not a UFO crashed in Roswell in 1947, the town celebrates its piece of infamy with strange events and all things alien.
Native American Heritage
Native Americans have long called this region home. Their history and culture are preserved in several National Park Service sites across the state. See evidence of human settlement dating back 11,000 years at Bandelier National Monument, check out Spanish and Native American carvings at Petroglyph National Monument, tour ancient homes at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and explore the Pecos and Chaco Culture national historical parks. When the Spanish arrived in the 1500s, the Santa Fe area was home to early settlements. The Palace of the Governors was built in 1610, long before the United States became a nation, and still stands as the longest continually occupied public building. Spanish, Mexican and Native American cultures thrive in the arts, music and foods in Santa Fe and beyond.