Hey there! I’m Laurel Tincher, founding father of the weblog By Laurel Christine. I write about sustainable dwelling and reconnecting with nature, together with tales about journey, trend, design, and extra. My adventures in sustainability have taken me everywhere in the world, from my house state of California to my present house base in lovely Hawaii.
Not too long ago I had the chance to take a street journey round New Mexico, and it was among the best street journeys I’ve ever been on!
It’s no marvel why New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment. From historical pure wonders to Native American and Southwestern tradition, to UFOs and alien lore, the state is among the most splendidly distinctive locations in the US and the world.
On high of its cultural and pure websites, you’ll discover unimaginable meals and pleasant locals all through the state. A street journey is one of the best ways to expertise all that New Mexico has to supply. You possibly can pack in all the foremost cultural and pure highlights in a 10-day to a two-week journey.
The principle airport in New Mexico is in Albuquerque. I wished to ensure to go to White Sands, which is a protracted drive from that airport, so I made a decision to fly into Albuquerque and fly out of El Paso, Texas, which labored out nicely.
This journey itinerary consists of stops in Taos and Santa Fe, plus out of doors excursions to the Bisti Badlands and White Sands Nationwide Park, with many different wonderful websites alongside the way in which.
The Finest Time to Go to
New Mexico will get snow within the winter and has sweltering, dry summers, so the best occasions to go to are from March-June or September-November. The autumn is a much less standard time for vacationers, so issues shall be much less crowded when you go that point of 12 months.
There are additionally many festivals all year long you probably have the chance to time your journey round a particular native occasion.
I went on this street journey in June. The warmth wasn’t too extreme, however entering into early summer time did imply I needed to take extra breaks from the solar when visiting the parks and monuments.
Remember the fact that New Mexico can get sudden rain and lightning storms all year long. There have been afternoon storms within the northern a part of the state through the first a number of days of my journey.
Ensure that your automobile has good wheels and dealing windshield wipers. I rented a 4WD automobile and was glad I did, though it isn’t important for this journey.
My 10-Day Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrive in Albuquerque
- Day 2: Albuquerque
- Day 3: Bisti Badlands
- Day 4-5: Taos
- Day 6-7: Santa Fe
- Day 8: Bandelier Nationwide Monument
- Day 9: Las Cruces
- Day 10: White Sands Nationwide Park
Casa Rondeña Vineyard
Day One: Arrive in Albuquerque
New Mexico’s largest metropolis blends historic tradition with a contemporary downtown.
There are lots of methods to expertise the pure great thing about the excessive desert space, which is the proper introduction to the breathtaking state. I beloved visiting native wineries and exploring Previous City Albuquerque.
If you happen to go to in October, you should definitely catch the world’s largest sizzling air balloon competition.
Prime Issues to See and Do in Albuquerque:
- Discover historic adobe buildings, museums, and retailers in Previous City.
- View native wildlife on the ABQ BioPark Botanic Backyard.
- Hike La Luz Path to the highest of South Sandia Peak for a lovely view of the town. If the climate’s good, take the cable automobile again right down to the underside.
- Expertise native wines at Casa Rondeña Vineyard.
The place to Keep in Albuquerque:
Keep at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Natural Farm for a soothing countryside expertise. On the lodge, you may journey bikes by means of lavender fields and eat meals grown proper on the property.
If you happen to don’t keep at Los Poblanos, positively nonetheless cease in for a espresso or a meal.
Day Two: Proceed Exploring Albuquerque
I’d advocate exploring Previous City and mountain climbing Laz Luz Path in your first day to get acquainted with the world. If you happen to aren’t up for the complete hike, you may drive to the underside of the cable automobile station for a shocking sundown view of the town.
On day two, go to the ABQ BioPark and go wine tasting. You can too stroll alongside the Rio Grande on the Rio Grande Nature Heart State Park.
Day Three: Hike the Bisti Badlands
Take the 40 West to the 371 North
[Approx. 182 miles | 3 hours]
Exploring the Bisti Badlands, or Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, was one of many highlights of my street journey. It could look like a protracted approach to go, however it’s nicely price it, particularly when you’re a photographer or nature and historical past lover!
The Bisti is a 45,000-acre desert wilderness space with a number of the most original rock formations on Earth. In prehistoric occasions the world was a coastal swamp, house to dinosaurs, reptiles, and different historical creatures.
I’d extremely advocate reserving a strolling tour with Navajo Excursions USA, particularly when you’re touring solo. It’s straightforward to get disoriented on the market, so by going with a information you’ll you should definitely see all the most effective websites with out having to fret about getting misplaced.
Plus, you’ll study a lot in regards to the geologic historical past of the area and the native Navajo tradition. I used to be touring solo and booked a one-on-one tour, which was such an unimaginable expertise!
Navajo Excursions presents each morning and night hikes, so when you go away Albuquerque early, you are able to do the night tour, after which you may all the time return once more within the morning by yourself if you’d like extra time there.
A couple of issues to bear in mind:
- Farmington is the closest place to remain for a go to to the Bisti Badlands, and it’s about an hour’s drive between the town and the Bisti wilderness.
- There are not any providers or loos on the Bisti Badlands. Be ready for altering climate circumstances, pack water and snacks, and ensure your cellphone is charged earlier than you go.
What to Do Round Farmington in Addition to the Bisti Badlands:
- The Aztec Ruins Nationwide Monument is an enchanting preserved website that’s free to go to.
- Make the brief drive out to Ship Rock, a 1500 ft. rock formation with non secular significance to the Navajo Nation.
The place to Keep in Farmington:
- The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Farmington is a snug and handy place to land in your Bisti Badlands journey.
- You can too camp in some areas of the Bisti Badlands when you’re planning on bringing your tenting gear.
Day 4: Drive to Taos
Take the 64 East
[Approx. 214 miles | 4 hours]
Taos is a stunning artist colony, filled with galleries, museums, and historic adobe buildings. I might image having my very own artwork retreat there! The excessive elevation city is a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers in all seasons as a result of its entry to close by ski resorts. There are such a lot of distinctive issues to do on this vibrant neighborhood.
Prime Issues to See and Do in Taos:
The place to Keep in Taos:
Staying on the Earthship neighborhood simply exterior Taos is a as soon as in a lifetime expertise.
The Phoenix Earthship, which may be booked on Airbnb, features a beautiful greenhouse and distinctive, sustainably designed biotecture, with a full kitchen and plentiful dwelling area
It’s a massive area for a solo traveler, however I additionally stayed in one of many smaller Earthships, and it was positively price splurging on the Phoenix to get the complete Earthship expertise.
Taos is a stunning artist colony, filled with galleries, museums, and historic adobe buildings.
Day 5: Discover Taos and Go to Taos Pueblo
Only one mile north of city, Taos Pueblo is an historical pueblo nonetheless inhabited by a Native American tribe of Puebloan folks. The UNESCO World Heritage Web site is among the oldest constantly inhabited communities in the US.
The adobe dwellings have been constructed about 1,000 years in the past, and about 150 folks at the moment stay there full-time. I actually loved chatting with the residents, attempting native meals, and studying about this fascinating neighborhood.
Day Six: Drive to Santa Fe
Take the 68 South to the 84 South
[Approx. 70 miles | 1 ½ hours]
It’s a brief, lovely drive from Taos to the capital metropolis of Santa Fe. You possibly can go away early and pack in a day of mountain climbing at Ghost Ranch or take your time and luxuriate in a leisurely day on the street.
The place to Cease Alongside the Drive to Santa Fe:
I had heard unbelievable issues about mountain climbing at Ghost Ranch, so I drove on the market on my approach to Santa Fe. Once I arrived, I noticed I didn’t have sufficient time to do any of the hikes, so I left and drove all the way in which again to the 68 South!
Chimayo is a small city simply 40 minutes exterior Santa Fe.
It contains a historic church and several other well-known weaving retailers and is understood for its well-known Chimayo peppers. You’ll want to discover a cafe that serves chile sizzling chocolate drinks, so scrumptious!
The place to Keep in Santa Fe:
Keep at Resort St. Francis for its cozy and basic Santa Fe fashion within the coronary heart of the town.
Day Seven: Discover Santa Fe
New Mexico’s capital is understood for its artwork scene and pueblo-style structure. Town is a mix of outdated and new, and stuffed with an abundance of tradition and creativity.
Prime Issues to See and Do in Santa Fe:
- Lease a bicycle and discover the town on wheels, or journey one of many many native trails.
- Go to the historic Santa Fe Plaza, filled with distinctive retailers and eating places.
- Eat native and natural Mexican meals at Cafe Pasqual’s.
- Immerse your self in a mysterious multimedia artwork expertise at Meow Wolf.
- Don your cowboy hat and head to the Santa Fe Opera for a singular desert efficiency. The gorgeous opera home is partially open to the outside, permitting for unimaginable sundown and night time sky views.
Day Eight: Bandelier Nationwide Monument
An hour exterior Santa Fe, Bandelier Nationwide Monument is an ideal half-day tour.
Throughout the park are 11,000-year-old human settlements constructed right into a rocky canyon. If you happen to aren’t afraid of ladders, you may climb up inside a number of the highest settlements. In any other case, there are extra accessible cave dwellings to discover.
You probably have further time to discover the world, Tent Rocks Nationwide Monument and the Santa Fe Nationwide Forest are each unimaginable pure environments to go to close to the town.
Day 9: Drive to Las Cruces
Take the 25 South
[Approx. 285 miles | 4 ½ hours]
The ultimate stretch of this final New Mexico street journey takes you nearly to the southern border of the state. Las Cruces lies on the fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert, simply north of the U.S. border with Mexico.
Alongside the drive, cease on the Bosque Del Apache Nationwide Wildlife Refuge to view birds and different native wildlife. There’s a loop street you may drive round for straightforward viewing, or you may take extra time to hike within the nature protect.
Prime Issues to See and Do in Las Cruces:
- Go wine tasting on the many native wineries across the metropolis. Though New Mexico shouldn’t be a widely known wine area, winemakers across the state produce a plethora of high-quality wines.
- Go to a pecan farm. Along with wineries, Las Cruces is house to dozens of pecan farms, a few of that are open to guests.
The place to Keep in Las Cruces:
- Keep at Lundeen Inn of the Arts to attach with the native desert tradition. Stuffed with historical past and Southwestern artwork, the lodge is the proper place to finish a New Mexico street journey.
Day Ten: Go to White Sands Nationwide Park
The final cease on the journey is one in all my favourite locations on Earth. White Sands Nationwide Park is the world’s largest gypsum dune subject.
The ethereal white dunes stretch on for 275 sq. miles. Within the park, you may go on quite a few hikes into the dunes, take wonderful photographs, and even go sledding down the dunes! You’ll want to keep for sundown, it was probably the most lovely I’ve ever seen.
Suggestions for Visiting White Sands Nationwide Park:
- It takes about an hour to drive from Las Cruces to the park.
- Pack sunscreen, water, and a hat. Take breaks from the solar typically, as you don’t all the time notice how sizzling and dehydrated you’re getting.
- I used to be involved about getting misplaced within the dunes, however you gained’t have any points when you control the street that winds by means of the park.
- Choose up snacks and meals for lunch at Mountain View Market Co+Op in Las Cruces.
- Seize espresso and breakfast for the street at Nessa’s Cafe.
I hope you loved this street journey information to New Mexico! For extra New Mexico suggestions, go to my New Mexico posts right here.