What to do
Visit Santa Fe, New Mexico
Prior to coming to New Mexico, I wasn’t very familiar with the state as a whole so I came in with an open mind. After exploring New Mexico for an entire month, it is safe to say Santa Fe is one of the most beautiful and underrated US cities I have visited so far. Throughout the city, you’ll see unique adobe architecture, ancient art, and well-preserved history. Some popular destination spots include the Canyon Road Arts District where you can explore hundreds of galleries, art studios, small mom and pop shops, and restaurants. After doing some shopping and eating, you can immerse yourself in Meow Wolf which is a quirky, interactive art installation exhibit that is a mix of an art gallery, haunted house, fun house, and sci-fi adventure. Once you finish visiting the museum, make sure to head on over to Santa Fe Plaza, where there is Loretto Chapel and is prized as an architecture jewel in the city with gorgeous staircases and mosaic windows.
Pecos National Historical Park
In the gorgeous mountain side, you’ll find Pecos National Historical Park located about a short 36min drive from Santa Fe. Once you arrive, you will be able to see a preserved historical civil war battlefield, old mission church, and pueblos! It contains 7,000 acres and ruins dating back thousands of years ago. Interpretive trail markers are located along the trail, showing important places where battle lines were drawn. People who enjoy hiking or fishing will find a few good trails and spots to fish along the Pecos River.
Bandelier National Monument
The monument is regarded as a sacred site. Encompassing over 30,000 acres, there are petroglyphs, dwellings carved into soft rock cliffs, and homes of the former Ancestral Puebloans that lived there between 1150CE to 1550CE. It is truly a sight to see!
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
If you’re looking for a unique adventure, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a must-see destination!
Inside, there is over 30 miles of exploration so it is HUGE. There are 2 ways to enter the caverns.
The first option is by the elevator in the Visitor Center that can take you in and out of the cave. But I highly recommend the second option, which is the natural entrance where you will walk about 30 minutes inside to reach to the main part of the caverns.
In the first picture, you can see the natural entrance to the bat caves! There are over 17 different species of bats inside. Initially, it definitely creeped me out knowing there were bats inside but it was surprisingly peaceful when you enter the cave. During late April to October, bats will swarm together in masses in search for food.
When you’re visiting, make sure to visit the central part of the cavern where the Big Room is located. Once inside, you will see stunning cave formations in every corner and ceiling that will leave you speechless.
As you descend lower in the caverns, the temperature will drop so make sure to bundle up if you are deciding to visit.
Hope you enjoyed this guide!
Would you visit any of these New Mexico destinations? Comment below and let me know!