After deliberating what state I want to head to first, I have decided on New Mexico! I have actually been lucky enough to visit this state quite a few times in the past and have loved it every time.
When I was little, my mom, brother and grandparents went to Eagle’s Nest to visit family friends. I remember how pretty it was and how fun it was just to run around and explore outside with my brother. Many, many years later, my mom and I returned to New Mexico and visited Red River and Taos. Years after that, my mom and I went again to Red River, this time with my kiddo. The last time I was in New Mexico it was once again with my mom and Dylan and we hit a lot of places. We visited Ruidoso, Cloudcroft, Sunspot (to the National Sun Observatory), Roswell and White Sands. It really is an amazing state!
So, since I am a little familiar with New Mexico, I figured it would be the perfect state to visit first and hit some of the places I have been and all the new places I want to see!
I started looking at some places I want to visit and, holy cow, there are just so many of them! I can already tell that no matter how much time I spend in New Mexico, I will always be going back…there’s just so much to see!
New Mexico has:
- 27 State Parks
- 5 National Forests
- 2 National Historical Parks
- 8 National Wildlife Refuges
Here’s just a few highlighted places…
From the website: Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here. Learn More
From the website: In the midst of piñon, juniper, and ponderosa pine woodlands of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains not far from Santa Fe, the remains of Indian pueblos stand as meaningful reminders of people who once prevailed. Pecos National Historical Park helps visitors explore the cultural exchange and geographic features that played such crucial roles in the rich history of the Pecos Valley. Learn more
From the website: Long one of America’s foremost, bona fide Art Colony’s, Taos is also home to a world-class ski resort (Taos Ski Valley), a World Heritage Site (Taos Pueblo), one of the most photographed and iconic churches (St. Francisco de Asis), and a majestic landscape encompassing the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge (and its eponymous bridge). Drawn by clean air and mythical light, visitors come to New Mexico’s Soul of the Southwest to experience rich spiritual traditions, fine art, distinctive cuisine, a thriving music scene and of course, the raw, natural beauty of the landscape. Learn more
From the website: City of Rocks gets its name from the incredible volcanic rock formations found here. The park encompasses a one square mile area in the scenic Chihuahuan desert region of southwestern New Mexico at an elevation of 5,200 feet. The “city” is a geologic formation made up of large, sculptured rock columns, or pinnacles, rising as high as 40 feet and separated by paths or lanes resembling city streets. These rocks were formed about 34.9 million years ago when a very large volcano erupted. Then, erosion over millions of years slowly formed the sculptured columns seen today, creating a stunning, otherworldly landscape. Learn more
Those are just a few of the awesome places to visit. Want to see more? Check these out:
- Wheeler Peak Wilderness
- Chaco Culture National Park
- Puye Cliff Dwellings
- The Jemez Mountain Trail
- Carlsbad Caverns
- Bandelier National Monument
- And so many, many more…
Now, since I will be traveling with Zero, there are some places that don’t allow dogs. #boo So, if you are traveling with pets, make sure to look at the pet policy before heading out. I knew going into this whole journey that I would not be able to see certain things because Zero would not be allowed, and, I’m not going to lie…at first I was kinda bummed. But then I thought, “This isn’t about me seeing places and leaving her behind, this is about me and her exploring new places…if she can’t go, then I’m not going!”. #boom!
Anyway…I digress…back to New Mexico…
Random Cool Facts About New Mexico (Because random facts are always fun to know!):
- Santa Fe is the highest capital city in the United States at 7,000 feet above sea level
- Each October Albuquerque hosts the world’s largest international hot air balloon fiesta.
- The Rio Grande is New Mexico’s longest river and runs the entire length of New Mexico.
- New Mexico is one of the four corner states. Bordering at the same point with Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
- 1/4 of New Mexico is forested, and the state has 7 National Forests including the Nation’s largest, the 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest which includes the Gila Wilderness.
- State Motto “The Land of Enchantment”
- The greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) was designated the official state bird of New Mexico in 1949.
- State animal is the black bear
- The Yucca is the state flower
- White Sands National Monument is a desert, not of sand, but of gleaming white gypsum crystals.
- The Palace of Governors in Santa Fe, built in 1610, is one of the oldest public buildings in America.
So with all the amazing places New Mexico has to offer, I am even more excited about heading out on my journey and making the “Land of Enchantment” my first destination!
- TWITTER: Follow New Mexico Nomad – Seriously awesome feed of cool facts, places that are off the beaten path, history facts, etc
- PINTEREST – Check out my New Mexico board for all the cool places, maps, etc
- WEBSITE – New Mexico State Website
Have you been to New Mexico? If so, what was one of your favorite places? Leave a comment and share.