It’s easy to find enchanting places in New Mexico, but the same locations pop up again and again. And for good reason.
Carlsbad Caverns, for instance, is a truly bewitching place. However, we decided to show some love to the kind of enchanting spots that fewer people know about.
1. Berg Park
Both Berg Park and Boyd Park line the banks of the Animas River in Farmington. These parks show that, in New Mexico, you don't always have to leave a city to experience natural beauty.
2. Boyd Park
3. This painted chapel
This tiny house of worship is located at the intersection of El Llano and State Route 65 near Montezuma. The vibrant colors and sweeping brushstrokes make this an enchanting place to stumble upon.
4. Pecos River Recreation Area
Children are sure to appreciate a playground with views like these. This recreation area in Carlsbad also includes a swimming beach and a walking path along the river banks.
5. Kitchen Mesa
The Kitchen Mesa hiking trail at Ghost Ranch affords staggering views. In fact, the area around Abiquiú, sometimes called O'Keeffe Country, is full of hidden spots of wonder.
6. Purple Adobe Lavender Farm
Spending time at a lavender farm is as soothing as it is captivating.
7. Plaza Blanca
A little further north is Plaza Blanca, or the White Place. It certainly inspired O'Keeffe. These unique rock formations became a subject for her to paint and it's easy to see why. The folds of bleached white rock, rock fins, and slot canyon are stunning.
8. The Black River Recreation Area
A true oasis, the Black River recreation area covers 1200 acres. The Cottonwood Day Use Area is a delightful place to watch for wildlife in this stretch of desert, south of Carlsbad.
9. Casamera Pueblo
If you're seeking solitude with a side of history, you'll enjoy seeing these little known ruins of an Ancestral Puebloan community from the 11th century. It's situated between Gallup and Grants.
10. Wiford Gallery Sculpture Garden
Unless you're familiar with the art mecca that is Santa Fe's Canyon Road, you could easily miss this one-of-a-kind sculpture garden. It's tucked away in a courtyard set back from the street. Perch in one of the stone chairs and feel yourself relax at the sight of these whimsical, kinetic sculptures twirling in the breeze.
11. Gila Riparian Preserve
This preserve surrounds one of the last free-flowing rivers in this part of the country. It's a gorgeous place for either hiking or birding in the Silver City area.
12. Sugarite Canyon State Park
Sugarite Canyon is one of New Mexico's state parks that flies under the radar. Pictured is Lake Alice, where sailing and kayaking are permitted. This hidden gem lies between Raton and the Colorado border.
13. The Box Recreation Area
Even if you're not a climber, you can still admire the jagged rocks in the Box Recreation area, located near Socorro.
Have you made it to any of these places? Are you willing to share your favorite off-the-beaten-path spot? After all, we know that New Mexico is full of