New Mexico is an underdog. Best-case scenario: people view us as Arizona’s kid sister. Worst-case scenario: they don’t even realize we’re part of the United States! But New Mexico has a surprising amount to offer, both to tourists and to residents.
Extraterrestrials decided that Roswell was worth a visit—allegedly.
New Mexico is home to one of the most advanced radio astronomy observatories on the planet, (near Magdalena) which helps scientists to learn about space and the universe—useful in case the aliens return!
3. Rock Formations
The state’s explosive, volcanic past resulted in many weird rock formations, such as the Alien Throne in the San Juan Basin. It also left lava strewn across New Mexico.
4. Natural Beauty
People often assume that New Mexico is one big desert. But the state is surprisingly diverse and has mountains, valleys, rivers, and even a few lakes.
5. Cultural Crossroads
The Ancient Puebloans (sometimes called the Anasazi) have lived in this area for thousands of years and New Mexico was also governed by both Spain and Mexico before it became a U.S. territory. The result is a rich cultural and culinary crossroads.
6. Green Chile
We value it so much that, in 2011, we actually passed legislation to protect our chile. According to the New Mexico Chile Advertising Act, only chiles grown here can be promoted as New Mexican chile. That way, you know it’s legit.
7. Native American History
New Mexico only became a state in 1912, but it’s far from “new.” There are loads of pueblo remains and cliff dwellings, such as those at Puye.
No one else has an official state cookie!
9. Art Scene
New Mexico is home to just over two million people and a disproportionate number of us are artists.
10. Awesome Wildlife
Beep, beep! New Mexicans brake for roadrunners. And also for gila monsters, the venomous lizards found in some parts of the state. Luckily, they remain underground roughly 95% of the time.
11. Ghost Towns
The state is crawling with ghost towns, like Hagan. Another New Mexican ghost town was burdened with the unfortunate name of Añal. The post office failed to recognize the importance of including the tilde. So mail arrived at Anal. No wonder people left!
12. Filming Locations
Shows like "Breaking Bad" and movies such as "Easy Rider" were shot here.
13. Trails And Roads
Whether it’s El Camino Real or Route 66, tourists have traveled through New Mexico for centuries.
14. Adobe Buildings
New Mexicans construct architectural wonders out of bricks formed from mud!
15. State Capitol Building
Okay, this building isn’t constructed from adobe bricks, but it is the only round state capitol building in the nation.
Conrad Hilton was born here.
17. Billy The Kid
The outlaw was arrested in our state. Not that he stayed incarcerated for long. He busted out of prison, and was eventually tracked down and shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Billy the Kid is buried in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
18. Bumper Stickers
We love them. Any exposed paint around the bumper is a lost opportunity for personal expression. It's almost enough to make congestion entertaining.
Albuquerque's the only place where you can find a museum devoted to rattlesnakes.
The New Mexican sky serves as an artist’s canvas. Most nights, it blazes hot pink, orange, and purple.
What’s your favorite thing about New Mexico? Explain why you love this state in the comments.