Next time you’re hosting out-of-town guests, show them a side of New Mexico that most tourists never see. Sure, the high-profile attractions are worth visiting, but mix it up a little with some of these less publicized gems. Your visitors will thank you for it!
1. New Mexico Museum of Space History and the International Space Hall of Fame, Alamogordo
The aerospace industry has a long history in our state. In fact, Harrison Schmitt, a New Mexican astronaut, is still the only scientist to ever set foot on the moon. While those living near Alamogordo are no doubt aware of this attraction, it receives surprisingly little attention considering that the complex contains a genuine moon rock. There are also exhibits about life in space. These include the usual displays of spacesuits, but also things like a space toilet.
2. The town of Lincoln
Billy the Kid was here. Okay, that’s true of many places in New Mexico, but visiting this well-preserved town lets you pretend that you’re back in the Wild West along with him. Learn about posses, murder, and the Lincoln County War.
3. All Tribes Trading Post, Zuni
Out-Of-State visitors are often want to shop for Native American arts and crafts. The All Tribes Trading Post offers a beautiful selection of authentic pottery, Kachina dolls, jewelry, artwork, and rugs.
4. Western New Mexico University Museum, Silver City
Although this museum is small, it has an excellent collection of Mimbres pottery. It's a must-see for anyone interested in Native American art, ceramics, or archeology. The Mimbres culture was renowned for crafting evocative black on white pottery, between about 1000 – 1150 A.D. (Pictured is an example of Mimbres pottery.)
5. Echo Amphitheater, Abiquiú
If you’re showing guests around this part of New Mexico, there’s a good chance you’ll swing by ghost ranch or tour the surrounding red rocks. Be sure to make a pit stop at Echo Amphitheater (also known as Echo Canyon). It has beautiful rock formations and fun acoustics.
6. Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, Candy Kitchen
This 90-acre sanctuary provides a home to rescued wolves and wolf-dogs that cannot be released into the wild. While you can view the wolves on the general tour, give your guests an unforgettable experience by signing up for one of the encounters. Meet a wolf, walk with one, or simply hang out in one of the habitats and observe them.
7. Rancho De Las Golondrinas, Santa Fe
This living history museum devoted to 18th and 19th century New Mexico is interesting any time of year. If you can coordinate your visit to coincide with one of the numerous annual festivals, you’re sure to wow out-of-towners. Annual events include a wine festival, lavender festival, Renaissance Fair, and more.
8. Very Large Array, near Magdalena
Science is awesome! Take your guests to this world-renowned radio observatory. Each of the 27 massive antennas has an 82-foot diameter. You can actually walk close to the base of these behemoths to see them in detail.
9. National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque
The center has a packed events calendar, which is heavy on music and dance performances. There’s also a library, genealogy center, and art museum. Definitely check out the gorgeous 4000-square-foot fresco that details pre-Hispanic and Hispanic history. The center doesn’t always receive the buzz it deserves, but it’s a great place to take visitors.
10. Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, near Tularosa
The Jornada Mogollon people created this rock art between 900 and 1400 A.D. This site has more than 21,000 glyphs, depicting wildlife and geometric patterns. Your guests will be stunned by both the quantity of drawings and the variety of subject matter.
Where do you take out-of-town visitors when you want to give them a great New Mexican experience? Let us know in the comments.