New Mexico’s small towns are an ideal destination when you’re craving a little calmness. Whether you’re seeking tranquility for an afternoon or a lifetime, a slower pace of life and rural setting are key to helping you unwind. Here are 12 small towns (with populations under 2000) in New Mexico where the main attraction is peace and quiet.
1. Quemado, Catron County
Quemado is mostly known as the location of Walter De Maria's art installation: "The Lightning Field." While that might not sound restful, the small number of residents - there are only 228 of them - and the town's proximity to Gila National Forest and Wildernes guarantee that there's plenty of solitude.
Also, this is the Country Store in Quemado. If you want a little company, stop in here for a brief chit chat... and apparently antlers.
2. Springer, Colfax County
Although Springer is situated close to I-25, most people zip on by, leaving the 1047 residents to themselves. Life happens at a charming mosey here. It's the kind of place where the school lunch menu is announced over the local radio station. Buildings such as the Brown Hotel and the courthouse (pictured), which has also served as a library and a jail, are especially picturesque.
3. Ramah, McKinley County
The tiny town of Ramah (population 370) abuts part of the Cibola National Forest. The main attraction is Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary where you can spend some quiet time observing and interacting with rescued wolves and wolf-dogs.
4. San Patricio, Lincoln County
San Patricio is a community rather than a town. It's known for its retreat center, so you're guaranteed peace and quiet. If you do decide to venture further afield, San Patricio is close to Lincoln (a remarkably well-preserved Old West town) and the Lincoln National Forest.
5. Eagle Nest, Colfax County
Only 290 people call Eagle Nest home. Frankly, it's a mystery why that number isn't higher given the town's stunning setting and location on the Enchanted Circle (one of the most serene scenic drives in New Mexico). While you're here, let your tension melt away at Eagle Nest Lake State Park, where calm pursuits such as fishing and wildlife watching are the norm.
6. Willard, Torrance County
Willard is located smack dab in the middle of New Mexico. The three Salinas Missions are the biggest draws in the area and, since they're in ruins, there's no need to worry about noisy neighbors! A mere 253 people live in Willard.
7. Hatch, Doña Ana County
If you arrive in Hatch for Labor Day weekend, the typical population of 1648 people has swelled dramatically. That's when the Hatch Chile Festival takes place and this event draws a crowd. However, during the rest of the year, the town reverts to being a chilled out place with remarkably good restaurants. Your biggest dilemma here is whether to eat at Sparky's, Valley Cafe, or B&E Burritos.
8. Loving, Eddy County
Good old Allsup's. Load up on burritos before you retreat to this town of 1413 people. Although Loving is convenient to both the city of Carlsbad and Carlsbad Caverns National Park, there's no shortage of open, unoccupied space in this tranquil portion of New Mexico.
9. Williamsburg, Sierra County
Sleepy Williamsburg (population 449) is perfect if you want to enjoy the hot springs in nearby Truth or Consequences and then hole up in your hotel room and pretend the world doesn't exist. Do take time for a drive by the soothing waters of Caballo Lake. (We'd recommend Elephant Butte Lake too, but that state park attracts way more people.)
10. Moriarty, Torrance County
Introverted foodies love Moriarty! This town of 1910 people provides the excellent food typically found in cities (hello, Shorty's Bar Be Cue) and it's home to the Sierra Blanca Brewing Company - a place sure to satisfy all your green chile, microbrew needs. This is a particularly convenient escape for anyone living or staying in Albuquerque. However, if you truly want to avoid crowds, don't go in October because the awesome corn maze at McCall's Pumpkin Patch attracts visitors from miles around.
11. Costilla, Taos County
Only 205 people live in Costilla, a town nestled against the Colorado border, north of Questa. Staying here affords great access to Valle Vidal along with opportunities for camping and fishing in the Rio Costilla.
The 415 people who live in Rowe know that the nearby Santa Fe Forest and Pecos Wilderness are the perfect places to escape civilization and immerse yourself in nature.
Where do you escape to when you’re seeking solitude in New Mexico? Check out some other
slow-paced small towns where life is still simple.