It’s impossible to distill the essence of our state into a mere 26 letters. Nevertheless, it’s a place to start. With certain letters, there seemed endless options, while others proved more challenging. So, here is one version of New Mexico from A to Z.
A is for Architecture
Many of New Mexico's buildings are constructed in Pueblo style, although you'll also see some Territorial-style structures.
B is for Breakfast Burrito
The best way to start your day.
C is for Cuisine... Chile and Corn
Chile and corn are key ingredients in our state's delicious cuisine. Did you know that chiles are packed with Vitamin C?
D is for Diversity
New Mexico's landscape and culture are both equally diverse.
E is for Entrepreneur
Hotelier Conrad Hilton, and Jeff Bezos (who founded Amazon) both hail from New Mexico.
F is for Farolitos
It wouldn't be the holiday season without farolitos lining the walls of buildings and emitting a soft glow of light.
G is for Ghost Town
Ghost towns are scattered across New Mexico, many of which are old mining settlements. (Pictured is the ghost town of Hagan.)
H is for Historic
New Mexico boasts the oldest state capital in the country. The oldest house and church can also be found in Santa Fe. (Pictured is the San Miguel Chapel.)
I is for Isotopes
Our state may not be home to any major league teams, but we do have the Isoptopes. The team is actually named after an episode of "The Simpsons" during which Homer discovers that his sports team (the Springfield Isotopes) intend to relocate to Albuquerque. In a public vote to determine the real team's name, two out of three people voted for the name "Isotopes."
J is for Jornada del Muerto
Spanish conquistadors were the ones to originally christen this desert. Its sinister name is a reference to the challenges of crossing this water-parched portion of the state.
Then on July 16th 1945, the area was used as the test site for the world's first nuclear weapon, making the name suitable for an entirely different reason.
K is for Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument...
...And all the other national monuments in our state. Did you know that New Mexico has a total of 18 national parks, preserves, trails, and monuments?
L is for Lew Wallace
Wallace was a general in the Union Army, the governor of the New Mexico Territory, and he wrote "Ben Hur."
N is for Natural Beauty...
...which New Mexico has in abundance.
O is for O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe is probably the most famous of the many artists who flock to New Mexico. While the O'Keeffe Museum is located in Santa Fe, this image depicts Ghost Ranch, where the artist lived.
P is for Popé (also spelled Po’pay)
Wikimedia Commons/The Architect of the Capitol
Following years of religious oppression, Popé united the northern tribes against Spanish rule in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. The Spanish did eventually retake the land in 1692.
Q is for Quail
There are four different types of quail in New Mexico: Gambel’s quail, Scaled quail, Northern bobwhite, and Montezuma quail.
R is for Rio Grande
This one river is the lifeblood of our state.
S is for Sunrises and Sunsets
No matter what other states may claim, New Mexico's are the best!
T is for Turquoise
Long before tourists began buying belts adorned with huge chunks of this rock, Native Americans were mining for turquoise in the Cerrillos hills. Turquoise from here made its way to places like Chaco Canyon. Later on, the jewelry store, Tiffany, owned a turquoise mine in Cerrillos.
U is for U.S. Route 66
Tucumcari, Albuquerque, and Gallup are some of the best places to gain a sense of what the Mother Road was like in its heyday.
V is for Volcanoes
The (now extinct) volcanoes in New Mexico literally shaped our state.
W is for the Wild West
New Mexico had more than its share of outlaws and lawmen. In fact, the Lincoln County War took place here.
X is for eXtraterrestrials
Okay, this "X" is a bit of a stretch but, for better or worse, our state will forever be associated with UFOs.
Y is for Yucca
The yucca is our state flower. Yucca moths are solely responsible for pollinating this plant.
Z is for the Zia Sun Symbol
This symbol decorates our state flag. The Zia sun symbol features four sets of four rays. These represent the seasons, the cardinal directions, the different parts of the day, and the phases of life.
Despite its name, the entrances of the Roundhouse replicate this symbol when viewed from above.
Would you change any of these letters? What does your version of a New Mexico A to Z look like?