New Mexico December 24, 2016
17 Reasons Why New Mexico Is The Most Underrated State In The US
Let’s face it, New Mexico is a shoo-in for the title of “Most Underrated State” because an alarming number of our fellow citizens don’t even realize that the Land of Enchantment is one of the United States. However, even when you look beyond that misguided belief, there are plenty more reasons why New Mexico is awesome. Here are 17 of them:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. We have more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other state.
In case you’re wondering, those would be Taos Pueblo, Chaco Canyon, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
2. Many of the oldest sites in the country are located in New Mexico.
For instance, Santa Fe is the oldest state capital. It was founded in 1610, years before the Pilgrims had even made a packing list.
3. We have our own distinct culture.
Indigenous people have lived in New Mexico for centuries (there are 19 pueblos in our state). You'll also find Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo influences.
4. These influences combine to create New Mexican food.
Other states might have signature dishes, but we have our own cuisine.
5. When it comes to chile, we rule the universe!
Fine, just the world. But did you know that 37% of chile grown in the U.S. come from the Land of Enchantment?
6. Without us, Thanksgiving would suck.
It wouldn’t be Turkey Day without pecan pie and 27% of all the pecans produced in the U.S. are grown right here.
7. Many people believe that all of New Mexico looks like this.
Wrong! This is a geographically diverse state and our scenery deserves more credit than it receives.
8. You know how everyone raves about the Rockies being the country’s most impressive mountain range? We agree and we’d know because the Southern portion of the Rockies is in the Land of Enchantment.
In fact, there are more than 80 mountain ranges here. Our tallest mountain, Wheeler Peak, is 13,161 feet high.
9. While we’re bragging about size, we also have the planet’s largest gypsum dunefield.
You probably know it as White Sands.
10. Much of our state is covered with wilderness areas and national forest land, which means endless opportunities for hiking.
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail passes through New Mexico.
11. There are also oodles of ghost towns here.
If you’re intrigued by abandoned places, you’ll never be bored.
12. As much as New Mexicans appreciate solitude, we also know how to celebrate.
Las Fiestas de Santa Fe have taken place each year since 1712! This photo depicts the celebration in 1921.
13. We host the most impressive ballooning event on the planet.
If the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. The festival holds the Guinness World Record for the most balloons launched in one hour - 345 of them!
14. What do historic trading routes like the Old Spanish Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and El Camino Real have in common? New Mexico.
For centuries, New Mexico has been a haven for travelers. You can still drive along portions of the original Route 66.
15. New Mexico has been a source of inspiration for numerous artists and authors.
Georgia O’Keeffe, Willa Cather, Tony Hillerman… the list goes on.
16. Our state has also influenced the film industry.
Over 100 movies have been shot here, many of them Westerns.
17. The many labs and research facilities in New Mexico contribute to our understanding of science and to advancements in technology.
What would you add to this list?
If you’re looking for specific underrated spots in the Land of Enchantment, read this previous article: “
The 10 Most Underrated Places In New Mexico That You Must Check Out.”