The Top 10 Most Visited New Mexico Cities In 2017 Might Just Surprise You
People travel to New Mexico from far and wide. Many of them rely on top websites to help them figure out where to go and what to do in the Land of Enchantment. Based on their searches, these are the most visited cities in New Mexico.
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:
10. Rio Rancho
Located just north of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho is New Mexico's third largest city – and still growing. The city began in the 1960s and was incorporated in 1981. Since then, the city has worked to establish an identity separate from its Albuquerque neighbor. To that end, Rio Rancho has become home to emerging New Mexico businesses and industries. Rio Rancho visitors can look forward to outdoor spaces, two colleges, and a casino.
Fun Fact: Rio Rancho is home to the New Mexico Stars, a professional indoor football team.
Gallup is the heart of Native American New Mexico. It's notably home to the Navajo people and other nations like Zuni and Hopi. As well as showcasing native arts, ceremonies, jewelry and cuisine, Gallup is on the Trail of the Ancients, the scenic byway to prehistoric archaeological and geological sites in the northwestern part of the state.
Fun Fact: Because of its rugged landscape, scores of old Hollywood Westerns were filmed in and around Gallup.
Farmington is part of the Four Corners Region. While technically a small city, Farmington retains the more intimate feel of a town. That, paired with its abundance of lakes and rivers, makes it an ideal place to visit during summer. Also, the town is close to many of the state's cultural and outdoor destinations like
and the Salmon Ruins.
The Farmington Public Library ceiling is designed to be a sundial; sunbeams shining on the floor mark the summer and winter solstices.
When most people think of Roswell, they think about aliens and UFOs. While the city takes advantage of its otherworldly fame, there is more to the town than little green men. No matter what suits your fancy, there is probably something for you in Roswell, from art, history, and museums to cultural activities. As well, outdoor adventure is right at your feet, with Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge and Bottomless Lakes State Park.
Roswell has a McDonald's restaurant that
looks like a UFO
6. Angel Fire
This resort town, tucked high in the mountains, is a popular ski destination in winter and a summer haven outdoor adventurers (think fishing, mountain biking, and a zip line). Along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, the landscape is indeed scenic, with mountain overlooks ringed by dense trees. Angel Fire is also home to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park.
Fun Fact: It's said that Angel Fire got its name from the "fiery afternoon light" that plays off the surrounding peaks.
Taos is another New Mexico town with a dynamic combination of multicultural history, art, and ambiance. At the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the scenery in this laid-back arts community is astounding, especially the 800-foot-deep Rio Grande Gorge, cut into the landscape by the river. The town is also home to the long-enduring Taos Pueblo.
Fun Fact: Legendary mountain man and U.S. Army officer, Kit Carson lived in Taos. He is buried in Taos (next to his third wife Josefa), at the aptly-named Kit Carson Park.
Set in the Sierra Blanca range, the mountain resort town of Ruidoso is known for horse racing at the Ruidoso Downs and for the Inn of the Mountain Gods casino. Winter sports enthusiasts also appreciate the town as a base for ski and snowboard trips to Ski Apache.
Fun Fact: Ruidoso got its name from the Spanish, noisy river, recalling the sound of the creek that flows through the town.
3. Las Cruces
Anchored by the majestic Organ Mountains, Las Cruces is a New Mexico crossroad, serving travelers on Interstate 25 and Interstate 10. The city is also home to New Mexico State University. With plenty of sunshine, visitors can enjoy hiking the nearby Dripping Springs Natural area or exploring the historic Old Mesilla Village.
Fun Fact: In 2000, Las Cruces earned a Guinness World Record for creating the world's largest enchilada.
2. Santa Fe
Perennially a favorite with tourists and New Mexicans alike, Santa Fe is the perfect blend of outdoor beauty, history, and art. Support those features with top-notch accommodations, unique shopping opportunities, and stellar dining choices, and you have a combination that makes "the City Different," one of the top travel destinations in the world.
Fun Fact: Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in North America.
With a population of more than 550,000, Albuquerque is the state's largest city. While Albuquerque is the "landing place" for the thousands who fly into the Sunport headed to other New Mexico destinations, Albuquerque has a flavor of its own with attractions like historic Old Town, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, world-class museums, the BioPark, and the Sandia Peak Tram.
Fun Fact: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon event in the world.
What do you think of this list of most visited New Mexico cities? How many have you been to? Share your experiences in the comments!