Long summer days provide more time to take advantage of all that New Mexico has to offer. Make the most of this season by getting out and exploring our state. We’ve compiled some fun options to help you get started.
1. Jump in the Blue Hole...
...Or cool off in the nearest lake.
2. Have some fun at one of New Mexico's many summer festivals.
In August, the Lea County Fair is held in Lovington and the Indian Market takes place in Santa Fe. Then, in September, Bernalillo hosts the Mountain West Brew Fest over Labor Day weekend. And that's just for starters...
3. Retreat in nature.
Whether you go for a short hike or embark on a camping trip, New Mexico has so many acres of national forest and wilderness that there are always new places to discover.
4. Cruise along backroads and scenic byways.
Road trips are another way to venture off the beaten path.
5. Check out a ghost town.
Adventure meets history in these time capsules of the past. (Pictured: Chloride.)
6. Ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.
A train ride is a great way to appreciate New Mexico's natural beauty with minimal effort! Just sit back, let someone else take the wheel, and soak in the sights.
7. Watch some wildlife.
Did you know that New Mexico has eight wildlife refuges? You're probably familiar with Bosque del Apache. But there's also the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge near Las Cruces, Bitter Lake near Roswell, Valley de Oro in Albuquerque, and also refuges near Las Vegas and Maxwell.
8. Have a picnic in a city or state park.
How many of our 35 state parks have you visited? Check another one off your bucket list this summer.
9. Take advantage of your community's free movies or music in the park program.
While not every town and city runs summer entertainment programs, many of them do and this is a different (and usually free) way to combine fresh air and fun.
10. Watch a drive-in movie.
Drive-in movie theaters are few and far between nowadays. Catch a movie at the Fort Union Drive-In in Las Vegas or Fiesta Drive-In in Carlsbad.
11. Spice up your summer with a flamenco show.
El Farol, a restaurant in Santa Fe, has long offered Flamenco Dinner Shows and it seems the trend is spreading. The National Institute of Flamenco just partnered with Hotel Albuquerque to hold flamenco shows in Duke City as well.
12. Sip some vino at one of New Mexico's scenic wineries.
After all, we live in our country's oldest wine-growing area.
13. Try a little star gazing.
Our low levels of light pollution mean that many spots in New Mexico offer excellent conditions for star gazing. Cosmic Campground, located in the Gila National Forest, is the first place in the U.S. to be named an International Dark Sky Sanctuary for its optimal sky-studying opportunities.
14. Clean out your freezer!
Okay, so this may seem more like an item on your to do list, but chile season is on the horizon. That means it's time to make room in your freezer for the upcoming crop. In other words, celebrate summer by eating plenty of ice cream!