New Mexico July 03, 2017
15 Things Every True New Mexican Does At Least Once Before They Die
We’re a diverse, independent bunch here in New Mexico but, despite that, there are some experiences we tend to share and places that we all end up visiting. Whether you’re a lifelong New Mexican or a relative newcomer, review this bucket list for the Land of Enchantment; chances are you’ve already marked off several items.
1. Descend into the depths of Carlsbad Caverns.
New Mexico only has one national park but it’s an unbeatable attraction that everyone should visit. You’ll never forget its sheer scale, the elaborate and stunning rock formations, and the bat flights.
2. Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Perhaps you’re thinking that involves international, or at least out-of-state travel. Nope and nope. New Mexico has three of these sites – more than any other state. We’ve just mentioned Carlsbad Caverns, but touring Chaco Canyon and Taos Pueblo are also incredible experiences that provide insight into our state’s long history.
3. Scrunch your toes into the gypsum dunes at White Sands National Monument.
Okay, maybe don't go barefoot at noon in summer, when the sand can be really hot, but the sight of these undulating dunes are something you'll want to witness in your lifetime.
For more info.
4. Take a scenic drive.
5. Cruise along Route 66.
A very accessible section runs right through Albuquerque (Central Avenue). If you’re a fan of neon, head to Tucumcari. Or drive out to the boonies to get a feel for what the road was like when New Mexico was less developed. Don’t forget to try the
6. Wander through a ghost town.
Ghost towns litter our state – most of them were mining boom towns. Some remains are little more than a wall in the middle of nowhere, while others are surprisingly
7. Attend Balloon Fiesta.
The biggest ballooning extravaganza on the planet is right here in our backyard. You’ve gotta do it at least once.
For more info.
8. Hike near or up a mountain.
9. Eat authentic New Mexican cuisine.
We've all done this unless you literally just stepped off a plane, but it had to be included.
10. Buy freshly roasted chile.
Ah, chile season, that time of year when the scent of roasting chiles fills parking lots across the state. Think people at Costco buy in bulk? They've got nothing on New Mexicans loading up on chile.
11. Hike through dramatic rock formations.
From the Catwalk Trail in Glenwood to Tent Rocks National Monument, there is no shortage of memorable, rocky hikes.
12. Clamber up to cliff dwellings and see petroglyphs up close.
People have inhabited New Mexico for many centuries and these signs of past civilizations are not only fascinating but also fun to explore.
13. Soak in hot springs.
You probably don't need much encouragement for this one. Although there are
dotted across the state, the largest cluster is in Truth or Consequences - there's a reason why the town used to be called Hot Springs.
14. Go to a rodeo.
There's a strong cowboy tradition in New Mexico and a great way to appreciate that is by picking up tickets to your nearest rodeo. The Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium, held in Ruidoso Downs, is particularly good.
15. Eat biscochitos/bizcochitos at Christmas.
The smells of anise and cinnamon mingling together makes you nostalgic for the holidays.
New Mexico is a vast state with more far more attractions than we could squeeze onto one list. That being said, what do you think are the quintessential things to do and experience in our state? Let us know of the
Only In New Mexico Facebook page.