Local Attractions

If you have some extra time in New Mexico, there are many unique geographical and cultural attractions within driving distance of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Here are several popular options:

  • Taos and Taos Pueblo
    • Taos is a small village in northern New Mexico that is home to many artists, the world-famous Taos Ski Valley (which, unfortunately, won’t yet be open for ski season), and the Rio Grande Gorge. Taos is ~90 minutes north of Santa Fe.
    • Taos Pueblo is a historic >1000 year old Native American community and an UNESCO World Heritage Landmark.
  • Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
    • The Tent Rocks are a unique geologic formation resulting from erosion of volcanic pyroclasts. There is as short hike through a slot canyon to view the formations. The tent rocks are located  ~halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
  • Petroglyph National Monument
    • The petroglyphs are ancient designs and symbols carved into volcanic rock spanning 400 to 700 years in age. The Monument is on the western edge of Albuquerque.
  • Santa Fe
    • There are many art galleries, museums, and historic buildings and churches throughout Santa Fe, in addition to good hiking in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest.
  • Sandia Peak
    • One of the world’s longest trams takes visitors to the top of Sandia Peak, 3160 meters above sea level and 1600 meters above Albuquerque. There is also a road to top on the east side of the mountain. The tram is on the northeast corner of Albuquerque.
  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Large Array
    • The Very Large Array is an array of 27 radio antennas south of Albuquerque. The VLA is ~2 hours south of Albuquerque.
  • Bandelier National Monument
    • Ancient cliff dwellings of Native Americans with a history of human activity going back 11000 years. Bandelier is ~45 minutes west of Santa Fe.
  • El Malpais National Monument
    • Volcanic lava flows (dormant!) in western New Mexico. El Malpais is ~90 minutes west of Albuquerque.
  • Old Town Albuquerque
    • The original, 300 year old, settlement of Albuquerque. Many shops and restaurants and several museums within walking distance.
  • Chaco Culture National Historic Park
    • Ancient Native American ruins that are more than 1000 years old. The road to this site is known to rough, so a high clearance vehicle may be desirable. The park is ~3 hours northwest of Albuquerque.