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10 Best Things to Do in New Mexico

Suny Errot



Plan your trip to the Land of Enchantment and discover why many people look to this place for an adventure that feeds the soul.

Here are the 10 best things to do in New Mexico:

1. Visit Famous Filming Locations

breaking bad new mexico

What is there for the New Mexico visitor to see? While it may seem entirely more of a hassle, you’ll find that visiting famous film locations is a fun thing to do.

For instance, the ever-famous Albuquerque has become a favorite place to shoot in. Some of the most famous movies filmed in Albuquerque include:

Avengers Assemble
Albuquerque Studios
Atrisco Heritage Academy High School
Santa Fe Railyard, 2nd Street SW, Barelas District

White Sands National Monument, I-70, southwest of Alamogordo

The Magnificent Seven
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu
Valles Caldera, New Mexico
Eaves Movie Ranch – 105 Rancho Alegre Road, Santa Fe

Breaking Bad
Arguably one of the most famous TV shows in history, Breaking Bad was filmed across multiple locations all found throughout Albuquerque!

2. Join the Fun in Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Visit New Mexico in October and experience being in an enchanted world of a balloon-filled sky. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta lasts for nine days and will transport you to an otherworldly backdrop.

There’s also a wide variety of performances. You’ll get to witness:

  • Balloon Discovery Center
  • AfterGlow Fireworks
  • Photo Contest
  • Dawn Patrol
  • Balloon Glows
  • Competitions
  • Special Shape Rodeos,
  • Chainsaw Carving

3. Gain a New Perspective at Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is a living and historic Native American community found at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. The Pueblo is made entirely of adobe which is earth mixed with water and straw, and the walls are made several feet thick.

This place accepts visitors most of the year, but it’s best to come and share the beautiful day during the Annual San Geronimo Feast Day on September 30.

What you should know:

  • The Pueblo closes every early spring for eight weeks.
  • Visitors must pay parking, admission, and camera fees. Admission fee is $10 for adults and groups (3 or more), $8 for students (13 years old to college), $5 for children.
  • The Pueblo is open daily to visitors but closes every early spring for eight weeks. The pueblo charges admission, parking and camera fees. Taos Pueblo can be found 2.5 miles north of the Taos Plaza.

4. Learn About a Different Culture at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Thousands of years ago, the nomadic people used the caves of the Gila River as a temporary shelter. Soon after, the people of the Mogollon Culture realized it was a good place to call their official home. And so they built their rooms, established their families, and even crafted pottery for about twenty years.

When they finally moved on, the Gila Cliff Dwellings remained, leaving a beautiful glimpse into the past, which is now recognized as a U.S. National Monument.

5. Join a Guided Tour of the Very Large Array

Very Large Array New Mexico
Source: Very Large Array | National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Very Large Array is an astronomical radio observatory that features an award-winning documentary narrated by Jodie Foster, including impressive exhibits about radio astronomy, interferometry, and the VLA telescope.

There is a walking tour that will take you to the Radio Sundial, Whisper Dish Gallery and the Radio Astronomy Gallery. You can even go up to the Observation Deck to get a view of the array itself.

The place has a strict electronic device policy. When visiting, you should turn off all electronic devices (cellphones, tablets, etc.) or have them placed in airplane mode. But you can turn it on briefly (while in airplane mode) if you want to take pictures.

6. Visit Billy the Kid Museum

The legend of Billy The Kid is a tale of outlaw heroics and it continues to be known throughout history. He is a notorious figure from his era and entered a life of thievery, murder, and violence. His life has already been dramatized in some Western popular culture films.

The Billy the Kid Museum is a twist on the story with the claim that Billy did not die from a gunshot in 1881. Instead, he escaped, settled in Hico, and started calling himself William “Brushy Bill” Roberts to live a new life.

7. Spend a Lazy Day at Santa Fe Plaza

Santa Fe Plaza
Source: Santa Fe Plaza | Huffpost

This natural historic landmark remains the central part of the city with its community gatherings, concerts, fandangos, and other events. It has been around for four centuries, and now, it’s filled with chic art galleries, restaurants, and jewelry shops.

What you should know:

  • The plaza is buzzing with activity any night of the week, so you can check out the galleries and souvenir shops.
  • Be wary of the inflated prices when planning to buy Native American crafts.
  • It is located in a neighborhood area and there’s no admission fee to visit this place.

8. Discover Oddities at Museums

Be entertained by the museums that will make your New Mexico visit truly unforgettable.

Check out these places and the things you’ll find here:

  • Tinkertown Museum – circus memorabilia
  • Museum of International Folk Art – folk art
  • Telephone Museum of New Mexico – the evolution of the telephone
  • Roswell UFO Museum – evidences on the 1947 Roswell Crash and later supposed UFO incidents

9. Visit Bisti Badlands

The Bisti Badlands, also known as the De-Na-Zin Wilderness, features a vast and unique landscape of the most unique rock formations on earth. It was once a coastal swamp home to reptiles, trees, dinosaurs, and primitive mammals.

Now, it has become a beautiful desert wilderness that many adventurers, photographers, and explorers aspire to visit. It can be pretty intimidating to visit the Bisti Badlands on your own, so if you’re here the first time, we suggest you avail of a guided tour.

10. Go Dune Sledding at White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park New Mexico
Source: White Sands National Park | Getty Images/VW Pics

Don’t you think seeing a dramatic landscape of white gypsum sand dunes is one of the best things to do in New Mexico? Why, yes it is. The sand dunes of this park are the remnants of ancient bodies of water that once spread across New Mexico. Now, it has become a beautiful destination receiving great public interest.

Due to the color of the sands, you might think this place is lifeless. But it is home to more than 800 animal species such as kangaroo rats, burrowing owls, and lizards among others.

Sled down the sand dunes for an unmatched experience!