The Ultimate And Definitive Bucket List For Everyone In New Mexico (Only In Your State)


When Only In Your State published this list, I took it as a challenge. How many things have we seen and what needs to be added to the list. Here it is...


1. Hang out on a plaza.

In New Mexico, life happens on the plaza. Stroll, attend an event, listen to music, or just people-watch. Many cities and towns have plazas so you have plenty of options.





2. Eat authentic New Mexican food. As you’d expect, New Mexican cuisine is available throughout the Land of Enchantment. Rancho de Chimayo, which just won a James Beard Award, serves authentic New Mexican food. Here are some more restaurant suggestions.

3. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Be one of the thousands of people who flock to the world’s largest ballooning event and you’ll understand why it’s a must-see. Learn more about the International Balloon Fiesta.





4. Eat pie in Pietown. Because how can you not? Try the apple and red chile pie.


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5. Take a cave tour of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Exploring Carlsbad Caverns is great. Taking a cave tour is even better.





6. Visit the state capitol building. It’s the only round one in the country.


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7. Cruise along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. ` The best time of year to explore this route, which passes through Taos, is in fall.

8. Soak in one of New Mexico’s many hot springs. (Bucket List) There are clusters of primitive and developed hot springs near Jemez Springs and also in Truth or Consequences. Let the stress melt away at one of these great soaking spots. (Pictured: San Antonio hot springs.)


9. Go to the Hatch Chile Festival. Hatch is the Chile Capital of the World for a reason.


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10. Cross the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The river snakes along the valley floor 800 feet below.


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11. Experience Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Bonus points if you can go during the annual Festival of the Cranes, held each November. You won’t forget a sight like this. Find out more about the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.





12. Tuck into a green chile cheeseburger. While you’re on the way to or from Bosque del Apache, stop at San Antonio for a juicy green chile cheeseburger at either Buckhorn Tavern or Owl Bar and Café.




13. Hike the Catwalk Trail. This elevated catwalk in the Gila National Forest steers you through Whitewater Canyon, along the route of an old water pipeline that once supplied mines in the area.



14. Visit New Mexico’s pueblos. Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while Acoma Sky City is situated on top of a mesa, affording astounding views.


15. Let your feet sink into the dunes at White Sands National Monument. You can even go sand sledding at the world’s largest gypsum dunefield.


(Thank you Brittany Miller for the amazing Photos!)




16. Drive along an original stretch of Route 66. The section that runs through Albuquerque is pretty neat. Alternatively, head to Tijeras to make some music on the singing highway.



17. Travel back in time at Chaco Canyon. (Bucket List) This UNESCO World Heritage Site is massive. In fact, right up until the 19th century, the structures here - which in their heyday amounted to 600 rooms piled four stories high - were the largest in North America. Discover more about the Chaco Culture National Historic Park.


18. Ride the Sandia Peak Tramway. The views are well worth any vertigo! Here is the Sandia Peak Tramway website with more information.



19. Stand (or lie down) in four states at once at Four Corners Monument. How else can you be in more than one place at the same time?



20. Go hiking at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.(Bucket List) Get close to the hoodoos, hike a slot canyon, then ascend to a mesa that offers panoramic views. Here is the official Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument webpage.


21. Ride the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. (Bucket List) It’s officially the best train ride in the nation.


22. Marvel at the Loretto Chapel’s miraculous staircase. No one has ever been able to explain how it functions without any discernible means of support



23. Clamber up to some cliff dwellings. Gila, in the south, and Bandelier and Puye to the north are all sites with well-preserved cliff dwellings.



24. Learn about New Mexico’s atomic history. The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos and the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History are both very informative. Learn more at the Nuclear Museum website.


Have not done this but we did to Trinity Site?!?!?


25. Walk across a lava flow. (Bucket List) Lava flows can be found at El Malpais National Monument and in Valley of Fires Recreation Area. Visit the El Malpais National Monument website to learn more.


26. Smell the roses in the Rio Grande Botanic Garden. This is part of the Albuquerque Biopark. The Japanese Garden here is lovely. Here is the Rio Grande Botanic Garden website for more information.


27. Plunge into the Blue Hole. (Bucket List) This spring-fed pool has the clearest water in the state. For more swimming holes, click here.


28. Find inspiration at the Museum of International Folk Art. Wonder at the creativity of crafters around the world. Visit the Museum of International Folk Art's website to learn more.


29. Appreciate New Mexico’s earliest art: petroglyphs. (Bucket List) Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque and Three Rivers Petroglyph Site near Tularosa are packed with rock art.


30. Visit the town of Lincoln. This is where the Lincoln County Wars took place. Walk in the footsteps of some of the most infamous folk in the Wild West in this perfectly preserved town.




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