what tourist attractions are in new mexico

New Mexico is a stunning state located in the southwestern United States, with plenty of amazing tourist attractions to explore. From ancient ruins, to breathtaking landscapes, to a rich culture, there’s something for everyone in New Mexico. You can visit historic sites like the Taos Pueblo, take a road trip along the Turquoise Trail, or explore the stunning Chaco Culture National Historic Park. The state is also home to a number of high-end ski resorts and spas for those looking for some pampering. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, or just some rest and relaxation, New Mexico has it all!New Mexico is full of beautiful and unique attractions, making it a great destination for tourists. Here are some of the top tourist attractions to visit in New Mexico:

1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Located in the Chihuahuan Desert, Carlsbad Caverns is one of the largest and most spectacular cave systems in the world. It features hundreds of caves, including some with stunning stalactites and stalagmites.

2. White Sands National Monument: This stunning landscape is made up of gypsum sand dunes that stretch for miles across the desert. It’s a great place to go for a hike, take pictures, or just enjoy the scenery.

3. Santa Fe Plaza: This historic plaza is located in downtown Santa Fe and is surrounded by shops, restaurants, galleries, and other attractions. It’s a great place to explore during your visit to New Mexico.

4. Bandelier National Monument: This monument features ancient ruins from the ancestral Pueblo people who lived there over 1,000 years ago. You can explore cliff dwellings and petroglyphs as you learn more about their culture and history.

5. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: Located in southwestern New Mexico, this site features cliff dwellings from an ancient civilization that lived in the area over 800 years ago. You can explore the site on your own or take a guided tour for an even more immersive experience.

Exploring Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque is a vibrant and historic area of the city. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and has been around since the late 1700s. The area is a popular spot for tourists, locals, and visitors alike. There are many shops, restaurants, and attractions in Old Town Albuquerque that make it a great destination for anyone looking to explore the area.

The most iconic landmarks of Old Town are its historic adobe buildings. These buildings were built during the Spanish colonial period and can be seen throughout the area. Another iconic landmark is San Felipe de Neri Church, which was built in 1793 and is still an active church today.

One of the best things about Old Town Albuquerque is its shopping. There are many local stores that offer unique items and souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else. From handmade jewelry to traditional clothing, there are plenty of interesting items to purchase while exploring Old Town Albuquerque. If you’re looking for something to eat, there are several restaurants in the area that serve up delicious Mexican dishes as well as other cuisines from around the world.

The art scene in Old Town Albuquerque is also thriving with galleries showcasing work from local artists as well as international artists from all over the world. There are also several museums located in Old Town that offer educational opportunities to learn about local history and culture.

Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous while exploring Old Town Albuquerque there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained including horseback riding tours, hot air balloon rides, mountain biking trails, and more! No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, you can find it in this vibrant part of town.

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument is a United States national monument located in the state of New Mexico. It is the largest gypsum dunefield in the world, encompassing 275 square miles (710 km2). It is situated to the east of the Rio Grande, and adjacent to the north of Holloman Air Force Base. The monument is composed of white gypsum sand dunes up to 60 feet (18 m) high. The dunes are ever-changing due to strong winds from different directions, which can move sand up to 50 feet (15 m) per year.

White Sands National Monument has a number of interesting features such as abundant wildlife, including many species of birds and lizards. Visitors can also explore ancient Native American sites, such as rock art and abandoned dwellings. The park also has an interpretive center with interactive exhibits about its geology and cultural history. The park offers a variety of recreational activities such as camping, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and off-roading on designated trails.

White Sands National Monument is popular among photographers for its stunning landscapes and unique views. During certain times of year, visitors can witness sunrise or sunset across the vast expanse of white sand dunes. The park also hosts several special events throughout the year such as full moon hikes and night sky programs that provide unique opportunities for visitors to experience this amazing place in a different light.


Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is a historical site located in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico. It consists of a series of caves and dwellings built into the sides of a canyon wall by the Mogollon people, an ancient Native American tribe. The site was declared a national monument in 1907 and is now managed by the National Park Service. Visitors to Gila Cliff Dwellings can explore the ruins, learn about their history and cultural significance, and take in the stunning views from atop the canyon walls.


The Mogollon people inhabited this region for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. They built their homes into cliff faces to protect them from the elements and as a form of defense against attacks from other tribes. The exact date when these dwellings were constructed is unknown but it is believed to have been sometime between 1275 and 1300 CE. The dwellings remained inhabited until around 1450 CE when they were abandoned for reasons that are still unclear today.

Visiting Gila Cliff Dwellings

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers visitors an opportunity to explore one of New Mexico’s most historic sites. A self-guided trail takes visitors through the ruins, allowing them to view the ancient architecture up close and get an insight into what life was like for its former inhabitants. There is also an interpretive center where visitors can learn more about the Mogollon people and their culture through displays, artifacts, and multimedia presentations.

Nearby Attractions

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument lies within easy reach of other popular attractions in New Mexico. Nearby you can find Gila Wilderness Area, which offers miles of trails for hiking, camping, fishing, and horseback riding; Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Site; and events like hot air balloon festivals in nearby Truth or Consequences.

Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway

Discover the scenic beauty of New Mexico on the Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway. This beautiful stretch of road takes you through the breathtaking countryside of Jemez Springs, Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Along the way, you’ll experience stunning views of volcanic mountains, lush forests and vast meadows. The route includes stops at several historical sites, including Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve. You can also explore the many hot springs, campgrounds and hiking trails in the area. Enjoy a day trip or plan an extended stay for a more in-depth exploration of this unique area.

The Jemez Mountain Trail is a designated scenic byway that offers a variety of activities for all ages. The route begins in Jemez Springs and winds its way through Los Alamos before ending at Santa Fe. Along the way, visitors can stop at several historical sites such as Bandelier National Monument, which features ancient dwellings carved into soft volcanic rock by Ancestral Puebloans. At Valles Caldera National Preserve, visitors can observe elk and other wildlife while exploring miles of trails that traverse meadows and forests.

In addition to its natural beauty and cultural history, the route is also home to several hot springs, campgrounds and outdoor recreation areas. Stop off at Fenton Lake State Park for fishing or boating on the lake or head to Battleship Rock for some great hiking trails with spectacular views. For those looking to stay overnight, there are several RV parks along the route that offer camping facilities as well as cabins for rent.

Explore all that northern New Mexico has to offer by taking a drive down Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway – it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico. It is home to over 119 caves, the largest and most famous of which is Carlsbad Cavern. Carlsbad Cavern is a limestone cave system that consists of a large network of underground chambers and passages. The caverns were formed millions of years ago by the dissolution of limestone by acidic groundwater. Visitors to the park can explore the caverns using self-guided tours, ranger-led programs, or caving trips with experienced cavers. In addition to the spectacular cave formations, visitors may also see wildlife such as bats, lizards, and birds.

The park also offers guided hikes and backpacking trips through its desert landscape or canyons. Hikers can take advantage of the many trails that traverse through the desert providing excellent views of cacti, yucca trees, and other desert flora. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife including coyotes, mule deer, jackrabbits, roadrunners, and even rattlesnakes.

In addition to exploring its natural wonders on foot or underground in the caverns, visitors can enjoy a variety of educational programs offered by rangers at Carlsbad Cavern National Park. These range from ranger-led talks on geology and wildlife to night sky viewing sessions where visitors can learn about stars and planets visible in the night sky over Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

History of Santa Fe Plaza

Santa Fe Plaza is one of the oldest public spaces in the United States. Located in the downtown area of Santa Fe, New Mexico, it has been a hub of activity for centuries. The plaza was first established in 1610 by Don Pedro de Peralta and has been used for markets, festivals, and other public gatherings since then. The plaza is also home to several historical monuments, including the Palace of the Governors, built in 1609. Today, it remains a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

Features of Santa Fe Plaza

The Santa Fe Plaza is lined with shops and restaurants that offer everything from traditional Mexican cuisine to modern American fare. There are also galleries showcasing local artwork, as well as souvenir shops selling items such as jewelry, pottery, and Native American crafts. On weekends and holidays, there are often street performers entertaining passersby with music or dance performances. In addition to all this activity, the plaza also features several monuments honoring important figures in New Mexico’s history.

Events at Santa Fe Plaza

Santa Fe Plaza is a popular gathering place for a variety of events throughout the year. Every summer, an outdoor market takes over the plaza featuring handmade crafts from local artisans and vendors selling traditional Mexican fare such as tamales and tacos. During winter months there are festivals celebrating traditional holidays like Las Posadas and Dia de los Muertos. In addition to these regular events there are also occasional concerts or theatrical performances held at the plaza as well.

Location of Santa Fe Plaza

Santa Fe Plaza is located in downtown Santa Fe on West San Francisco Street between Washington Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. It is easily accessible by car or public transportation such as bus or taxi service from most areas of town. The plaza is open year-round but certain areas may be closed off during inclement weather or special events so it is best to check before visiting if possible.

History of Bandelier National Monument

The history of Bandelier National Monument dates back thousands of years. It was established in 1916 and is located in northern New Mexico. It is home to the Ancestral Puebloans, who lived there from around 1150 to 1550 A.D. This ancient culture has left behind some amazing archaeological sites, including cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and pottery shards. The monument is also home to a variety of wildlife and vegetation, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the canyons and mesa tops, camp in the backcountry, or take advantage of the ranger-led programs offered at the monument.

Things to Do at Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument offers plenty of activities for visitors looking to explore its ancient ruins and natural beauty. Hiking trails provide access to some of the most spectacular sites within the monument, such as Frijoles Canyon and Tsankawi Mesa. Ranger-led programs are available throughout the year and provide an opportunity to learn about the cultural history of the Ancestral Puebloans who once lived there. There are also plenty of opportunities for camping in designated backcountry areas within the monument boundaries.

How to Visit Bandelier National Monument

Visiting Bandelier National Monument is easy! The monument is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm during summer months (April 15th through October 15th) and 8:00 am to 4:30 pm during winter months (October 16th through April 14th). The entrance fee is $25 per vehicle (up to four adults), or $20 per person if entering by foot or bicycle. There are several campgrounds located within the monument that offer overnight camping opportunities, as well as RV hookups for those looking for more comfortable accommodations.


New Mexico is home to a variety of unique and exciting tourist attractions. From the Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands National Monument to the many museums, art galleries, and outdoor activities, New Mexico has something for everyone. Visitors can explore the state’s history by visiting ancient Native American sites, or take in the stunning landscapes of Chaco Canyon or Bandelier National Monument. For those looking for a more laid back experience, there are plenty of historic towns, ghost towns, and hot springs throughout the state. Whether you’re looking for an educational trip or simply some rest and relaxation, New Mexico has something for you!

New Mexico is a great destination for anyone looking to explore all that nature has to offer. From its stunning landscapes to its cultural heritage sites, this southwestern state offers a wealth of opportunities for travelers. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or an art aficionado, New Mexico is sure to have something that will make your trip unforgettable.