Things To Do In New Mexico
If you follow my social media, you may be keeping tabs on where I'm traveling, and from this, you see that I haven't been travelling as much lately. Part of this, of course, is due to the Coronavirus fiasco. The Coronavirus has certainly put a damper on most of everyone's plans, including travel plans, including my travel plans. But part of my decreased travel is also my enjoying my time here, in New Mexico. As I've been staying put, I've discovered many wonderful, wondrous things about this state.
If you are someone I spend time with who is not familiar with the state, someone who just 'passes through' once in a while, this little brief might be interesting for you to consider. So many people simply 'pass through', while there is so much here to see. Here is the non-exhaustive list.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, NM is known as the artsy part of New Mexico. Though there are a few other hidden gems throughout New Mexico with art galleries and other forms of artistic legacy, Santa Fe is a city that likes to be known for this sort of thing. There is Albuquerque, NM as well, with it's cheaper cost of living and grittier atmosphere, but Santa Fe, as the capital, is better known as the epicenter of high culture in New Mexico.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is a museum dedicated to celebrating Georgia O'Keeffe's legacy. She's a well-known, well-celebrated artist, who is best known for her art work depicting flowers and NYC skyscrapers. Though O'Keeffe was born in the Midwest, and lived in different parts of the United States, she was captivated and inspired by the landscape of New Mexico, so much so that she eventually bought property in New Mexico and made it her home.
Though there are many other museums throughout New Mexico, many of which are clustered in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, this one is definitely worth mentioning. O'Keeffe's work has been showcased in many parts of the world. So it's definitely an honor to have a museum in the state dedicated exclusively to showcasing her work.
2. Other Art Stuff: Murals in Downtown Albuquerque, NM
Just because Albuquerque is not a well-known city (at least, not yet!), it does have museums and it also has many art galleries, where local artists can showcase their work. Interestingly enough, it also has murals scattered throughout but centered throughout the downtown area. City governments typically oversee public displays like this, with some cities not permitting it but thankfully, Albuquerque allows it in some parts.
The murals can be found throughout the downtown area. The downtown area has a lot of businesses, and some nightlife and restaurants. Since Albuquerque is not exactly known for it's thriving economy, the area can seem a little depressed and desolate at times. Just like other areas of Albuquerque, there are empty buildings and what look like businesses that have gone out of business and were abandoned. There are also government buildings, the convention center and the transit center's main stop, where you can also catch a train or bus, going to other parts of the city or leaving for another city, sometimes out of state
The murals definitely liven things up around downtown! So if you are walking or driving around the downtown area, hopefully you will come across some colorful paintings. These murals are done by local artists, and are a great way to share their work with the public.
3. White Sands National Park, Alamogordo, NM
New Mexico is not all desert but it definitely has a lot of desert. Then again, it also has high plains, red rock canyons, mountains and a national monument with sand that is a little different than the rest...
The White Sands is a park with a bunch of white sand. It is 16 miles away from Alamogordo, NM and about an hour away from Las Cruces, NM. Both of these cities are known by New Mexico residents, but maybe not as much so by those visiting from out of town. Alamogordo is home to the Holloman Air Force. It is a relatively small city, with about 32,000 residents. Due to its proximity to Alamogordo, the White Sands is surrounded by White Sands Missile Range.
The White Sands National Park is the most visited National Park in all of New Mexico, with about 600,000 visitors each year according to Wikipedia, though the number probably ranges from year to year. But bottom line, a lot of people from out of town visit this area, so it's definitely worth mentioning here. The site was originally designated as a national monument but was reassigned as a national park by former President Trump.
4. New Mexico Cuisine
Like any city you visit, you may want to look for restaurants to make your favorite. When I travel, I enjoy finding my favorite restaurants and making it a tradition to frequent these same spots every time I am visiting the city. New Mexico has its unique cuisine, which includes influences from Pueblo Native American, Spanish and Mexican cuisine. Red and green chili are a staple and used as a condiment to accompany many dishes.
Though its impossible for me to name all the great restaurants in the city of Albuquerque, Santa Fe or the smaller cities throughout New Mexico, there are many good restaurants indeed. I don't want to endorse any specific restaurants here, but you are always welcome to ask me for recommendations for something specific, which meets your culinary preferences. I hope that you stay long enough to find something you actually like...
And that is it....
Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list of things to do here. It's just a few ideas of things that I've been enjoying, while staying in New Mexico at the expense of venturing out to other parts of the country. There is so much more to see and do in New Mexico! If you are just 'passing through', I hope that you enjoy the city. The scenery is beautiful. The dry air is nice, compared to the less arid parts of the country (in my opinion).
If you already live here, you probably know of all the great stuff this part of the country has tp offer. If you're just 'passing through', I hope that you find positive things to like about it, with my short list of ideas to get you started.