Built from the earth, New Mexico dances through its bloom, thatch, gem and clay. The bloom of desert flowers, the thatch of desiccated straw and beautiful woods, the gems passed on from local Indian tribes, and the red rich clay of adobe homes characterize so much of New Mexico’s charm.
Earthy yet ethereal, much of its lands are still untouched by man. And having lived in a forever state of exposure to earth’s elements, much of New Mexico has literally derived its shape in a natural way. Through this, you come to feel that these lands have seen, endured, and remembered from eras far before human foot print. This wisdom and the secrets that this land holds are perhaps both New Mexico’s greatest gift and its greatest untold story. With a road trip throughout it, you can’t help but feel blanketed by its ever-evolving narrative.
There is no denying that its natural, earthy opulence is part of its magic. With each shift of the sun, the mountains become coated in deep, fluid tones of red. Volcanos allude to their once had ferocity with their sheer size and residual calderas. Pure white sands filter through my fingertips, inexplicable in its origin. Deep cavernous chambers have us exploring hundreds of feet below the earth. It’s these natural wonders that not only award New Mexico of its name the ‘Land of Enchantment’ but also illuminate its grandeur.
Though beautiful Santa Fe and Albuquerque take on a Spanish colonial influence in architecture, driving through New Mexico’s expanse, you continually discover its charming hints to other more recent eras and histories. I must say, this was quite unexpected.
Its small, desolate towns exude a story of boom and bust, where the roar of the 50s left as quickly as it came. Skeletons of rusted Chevy Impalas and pastel Ford pick-ups and abandoned, crumbling diners reflect that of a once bustling retro era. Passing through, you begin to paint on the canvas of what once was. With each glimpse into your rearview mirror or stare out of your window, you color in what time has washed away, allowing yourself to envision this once booming Americana.
But as quickly as you entered this small town, you’ve left and moved on to a new stretch of land. A singular highway and a collection of miles as your only mark of structure in an otherwise wild, boundless terrain.
Happy road-tripping! Xx
6-day Road trip Itinerary!
Day One: Albuquerque
- Location: Old Town area
- Recommended: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Farm, Hotel Andulez, Casa de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn
- Hot Air Ballooning: Rainbow Ryders
- Sandia Peak Tramway
- Wander around Old Town
- Hike La Luz Trail
- Hang out at Green Jeans Farmery
- The Farmarcy
- Green Jeans Farmery
- Fork & Fig
- Rustic on the Green
Day Two: White Sands
- In Alamogordo (not much to do here besides White Sands!)
- Visit White Sands National Monument
- On your drive from Albuquerque to White Sands, you’ll pass through Socorro and Truth or Consequences. These are your only two real options for gas, food breaks!
Day Three: Carlsbad & Roswell
- Both areas have plenty of budget friendly hotels & motels.
- Carlsbad Caverns
- Roswell Main Street – not much to see here, but a drive through the town provides a few kitschy examples of the famed UFO sightings.
- YellowBrix (Carlsbad)
- Red Chimney (Carlsbad)
- Pecos River Café (Carlsbad)
- Both of these cities are very barren. If you are coming from Alamogordo, I would drive first to Carlsbad and then back up through Roswell.
- When leaving Roswell, GET GAS. This will be your last chance for a long time – we almost learned the hard way!
Day Four, Five: Santa Fe + Taos
- Location: Near Old Town
- Hotel Santa Fe
- Inn at the Alameda
- Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
- Explore & wander Old Town, Santa Fe
- 1.5-hour city tour with Loretta Line Company
- Georgia O’Keefe Museum
- Canyon Road Art Galleries + Alleyways
- Museum Hill
- Explore Acequia Madre Neighborhood
- Taos Pueblo (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Active + Adventure:
- Jemez Springs
- Hike the Atalaya Mountains
- Valles Caldera
- The Shed
- La Boca
- The Compound
- El Parole
Day Six: Albuquerque
Return back to Albuquerque & fly home!
Other NM sites:
- Santa Rosa Blue Hole
- Chaco Canyon
- Bosque Del Apache
- Bisti Badlands
- Tent Rocks