New Mexico Tourism Guide
A New Mexico tourism guide has to include tips to finding the state's most scenic areas as well as ways to enjoy the thriving arts community, rich Native American History and recreational opportunities in the Land of Enchantment. Whether you're looking for unique geological formations and miles of unspoiled wilderness or a chance to ride in a hot air balloon or get some golf or skiing in as part of your visit, you can find all that in New Mexico.
- Parks: Carlsbad Caverns are certainly the best-known caves in the U.S. and undoubtedly are among New Mexico's most popular attractions. Carlsbad Caverns National Park includes 117 limestone caves that can be explored through self-guided tours and guided tours. The latest tours usually start by 1 to 3 p.m., so plan on getting there early. Even in the summer the temperature underground is around 56 degrees Fahrenheit, so you'll want have a sweatshirt or jacket. And yes, there are bats. In the summer, park rangers even conduct Bat Flight programs at sunset where you can watch thousands of bats exit the caves in search of food all night.
- Ballooning: You know you've wanted to ride in a hot air balloon ever since you were a kid. In New Mexico, you have plenty of opportunities to soar in the clouds and take in the state's breathtaking scenery from a unique perspective. In particular, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta every October offers rides as well as some spectacular viewing of balloons of all shapes and sizes from around the world.
- Skiing: Colorado and Utah may get more accolades for world-class skiing, but New Mexico sees 300 inches of snow a year and has some of the most gorgeous ski areas in the country. Taos Ski Valley, in northern New Mexico, may be the most famous in the state, with about half of the runs listed at "expert" level or above. The remaining 50 percent of the runs are pretty evenly divided among "beginner" and "intermediate" levels. First-timers shouldn't be intimidated, as Taos also has a top-rated ski school. Red River is another quality ski and snowboard area and it's only three hours from Albuquerque.
- Golf: New Mexico's golf courses include some of the best and most scenic links in the U.S. If you're up in the high desert, check out the Twin Warriors Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, named the 49th Best Golf Course in the U.S.A. by "Golf Digest."
- Wineries: If you want to take your wife or girlfiend on a romantic getaway in New Mexico, book a weekend near one of the state's wineries. California's wineries get most of the attention out West, but New Mexico has dozens of small to mid-size wineries that welcome visitors for tours, wine tasting and special events. The Las Cruces and Corrales areas of New Mexico have several notable wineries, but for the complete experience, visit the St. Clair Winery & Bistro in Albuquerque and stay at the Casas de Suenos Old Town Historic Inn next door. It's also a couple of blocks north of the Albuquerque Country Club, so getting in eighteen holes before your afternoon wine tasting couldn't be more convenient.
- Santa Fe: New Mexico tourism relies heavily on Santa Fe, and for good reason. It seems like there's always something going on in the city, whether it's one of countless arts festivals or events highlight Southwest cuisine, music or Native American history and culture. It's only about 60 miles from the capital of Albuquerque and it's right on the edge of the awesome hiking, picnicing and photo opportunities of the Santa Fe National Forest.