DAY ONE: From Albuquerque, head west to tour Acoma Pueblo’s Sky City. After a morning in the ancient village, explore Grants, where the New Mexico Mining Museum re-creates a uranium mine. Spend the afternoon outdoors, hiking around El Morro National Monument or El Malpais National Monument. On the way you may wish to travel the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway, a route that once connected ancient villages.
DAY TWO: Strike out for Chaco Culture National Historical Park to hike among the creations of Ancestral Puebloans. In Gallup, cruise Route 66, view the town’s murals, or browse for a great piece of art—whether traditional pottery or abstract paintings. From here, you can continue on to spend a day touring the Middle Village of Zuni Pueblo or continue on to Farmington.
DAY THREE: Explore the tri-cities of Farmington, Aztec, and Bloomfield. In Aztec, tour the buildings at Salmon Ruins and Heritage Park, one of the largest Chaco Culture outliers, or hike to one or more of 300 natural arches and bridges. In Bloomfield, bet on live horseracing at SunRay Park & Casino.
DAY ONE: Begin in Santa Fe, home of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Drive to Los Alamos, home of the Manhattan Project and ancient cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument. Cruise to Española, known for its Hispanic arts and low-rider car culture. Observe living cultural traditions at one of the region’s Eight Northern Pueblos—if your trip coincides, be sure to observe the dances at a feast day.
DAY TWO: Take a scenic drive north along the 56-mile High Road to Taos exploring the art galleries and historic villages along this route. Pilgrimage to Santuario de Chimayó, known for its healing dirt. In Taos, dip into the Río Grande Gorge on a rafting trip through the state’s grandest canyon, summit Wheeler Peak, the state’s tallest, or head for the hills in Taos Ski Valley.
DAY THREE: Head northwest to Chama, a popular destination with sportsmen, and then south through the stunning desert scenery of Abiquiú, also known as Georgia O’Keeffe Country, site of the painter’s former home and studio and Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center.
DAY ONE: Head east along portions of Route 66, where even if you aren’t driving a classic, you can see one at the Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa. Dive in at the Blue Hole before continuing on to more vintage charm in Tucumcari.
DAY TWO: Head north to tour Victorian homes in Las Vegas, and explore the remains of a Native American Pueblo at Pecos National Historic Park.
DAY THREE: Cruise through Cimarrón Canyon State Park stopping off for a hike before up to Ratón, home of Sugarite Canyon State Park. Your last stop is across the plains at Clayton Lake State Park, where there’s an extensive dinosaur footprint trackway.
DAY ONE: Start in Albuquerque, where you can see the city’s top attractions, then explore Corrales, a pastoral oasis. Follow El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, a historic trading route also known as The Royal Road, to Bernalillo, home of the Coronado Historic Site’s muraled kivas.
DAY TWO: Drive past red rocks on the scenic Jemez Mountain Trail to the natural springs and river-adjacent hiking trails of the Jemez Mountains. En route, stop in the Walatowa Visitor Center to learn more about Jemez Pueblo and Jemez Historic Site, which preserves a 500-year old village and San José de los Jemez church. Between Jemez Springs and Los Alamos, explore the awe-inspiring meadows of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
DAY THREE: Strike out along the Abo Pass Trail Scenic Byway to visit Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, a trio of sites with remnants of mission churches and pueblos. Circling back to Albuquerque, stop in at Isleta Pueblo and its sleek casino and resort hotel.
DAY ONE: Start in Socorro, where, if your schedule jibes, you can catch a chamber music concert from the New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series. Tour the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge before grabbing lunch at Buckhorn Tavern, in San Antonio. From here, two options beckon. You can take a scenic drive west along U.S. 60 to Magdalena and Pie Town, or continue south on I-25 to Truth or Consequences, where you soak in a hot springs bath, tour Spaceport America, or explore with Ted Turner Expeditions.
DAY TWO: Continuing south to Las Cruces, spend a day on the golf course, or explore the town’s historical side in Mesilla and the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. More outdoor destinations await near Deming: City of Rocks State Park is 30 minutes north, and Rockhound State Park, where you’re encouraged to take home a souvenir, is 20 minutes south.
DAY THREE: Take in Silver City’s colorful art scene or continue on to the Gila National Forest, where you can extend your stay with a backcountry trip.
DAY ONE: Visiting this vast region in a few days is a feat, but get started in Alamogordo, where you can tick off White Sands National Monument from your must-see list. While in town, check out the New Mexico Museum of Space History to discover the state’s outsized contributions to the space race. Head to Ruidoso to explore the mountain retreat town and nearby Lincoln Historic Site.
DAY TWO: Head to Roswell to dip your toes in the turquoise waters of Bottomless Lakes State Park (and contemplate the mysteries at the International UFO Museum and Research Center. Head through Artesia, where you can catch a concert at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, or visit Hobbs to play the award-winning Rockwind Community Links and catch a performance by the Southwest Symphony.
DAY THREE: You can head north, to tour the sister towns of Portales and Clovis, or south to Carlsbad to experience Carlsbad Caverns National Park