With so much to see and do in New Mexico, it’s hard to decide where to begin your trip.
Come along with our host, Michael Newman, as he explores the state’s most memorable destinations (and meets a few interesting characters along the way).
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Anywhere you're going in New Mexico is going to be a great destination. But let's not overlook the travels to get there. The True Crew has gathered several of their favorite modes of travel here, with everything from cliff-climbing horses to trail-traveling llamas.
Adventure awaits, just pick your mode of travel.
These are special opportunities. The True Crew visits New Mexico locations where you can experience history, culture, art and adventure with a stay rather than a stop. Each of the locations pampers you with ways silk sheets and mint-topped pillows never can. Enjoy.
Monticello Organic Farm Balsamic Vinegar
This is NOT your grocery store's balsamic vinegar. In a remote New Mexico village a couple is making this liquid gold the right way, the slow way...as in 17 years from grape to bottle. And if you aren't amazed by what they're doing, or where they are doing it, you will almost certainly be amazed at the surroundings.
Hurd La Rinconada Gallery & Guest Homes
Talk about living in art, this gallery and cottage rental will put you in the heart of the landscapes that famed artist Peter Hurd captured on canvas. He and his also-famous-painter wife Henriette Wyeth called this place home, and you can now experience the same setting that inspired famous art.
Cow Creek Ranch
An immersive mountain ranch experience awaits anyone visiting Cow Creek. Horseback rides, fishing, archery, or just plain relaxing in the mountains are all part of this adventure into ranch life that is little-changed from a hundred years ago. Michael and the True Crew settle in to enjoy all this special place can offer a guest.
Burnt Well Guest Ranch
This is not your pampered plastic "dude ranch" experience. Kim and Patricia Chesser have a working ranch, and as a guest you can help in the day-to-day operations. This is the real thing, not an invented effort to appease any stereotypes of life on a cattle ranch. Visitors come from all around the world, and have never left disappointed with this New Mexico True experience.
Two steel rails and a steam engine. That was the recipe for shaping our state's character in so many ways over the past century and a half. Town's thrived, businesses boomed, and maybe most importantly the world came to New Mexico thanks to trains. The True Crew looks at the lasting impact of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway company...then, and now.
Rail Yards Market
The question in the old Albuquerque railyards isn't "what can you buy," but rather "what can't you find." Every summer Sunday the massive, largely abandoned shops come alive with commerce. Art, produce, live music, and plenty of people combine to add bustle back to these buildings. Even if you don't buy anything you can enjoy the experience and marvel at the architecture from an era that helped shape our state.
Santa Fe's railyard district has gone through a rebuilding and rebranding in recent years. It is now home to shops, restaurants, even a farmers' market. But the True Crew settled into seats in what was already an established railyard favorite, Tomasita's. What they got was more than the flavor of New Mexican food, since the place comes with a heaping serving of the flavors of the community.
Steam Engine 2926
Michael and the True Crew discover a steam engine that is also a time machine. Volunteers have poured their hard work and hearts into bringing 2926 back to operation. The are rebuilding a rare showpiece from an era that has fond memories for train fans. And, as the True Crew discovers, this effort is on track to make the romantic idea a reality.
Belen Harvey House
The railroad helped shape the New Mexico we know today. And a man named Fred Harvey helped shape what rail travel looked and felt like.
The Harvey House Museum in Belen is a tribute to the chain of restaurants he built at train stations across the country. And in doing so he opened the door, and the West, to young women seeking independence and adventure.
This episode is all about moments, surprises, and surprising moments. Valencia County is within a short drive from the state's busiest metropolitan area, but the True Crew discovered a friendly rural area loaded with memorable adventures and experiences. And, of course, loaded with adorable alpacas. Give it a watch!
Camino Real Winery and Taproom
It is no coincidence that this Valencia County winery has Camino Real in its name. It sits along the centuries-old trail that first brought Spanish explorers in to what we now call New Mexico. And those explorers brought grapevines. And not only is a visit to the taproom an opportunity to hear about the history and try the wines, they also have a wide choice of taps flowing with beer from local breweries.
New Mexico is packed 'til its borders bulge with an unmatched blend of cultures. And woven through the landscape is the heritage of that western icon, the cowboy. The True Crew leaps spurs-first into the modern day connections a visitor can make with that legendary way of life. That includes opportunities to experience where and how the cowboy lived over the past few centuries, and even how to dress in the cowboy way. Oh, and the poetry of the open range. Saddle up, it's time to ride.
Bronco Sue Custom Hats
Few things say “authentic cowboy” better than a custom hat. It says something about your personality and your lifestyle. And making the perfect hat is an artform only a few places practice anymore. The True Crew gets a look at how a hat happens, and it includes machinery from a bygone era and rare skills and precision.
They are a natural fit: cowboys, cattle and Catron County. This chunk of southwestern New Mexico offers a glimpse of not just "what was" but "what is" in terms of the rugged cowboy life. The pride and heritage run thick in these mountains, and the True Crew shows us how even a visitor can get a bit cowboy.
Forget calling this remote mountain village a ghost town. It might look the part, but as we learn from a visit by the NM True Crew Mogollon offers much more than meets the eye. It's well off any beaten path, so anyone arriving in Mogollon had it in mind as their destination. And anyone looking for authentic old west experiences won't be disappointed.
New Mexico's capital city gets, deservedly, a great deal of publicity for all that it can offer travelers. But visitors might not realize there are adventures and experiences just a short drive north. So the True Crew set out to take the road north, and found easy drive options that are as varied as they are memorable.
El Rito Studio Tour
It is a small town that is both well off the beaten path and well worth the drive into the northern New Mexico mountains. For reasons that are as individual as the artists themselves, El Rito has become a draw for those driven to create. Galleries and studios per capita have to rival anywhere else in the state, if not the country. And the True Crew made the trip to enjoy some of that New Mexican art.
Puye Cliff Dwellings
At Puye "stepping back in history" means quite literally taking steps back into New Mexico's past. The ancestral home for those who now live at Santa Clara Pueblo, these cliff faces host thousands of small caves that once served as protection from both the elements and enemies. All tours include a guide loaded with information about this special site.
Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant
Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant has been serving northern New Mexico's traditional foods for more than half a century. And it hasn't gone unnoticed, earning a James Beard "America's Classics" award. The beautiful setting, the remarkable food and the family atmosphere make this an ideal place to get your first taste of New Mexico cuisine or to get a plateful of the dishes you've loved for years.
There might be more adventure packed into this area than in any other part of New Mexico, and if you know New Mexico you know that’s really saying something. The history, the culture, the beauty and the diversity of the Pecos region simply serve as a tremendous backdrop for all there is to experience and do here. Hiking, fishing, exploring, relaxing…what are you looking for? Or maybe the better question is what are you waiting for?
Hiking Jack’s Creek in the Pecos
Exercise, fresh air, stunning views, ample wildlife, and the opportunity to bring out your cellphone only to take pictures might sound like a deal that is too good to be true, unless you are hiking in one of New Mexico’s wilderness areas. In this case that magic combination came together for the NM True Crew along Jack’s Creek in the Pecos Wilderness. And they are kind enough to take us along on the their walk.
Pecos National Historical Park
The ruins of this centuries-old cultural crossroads help visitors, such as the NM True Crew, get a better understanding for New Mexico’s diverse and rich history. All of the cultures that have helped shape the modern day New Mexico seemed to be drawn to this beautiful mountain area at one time or another. From a key trading location dating back a millennium to a key battleground in America’s Civil War, this spot on the map might hold as much significance as any other in the country.
Pecos River Fly Fishing
You could call it the best fly fishing on either side of the Pecos, since you’re casting your flies while standing in the river’s bubbling mountain water. Michael and the NM True Crew find they like the area almost as much as the fish seem to. In this case the fun of the fishing might actually distract your attention from the beauty that surrounds you.
Terrero General Store
In our modern world loaded with supermarkets and malls we might have forgotten the classic General Store. But in the Pecos this "old school" little-bit-of-everything mercantile is the center of the community. As the True Crew discovers if you need to enjoy the area Terrero's has it, included history and advice.
New Mexico offers a tremendous variety of agriculture and livestock operations. And many of them welcome guests to share parts of the adventure. The True TV Crew traveled the state, and found a few of the gems filled with flavor, fun and furry creatures. You'll say you are going because the kids love it, but we can all see that smile on your own face.
Runyan Ranch Petting Zoo
There are your basic roadside attractions, and then there is Runyan Ranch. This family-owned zoo literally gives visitors a hands-on experience with both ranch and exotic animals It also serves as a refuge for an ever-growing collection. A family-friendly place that offers a #NewMexicoTrue version of Noah's Ark.
Cadwallader Cherry Picking and Old Apple Barn
The winding mountain road climbing from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft is a gorgeous drive. But making a couple of stops along the way showed the True TV Crew there is more than scenery here. Cherries, apples, and a classic General Store are among the bushels of fun and adventure they discovered and share.
Old Windmill Dairy
Yes, you can take the kids to meet the kids. Baby goats are part of the adventure included in a tour of this cow and goat dairy. Artisanal cheeses are the specialty here, but for visitors the opportunity to watch and learn and even help out is a terrific byproduct. And, of course, you also get to taste those cheeses.
McCall’s Pumpkin Patch-Treasure
Calling this place a "pumpkin patch" is a bit misleading. Sure, there are fields of pumpkins. But this seasonal attraction uses that classic foundation to build a much larger experience for the visitors. Put away the cellphones and video games because the kids will be too busy having fun.
New Mexico is rich in well-known and well-visited spots for touring adventure. But there are plenty of great experiences out there that aren’t so bright on the radar. You just have to know where to look, and fortunately the NM True TV Crew supplies this road map for adventure in southern New Mexico.
Carrizozo Art Scene
Carrizozo is at a crossroads both literally and developmentally. The small New Mexico town has long served as a hub for travelers heading to places like White Sands, Lincoln, Ruidoso and Roswell. In recent years this relatively quiet rural community has also started making some noise in the art world. The True TV Crew takes a tour of the many galleries and studios now calling Ruidoso home, and take on the town's Burro Challenge.
Tularosa Basin Museum of History
Buried video games and Billy the Kid. Maybe not the most natural of combinations, but that blend is just one of the wonders contained within this Alamogordo museum. Even the building itself is a story. So much of our country's history wound through this region that you might need to set aside some extra time to absorb it all.
Las Cruces is New Mexico's second largest city, and it offers a wealth of activity and adventure for the traveler. The Emmy award winning NM True Crew hikes, snacks, shops and sews (yes, sews) its way through just a small sampling of those available fun outings.
Lake Valley Historic Townsite
Ghost towns might or might not have actual ghosts, but what they all have in abundance is history. Lake Valley is no exception, with a rich heritage dating back to the 1800s and the boom of the silver mining industry in southern New Mexico. Along with sister “ghost towns” of Hillsboro and Kingston Lake Valley provides a glimpse back to what life was like decades upon decades ago in New Mexico.
This family-owned restaurant is relatively new, but the family history in the Mesilla Valley goes back generations. That heritage of chile farming and traditional cooking blends with the modern training of the restaurant's chef to create a menu that embraces all that makes this region special.
The never-ending search for the intriguing and unusual reaped big rewards in Las Cruces when the Emmy winning NM True Crew paid a visit to Art Obscura. The paired collections of antiques and collectibles with contemporary works of local artists make this a compelling place to visit. It’s all for sale, but “just looking” here is a treat as well.
Indian Hollow, Aguirre Springs & Dripping Springs Hikes
There is a common saying that it is about the journey, not the destination. But after some hiking in the Organ Mountains outside of Las Cruces Michael and the NM True Crew might argue it is both. The climbs to higher ground included an abundance of both beauty and interesting information from their guide. And the views from the top…stunning.
The Emmy award winning NM True Crew explores this southeastern New Mexico city, with the help of schoolkids who wrote in to boast about all it has to offer. From treasure hunting to a heritage walk, from food to fun, the youngsters act as proud tour guides showing off all that Artesia offers.
There isn’t one good place to eat in Artesia, since it became clear to the Emmy award winning NM True Crew there are several. Young local tour guides lead a culinary adventure through the southeast New Mexico city, and the True Crew gets a taste of all Artesia offers for a hungry visitor.
You can find fun and adventure in the most unusual places, with a little help from a hobby known as geocaching. A young Artesia, NM fan of this treasure hunting takes Michael and the Emmy award winning NM True Crew on a search for hidden caches. And the thrills are more about the searching than the finding.
Heritage Walk & Peter Hurd Mural
Artesia, NM boasts of a diverse and adventure-filled history. And a young tour guide insisted on taking the Emmy award winning NM True Crew on a walking tour of the amazing sculptures and maybe more amazing mural that capture all the excitement and rich heritage of this southeastern New Mexico city.