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12 Must-Do Experiences in New Mexico

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New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment, rich in landscape and topography. Must-do experiences include exploring New Mexico's mysterious Sangre de Cristo mountains, deep canyons, mesas, and river gorges; a stunning nature drive; a mountain hike; a night at the opera; and deep immersion into the rich New Mexico culture, arts, and history.
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15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
I’m not sure at what age humans develop the skill to stand still and appreciate scenery, but based on a scientific survey of kids who live in my house, it’s not age seven. (On a trip to the Canadian Rockies, as my wife and I snapped photos of the...
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228 Old Santa Fe Trail #10, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The Turquoise Trail is a National Scenic Byway in New Mexico linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe. If you plan to drive to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, avoid the interstate and take this well beaten path instead. You will be rewarded with majestic...
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105 W Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The entire north side of Santa Fe's downtown plaza is taken up by the 1610 Palace of the Governors, the oldest continually occupied public building in the United States. Its front adobe facade is completely shaded, and in this "portal," the Native...
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301 Opera Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87506, USA
This brilliant, partially covered amphitheater offers views not only of the stage but of the stunning Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountain ranges in the distance. The world-renowned opera company presents five works in repertory each...
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Socorro, NM 87825, USA
Featured in the 1997 Jodie Foster film, Contact (based on the Carl Sagan book), the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) is an impressive, stunning radio astronomy observatory located on the Plains of San Agustin. The massive dishes are arranged...
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Taos Pueblo, NM, USA
One of the iconic sights of the American Southwest, Taos Pueblo has been inhabited for at least a thousand years. The adobe architecture seems to spring, organic, from the earth at the foot of Taos Mountain. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site, but...
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Taos, NM, NM, USA
The area around Taos, New Mexico is quite volcanic, with extinct volcanos rising blue in the distance. The basalt plain west of town is cut deeply by the Rio Grande and can be viewed for dramatic effect in the afternoons when the shadows delineate...
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121 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The Chez Panisse of Santa Fe has been helmed by the same Berkeley-bred chef-owner since the 1970s. While the restaurant isn’t for New Mexican food purists, the local dishes are solid and range from classic renditions to enchiladas gussied up with...
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512 Webber St, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA
One of my absolute favorite events in the world is the Canyon Road Farolito Walk, a beloved holiday tradition in Santa Fe. On Christmas Eve, thousands of holiday revelers come out to stroll, admire and sing carols around the displays of farolito...
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1607 Paseo De Peralta #10, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
A new Santa Fe tradition has emerged, the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, held at the Farmers Market Pavilion. In 2014, the Second Street Brewery burger titled Original Alien Burger reigned topped with a blue corn chile relleno with pepper...
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21120 US-84, Abiquiu, NM 87510, USA
Located 60 miles from Santa Fe, artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu is magnificently available just the way she left it. You can almost channel her ghost. Anybody with appreciation for amazing restoration,...
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Driving is best described as poetic on this 56-mile day trip from Santa Fe to Taos. The High Road takes you through El Santuario, in the Spanish village of Chimayo — a small adobe chapel where people gather for mass and scoop up “Holy Dirt” with...