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Albuquerque vs Santa Fe? ...and a few other New Mexico questions

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Hello all! My husband and I are visiting family in El Paso TX the week after Labor Day and decided to get away for the week and explore the Four Corners area. We were planning on heading North up to Albuquerque, detouring to the White Sands National Monument along the way. Then heading west on Route 40 and exploring El Malpais and El Morro National Monument. Then heading North towards the Four Corners Monument and exploring Mesa Verde National Park. After that we will head west into Utah/AZ (that part of the itinerary is not yet mapped out).

So my questions are:
1- Is it worth it to head North and see Santa Fe? I have heard from a few that Santa Fe has more to see than Albuquerque. Not sure if we have time to spend a lot of time in both cities.
2. What part of route 66 has the best scenic drive and do we get off of route 40 to take that route or does route 40 just become route 66?
3. Whats a better drive to head north to the Four Corners? 371 to Farmington or 491 to Shiprock?

to help answer these questions, I will let you know my husband and I are all about the sight seeing. beautiful views, and scenic drives. We do enjoy some hiking too but mind you I will be about 14 weeks pregnant at this point! :)

any suggestions you guys have would be greatly appreciated!

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