New Mexico Feature

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Top Attractions in New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The only member of the national park system in New Mexico with full—and prestigious—"park" status, Carlsbad offers visitors the chance to descend some 75 stories underground to view massive caverns filled with wild-shaped stalactites and stalagmites.

Gila National Forest

The first parcel set aside as protected wilderness by the U.S. Forest Service in 1924 is remote and enormous (it's slightly larger than Connecticut). But make the effort to visit, and you'll be rewarded with some of the Southwest's best hiking and camping, plus a chance to view the ancient Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and to tour several ghost towns.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

More than 400 species of birds have been identified at this refuge in central New Mexico, with snow geese, eagles, and falcons among the most popular sightings. The biggest draw, however, are the more than 15,000 sandhill cranes who descend upon Bosque del Apache each November—their arrival is marked with a popular festival.

Museum of International Folk Art

A case could be made for almost any museum in Santa Fe as the most noteworthy one in New Mexico, but it's this distinct facility on Museum Hill that stands out not only for its regional exhibits but also for having one of the world's most acclaimed collections of folk art. Collections here appeal equally to kids and adults, and the two shops on-site carry an astounding array of crafts and books.

Bandelier National Monument

An easy and scenic drive from both Santa Fe and Taos, this 23,000-acre expanse of deep canyons, rushing waterfalls, and high-desert mesas contains remarkably well-preserved cliff dwellings and ceremonial kivas that trace the past millennium of the region's thriving indigenous life and culture.

White Sands National Monument

The cool, jarringly bright white dunes—some as high as 60 feet—contained within this eerie 145,344-acre landscape have long captured the imagination of children, and brought out the inner-children of adults. Be sure to get out of your car and scamper up a few of these fine-gypsum dunes.

Taos Art Museum and Fechin House

Northern New Mexico's reputation as an internationally renowned arts center began with the establishment of an artists' colony in Taos in 1900, and this former home of one of the movement luminaries—Nicolai Fechin—provides a rich overview of the era. More than 50 Taos masters are represented here.

Acoma Pueblo

Just an hour west of Albuquerque, this fabled pueblo has continuously occupied the same soaring mesa-top perch, some 367 feet above the valley floor, for more than 1,000 years. You can tour the village and visit the stunning, contemporary Haak'u Museum, with art and exhibits documenting the community's legacy.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

This fascinating site is one of the world's seminal archaeological treasures—the dozens of painstakingly excavated ruins held a complex community with as many as 5,000 inhabitants during its apex around 1,000 AD to 1,200 AD.

National Hispanic Cultural Center

With a mix of architecturally prominent performance centers, a terrific art museum, and an excellent restaurant serving authentic regional cuisine, this comprehensive facility in a historic Albuquerque neighborhood showcases Latino arts and culture throughout the Western Hemisphere, but with a decided New Mexico emphasis.

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