A Few Days in New Mexico

Old Dec 25th, 2012, 04:13 AM
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A Few Days in New Mexico

A friend of ours (mostly my wife's) lives in Phoenix and we're thinking of visiting in early April while they still live there.

I looked at a map to see what's in the area and saw that ABQ, Santa Fe, Taos are not far out of the way on our return to South Florida.

Does this seem like a reasonably interesting detour for 3-5 days?

We are not normally museum or event goers but usually roam around, do a lot of walking and just see the sights. A few stores would always interest my wife.

Requesting suggestions.

Thanks.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 05:20 AM
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Absolutely! Maybe even a GTG??

We have lots to see and do here and have some wonderful cultural centers that are unique to ur history. Will post more from my lap top in a bit.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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What will you be doing while you are in Phoenix? Visiting Grand Canyon, Sedona, etc.? A side trip through those on your way to NM would be in order if not.

You also could stop at Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, elMorro/Inscription Rock, Acoma Pueblo, and plenty more on your way to Albuquerque. Santa Fe and Taos are also great places to visit too.

If you take a more southern route, or head south from there you could visit White Sands or Carlsbad Caverns too.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 09:51 AM
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We'll probably go to Sedona for a day (I've been) but not the Grand Canyon (I've been and it's way down on my list).

Since we'll probably go to Sedona with the friends we'll return to Phoenix and fly to ABQ from there.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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In and around Albuquerque--

http://www.indianpueblo.org/

http://www.nationalhispaniccenter.org/index.php

unique shopping: http://rt66central.com/

really nice shopping center, but mainly chain stores: http://www.abquptown.com/

Our wonderful BioPark:
http://www.cabq.gov/things-to-do/pla...st/abq-biopark

A tour of Acoma Pueblo: http://sccc.acomaskycity.org/

Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe:
http://www.turquoisetrail.org/

Tent Rocks - http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/rec...ent_rocks.html
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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If the return to Phoenix is to return a rental car, you could take the Amtrak Southwest Chief from Flagstaff to Albuquerque for only $60/pp. It leaves Flagstaff about 4:40AM and arrives in ABQ about noon.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Santa Fe -
Canyon Road for lots of art galleries.

Although you said not much into museums, Museum Hill has several that are small and different:
http://www.museumhill.org/

Georgia O'Keefe Museum - also small but very nice. More art gallery than museum.
http://www.nmhistorymuseum.org/
http://www.palaceofthegovernors.org/index.php

Bandelier National Monument - http://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm

Shopping away from the Plaza -
http://www.railyardsantafe.com/
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Taos - An easy day trip from Santa Fe. For most folks, a day is sufficient.

High or Low Road from Santa Fe to Taos.
http://www.newmexico.org/high-road-to-taos-trail/
http://takearoadtrip.com/riverroad.html

Taos Pueblo, though I think Acoma is a far better experience.

Taos Gorge Bridge

Rafting if you are interested:
http://losriosriverrunners.com/

Water will be high in April and fun.

Hope this helps....

Can suggest hotels, restaurants too, if you are interested.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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DebitNM, Thank you, thank you.

Now I have some homework to do to determine how many days to allow and where to sleep. It would be nice if we could sleep in one place but that's some extra driving.

I guess it wouldn't make sense to drive from ABQ to Santa Fe (about an hour each way) and then ABQ to Taos (about 2+ hours each way) on two separate days. That way we could stay in ABQ only.

- - - - -
tomfuller, you jest about taking a 4:40AM train. You don't know my wife.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Personally, I think you could do a home base in ABQ and then either take the train up and back to Santa Fe. [You won't save any time taking the train though it would save you from having to drive although the drive to Santa Fe is easy shot up I25 if you were looking to make it fast.] Then you could do a driving day trip to Taos.

http://www.nmrailrunner.com/

OR you could also stay a bit in between both ABQ if that worked -- Bernalillo has a nice Holiday Inn Express [which can be gotten on hotwire] as well as a really nice Hyatt Resort and would put you within easy reach of all directions.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 12:58 AM
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1. You should go
2. April is a nice time to go
3. You need two days in Santa Fe, a day up to Taos and back (river road up, high road back), and a day to go to Los Alamos and Bandelier, with side trips to San Ildefonso and Santa Clara. This is minimum.
4. You need to be based in Santa Fe for these day trips.
5. Add in as many days as you might think necessary from the recommendations above for Acoma Pueblo and Albuquerque.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 05:56 AM
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FWIW - April *can* be nice weather, but it is traditionally our worst weather of the year. Windy, dust blowing is often the forecast. Just have alternate plans for indoor activities in case the day is not pleasant.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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Do head over to Bandelier, about an hour west of Santa Fe. There is a small part of the park called Tsankawi that is about 5 miles closer to SF that is less developed, but you can hike up into the grooves that were eroded into the soft rock through years of use. The park is interesting itself too.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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If you hike, the tent rocks (mentioned above) is a great hike and not too hard.

I agree that Acoma is a better experience than the Taos pueblo. I don't know if I would make the effort to go to Taos if I wasn't headed there or through there for other reasons.

Parts of Bandelier were closed last year due to the fire damage. Don't know if that is still the case. Even so, we found it worthwhile even with the closings. Park Rangers do free tours that enhance the visit. The drive to the park is pretty, but it is can be a bit nerve racking (steep/drop offs next to the road).
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 06:05 PM
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I haven't been to Acoma, but I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Taos Pueblo and I recommend it highly.

Taos is a delightful town with much to see. Spend at least one night there, taking the main highway one way and the High Road the other. Both drives are beautiful.

HTtY
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 06:51 PM
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Just curious, htty, as to what you do in and around Taos. We go to Taos mainly to visit friends who live there and really don't find all that much to see or do there beside the bridge and the pueblo. Maybe because we live here, we are just blind to things to see and do.
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Old Dec 26th, 2012, 07:18 PM
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Hi Debit,

In addition to hanging out and visiting art galleries and museums, we especially enjoyed visiting the Blumenschein Home, the Martinez Hacienda, and the surrounding area--Arroyo Seco and environs.

On our next visit to Taos, I want to do the Enchanted Circle Drive: http://www.onroute.com/drives/drives_enchantedcir.html

On our last visit, I remember receiving a warm welcome and eating a very good meal at Graham's Grille. It was casual, comfortable, gracious, and unpretentious.

HTtY

PS One memorable experience was some years ago before the Fechin House was the home of the Taos Art Museum. At that time, Nicolai Fechin's daughter would, for a small fee, sometimes open the home to visitors. We were in town on one of those days. She kept herself in the background, but I spotted her and had a brief chat with her. She spoke to me about her love for her father. It was a good experience.
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Old Dec 27th, 2012, 01:41 AM
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I think DebitNM makes a point that could form the basis of a lot of interesting discussions, but I won't hijack this thread to explore it in any detail.
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Old Dec 27th, 2012, 05:08 AM
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This thread has really attracted some responses!!!! Thanks.

If I had to limit the New Mexico part of the trip to 3 complete days (excluding arriving and departing) what would be an itinerary and what should be omitted?

How would things change if we had 4 complete days?
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Old Dec 27th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Day 1 Santa Fe as many of the usual suspects as you can fit in.

Day 2 Taos and back by the low route and the high road, making a loop. The "Strip" south of town is horrible, but there is an interesting adobe church in the midst of it. If you come back by the High Road, stop in Chimayo for the shrine. As in Europe, don't leave anything valuable visible in your car.

Day 3 Bandelier, Los Alamos, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, and, for something completely different, Espanola. This would be four different cultures in one day: Anasazi, Nerd, Tiwa, and Low Rider. There isn't really any place to eat at Bandelier or San Ildefonso, I think I remember a kind of store/gas station/cafe outside Santa Clara, and there are lots of places to eat in Espanola, many of them dives. Ditto for Los Alamos, but not dives.
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