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Long day trips from Santa Fe?

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Dec 29th, 2013, 08:27 PM
  #1
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Long day trips from Santa Fe?

We surprised ourselves with how much we love northern New Mexico, especially the beautiful scenery and natural areas. We have a few more days here and enough time for a few loooong day trips. Stunning landscapes, pueblos and historical sites are of most interest. We are from California so Western ghost towns are of less interest to us, having seen quite a few growing up.

On the drive up from Albuquerque we stopped at Tent Rocks. Marvelous! We are thinking of driving to Taos Pueblo on January 1 to see the ceremonial dance. Any recommendations for stops to make this a long day (or will it be anyway)?

We are also considering a big loop on another day: Bandelier, Jemez and Puye Cliff dwellings. Can this be done or are we getting insanely greedy? What would you cut?

This area is terrific and there's just so much to see that it is hard to choose.

Thanks!
Leely2 is offline  
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Dec 29th, 2013, 10:38 PM
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Hi Leely,

So glad you're loving New Mexico. It's been many years since I was there last, but I found it a magical place. The possibility of seeing a ceremonial dance at Taos Pueblo sounds wonderful. I still remember the high road to Taos with its beautiful little churches and the sopaipillas we had at a restaurant along the way, think it was the Rancho de Chimayo. Sadly, Taos Pueblo was closed when we were there. Also very much enjoyed our visit to Acoma Pueblo which is closer to Albuquerque.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 04:42 AM
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Bandelier is certainly worth spending at least half a day in and if you do go on to Jemez, stop in at the museum there and on the way, stop at Valles Caldera and see if you can see any elk, although the rut is probably over by now.

We have always loved hiking in the Tsankawai part of Bandelier (about 5 miles closer to Santa Fe), although this fall there had been significant damage from the floods this fall and we couldn't get to part of it.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 06:55 AM
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A really long day trip to Mesa Verde NP? Really long, but wonderful.

Chaco Canyon - not as far, but amazing if you are interested in the historical importance of the area.

the zoo in ABQ is absolutely worth the drive down. The botanical gardens are nice as is the aquarium. Do the last 2 first, head to the zoo in afternoon when the temps warm up and the animals will be out and about. If you get to botanical/aquarium before noon, buy a combo pass and then take the train over to the zoo after seeing the gardens and aquarium (and then back after zoo).

The national Hispanic cultural center and Indian Peublo Cultural Center are both great.

CABQ.gov
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Dec 30th, 2013, 07:31 AM
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We did a long day trip to Bandelier and then back through Los Alamos, stopping at the Bradbury Science museum. The drive was about as interesting as the museum, with all the restricted areas, vistas and research labs.

Similarly, the drive to Taos was probably (for me) as interesting as the Pueblo itself, which I found a bit overrated.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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Thumbs up for Bandelier, Los Alamos (stunning vistas) and Taos Pueblo!
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Dec 30th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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You could drive part of the Enchanted Circle when you go to Taos. With the snow, it should be lovely.

Lee Ann
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