RATON • CARLSBAD • ALBUQUERQUE • GALLUP
Land of Enchantment
Route 66 roadside attractions, southwestern cuisine
Museums for Art & UFOs, The Rio Grande
Mountains, vast undeveloped areas, Indigenous people
Shed the inhibitions of your daily routines and plan a trip to a world of unbridled adventure amongst encapsulating landscapes. New Mexico offers mountains for hiking, art for appreciating and the chance to check off Route 66 from your bucket list. With a cornucopia of options for unforgettable thrills in New Mexico, it’s time to scratch the surface and find out what makes the state a fantastic destination for your next bus adventure.
Originally colonized by Spain, the United States purchased New Mexico in 1853, eventually admitting it to statehood in 1912. New Mexico would go on to become a frontier state for energy research in 1945 and remains that way to this day with many nuclear, solar and geothermal laboratories in the state. Perhaps what New Mexico is most notable for, however, is the famous Roswell incident — when a rancher discovered debris on his sheep pasture that many speculate were a result of a crashed UFO. Although the government claims these are only conspiracy theories, many people flock to Roswell for a chance at spotting flying saucers.
There's no shortage of things to do in New Mexico
While most of New Mexico is largely undeveloped, the raw beauty of the state’s landscapes compensates for its lack of modern cosmopolitans — and the people like it that way. The culture of New Mexico is unquestionably influenced by the Indigenous people who make up most of the state’s population. These impacts are made obvious in the adobe houses and distinctive southwestern cuisine of New Mexico.
- Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan
- National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque
- Clovis Depot Model Train Museum
- War Eagles Museum in Santa Teresa
- Meow Wolf
- Wheeler Peak, near Taos
- Elephant Butte Lake State Park
- Truth or Consequences
- Living Desert Zoo
- Angel Fire Resort
- Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area
- Pajarito Mountain Ski Area
- Red River Ski & Summer Area
- Ski Santa Fe
- Taos Ski Valley
- Sandia Peak Winter
Every October, the skies are filled with 500 hot air balloons! These beautiful, brightly colored balloons lift off from Balloon Fiesta Park. People from all over the world come to celebrate the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, the world’s largest balloon festival.
Top Cities To Visit
A magnificent metropolis of the southwest, Albuquerque is perhaps one of the most scenic cities of the country. Boasting a diverse cultural atmosphere, deep historical presence, trendy food scene, and a thriving art community — Albuquerque enchants all who visit.
Originally founded as a Spanish colony in 1706, the city has since grown into New Mexico’s largest city, all while embracing the many cultures that have left their mark in the region. Spanish Adobe buildings decorate Old Town Albuquerque, in contrast to the modern downtown area of the city — where trendy eateries and upscale shops can be exploited.
Further exploration of Albuquerque may lead curious adventurers to visit the Petroglyph National Monument, to examine the ancient rock carvings of the native Pueblo peoples — or purchase a seat on the Sandia Peak Tramway, for unbelievable views of the Sandia Mountains.
Located a mere six miles from the Colorado border and situated in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the city of Raton offers the type of raw southwestern scenery that can only be found in small New Mexican towns.
Due to its location amongst the rugged New Mexican landscape, and the Raton Range mountains to the North — Raton offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to completely immerse themselves with the land. Hiking, climbing and mountain biking are popular sports by the avid adventurers who frequent the city.
Complementing the bold and outdoor-centric atmosphere is the vibrant art scene that makes its presence in the city. Local artists thrive in Raton, promoting southwestern art inspired by the diverse culture and dangerously beautiful landscape of the region.
It’s only in cities like Deming, New Mexico where true seekers of adventure amid wild landscapes can be fully delighted.
About 33 miles north of the Mexican border — the city of Deming serves as an ideal jumping-off point for activities like rock climbing, camping, and hiking. The location of Deming is also a popular starting point for self-guided expeditions to the Florida Mountains and Rockhound State Park.
Once the filming location of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — Deming is also home to some amazing museums like the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum, where visitors can reflect on early western history and culture.
Carlsbad is located in the Chihuahuan Desert and nestled on the Pecos River — creating a picturesque image of the city.
The quaint tree-lined streets and friendly demeanor of the locals contribute to the small-town atmosphere that emanates from Carlsbad. Visitors looking to exploit all that the city has to offer might find themselves making a trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, located 18 miles southwest, where friendly bats dwell inside the stunningly beautiful caverns.
Located downtown, Lake Carlsbad Beach Park offers an oasis from the desert sun — where visitors can swim and picnic before heading back into town for a delicious southwestern meal at restaurants like Lucky Bull Grill.
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Where to Go
There are many amazing places for you to visit while on your bus excursion to New Mexico. Destinations which are saturated in indigenous history and enveloped by the raw beauty of desert and mountain landscapes. A great place to start your adventures is in the capital city of New Mexico — Santa Fe.
Originally founded as a Spanish colony in the early 1600s, Santa Fe is nestled beautifully in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Stepping off the bus, your senses will be delighted by the clean, dry New Mexican air. Stroll through the city streets and admire the Pueblo-style architecture that gives Santa Fe a charming and distinctive aesthetic. If you’re a fan of art, you’ll be pleased to know Santa Fe excels in the art world. Ranking as the third-largest art market in the country, the city is home to about 300 art galleries for you to explore. Take a walk down historic Canyon Road to fully take advantage of Santa Fe’s countless galleries. While you’re here, make sure to spend some time at the Santa Fe Plaza, where you can find a vast collection of eclectic boutique shops and gourmet eateries. If you’re hungry, visit Arroyo Vino, where chef Allison Jenkins serves a seasonal menu of genuine New Mexican flavors and an extensive wine list.
Without question, the city that defines every uniquely wonderful thing about New Mexico is the city of Albuquerque, and thus, should be considered the cornerstone of your bus trip to the state. Located in the high desert, Albuquerque serves as a vibrant oasis for travelers of all kinds. After your bus drives into the heart of the city, via the iconic Route 66, kick-off your exploration with a tour of Old Town. The traditional adobe houses that decorate the narrow city streets set the tone of Old Town’s charming atmosphere, where you can enjoy artisan shopping and traditional New Mexican cuisine. If you’re looking for a more modern experience, head to downtown Albuquerque to indulge in the buzzing nightlife and lively social scene. However, if you’re intent on enjoying the great outdoor experiences that New Mexico is famous for, the city of Santa Fe has you covered in that arena as well. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument to marvel at thousands of ancient rock carvings. Explore the ABQ BioPark, home to a zoo, aquarium and botanical garden. Or, take in the full majesty of New Mexico’s breathtaking landscapes from above in a hot air balloon launching from Balloon Fiesta Park.
Best Time to Visit
The best time for travel to New Mexico is during autumn — when the heat isn’t as stifling as it is during the summer. The fall months provide undoubtedly the best weather for enjoying New Mexico’s astonishing natural beauty. Another great time to visit is during the winter. The winter months in New Mexico issue in fantastic weather for skiing at one of the state’s many ski resorts. Finally, if you don’t mind the heat and are planning to travel during the summer, just be sure to pack light clothing and plenty of sunscreen.