New Mexico Bucket List – Reasons to Visit the Land of Enchantment

Things To Do In New Mexico

Visiting New Mexico soon? Check out this extensive list of Things To Do In New Mexico. Includes amazing places you must add to your bucket list!

There are so many things to do and see in New Mexico that one may get overwhelmed when planning a visit to The Land of Enchantment. I know I did the first time I made a list of things I wanted to see and do. So I made a list for you.

Things To Do In New Mexico

1. Do the Balloon Fiesta- The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta happens in the fall and it’s not something you see as much as something you do. While thousands upon thousand of people lay out blankets and watch the hundreds of unique hot air balloons rise into the sky with the morning sun, you’ll want to walk around the balloon park so you don’t miss any of the spectacle. Take a balloon ride to make the most of your visit, but make no mistake, the view from the ground is pretty amazing too.use42. Visit Museums in Albuquerque-  Albuquerque is one of the most kid-friendly cities I’ve ever visited, and one of the biggest draws is the variety of museums you can take the family to. First, there’s the zoo, aquarium, botanic park, and beach, all of which make up the ABQ BioPark. You can also get out of nature and get into history at the Museum of Natural History & Science, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and even Explora, a fantastic little hands-on children’s museum that might actually entertain the parents more than the kids.

These are just the beginning, as there are many other unique and cultural museums in town.

3. Explore Carlsbad Caverns National Park- Tucked in the southeast corner of the state lies a natural wonder you have to see to believe. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a wondrous site that has been in the making for millions of years. Go at night in the summer to see the bats take flight and exit the caverns.use14. Eat at Hotel Andaluz- This historic hotel is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it, so be on alert. The hotel itself is a beautiful representation of southwest art and culture, and the menu there won’t disappoint. It might be difficult to get your little ones to try steak and caramel tapas or mushroom and fried egg bruschetta — yes that’s a real thing — but trust me when I say you’ve never eaten anything more delicious in your life. (My mouth still waters just thinking about it.)

5. Discover Chocolate in Santa Fe- When people think about chocolate, New Mexico rarely comes to mind, but it should. Santa Fe is home to several small chocolate shops where classic flavors and southwest spice are mixed to create amazing little delicacies. I highly suggest Kakawa Chocolate House. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried their milk chocolate truffles and chili hot chocolate.qrxq78726. Get Out of this World in Roswell- Area 51 is basically an American legend, so take the kids to the place where it all began. Roswell residents take the legacy of aliens quite seriously and everything in town is quite a bit of fun. Learn all you can at the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

7. Hike at the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument- New Mexico is beautiful. Seriously, it’s stunning, and the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is one of the best places to see the state in all its glory. The tent-shaped rock formations that reach up to the sky are a result of volcanic explosions that occurred roughly 7 million years ago. Who knows? Maybe a place this spectacular will get the kids off the tablets and out into nature!use3

8. Eat Chili Everything- The Land of Enchantment is well known for their chilis. A vegetable that most of us take for granted, the chili is a way of life here and can be found in soups, on burgers, and of course, in chocolates! Try adding chili to some of your favorite foods when you visit.

9. Shop in Santa Fe- Santa Fe is unbelievably charming. The old buildings, the smell of roasting chilis, and the beautiful churches are big factors, but not the only ones. The streets are lined with art studios and other small businesses that you will want to take the time to explore. Buy handmade jewelry at the market in front of the Palace of the Governors or check out the rocks and minerals shop for earthly treasures. Can you find the sock shop?ujoz937410. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument- Several Native American tribes, at one time, called the land that is now New Mexico home. (Many still do!) Evidence of their lives can be found in many sites, but one of the best ones is at Gila. Here, visitors can roam about the cave dwellings that served as villages for the Ancestral Puebloan people. It’s an anthropology lesson the kids are unlikely to forget!use5Bio: Shauna Armitage blogs about the beautiful disaster that is parenthood over at The Violet Moon. She’s mom to three little nuggets and is raising a family of passionate travelers. Shauna loves hiking with her brood, hotels that deliver cheeseburgers to your room at midnight, chocolate, yoga pants, and wine. Pinot Noir please! @VioletMoonBlog


  1. Renee Walters says

    Looks like such a beautiful place! I am awestruck by the caves!

  2. Amy Patterson says

    Dont forget in Albequerque there is a TRAM and you can play in the SNOW and SKI during the day and then go to the bottom into the city and swim in the pool at night! Also OLD ROUTE 66!!!!!

  3. I love to travel but I haven’t made it to New Mexico yet! Pinning for when I finally plan a trip!

  4. ellen beck says

    We went through New Mexico years ago. I am sure a whole lot has changed. I actually was amazed how interesting it was, and also how beautiful it was. The colors there seem so vivid, It really was quite interesting.

  5. In New Mexico, the amazing fruit that we eat on everything is spelled Chile.
    Chile is grown, roasted, and added to many dishes and salsas including chocolates and candies.

    Chili is a meat and bean product.

    Also, the White Sands Natonal Monument, the Mesilla Valley, and Ruidoso are can’t-miss stops in New Mexico.

  6. Hello! As a New Mexican, born and raised, I can agree that chile is as necessary as water for us. I have had green chile in sushi rolls! Also, know that chili is the classic ground beef, but chile is peppers. This is a very important distinction to know if anyone decides to visit the great Land of Enchantment.

  7. Donovan Newton says

    If you go to New Mexico go to Chaco Canyon too.

  8. Tonya LaFrance says

    If you like Opera check out a night at the Santa Fe Opera 7 miles north of town. It’s a wonderful theater experience you won’t soon forget if you’re into that kind of thing & hey that’s where I worked for a summer so I’m partial too.

    Try tubing down the Rio Grande for a cool afternoon adventure.

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