The southwestern state of New Mexico is one of the most beautiful states to head to when fall hits, however the vibrant colors that strike the region can only be seen for a short time, in most places only for around 7 days, so it is a good idea to decide on when you want to travel and embark on a road trip, chasing the color!
We have put together a list of some of our favorite locations that we believe you should visit. All are full of color with many having some spectacular scenery along the way.
The High Road to Taos Scenic Byway in the northern area of the state is full of history and there are many remnants of Old Spain throughout the area, highlighted in the amazing architecture and the religion that is prevalent throughout the area.
If you decide to head along the byway make sure you visit Chimayo in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As one of the most popular holy sites throughout the country the small church is renowned for its holy dirt, which is believed to have healing properties.
The byway runs from Santa Fe to Taos and, as well as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, will take you through desert and some stunning vistas which are all well worth a visit with a fully charged camera.
You can also visit the Saint Francis Plaza in Ranchos de Taos where a bronze Saint Francis will greet you with his arms outstretched towards heaven.
The San Francisco de Asis Church may seem familiar, as many photographers and artists have attempted to share the scene with many others through their work.
Albuquerque is another area that will provide you with an ‘authentic American Southwest experience’ and is a must-see location for those visiting the area, or even passing through as they travel the extremely popular Route 66.
The area has some intriguing museums that you may not find anywhere else, including the American International Rattlesnake Museum. The Historic Old Town – established in 1706 – is another place you must visit, especially the Old Town Plaza situated in the very heart of the town.
Built in 1793, San Felipe de Neri Church is the oldest building in the city and many of the original settlers’ homes have since been converted into some gorgeous shops, art galleries and restaurants.
While in the area you should take a trip to the Sandia Foothills to the east of the city and book a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, the longest aerial tram in North America. Whether you are a skier, hiker or just want to see the views, this 15 minute ride reaches the 10,378 crest of the Sandia Mountains giving you a view of around 11,000 square miles.
It is important to book in advance, especially if you have bigger bookings, as the tramway is only operating at a third of capacity to accommodate Covid-19 guidelines. The company also has other procedures in place to keep you safe, all of which are available to view on their website.
If heights are not your thing then make sure you visit Roswell where in 1947, according to legend, a manned spacecraft crashed. If you want to find out more about the crash – whether you are a believer or not – you can head to the International UFO Museum and Research Center or even take a Roswell UFO Tour.
There are plenty of other activities to do in the area that are not connected to aliens including art centers, shopping and restaurants or the Spring River Park and Zoo.
Those who prefer the great outdoors can take in some hiking and camping as well as boating at the Bottomless Lake State Park.
The White Sands National Monument, an area of wave like white sand dunes situated in the center of the Tularosa Basin. The area – covering a staggering 275 square miles – is home to some fauna and flora that have managed to thrive in such difficult conditions and you can learn about them at the visitor center.
If you like hiking you can discover the amazing area on foot, however you can also travel by bike or even drive the Dunes Drive, which is just over 8 miles in length. Some areas also allow horseback, which can add an extra touch of adventure to an already busy experience.
One of the best parts of the White Sands experience is camping in the desert at one of their campsites. Looking up at the night sky without the light pollution you get in most parts of America, you will be able to wonder at the number of stars in the galaxy.
But make sure you are fully rested as you can grab a sled and make your way down the dunes in between picnics and make memories that will last a lifetime!
When visiting any of the places we have talked about it is important that you look at their coronavirus regulations before visiting to avoid disappointment.