14 Enchanting Things to Do in New Mexico

December 6, 2023 · High Times

Discover why they call New Mexico “The Land of Enchantment” with these activities that are geared more for smoker-friendly tourists seeking a magical adventure. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in New Mexico in 2021. Even though adult-use cannabis is legal in New Mexico, there are still laws in place regulating cannabis from seed to consumption.

Speaking of cannabis, the High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023 is scheduled to take place Dec. 9 at the Rio Rancho Events Center in Albuquerque, with a headlining act from the iconic duo, Method Man and Redman. It’s here that anyone can be the judge to determine the best weed New Mexico has to offer.

Below we list must-see attractions in New Mexico that will keep you busy during your stay in the desert dreamland, where you can see the stars in the sky and get a taste of Southwestern art.

International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell

Ufologists agree that Roswell is one of the top UFO hotspots on the planet. In 1947, an unidentified craft crashed into the ground in Roswell, and wreckage from a “flying disc” was recovered on the property of a local rancher. Local, typically credible papers ran with the story. The most logical first stop is the International UFO Museum and Research Center, and the tourist traps around it.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum 

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is ground zero for the artist’s finest work with a collection of 3,000 pieces including 140 oil paintings, 700 drawings, and hundreds of other works. O’Keeffe was known for her powerfully direct approach to expressing the divine role of females, and she experimented with peyote. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum  located a few blocks northwest of the Santa Fe Plaza in downtown Santa Fe.

Gila Cliff Dwellings

Nomads used the caves above Cliff Dweller Creek as temporary shelter about 1,000 years ago. In the late 1200s, people of the agricultural Mogollon (Southern Ancestral Pueblo) culture settled there, built rooms, crafted pottery, and raised children in the cliff dwellings for one or two generations. By approximately 1300, the Mogollon had moved on from the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Santa Fe is a very old city, especially by American standards. In 1598, the Spanish declared Santa Fe “New Spain” initially. While most of The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was built in 1886, an older church used to exist on the same site, built in 1626, but was destroyed in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Catholic or not, this cathedral has history. 

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science in Albuquerque offers a fun and interactive experience. The museum’s new hall, titled Ancient Life, features hundreds of never-before-seen fossils. The Planetarium has a 55-foot Sky-Skan Definiti, full-dome theater which is great for edibles.

Four Corners Monument

Here you can stand in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado—simultaneously. The location is marked by a granite and brass plaque and surrounded by flags representing the tribal nations and states that share the region. At the site, you’ll find vendors selling homemade jewelry, pottery, crafts, and art. The cost to visit this monument is $5 per person.

Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway

Got a fear of heights? According to Trip Advisor, Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway is the state’s number one tourist destination. The tram takes visitors 2.7 miles and 10,378 feet up the Sandia Mountains. You can witness views of over 11,000 square miles of New Mexico from that vantage point.

Taos Pueblo

Taos is home to art galleries, hot springs, spellbinding scenery and excellent skiing opportunities. Most notably, Pueblo adobe dwellings that have lasted over 1,000 years. In Taos, visitors can choose between several museums: The Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos Art Museum at Fechin House, and the Kit Carson House & Museum.

Bandelier National Monument

With ruins that date back to 1150 CE, the Bandelier National Monument provides 33,000 acres of beautiful landscape, showing off New Mexico’s incredible natural wilderness. This includes homes carved into soft rock. You can see historical relics from the ancestral Pueblo tribes who built structures in the area for thousands of years.

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument is home to nearly 25,000 petroglyphs, 90% of which are believed to have been drawn by ancient Pueblo people. Many of the meanings behind the petroglyphs is unknown. Drivers will have to pay $1 per vehicle on weekdays and $2 on weekends. 

White Sands National Park

Forget the Sahara Desert: White Sands National Park is a stunning dune-filled region located within the Tularosa Basin and it happens to be home to the earth’s largest gypsum dune field. More than 73,000 acres of white sand stretch out all the way to the horizon. 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to over 100 limestone caves. You can choose between two underground trails, The Big Room Trail and the Natural Entrance Trail. The former is the most popular route, taking visitors through one of the largest cave chambers in North America. You can witness 400,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats exit the cave in search of food each evening. 

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Yet another Pueblo site, Chaco Culture National Historical Park was given its name in 2013 . No permanent outdoor lighting exists in order to protect nocturnal wildlife and the natural rhythms of humans and plants that depend on an unaltered night sky. Within the park, visitors can see evidence of the huge structures built by the Ancestral Pueblo people between 850 and 1250 AD.

High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023

Or you can attend the High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023.

A live awards show is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Rio Rancho Events Center in Albuquerque. The event will be headlined by Method Man and Redman, who will be joined by Devin the Dude, Paul Wall, Haizi Haze, and Lil’ Flip. New Mexico’s own will judge the cannabis and products that will prove their worth. (Full Story)

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