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Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

New York City, New...
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Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

Hello all -

Just wanted to grab a few tips before heading out for a trip to New Mexico. I'm from NYC and decided to do a vacation somewhere both my boyfriend and I have NEVER been... and we decided on New Mexico! For the landscape, the food, and just to relax. We're in our mid twenties and actually have little idea of what New Mexico is like but we decided on an intinerary at least: 1 day Albuquerque, 2 days Santa Fe and 2 days in Taos (staying at a Spa). Was wondering if anyone had any ideas for things we might enjoy in ABQ and Santa Fe? Or even Taos. We're huge fans of the landscape, sort of into museums, and would love to hike if weather permits. But not sure what else the area holds that we might enjoy?


Saint Louis...
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1. Re: Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

If you want to do something different, check out Wild Earth Llama Adventures! We did that in September, and are still talking about it!

Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

Wow Mskay, I've never heard of the llama adventures! That sounds fun, and thanks for the tip!

I can speak to what to do in Albuquerque, but we'll need others to fill you in on Santa Fe and Taos.

If you like the landscape, I'd head up the Sandia Peak Tramway. Amazing views up there. If the weather is bad, go to the NM Museum of Natural History. Lots of photos of the landscape and fun info about the geologic history of this chunk of earth we call New Mexico.

My second suggestion is to try a segway tour. Everyone raves about them here on TA, and I'll bet it's a great way to see the city.

Just remembered something about Santa Fe: I loved the Palace of the Governor's museum. It's right on the plaza, and it is the oldest continuously inhabited building in our entire country! I found the experience very interesting, and I learned a lot.

Have a great trip!

Albuquerque, New...
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for Albuquerque, New Mexico
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3. Re: Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

I'm wondering when you are coming (season) and if you have full day in ABQ or is it just an overnight after arriving by plane? Generally, however, your very basic itinerary sounds right to me but you want to start filling in some particulars--places to stay, things to do, driving routes, places to eat, places to see, good hikes in wonderful settings, other adventures that may depend on the season. While llama adventure does sound great, and could really be a unique way to experience NM off the usual beaten track, I think it may also require a time commitment that may take away from things/places you want to experience on a first time visit. Let us know when you are coming....

Albuquerque, NM
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4. Re: Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

The best thing about NM is probably its natural beauty, so I'd recommend getting a guidebook or searching the Internet for a good list of hikes, and being outside as much as possible if weather permits. Make sure to catch the sunset as many evenings as you can. They're spectacular.

Just the drive from Santa Fe to Taos has some breathtakingly beautiful parts, and you can white water raft some areas of the Rio Grande along that road when there's enough water. NM is sort of a capital of hot air ballooning, so, if you want a nice splurge, a hot air balloon ride would be a great way to go.

The Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque is a great place to take a walk if you feel like doing something a bit quiet in Albuquerque. All kinds of migrating birds pass through there. Just nearby is Betty's Bath & Day Spa. It's a very simple, Zen kind of place, but their treatments are amazing, and I think an all-day pass to soak and sauna is only $12. The Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque is some serious, old-style, Route 66 tourist kitsch, and you can get a rattlesnake mug from their gift shop just like Craig Ferguson drinks from on his show.

You might enjoy driving up the Turquoise Trail. You can take it up to Santa Fe on your way from Abq instead of going up I-25 all the way. There are a lot of interesting stops on along it, from a pretty cool geological museum, to Tinkertown (a surreal collection of hand-carved figures made by one folk artist over 30-some years), to Madrid (a mining town that's now a collection of art galleries) to Shona Sol (the home and gallery of a lady with a large collection of African art).

Another really fun thing to do is to visit Shidoni sculpture garden and foundry. It's a place where a lot of large-scale bronze sculptures by local artists are made, and you can take a tour and watch a bronze pour.

If you'll be in Santa Fe on a Saturday, the Farmer's Market at the Railyard is a very enjoyable way to spend a morning, see a wide cross-section of Santa Feans, and try some different NM foods. It's also definitely worthwhile to take a tour of one of the pueblos. I'd recommend Taos and/or Acoma.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

One of my favorite destinations in New Mexico is the Valles Caldera in the Jemez. If you take I-25 North out of Albuquerque you would take the HWY 550 Exit going North West to San Ysidro. It's about 1 hour from Albuquerque and is very scenic. At the intersection of Hwy 550 and Hwy 4 you take Hwy 4 into the Jemez to the Valles Caldera. I fish there during the Spring and Summer months when I can get up there and it is spectacular. The winter - especially if it has snow on the ground is incredible. Lots of Elk to be seen and you can hike and cross country ski in the area. The Valles Caldera has a website which goes into detail of the sights and activities. Would make for a good day trip.

6. Re: Young couple spending 5 days in New Mexico

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