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“Fascinating in the middle of nowhere”

El Camino Real Historic Trail Site
Ranked #5 of 14 things to do in Socorro
Attraction details
Reviewed October 30, 2013

Excellent retelling of the story of the coming together of cultures along the Camino Real, through pictures, narrative and artifacts. Would have given it a 5, but the interactive light up map didn't work well and the guy who greeted us in front was way less than enthusiastic.

Thank timeawaynow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"new mexico"
in 25 reviews
"santa fe"
in 10 reviews
"wonderful museum"
in 2 reviews
"visitor center is"
in 2 reviews
"artifacts"
in 9 reviews
"desert"
in 10 reviews
"history"
in 37 reviews
"nm"
in 7 reviews
"visitors"
in 11 reviews
"handout"
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47 - 51 of 69 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2013

As first-time visitors to New Mexico, we made an impromptu stop at El Camino Real International Heritage Center on a road trip from Albuquerque to Las Cruces. What a surprise! You have to drive about 3 miles from I-25 into the the desert to reach the museum. And what a lovely building it is---designed to blend into its austere environment near the end of the "jornada del muerto."

We were given a warm welcome and brief overview by the staffer on the desk. The intro film is low-budget but very, very informative. The downstairs portion of the exhibition space is extremely well done. The story of New Mexico's colonization is engagingly told in artifacts that are very thoughtfully displayed. The upstairs section is either under construction or undergoing updating. There are lots of panels but few artifacts and an empty wall or two. Even so, there is so much information here that it is hard to read and absorb it all. But do try.

This museum should be a mandatory stop for anyone unfamiliar with New Mexico's colonial history. Once you know about the Camino Real, you "get" New Mexico. No wonder the state feels like a foreign country. In a very real sense, it is!

2  Thank Tiffy_Bird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

Just off I-25 in southern New Mexico (exit 115), there is an absolute gem of a museum, the "El Camino Real International Heritage Center". This is in the middle of the desert 3 miles from the expressway. Striking, stark beauty of the surroundings is matched only by the museum itself - bright, modern, with fascinating exhibits related to the early Spanish "Royal Road" connecting Santa Fe with Mexico City from early 1600's until late1800's. If you are traveling between Socorro and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico on I-25, DON'T miss this gem !

2  Thank william W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We live in the area, and every single time anyone comes to visit us, we put this is on their 'must see' list. First of all, the setting is terrific - it's in the middle of pretty much nothing. A beautiful building that rises out of the "Jornada del Muerto" (journey of death), the place clearly demonstrates how the Spanish, native Americans, and gringos all came together to make our state so unique. Lots of the exhibits are hands-on, you can pick and choose the displays that you want explained on your headphones (choose your language), or you can walk the xeriscape garden and hang out in the amphitheater. There's a cool gift shop (small, but well stocked) but no cafeteria. Go to the Santa Fe diner (on your way back to the highway) for some damn good pie.

2  Thank gusto_zaney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 29, 2013

We visited this museum based on the recommendation of staff at our spa, and were delightfully surprised by the depth of the exhibits, and by the clear love and enthusiasm behind the museum's creation. The story of Camino Real is beginning to get the attention it deserves, as an integral part of the story of New Mexico, and of the United States. We left with a deeper understanding of both the everyday struggles of those early settlers, and of the camino's role in the developing nation. Well worth an excursion off the beaten path.

1  Thank margalo399
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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