Things to do in New Mexico: Five Day-Trip Recommendations
There is much to do and see in Santa Fe, but if you wish to explore the surrounding areas, we offer five day-trip itineraries that are fantastic choices for your getaway. Travel in any direction for a unique cultural, historical, and geological experience. See the homes and works of famous artists and native artisans. Travel our historically significant byways and visit towns created by ancient peoples. Explore our diverse landscapes, celebrated museums, and exquisite shops, galleries, and restaurants. Let the sights and sounds of Northern New Mexico enchant you!
If you don’t live within reasonable driving distance to Santa Fe, traveling here can be a little tricky sometimes. While our regional airport does take in flights from destinations around the country (mostly with layovers and connecting flights), the easiest and most stress-free way to visit The City Different is by flying into Albuquerque International Sunport, renting a car, and taking a road trip between Albuquerque and Santa Fe!
Up, up, and away! There’s something enchanting about seeing a gigantic balloon floating amongst the clouds, and it’s even more surreal when the entire sky is filled with hundreds.
The Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway (also known as NM 14) takes you south from Santa Fe through old mining towns, scenic landscapes of wide-open prairies, to the mountaintops of the Sandia Mountains.
This is “the other Las Vegas,” a frontier railroad town that was part of the historic Old Santa Fe Trail. On the way to Las Vegas on I-25, visit the Pecos National Historical Park. Fishermen will find excellent fly-fishing along the Pecos River and hikers can enjoy the Pecos Wilderness area.
This scenic trip winds through ruins of an ancient civilization, a high-tech research center (birthplace of the atomic bomb), traditional Pueblos, and the collapsed center of a long-dormant volcano.
This day trip will take you to the charming town of Taos, a culturally rich small town set against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and a spectacular mesa sliced by the meandering Rio Grande to the west.
See the landscapes of sandstone cliffs, tree-lined river beds and juniper covered foothills that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe and are reflected in her paintings. This trip takes you north from Santa Fe on US 285/84 connecting with US 84 in Española (approximately 23 miles north of Santa Fe). For a more extensive day trip, you can continue on US 84 all the way to Chama (approximately 2 hours travel time).
There is no end to things to do in New Mexico … let the activities begin!