The author Jess Levy posing for a photo in front of one of the best things to do in New Mexico

47 Best Things to Do in New Mexico (in 2023)

👉 Jump to: Best Things to Do in New Mexico | Sites & Attractions | Museums & Culture | Shopping | Unique & Fun | Food & Drink | FAQ

New Mexico is drenched in artistic energy, Native American culture, and mouthwatering queso. It’s almost impossible to share the best things to do in New Mexico because there is something to do in every town and beyond.

In this guide, I’ll be covering popular New Mexico attractions alongside my personal favorite unique gems. There’s a lot to cover here, so make sure you review all the best places in New Mexico to choose your top spots before you go. Let’s dive in!

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47 Best Things to Do in New Mexico

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Adventure amidst ancestral Puebloans at one of the most notable national parks in New Mexico.

Overlooking view of the ruins at the Chaco Culture National Historical Park site
Gorgeous ruins at Chaco Culture National Historical Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 786-7014 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $25 parking

Located in Northwest New Mexico, Chaco Culture National Historic Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore archaeological sites, spot native wildlife, and hike trails with awe-inspiring vantage points. 

Containing Chaco Canyon, the park is self-guided and home to sunrises and sunsets you won’t want to miss. Make sure to bring enough water on your trip and plan ahead since you won’t have reliable cell service here.

Taos Pueblo

Experience this popular Southwest Pueblo and learn more about Native American culture.

View of adobe buildings in Taos Pueblo
The stunning Taos Pueblo buildings

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-1028 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, Tuesday-Friday | Entrance: $16 Adults | 👉 Browse Taos Pueblo Tours on Viator 

Visiting Taos Pueblo is one of the most special and unique things to do in Taos. The only living Native American community deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark, Taos Pueblo is a collection of stunning Adobe buildings, rich history, and vibrant culture. 

Objectively one of the most breathtaking sites in New Mexico, these Adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. Today, there are about 150 permanent residents at Taos Pueblo.

👉 Pro Tip: Another gorgeous Pueblo is Acoma Sky City, an hour from Albuquerque. Regardless of which Pueblo(s) you visit, they all have a rich history and incredible architecture. 

Sante Fe Salt Cave

Relax in a zero gravity chair inside wall-to-wall healing pink Himalayan salt crystals.

View of chairs inside the Sante Fe Salt Cave
A salt therapy room

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 365-2875 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily, Closed Tuesdays, Closes at 4 pm on weekends | 1 halotherapy session: $40 plus tax

When you’re at a fairly high elevation in New Mexico, a trip to the Santa Fe Salt Cave is a rejuvenating prospect. Also known as salt therapy, halotherapy features rooms covered in pink salt crystals and a halo generator that spreads tiny particles in the air. 

The experience will have you relaxing in a zero-gravity chair while the negative ions give you multiple benefits for skin inflammation, respiratory health, and mood. Santa Fe Salt Cave also offers full moon, reiki, and sound healing events. 

Rio Grande Gorge

Explore one of the highest bridges in the U.S. 

Overlooking view at the Rio Grande Gorge
The Rio Grande Gorge in Taos County

📍 Google Maps | 👉 Book a Rio Grande Gorge Rafting Trip 

When traveling to New Mexico, you must visit the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The West Rim Trail is a perfect hiking spot with cascading views of the Rio Grande River and Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

There are also a ton of activities to do at the Gorge including soaking in New Mexico hot springs, climbing, rafting, and camping.

🛎️ Need a Hotel? Stay overnight for the epic sunset and book a stay at one of the themed airstream campers at Hotel Luna Mystica.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Get a bird’s eye view of New Mexico and witness a magical yearly festival.

The author with a friend smiling for a selfie while riding a hot air balloon
A pal and I experiencing a hot air balloon in Albuquerque

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Browse Private Balloon Rides

Held every October, New Mexico’s most popular yearly festival brings pilots from around the world to fly hundreds of hot air balloons. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta isn’t just about balloons though – you’ll find special exhibitions, light shows, a rodeo, performances, and so much more. 

If you have the chance, visit during this sky-spectacular event, otherwise, you can still enjoy being up in the clouds with a private ride. Just know that spots fill up fast so book a hot air balloon ride ahead of your trip.  

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Wander around awe-inspiring rock formations and limestone caves.

View from the inside of Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The ethereal Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 785-2232 | Website | Park Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm daily for cave hiking | Entrance: $15, adults, free for children under 15 

A top national park in New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the most unique things to do in the state. Located in Southern New Mexico in the Chihuahuan Desert, this park features more than 100 caves and takes about two hours to explore from start to finish. 

There are so many ways to experience the Caverns – you can go at your own pace, sign up for a ranger-guided tour, or rent an audio guide at the visitor center. Even though it can be a crowded tourist attraction, visiting these rock formations is worth the trip.

Taos Ski Valley

Ski or hike in New Mexico’s high desert.

The author with her friend smiling for a photo in Taos Ski Valley
Me and a friend at Taos Ski Valley

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (888) 388-8457 | Website 

Taos Ski Valley is only an hour’s drive from the historic Taos Plaza and is a must-see when you’re in town. The high elevation and cool crisp air give you a completely different atmosphere from historic Taos, so it’s great if you’re looking to switch up your experience.

The drive up to Taos Ski Valley is breathtaking – the trees here are very unique and the landscape is perfect for hiking. I especially have to recommend hiking to Bavarian Restaurant and Lodge. It’s a little off the beaten path, but you’ll enjoy an incredible view of the town while getting in some German food and drinks.

From skiing to horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and festivals, there is so much to do here year-round.

👉 Pro Tip: If you’re wondering where to stay in Taos while visiting Taos Ski Valley, then I recommend The Blake. You can rent ski equipment right at the hotel and it has a spa for apres-ski relaxation.

Meow Wolf

Transport yourself into an alternative world in this interactive art museum.

The author enjoying her day in Meow Wolf New Mexico
Refrigerator portal at Meow Wolf, where will it lead?

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (866) 636-9969 | Website | Hours: 10 am-8 pm Sunday-Thursday, 10 am-10 pm Fridays & Saturdays | Entrance: $35, adults, $20, children 4-13

Located in Santa Fe, taking a trip to Meow Wolf will make you feel like Alice in Wonderland for a day. What is essentially an interactive and immersive art space, this House of Eternal Return features 70 themed rooms, including a slide inside the laundry machine and a door inside the refrigerator. 

This is personally one of my favorite quirky adventures in the USA and one of the most unique things to do in Sante Fe.

You could easily spend an afternoon or more here, but most people spend an average of 2 hours inside. 

White Sands National Park

Take in a rare landscape sighting of gypsum sand dunes.

Scenic view at the White Sands National Park in New Mexico
Aren’t the dunes at White Sands National Park stunning?

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 479-6124 | Website | Hours:  7 am – 6 pm daily with closing hours changing with the seasons

White Sands National Park in Southern New Mexico is just as the name implies – a gorgeous, sprawling terrain of stunning white sands. 

While here, bring a sled or grab a board from the gift shop and ride down the cascading white sand dunes. It is truly one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the nation. Although sunsets are spectacular here, you can enjoy the beauty and awe of White Sands no matter the season or time of day.

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Go off the grid at a farm stay featuring a lavender distillery, yoga in a yurt, and animals.

View from the Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in New Mexico
I loved visiting Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 985-5000 | Website 

A 12-minute drive north of downtown Albuquerque, Los Poblanos is an Inn and organic farm that offers a restaurant, an onsite lavender distillery, fun public events, overnight stays, and so much more. The acres are surrounded by local wildlife, fruit trees, a pool, a garden, and a yurt that has one of my favorite yoga classes. 

Their lodging is serene, the spa is top-notch, and the restaurant is worth the hype. They also have a farm shop that carries their lavender distillery products, tea, nuts, and herb spice cooking blends. 

Definitely check out their event calendar for live music, aromatherapy classes, and seasonal attractions.

Blue Hole

Swim through hidden caves at one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the U.S. 

View of the Blue Hole in New Mexico
The Blue Hole in New Mexico

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 472-3763 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: $10 Parking 

Blue Hole is a natural lake located in the middle of a desert in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

Many people refer to Blue Hole as a magical place, but you’ll have to check it out for yourself. 

Out of all the New Mexico attractions, scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will love discovering underwater hidden caves. This is also a great activity for families and kids – there are cliff jumping and swimming opportunities with places for parents to sit and watch.

Ten Thousand Waves

Soak under the stars in a Japanese spa complete with food and lodging.

View from the inside of Ten Thousand Waves
Isn’t Ten Thousand Waves idyllic?

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 982-9304 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 9 pm daily | Entrance: $58 community soak

Ten Thousand Waves is a Japanese-style spa only 12 minutes from Sante Fe Plaza. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a good massage, jacuzzi, cold plunge, sauna, foot soak, or all-encompassing relaxation sesh.

The view from the hill is incredible and at night you can see the stars while the whole spa lights up. They have a gift shop with unique souvenirs, lodging, and an onsite restaurant called Izanami. I easily spent a whole day here, it was so impressive.

For added fun, be sure to reserve a soaking tub or dinner reservation during sunset hours.

👉 Pro Tip: The spa and walk up to the entrance is at a very high elevation, so drink plenty of water. 

New Mexico Sites & Attractions

Cliff’s Amusement Park

Take the kids to Albuquerque’s top theme park.

The ferris wheel in Cliff’s Amusement Park under the clear blue sky

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 881-9373 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 6 pm daily

Cliffs Amusement Park in Albuquerque is one of the best things to do in New Mexico for a family day out. It features a water park, over twenty rides, and carnival-style comfort foods in case you get hungry.

The park is open for six months out of the year and on major holidays, so if you’re visiting New Mexico from May to October, definitely plan a day here. 

Botanic Garden ABQ Biopark

Stroll the unique gardens and diverse plants of the southwest.

Close up view of a colorful flower in Botanic Garden ABQ Biopark

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 764-6200 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $14.50, adults, $6, 12 and under 

ABQ BioPark, also known as Albuquerque’s Botanic Garden, is perfect for outdoor-loving visitors and families looking to entertain children. This incredible park has a large array of dry-climate plants with plenty of opportunities to catch a bit of shade and rest.

Your ticket also gets you into the aquarium, while the Zoo and Japanese Garden are right nearby. All these attractions so close together make for a convenient sightseeing location.

Four Corners Monument

Stand in the only place where 4 states meet.

View at the Four Corners Monument tourist site
The monument that celebrates the intersection of four states

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (928) 206-2540 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 6:45 pm daily

When looking for things to do in New Mexico, Four Corners Monument should be high on your list. Located inside the Navajo Tribal Park, this historical monument marks where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah intersect. 

How many opportunities do you have to step foot in four states at once? This is your chance!

Pecos National Historical Park

Walk the path of historic culture in Pecos Valley.

Clear sky over the Pecos National Historical Park in New Mexico
Pecos National Historical Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 757-7241 | Website | Hours:  8 am – 4:30 pm daily

Southwestern history and culture collide at Pecos National Historical Park. Walk the path where a civil war was once battled, check out trails preserved from ancient villages, visit a Spanish Mission, learn at the museum, and indulge your silver-screen sensibilities at a movie star’s ranch. 

History buffs will enjoy touring the ruins and stepping foot on this historic and connected land.

Petroglyph National Monument 

Decipher ancient symbols carved into stone walls.

View at the Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico
The ancient petroglyphs are sure a site to behold

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 899-0205 | Website | Hours:  8:30 am – 4:30 pm daily

Located inside the Boca Negra Canyon, Petroglyph National Monument has thousands of petroglyph symbols carved into volcanic rocks along the cliffs. This is a great activity for hikers and culture seekers alike. While the trail is fairly short, plan at least an hour here depending on how long you plan to stop to take pictures of the designs. 

Bandolier National Monument

Hike up ancestral dwellings and explore caves near Los Alamos.

Bandolier National Monument is both a natural and historical site

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 672-3861 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily

Bandolier National Monument will excite visitors with evidence of human life dating back 10,000 years. With miles of trails to check out, ladders to climb, and petroglyphs to spot, there is a lot to see here. As long as you don’t have a fear of heights, Bandolier is a favorite attraction. 

San Antonio Hot Springs

Relax in a hot spring surrounded by beautiful trees.

View of McKenna's feet while soaking in San Antonio Hot Springs
San Antonio Hot Springs

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 438-5300 | Website 

Located in Los Alamos, San Antonio Hot Springs is one of the best free things to do in New Mexico. The hot springs are surrounded by breathtaking forests and are just a short walk from the parking area. 

Just keep in mind that these are some of the most popular hot springs in New Mexico and the site does get crowded. Try going during off times for a more private soak in the wilderness.

Sandia Peak Tramway

Take in a 360-degree view of New Mexico’s landscape.

View while riding the Sandia Peak Tramway
A view of Albuquerque from the tramway

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 856-1532 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 8 pm daily

Take the scenic route with Sandia Peak Tramway, located less than a 30-minute drive from downtown Albuquerque. 

Sandia Peak’s high elevation gifts you a panoramic view of New Mexico, especially from its Ten 3 Restaurant. This aerial tram is one of the longest in the world, spanning over 10 minutes of tram time. Visitors can hop off and hike trails during the spring and summer, or hit the ski slopes in the winter.

Bisti Badlands/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area

Go off-grid while spotting abstract rock formations.

Colorful sky over the Bisti Badlands/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area
Hoodoos at the Bisti Badlands

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 564-7600 | Website | Hours:  Open 24 hours

The Bisti Badlands/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area is located north of Albuquerque and is truly an unforgettable thing to do in New Mexico. 

Maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, the land spans 45,000 acres of badlands and contains very unusual rock formations. The remote wilderness of Bisti Badlands is a very unique place to go camping in New Mexico, but you can also go hiking and horseback riding here.

New Mexico Museums & Culture

New Mexico History Museum

Stroll the exhibits inside this Sante Fe Landmark and Museum.

View from the outside of the New Mexico History Museum
Outside the New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors

📍 Google Maps | Entrance: $12 | Phone: (505) 476-5200 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Mondays

Located in the heart of Santa Fe Plaza, The New Mexico History Museum is a must-see for history lovers in the city.

The New Mexico History Museum is part of the Department of Cultural Affairs and is one of the biggest state-sponsored museums in the U.S. The museum is comprised of three interlocking buildings; the Palace of the Governors, the Chavez Library Building, and the Pete V. Domenici Building. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of exhibits ranging across different artistic mediums.

👉 Pro Tip: To get the most out of your trip, book your days and itinerary ahead of traveling. Many local restaurants are closed on Sundays and a handful of museums are closed on Mondays.

Turquoise Museum

Stroll through an Albuquerque castle filled with gorgeous gems.

Close up view of jewelries displayed in Turquoise Museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 433-3684 | Website | Hours: 10 am –  2 pm, Monday-Saturday, Closed Thursday and Sunday | Entrance: Adults $20, Children $15 | 👉 Browse Turquoise Museum Tickets

Turquoise, the special gemstone of New Mexico, can be uncovered at Albuquerque’s Turquoise Museum. The museum, which recently moved into a castle, is filled with gorgeous turquoise preserved in jewelry and decor. 

It’s the perfect place to dive into the history of the stone and learn more about the mining process. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop if you’re looking to buy authentic turquoise, and book your museum ticket ahead of time to secure your spot.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Get inspired by the life and paintings of New Mexico’s iconic artist, Georgia O’Keeffe.

Clear blue sky over the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
The lookout from Georgia O’Keeffe’s home

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 946-1000 | Website | Hours:  10 am – 5 pm Thursday-Monday, Closed Tuesday and Wednesday | Entrance: $20 General Admission, Free for children 

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is the perfect opportunity to learn more about one of New Mexico’s most iconic artists. There are several museum sites, most notably the Museum Galleries and Library & Archive in Santa Fe, and the Welcome Center and Home & Studio in  Abiquiu.

All sites are worth checking out whether you’re an avid art fan or just want to learn more about this specific side of New Mexico. Georgia O’Keeffe’s work eventually inspired many other artists to come to the Southwest landscape for inspiration in their own creative endeavors. 

I appreciate the strong contextual storytelling around her artwork that not all museums provide. 

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Learn about the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and celebrate the vibrant culture at this center.

Clear blue sky over the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 843-7270 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm Tuesday-Sunday, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $12 Adults, $8 Youth 5-17

Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is undeniably a foundational site in New Mexico. With galleries, exhibits, and a calendar of events, this site is a beautiful way to learn about the history, present, and future initiatives of the Pueblo people and gain a deeper understanding of New Mexico as a whole. 

The center often hosts live music and dance performances, as well as the scrumptious Indian Pueblo Kitchen, the onsite restaurant that foodies won’t want to miss. Plus, this is a great place to start when deciding which of the 19 Pueblos to visit. 

Billy The Kid Museum

Venture back to the 1800s and learn about the life of an outlaw legend.

View of wild west clothes, boots, and accessories at the Billy The Kid Museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 355-2380 | Website | Hours: 8:30 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Sundays | Entrance: $5, adults, $4 under 15, $3, under 6 

If you’re a lover of outlaw stories from the wild wild west, then this one’s for you. The Billy The Kid Museum is a privately-owned museum in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and is dedicated to the life and story of this outlaw legend. 

Featuring artifacts from his life and memorabilia from the time, this museum is sure to teach you a ton about Billy The Kid.

International UFO Museum and Research Center

Connect with unexplained phenomena in New Mexico’s cosmic town of Roswell.

One of the displays inside the International UFO Museum and Research Center
Inside the International UFO Museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 625-9495 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $7, adults, $4 under 15, Free, 4 and under

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is truly a one-of-a-kind experience in New Mexico. I mean, where else can you learn about flying saucers and alien sightings? 

At the museum and research center, discover what happened at the 1947 “Roswell Incident” via a library of written, audio, and visual UFO research. Then, on your way out, grab an alien souvenir in the gift shop.

Ghost Ranch

Be inspired by a famous landscape and rejuvenate your spirit.

Overlooking view at Ghost Ranch under the clear blue sky
The desert scenery of Ghost Ranch

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 685-1000 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm daily | Entrance: $10, adults, free, 17 and under

Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center is located in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Its red cliff landscapes were made famous by painter Georgia O’Keefe, and the ranch offers budget travelers plenty of ways to rebirth their minds, body, and soul. 

You can visit using a day pass or stay overnight at local accommodations. At Ghost Ranch, there are plenty of activities including a museum, tours, massages, hiking, horseback rides, kayaking, and retreat workshops. 

Bed & Breakfasts

Have homemade breakfast and afternoon snacks while connecting with other travelers.

A long table and chairs at the dining room of Inn of the Turquoise Bear
The Communal dining room at Inn of the Turquoise Bear

📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse B&B Accommodations

Of all the accommodation options in New Mexico, I highly recommend staying at a bed & breakfast. Not only will this give you a cozy place to sleep, but B&Bs are often experiences in and of themselves.

For those that adore the charming adobe-style homes throughout New Mexico, you can find the perfect B&B with gorgeous architecture and rooms inspired by famous artists. The best part is that communal areas give you a chance to dine with other travelers and connect with locals.

Some of my favorite B&Bs that have delicious home-cooked breakfasts and afternoon snacks include Inn of the Turquoise Bear in Sante Fe, Bottger Mansion in Albuquerque, and Palacio de Marquesa in Taos.

Shopping in New Mexico

Sante Fe Farmers Market

Try local produce, blue corn pupusas, and other unique hand-crafted items.

The author with her friend smiling for a selfie in Sante Fe Market
Selfie at the Sante Fe market

📍 Google Maps 

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to taste a new city is by heading to one of the local weekly farmers’ markets. While New Mexico has growers’ markets in almost every major city, the absolute best farmers market in all of New Mexico is hands down the Santa Fe Farmers Market.

Also one of the top Santa Fe attractions, the weekly farmers market offers a variety of unique produce, made-to-order blue corn pupusas, handmade floral sage brushes, and fresh skincare. 

Albuquerque Historic Old Town

Frolic in colorful streets full of artisanal small businesses.

View inside a local handmade soap shop in Albuquerque Historic Old Town
A local handmade soap shop

New Mexico is home to some truly one-of-a-kind shopping experiences and many of the city centers have unique gift shops. Albuquerque has the most shops available among a plethora of districts including Albuquerque’s historic old town, which is close to some of the best places to stay in Albuquerque

You can find a range of souvenirs from olive oil to apothecary goods, handmade leather shoes, and artwork. 

Sante Fe Plaza

Search for authentic turquoise jewelry and boutique lifestyle finds in the heart of downtown Santa Fe.

Clear blue sky over the Sante Fe Plaza at dusk
Santa Fe Plaza at dusk

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 955-6200 | Website | Most Shop Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily  

In the heart of downtown Sante Fe you’ll find the elevated Santa Fe Plaza, a unique destination amongst the shopping districts in New Mexico. The Santa Fe Plaza is a National Historic Landmark that has been the beating heart of the city since its inception in 1610.

Here, you’ll find exquisite Native American-inspired fine jewelry and other fine goods. Meander through the downtown alleys for a collection of over 200 specialty shops, home decor, artifacts, and imports.

Canyon Road Art Galleries

Discern over distinguished artists’ masterpieces in a multitude of curated studios.

The Canyon Road under the clear blue sky
Gallery after gallery on Canyon Road

📍 Google Maps

When looking for things to do in New Mexico, you must visit an art gallery. This state has been a holy place for artists for centuries. So many famous painters, sculptors, and writers have created some of their best work in the inspiring New Mexico landscape.

So, it’s only fitting to explore the hundreds of art galleries that line Canyon Road in Sante Fe. Canyon Road offers over 100 rows of galleries all on one street! One of the best ways to take in all the creative work is by booking a private art tour to get a more intimate way to experience the local art scene.

Sante Fe Railyard, Baca Street District

Shop for crafted goods in Sante Fe’s arts district.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 982-3373 | Website | Hours: 8:30 am – 5 pm daily, closed Saturday and Sundays

When visiting Sante Fe, you’re bound to find great souvenirs at the Railyard’s boutique storefronts in the Baca Street District. Located right across the street from the Farmers Market,  there are tons of galleries, art spaces, cafes, and antique shops to find the perfect gift. 

Baca Street isn’t too far from the main plaza so it’s a nice place to walkabout. 

Unique & Fun Things to Do

Apothecary Restaurant & Oxygen Bar

Breathe in extra oxygen at a downtown Sante Fe restaurant.

The author with her friend enjoying their drinks in Apothecary Restaurant & Oxygen Bar
Tarot cards and kava smoothies

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 986-5037 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 10 pm daily | O2 Bar: $18, 15 minutes of oxygen 

When looking for unique things to do in New Mexico, the Oxygen Bar near Santa Fe Plaza is a great choice. Especially if you get altitude sickness, grab one of their preventative aerosol bottles of pure oxygen boosts or a 15-minute session of their 02 oxygen bar. 

They also offer food and elixirs specializing in kava and kratom potions. Downstairs at their sister company One Body Spa, you can get a flower essences massage, a reiki session, or Vedic astrology. 

Sante Fe School of Cooking

Learn to cook the traditional flavors of the Southwest.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 983-4511 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am – 5 pm daily, except Sundays | Cooking Classes: $89-120 

New Mexico, also known as The Land of Enchantment, is famously home to many healing modalities. To fully take advantage of this, I highly recommend taking a cooking class in which food is treated as medicine.

At Sante Fe School of Cooking, learn how to make tamales, soups, chiles rellenos, secret sauces, and more.

Chokola Bean To Bar

Go chocolate tasting in a quaint corridor of old town Taos.

Chocolate drinks and chocolate bars served at Chokola Bean To Bar
Don’t these chocolates look exquisite?

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 779-6163 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 6 pm daily

Down the cobblestone streets of Historic Taos Plaza is the cutest little single-origin chocolate shop, Chokola Bean To Bar. They have a large array of cacao, mouse, truffles, bars, mixes, coffee, and pastries. 

For a mix of all this goodness, try their chocolate-tasting flight. It’s the perfect accompaniment to sitting on the patio and enjoying the scenery of the plaza.

Taos Goji Berry Farm & Eco Lodge

Stay at a tucked-away organic goji berry farm near Taos.

A goji berry at the Organic Goji Berry Farm & Eco Lodge

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 776-3971 | Website

Taos Goji is an eco-village in San Cristobal near Arroyo Seco that is acres of open field, beautiful farming, gardens, rustic cabins, and glamping tipis. Staying here means you can wander around the property, enjoy fresh eggs and goji berries, and spend time in their cedar sauna.

Eco-conscious travelers will enjoy staying at or visiting the farm. You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy Taos, but the onsite rooms are named after the visionary authors and creative explorers that have stayed here. 

El Monte Sagrado Living Spa

Take a blissful soak in an eco-conscious spa at a resort in Taos.

View of a pool from the El Monte Sagrado Living Spa
Enjoying a soak in their hydrotherapy tubs and saltwater pool

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 737-9880 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 10 pm daily 

El Monte Sagrado Resort and Living Spa is an eco-conscious luxury in the heart of historic Taos. The grounds, restaurant, dining areas, and rooms are spectacular and the spa is one-of-a-kind. 

Book well in advance at El Monte Sagrado Living Spa for a massage or accommodations as this place is highly sought-after. 

👉 Pro tip: Budget travelers can stay at their cheaper sister property Palacio de Marquesa. This spot is just three blocks away and gives you access to their pool and amenities.

Creative Classes

Unleash your inner artist and make a souvenir at a local studio.

Local stones used in making a jewelry in New Mexico
Jewelry making with local stones
The author inside a tea shop in New Mexico
Impromptu writers retreat at a tea shop, a special poem souvenir by yours truly

📍 Google Maps | 👉 Browse Hands-On Classes

There are so many visionaries from New Mexico, so why not immerse yourself in the creative environment by taking up a class in a local studio? Lucky for you there are so many public and private classes to book. 

Instead of just exploring and observing, try a hands-on art class including mixed media, painting, stained glass, photography, and pottery. New Mexico also has fantastic cooking, oil blending, jewelry, writing, yoga, and dance classes. 

Food & Drink Activities

St. James Tearoom

Sip tea pairings with flavorful finger foods inside your own mid-century-themed tea room.

The author with her friend at the entrance of The St. James Tearoom
The author with her friend sitting on a couch inside The St. James Tearoom
Me and my bestie dressed up for afternoon high tea, because why not?

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 242-3752 | Website | Hours: 11 am, 1:30 pm, 4 pm, seating times daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $55, adults, $44, children

Nestled in North Albuquerque, the Saint James Tearoom is a fun way to experience traditional high tea. One of the most unique things to do in New Mexico, you’ll find themed tea rooms, waitresses in costume, a gorgeous garden, and a gift store. There is also consistent storytelling from start to finish that will transport you back in time to the traditional British tea era. 

The multi-course tea is paired with scrumptious sweet and savory bites that are just as pretty to look at as they are exquisite. You can also get alcoholic tea here too and they offer seasonal events.

📚 Related Reading: 15 Best Denver Tea Houses

El Farol Restaurant

Eat with elegance in an artistic haven and historic spot.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 983-9912 | Website | Hours: 3 pm – 9 pm Wednesday – Sunday 

Make your way down the artistic gallery path of Canyon Road in Sante Fe for a classy dinner. The ambiance is romantic with live music on weeknights. The seafood paella, tapas, and weekend 3-course meal paired with a live flamenco performance is definitely something to write home about.

👉 Pro tip: Book a tour of Canyon Road in Sante Fe and then enjoy dinner at El Farol right on the same street. 

La Cueva Cafe

Discover mouthwatering mole and other authentic flavors of New Mexico at this tiny Taos gem.

Close up view of a dish on a plate served in La Cueva Cafe
My meal at La Cueva Cafe

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-7001 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8 pm Monday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm Saturdays, Closed Sundays  

La Cueva Cafe looks like a complete hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but don’t let that fool you. Its authentic Mexican dishes are nothing short of mouthwatering. 

In particular, the chicken mole, chile reno, and tres leches cake is the best home cooking I’ve had in a while. The back patio under the tree is just perfection and the prices are great too.

Tesuque Village Market

Dine at an eclectic cafe with New Mexican cuisine and cocktails.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (505) 988-8848 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 9 pm daily 

If you want to dine as the locals do, Tesuque Village Market is worth the visit. This restaurant is located just 15 minutes north of downtown Sante Fe and nestled at the bottom of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. 

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a festive bar. It even features a grocery store and bakery. If you are stopping in Sante Fe, definitely check this place out.

Sparky’s BBQ and Espresso

Sip chile lemonade and burgers at this roadside eatery in Hatch, NM.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 267-4222 | Website | Hours: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm daily, Closed Mondays-Wednesdays 

Calling all hot and spicy lovers! Have you ever tasted hatch chile lemonade? Hatch chile, the native pepper of New Mexico, is infused into many of Sparky’s recipes and is a must-try while in the state. 

Taste green chile cheeseburgers and bbq, handcrafted coffee, and enjoy live music on the weekends. The food here is unique and the atmosphere is delightfully quirky. Sparky’s is definitely a great road trip stop.

El Molero

Grab fajitas and tamales in the heart of Sante Fe Plaza.

People enjoying their day during a sunny morning in Sante Fe Plaza Park
My view at Santa Fe Plaza

📍 Google Maps | Hours: 10 am – 3 pm daily 

At Sante Fe Plaza park, you’ll find a food cart with cheap and delicious homemade tamales baked fresh daily. Budget travelers will enjoy the simplicity of grabbing a snack at El Molero while picnicking on the grass and soaking up the beauty of Sante Fe Plaza. 

It’s the perfect spot for people-watching, catching some live music, and eating your heart out.

Food & Drink Tastings

Sample a little bit of everything.

An empty bottle of wine during a wine tasting at the Noisy Water Winery
Noisy Water Winery Tasting
Mugs hanging on a wall inside the Roots ABQ
Coffee tasting at Roots ABQ

👉 Browse New Mexico Food & Drink Tours

Not sure where or what to eat and drink in New Mexico? Then I recommend trying a little bit of everything. Culinary connoisseurs will enjoy New Mexico’s variety of tasting options, best experienced via a food or drink tour. You can pick between a ton of distilleries, chocolate, beer, wine, olive oil, spices, coffee, tea tastings, and more. 

A hidden non-alcoholic tasting can be found at Roots ABQ in the back of the store. For a popular attraction, taste your way through the olive oil and vinegar at Old Town Olive. For those that like the heat, head to Las Cruces Green Chile Trail.

👉 Pro Tip: When dining at a Mexican restaurant and they give you chips and salsa, ask for Christmas (both green and red mixed salsa) you’ll sound like a local. 

FAQs About What to Do in New Mexico

What is the number one attraction in New Mexico?

New Mexico’s number one attraction is Carlsbad Caverns National Park located in the Chihuahuan Desert. The attraction features more than 100 caves and is geologically diverse.

What are 3 things New Mexico is famous for?

New Mexico is known for its rich ancient pueblo heritage, chili peppers, and artistic community.

Is New Mexico worth visiting?

New Mexico is absolutely worth visiting for its flavorful food, rich culture, shopping, museums, and stunning National Parks.

What is the prettiest town in New Mexico?

Taos is arguably the prettiest town in New Mexico with its beautiful architecture, scenic mountainscape, and blossoming plants. 


Thanks for reading my guide on the best things to do in New Mexico!

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