9 Best Day Trips From Albuquerque, New Mexico

day trips from albuquerque

Planning to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature and history? Looking to immerse yourself in different cultures? Then New Mexico is the perfect place for you. From New Mexico’s largest and most populous city, Albuquerque, you can get around the state and experience its several wonders! There is a wide array of things to do such as embarking on an archeological journey, experiencing serenity at its finest and trying out culinary fusions. So dust off those hiking boots and recharge because you deserve it. Being the fifth-largest state in the US, planning a trip to New Mexico may become a challenge. But don’t fret! Check out our list of the best day trips from Albuquerque, New Mexico, that we prepared for you, for an unforgettable experience.

1. Jemez Springs (from USD 325.0)

If you are looking to soak all the stresses away and immerse yourself in authentic Native American culture and history, the Town of Jemez is the place to be. Be lured by their nurturing hot springs and embark on a spectacular retreat to unplug from your busy lives and reconnect with nature and the self. Jemez Springs is said to have healing properties because of the therapeutic blend of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and more, that are found in its waters. Soak and be renewed. The town also boasts handmade mineral makeup products and Native American pottery and jewelry; perfect as gifts for loved ones or as treats for your hardworking self.

New Mexico: Jemez Pueblo, Soda Dam & Falls: A Photographer's Landscape Dream

Duration: 6 hours

3 reviews

2. Santa Fe, New Mexico (from USD 345.0)

Fascinated by architectural wonders and the arts? Then New Mexico’s capital city is the place to be. Wander inside its renowned churches, famous for its distinct characteristics like the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi known for its Romanesque Revival architecture or the Loretto Chapel with its awe-inducing spiral staircase. Can’t get enough of the arts? Then pick one or visit all of the world-class museums. Then, stroll down the streets and sample an array of cuisines; there are Italian, Asian, New Mexican or Tapas. After that, satisfy your need for artworks, jewelry, and prints in the many stores downtown. Your day will be well spent in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe 8-Hour Private Guided Sights and Museums Tour, Pickup

Duration: 8 hours

7 reviews

3. The Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid, New Mexico

Mine Shaft Tavern (5350116784)
Source: Photo by user Greg Willis used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Craving for some mystery and excitement? Then head on to Madrid in New Mexico. This small village is categorized as a ghost town and is said to be haunted as numerous ghost sightings have been reported. Brave enough to check if ghosts do appear? Then head on to the Mine Shaft Tavern, said to be the most haunted place in all of Madrid. Yet, despite these stories, there is a bittersweet history. Madrid used to be a bustling village famous for its mineral deposits- coal, lead, silver, and gold. However, when the coal market collapsed so did Madrid. It even came to the point of the town being listed for sale, but there were no takers. But now Madrid is again reclaiming its lost glory; it is now becoming a haven for motorcycle riders and tourists dropping by for a pint or two at “the longest bar in the state” inside the Mine Shaft Tavern.

4. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico
Source: Photo by user Marshallhenrie used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Are you ready for some hiking? Well, let us get physical and lace up those hiking boots as we get ready to conquer the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Pick from the two main trails that will take you to the most jaw-dropping formations and top-tier views. Watch out for the conical rock formations-the hoodoos that look like 90-foot (27-meter) sentries standing guard over the vast desert. Tip: avoid crowded weekends, pick a weekday and start the trail early. Trust when we say, it will be worth the hike.

5. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos, New Mexico

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge N.M. 05
Source: Photo by user Jadee911 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you only have one day to spare then Taos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, would be worth your while. It has everything you would ever want. Feed your eyes with the stunning views of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and be amazed by a scenic hike or the beautifully constructed steel bridge. Fill your stomach with local and organic food that Taos is famous for. Indulge in artisanal products and the mouthwatering tamales. If you are there on a weekend, do not miss the Taos Farmers’ Market, join the locals as they compare recipes and taste each other’s goodies- may it be cheese, bread and honey. Engage your heart with your love for the arts- architectural wonders, galleries, museums, art colony- name it, Taos has it. Drop by The Earthships and look around the off-the-grid homes that are built from materials like used tires and bottles. Do some pottery at Taos Clay or take a 15-mile (24-km) hike and drive to the Frazer Mountain.

6. Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
Source: Photo by user Matthew Dillon used under CC BY 2.0

Pueblos (pueblo is the Spanish word for town) are communal villages of the North American Indians. If you are looking to have a feel of living in these Pueblos, then go and visit Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. The monument is called as such because of the salt deposits found in the area. Salinas is Spanish for salt-mines. Here, you will find and explore the well-preserved remains of pueblo communities. There are three sites to choose from: Quarai, Abo and Gran Quivira. They all cover around 1.7 miles! In each of these excavated sites, you will be able to find mission church ruins and pueblos. The best way to experience the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is for you to follow the informative trails.

7. Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum

05 Sky City Cultural Center
Source: Photo by user Beyond My Ken used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Delve into New Mexico’s rich cultural heritage and visit Acoma Pueblo, the Sky City. Sky City Cultural Center houses the Haakú Museum and it is also the reception area for visitors who are about to encounter the 28th Historic Site, as proclaimed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for being the oldest inhabited settlement in North America! Take a peek at the history and revitalized lost art forms of the Acoma people. Take the guided tours and check out Acoma pottery and Native American crafts sold by local artisans.

8. Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument Visitor Center
Source: Photo by user Skarz used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Are you familiar with the Petroglyphs? These are rock carvings or rock paintings created by the ancestors of the Pueblo people. At the Petroglyph National Monument, you can take a closer look at around 25,000 petroglyph images, all believed to be carved from the 100s through the 1680s! Be ready for a quick walk along one of the paths or be adventurous and hike the whole day and explore not only the petroglyphs but also the five fissure volcanoes. Experience the arid and desert-like plateau. Watch out for cacti varieties and elusive creatures.

9. The Very Large Array

Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array
Source: Photo by user Mihaisiscanu used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Very Large Array is the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories and the most powerful radio telescope in the world! Located on the Plains of San Agustin, roughly 50 miles (80 km) west of Socorro, New Mexico, Very Large Array consists of 27 radio antennas. The VLA’s maximum angular resolution is even comparable to that of the Hubble Space Telescope! Go ahead and marvel at each of the antennae that stands tall at 82 feet 24 meters. Be amazed and learn how the Very Large Array is used by astronomers for weather studies and satellite tracking. When visiting this facility, no reservations are required. Guided tours that usually last 50 minutes are available via the tourism center.

Amazing experiences in New Mexico

Indeed, New Mexico has amazing historical gems, wonderful views, and amazing multi-sensory experiences. Pack up and invest in memories that will last a lifetime! Be ready to be enchanted by the Land of Enchantment; New Mexico.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Charmaine is a Filipino food and travel blogger who is in constant search for new adventures and experiences. Travelling around the world has given her a wider perspective about life and a deeper...Read more

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