Tis the season to take a road trip! New Mexico is truly one of the United States’ hidden gems. Go exploring with your family this summer without traveling too far from home and without breaking the bank. Experience all the beauty, history, and culture our great state has to offer. Check out some ideas below for some in-state travel.
How to use this guide ::
Click on the boxes below to learn more about each New Mexico destination.
Ruidoso, located just three hours from Albuquerque in the mountains of South Central New Mexico, is the perfect answer to your next family vacation. It’s a bit of a folly to say that summer is the best time to visit Ruidoso when it’s truly a year-round destination. However, summer in Ruidoso is a prime vacation spot for a cool escape to the mountains.
Within three hours of the Albuquerque metro (that’s one movie, some snacks, a car game, and hopefully no bathroom breaks), you and your family could be in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Chama, NM. Just south of the Colorado border lies this hidden gem of a town where the headwaters of the Rio Chama meet towering mountain vistas. Chama hosts a series of events called Chama Western Heritage Days, that would be the perfect summer getaway for a family living in the Albuquerque area.
Oftentimes people think of Santa Fe as an adult-only town. And certainly it does have its fair share of fabulous restaurants, art galleries, historical sites, and shopping that we adults should take advantage of. But Santa Fe can also be a great place to take kids. Whether you are an Albuquerque resident in need of a one-day excursion with your little ones or you are a visitor from out of town, these activities can be a great diversion for you and your kids.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is another one of New Mexico’s unique landscapes. Tent Rocks makes a perfect Albuquerque day trip and is great for families. Additionally, my family often takes out-of-town visitors to Tent Rocks. Tent Rocks is a quick 45 min drive northwest of Albuquerque (near Cochiti) and located on Cochiti Pueblo jurisdiction.
The High Road to Taos is quintessential New Mexico at its best. Old adobe houses in lush river valleys, local art galleries and rustic produce stands. A desert painted with yellows, reds, greens, and oranges. Picturesque villages known for weaving and crafts, forest roads to explore, restaurants to try, and beautiful Catholic churches to photograph.
For being considered such a small town, Taos has much to offer. There’s delicious food, kid-friendly activities, and the great outdoors. I’ll list off some of my favorite activities that we took advantage of with our two-year-old and four-year-old daughters. Keep in mind that this is just a small sampling of what Taos has to offer!