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Top 7 Off The Beaten Path Things To Do In New Mexico

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Home to gorgeous, awe-inspiring places such as Carlsbad Caverns National Park, delicious food, and rich culture, New Mexico is a great state to visit! Here are seven off-the-beaten-path ideas for things to do on your next trip there.

1. Tinkertown

Tinkertown Museum is a truly one-of-a-kind art gallery located in Sandia Park, New Mexico. The museum features the works of Ross Ward. Ward originally constructed the carvings and sculptures as part of a traveling exhibit, which he would take to carnivals in the 60s and 70s. They eventually found a permanent home in what is now known as the Tinkertown museum, where his eccentric works are showcased today. The museum is located about 20 minutes from Albuquerque and is open for its summer season from April 29 to November 1.


2. Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

New Mexico may be mostly known for its desert environment, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally without options for enjoying a beach day. Head over to the Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area for a gorgeous Lakefront outing. Popular activities at Lake Carlsbad include swimming off the sandy beach, boating, and fishing.

Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

3. Plaza Blanca

This is a great option for photographers looking to visit New Mexico. The white piece consists of stunning formations of limestone and, looming over casts and shapes that look akin to shark's fins. Plaza Blanca is located near the Arizona border. Due to recent fires in the area, you may want to double-check any currently relevant closures or detours in the area depending on the direction you are coming from.

Plaza Blanca

4. Meow Wolf Santa Fe

If you’ve already familiar with Meow Wolf’s other locations, you already know their Santa Fe location is sure to offer a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience. If you’re not, Meow Wolf is an immersive art exhibit that will bend your sense of reality. Tickets are available online.

Meow Wolf Santa Fe

5. Jemez Hot Springs

Another thing new Mexico may not be known for is its hot springs. However, a trip to Jemez Hot Springs can make for an enjoyable, relaxing outing. Located about an hour from Albuquerque, Jemez Hot Springs offers pools of mineral water that are perfect to let your worries melt away in. Day use passes are available, with slots ranging from one-two hours sessions. The springs also have overnight lodging accommodations available for those looking to spend a weekend getting away from it all and relaxing.

Jemez Hot Springs

6. Roswell UFO Spacewalk

The Roswell Incident is probably one of the most famous events to happen in New Mexico. Supposedly, a spaceship crashed near the small town of Roswell several decades ago. Regardless of whether or not you believe that, stopping by the trippy Roswell UFO spacewalk is sure to make for a fun time. The spacewalk is an interactive, black-light art experience. You’ll wind through glowing pathways and past outlines of spaceships and aliens during your visit. This is a great option for adults and kids alike!

Roswell UFO Spacewalk

7. La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site

Petroglyph National Monument is probably the best-known site for seeing ancient art in the state. However, it's far from the only option. Another, lesser-known destination is La Cieneguilla Petroglyph site. Located outside of the city of Santa Fe, you’ll embark on a short, ten or so minute hike from the parking lot to get to the site where the petroglyphs are located.

La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site

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