Traveling to New Mexico, so What Should I See?

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MarkB.

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Green chile-cheeseburger at Sparky's in Hatch; there is not a better burger on the continent.

Travel in New Mexico, like everything from West Texas on, is based on hours. Use 70 mph as your basis.

For instance, its an hour from the El Paso airport to the I-10/I-25 junction in Las Cruces.

Going up I-25:
Its 45 more minutes to Hatch (including time at the checkpoint). Or an hour if you take the more scenic route up the old highway along the Rio Grande.
T or C/Hot Springs is another 45 minutes after that and two more hours to Albuquerque. The VLA is about an hour west of Socorro on your way to Albu and totally not worth it.

Santa Fe is another hour after Albuquerque.

If you go East on NM-70 from Las Cruces, the Nike-Hercules is about 20 minutes. The White Sand National Monument is about 45 minutes and the NM Space Museum in Alamogordo another 30 minutes after that. From there Rosewell is two hours over the mountains and while I agreed the Goddard museum and the UFO kitch are fun, it's not really worth the drive time.

The Nuclear Museum in Albu is absolutely worth seeing and there's lots of Route 66 kitch there, too.

On the upside, New Mexico is a great mix of Native, Spanish and American cultures. Food, art, architecture are different and great. There are lots of historic sites, both ancient and modern. The downside is rampant poverty especially north of Interstate 40/Route 66.
 
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JackC

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The Spaceport Cup non-flying events are located in Las Cruces (where I live). Alamogordo is a little over an hour East. White Sands National Monument is on US 70 on the way. The New Mexico Space Museum in Alamogordo is a must-see. WSMR museum and missile park are closed to the public. But, there's a Nike Hercules at the rest stop on the mountain pass from Las Cruces over the White Sands side of the mountains. A nice stop with a view of the Missile Range and Army base. The above stops will take a day.

If you don't have much time, the long drive to Roswell is not worth the trip. The Goddard Museum there is interesting, but that trip will take a whole day with most of the time spent driving.

Albuquerque is 3+ North of Las Cruces, 2 hours North of T or C. Not much to see there to justify the trip, IMO. The VLA on the way is closed to the public.

Within Las Cruces, there are many good restaurants. You might want to visit Old Mesilla and the shops around the historic plaza. La Posta restaurant is well known around the US and beyond.

If you'd like to do some hiking, there are many trails around the Las Cruces area. I've hiked many of them, so just ask I can direct you to one that fits your interests and abilities. 25% of the county around Las Cruces is designated as the Organ Mountains/Desert Peaks National Monument. My property borders on part of this reserved land. Here are some photos I took from my house or nearby:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/SATXGcxW39N3tEfP7

The weekend before the Spaceport Cup, Tripoli Las Cruces will have it's monthly HPR launch June 18-19 near Alamogordo.
The land there is beautiful!
 

teepot

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I agree that the miles between places out west is deceiving. 100 miles out here is an hour and 20 minutes. The Strip In Vegas is 65 miles from where I live. I could make it to work at The Mirage in an hour and 15 minutes. That's with early traffic and stop lights. The cops won't even look at you if your doing 80mph in a 70 zone. Once you get away from population centers freeway speeds go up. Some areas it's 75mph and others are 80mph. So 80 equals 90. 10 over and you are probably good to go.
 

Johnly

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Since it hasn't been mentioned so far, the Three Rivers Petroglyph North of Alamogordo is just plain awesome. On my trips to the area this is one of my favorite stops to wander and absorb the history of the area.

I love the food in the area. My first dinner stop in ABQ is Padilla's Mexican Kitchen 1510 Girard Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106-1823
It's nothing expensive or fancy, just an iconic family restaraunt that serves outstanding SW cuisine.
 

NananNegain

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From my point of view, the only two things that are worth visiting there, out of the ones that you mentioned, have to be: New Mexico Space Museum and White Sands Missile Range.
 

Johnly

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Three Rivers Petroglyph area about an hour North of Alamogordo is a spectacular area to walk in history.
Anytime I fly into ABQ my first stop is Padilla's Mexican Kitchen.
 

jsdemar

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From my point of view, the only two things that are worth visiting there, out of the ones that you mentioned, have to be: New Mexico Space Museum and White Sands Missile Range.
WSMR Museum has been closed for a while. Not sure when it will re-open.
 

NananNegain

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From my point of view, the only two things that are worth visiting there, out of the ones that you mentioned, have to be: New Mexico Space Museum and White Sands Missile Range.
These are basically the best places to visit in New Mexico as well.
 

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