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A visit to the state of New Mexico: Things to do and seee (in pictures)

New Mexico is the 5th largest state in the USA. It is a beautiful mountain state and there is a lot to see. In our latest adventure, we spent a week exploring the state, and in this blog post, I showcase the best of our 'winter' visit so that you can plan yours.

If you have a week, there are four areas that you should plan to explore. Fly in and out of Albuquerque. Plan to rent a car. Review this list and scroll down to dig deeper.

  1. Taos

  2. Santa Fe

  3. Albuquerque

  4. Las Cruces


Taos is a ski town. You can stay in town, or drive up and stay right by the slopes at 9000 ft. When we went in February, most shops closed at 5 and several restaurants were open just for dinner and did not stay open very late.

My recommendation is to hit the slopes during the day and grab an early dinner in town. Or grab a late breakfast or brunch and explore parts of town. Keep in mind that some spots are closed on certain days of the week. Also, the food scene is not so great for vegetarians.

Where to stay?

Lodging options Taos Inn, NM
Taos Inn, Taos, New Mexico

We stayed at the historic Taos Inn.

The rooms were pueblo style - very simple, cute and clean. Pricey if you ask me - for what they offer. If you are skiing, there are options by the slopes. One would think that prices would be lower past winter months.

Where to eat?

Love Apple comes first on the list when you look for vegetarian food but it was closed when we went. Cid's Health Food market is cool, resembles Whole Foods from outside.

Then there is FarmHouse which has some veggie options but we didn't particularly like it. We stopped by World Cafe twice for some quick breakfast bites and coffee, this was decent and the icing on the cake was that it opened early and was walking distance from Taos Inn. The restaurant at the historic Taos Inn - Doc Martins was decent and also had some fantastic cocktails.

Gutiz warrants a special mention and our vote. It has really good coffee and breakfast too.

What to do in Taos - besides skiing?

Taos is a town that connects you with nature - it is quite peaceful.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge will take your breath away. We bundled up, parked our car and walked the muddy path to the bridge - the 10th highest in the US. You can drive over the bridge but the best way to see the gorge is to park and walk on it. It's quite spectacular

The San Francisco De Asis is an old active church in the village of Ranchos de Taos, just minutes from the main Taos plaza. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

Walk around Taos plaza and explore the area - Many galleries and cute shops. We met a lovely lady who suggested we take the High Road on our way back to Santa Fe.

Even if you are not into winter sports, drive up to the High Noon ski area and village. Grab a bite or coffee, sit indoors and watch people skiing and snowboarding. The snow is light and fluffy and there are 70+ trails - a lot going on!

Between Taos and Santa Fe

Take the High Road between Santa Fe and Taos to see little Spanish villages and churches along the way. Stop at two places:

  • Village of Las Trampas for a quick visit to the Church of San Jose de la Gracia, built in 1770-76, designated as a national historic landmark

  • Village of Chimayo for a visit to Santuario de Chimayo, a very old and beautiful church


The cutest town of them all. We stayed at the El Rey Court which was a little bit further off from downtown Santa Fe - just maybe 5-8 minutes off (Its a small town!).

We looked for hotels closer to the action but everything was too expensive. Nevertheless, it worked out just right, we would stay at the same hotel again.

What to see?

Bandelier National Monument (an hour away from Santa Fe)

Absolutely worth visiting, this monument preserves the ancestral homes of the Pueblo people. You can see how little dwellings were carved into soft rock. Don't miss it, and get the guide that tells you more about each numbered spot - it definitely helped us appreciate the place a lot more.

Canyon Road

Ooh so arty-farty. No really, jokes apart, there is a lot of talent and creativity here. My favorite was Prescott sculptures.

There are others too. If nothing else, drive by!

Downtown and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

The downtown plaza is nice with a ton of shops. We walked into an olive oil company which had oils with New Mexican flavors. There was a dumpling shop, an ice cream shop, bunch of restaurants, you can easily spend an hour walking around.

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is a Santa Fe must-do. If you do not know much about the artist, I encourage you to learn about her work and her life. It is truly inspiring. Reservations strongly recommended.

So trippy, you will love it! This is an experience, and one you will remember for a long time! Plan at least a couple hours and be prepared to walk into coolers, fridges, fireplaces and washing machines :)

Where to eat in Santa Fe?

There are interesting places to eat here but one stands out! Paper Dosa - such a cute place! It is a popular joint amongst the locals. And look at the size of that dosa!

For breakfast, consider New York on Catron. And definitely order their hatch green chili bagel!

New York on Catron
Hatch Chili Bagel is a must try in Santa Fe!

Secreto Lounge for cocktails. This lounge /bar is at the Hotel St. Francis. And not only are the cocktails spectacular, the apps are darn good too.