In search of gold, Explorer Vasquez de Coronado was said to have traveled through
New Mexico in 1540 convinced that the adobe pueblos were the legendary Seven
Cities of Gold.
afterward, Coronado left the territory no richer, but perhaps a bit wiser.
the rule of Spain from the 16th century, Spanish missionaries also were helping
to spread the teachings of Christianity throughout the territory. 20 years before
the first pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they built North America's first church
in 1598 at San
New Mexico is best known for its distinctly Spanish flavor mixed with a taste of Old West Americana -- and even associations with space age UFO's...
Top New Mexico tourist attractions include the Carlsbad Caverns (left); the Georgia O'Keefe
Museum in Santa Fe (middle); and the International UFO Museum in Roswell (left).
Other top attractions throughout the state include the giant dunes situated inside White Sands National Monument and, for more outdoor thrills be sure to make your way up via the Sandia Peak Tramway outside Albuquerque for a stunning vista of the Rio Grande Valley (don't forget the camera!) for a view that seemingly lasts forever.
And, of course, the state's
well-established association with UFO
sightings remains another huge tourist draw at Roswell, where
a purported close encounter with aliens in 1947 (complete with still-popular government conspiracy theories) is commemorated
in the Roswell UFO
Espanola Online - Explore Northern New Mexico with information on historic Chimayo, Abiquiu (home of Georgia O'Keeffe), Ghost Ranch, Los Alamos, Bandelier National Park, Puye Cliffs, Indian pueblos, Taos, Santa Fe and more, with pictures, restaurant guide and hotels.