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New Mexico 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.

Shortly afterward, Coronado left the territory no richer, but perhaps a bit wiser.

Under the rule of Spain. missionaries were also 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 Juan Pueblo.

Today, New Mexico is best known for its distinctly Spanish flavor mixed with a taste of Old West Americana. More recently it gained modern-day fame as UFO central.

More major New Mexico tourist attractions include the Billy the Kid Museum at Fort Sumner, the Carlsbad Caverns, the state capital at Santa Fe, (also home to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum) and in hgher elevations popular New Mexico ski resorts in the Northern Central Rockies region.

new mexico tourist attractions
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).

2023 New Mexico special events and festivals

Just up ahead, check out our 2023 New Mexico travel calender featuring memorable events and major festivals happening throughout the state with dates, locations and official links for more information.

Happy travels!

albuquerque balloon fiesta
In October, experience the planet's biggest
hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque.

April 27 - April 29, 2023 -- Gathering of Nations Pow Wow Albuquerque

June 30 - July 2, 2023 -- Roswell UFO Festival Roswell

July 21 - July 23, 2023 -- Fiestas de Taos Taos

August 24 - August 27, 2023 -- Great American Duck Race Deming

September 2 - September 10, 2023 -- Fiestas de Santa Fe Santa Fe

September 7 - September 17, 2023 -- New Mexico State Fair Albuquerque

September 30 - October 2, 2023 -- All American CowboyFest Ruidoso Downs

October 7 - October 15, 2023 -- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Albuquerque

also see -> 2023 New Mexico Lakes & Beaches Guide   |   This Christmas in New Mexico

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 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 conspiracy theories) is commemorated in the Roswell UFO Museum.

DID YOU KNOW? New Mexico Travel Fun Facts

Albuquerque-bound for a "Breaking Bad" tour.

• Fans of the television series can take a Breaking Bad tour in Albuquerque, the city where most of the location shots were filmed.

• In New Mexico, you can also follow the favorite haunts of the real 19th century outlaw, BIlly the Kid, along the Billy The Kid National Scenic Byway.

• The original Smokey the Bear hails from New Mexico. As a cub, he was saved from a forest fire near Capitan where his burned paws came to symbolize the dangers of forest fires.

Santa Fe is the most architecturally unique state capital city in the country where all buildings are required by law to be in adobe style.

• More than 500 dinosaur tracks have been preserved at Clayton Lake State Park.


More information about New Mexico travel & tourism around the Web:


New Mexico Land of Enchantment - Travel news & updates, featured destinations, major tourist attractions, hotels & restaurant, event schedule, festivals, maps, pictures, travel video clips.

New Mexico Attractions, Roadside America - The strange & offbeat attractions you'll find in New Mexico including the UFO Museum, Toilet Rock, Smokey the Bear's grave, and lots more.

New Mexico Cultural Treasures - Search by alphabetical listing or by region for museums, libraries and historic sites throughout the state.


chiff 25th anniversary

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