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