New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Roswell)
New Mexico in 3 Days
New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment!
Here is my 3 day itinerary for exploring Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Roswell.
Day 1 we explored the famous hot air balloon city of Albuquerque.
We booked an Air BNB called the Alameda Place 4 and it was near Balloon Fiesta Park. This was a one room with the a bed, a bathroom, couch, and kitchen. The location was great and the site had free parking for your car or rental car.
•Melting Pot in ABQ Uptown
•La Choco (great smoothies)
•IL Vicino (Pizza)
Old Town Albuquerque
Old Town is the cutest square that is home to adobe houses, New Mexican restaurants, and artisan shops.
Be sure to check out the San Felipe de Neri Church. It has served as a House of Prayer for 300 years as the Mother Church of Albuquerque.
Keep walking and check out all the charming century old adobe houses and all the interesting and unique architecture the Old Town has to offer.
Notice all the chili peppers dried and hanging from the buildings and gates. There was a special spot next to Plaza Gifts that had a whole gate lined with chili’s and wreaths made from them.
Petroglyph National Monument
Boca Negra Canyon is the monument to choose if you don’t want to hike far and you want to see amazing views of Albuquerque at the top.
Put in your GPS Boca Negra Canyon and it will take you straight there.
You see many petroglyphs carved into rocks at the bottom and along your 5 minute trek up the mountain. There is a trail that you follow. People of all ages were partaking in this small adventure. You can search for petroglyphs along the walk up too.
Once you get to the top, the views are breathtaking. Literally and physically because of the altitude. You can see in every direction. You can also see hot air balloons as they are going up into the sky. This makes for a magical photo op.
Sandia Peak Tramway
You will ascend 10,378 feet on the Sandia Mountains.
Be sure to purchase tickets online ahead of your trip. You can view it during the day or at night. We did a night trip on the Tramway. The ticket price was $30 a person.
You begin the journey by boarding the tram with 48 people. The tram ascends up the mountain with a panoramic view of the city. We did it at night so you can see the lights majestically. It takes 15 minutes to ride up. Once you are at the top, you can take in all the views and relax. If you’d like to eat there is a restaurant at the top. You will then get back in line to ride down 15 more minutes. The journey is quick but worth the trek for your body, soul, and mind.
We rented a car to get around for our 3 day trip. We booked it ahead of time off of Expedia. We used ACE car rental in New Mexico. The airport has a shuttle that takes you to the rental car facility. This is highly recommended for this trip.
Day 2 we explored the capital of New Mexico that sits in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. It was founded as a Spanish Colony in 1610.
We drove one hour from Albuquerque to do this for a day trip.
The Plaza in Santa Fe is in downtown Santa Fe and has many shops, restaurants, artisans, local jewelry, and Native American’s selling many hand made objects to purchase.
Be sure to go to The Palace of the Governors right next to the square to find all the Native American vendors selling unique jewelry and crafts.
Go to the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and admire the Adobe style architecture and colorful posts decorated outside of it.
Right next to the Museum is The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. We walked into this and it was stunning.
We dined downtown at Tres Colores and got authentic New Mexican cuisine. We also were sure to get a shot of tequila that had 100% agave. It was smooth and smelled delicious.
Roswell was made famous by an alleged UFO crash back in 1947. It is considered the UFO capital of the world.
We packed up from Albuquerque and drove 3 hours to Roswell to spend the day and night. The drive is isolated and desolate and out in the middle of nowhere. You pass one gas station along the journey in Vaughn, New Mexico. Be sure to fill up before you go and fill up in Vaughn halfway to Roswell. The drive is scenic and vast. You can see tumbleweed blow past you as you’re driving the lonely western road.
When you arrive in Roswell, be sure to get your picture at the “Welcome to Roswell” sign. The Earthlings have entered the alien zone now.
As you're driving down Main Street in the Historic District, be sure to take in the alien street lights. Also keep an eye out for aliens scattered at the different restaurants.
Roswell Historic Downtown has many shops to look in with all kinds of alien gear and souvenirs. I even got a drink that was a “Martian Soda.” Be sure to stroll through all the shops and admire the alien props all within the town.
UFO International Museum
This museum was really interesting and interactive. They had exhibits and voice overs of the alleged UFO crash and the alien sightings of different people. This was a $5 entrance fee.
Roswell UFO Spacewalk: A Blacklight Adventure
This was a blacklight alien interaction that reminded me of a haunted house. It was neat to walk through. It was a $5 entrance fee.
This place was my favorite in Roswell. It was a virtual reality experience of the UFO crash. You journey through time to be a part of this exotic alien world. It will not make you dizzy either. This fee was $13. We chose the 1947 VR experience.
Be sure to see the Roswell flying saucer mural downtown. It is next to the UFO International Museum. This is a photo op spot in Roswell.
Also a must see is the UFO flying saucer McDonald’s. You have to see it lit up at night. Be sure to go inside and eat too! It looks out of this world.
We purchased our souvenirs at the Roswell visitors center. The other stores had sweatshirts for $45-55. We found nice sweatshirts for $15 at the visitors center.
Cowboy Cafe (home style cooking)
Pecos Flavors Winery and Bistro (Alien wine)
La Quinta Inn and Suites by Wyndham Roswell. We spent the night and drove the next morning back to Albuquerque.