advertisement
  • Old Town (Albuquerque): Once the center of Albuquerque commerce, Old Town thrived until the early 1880s, when businesses relocated nearer to the railroad tracks. It has been a center of tourism since being rediscovered in the 1930s. Today you can visit shops, galleries, and restaurants in Old Town, as well as the Church of San Felipe de Neri, the first structure built when colonists established Albuquerque in 1706.

  • Georgia O'Keeffe's Home (Abiquiu; tel. 505/685-4539): Hand-smoothed adobe walls, elk antlers, and a blue door -- you'll encounter these images and many more that inspired the famous artist's work. When you view the landscape surrounding her residence in Abiquiu, you'll understand why she was so inspired. Be sure to make a reservation months in advance.

  • Palace of the Governors (North Plaza, Santa Fe; tel. 505/476-5100; www.palaceofthegovernors.org): This is where, in 1680, the only successful Native American uprising took place. Before the uprising, this was the seat of power in the area, and after de Vargas reconquered the American Indians, it resumed that position. Built in 1610 as the original capitol of New Mexico, the palace has been in continuous public use longer than any other structure in the United States. Look for remnants of the history this building has seen through the years, such as a fireplace and chimney chiseled into the adobe wall, and storage pits where the Pueblo Indians kept corn, wheat, barley, and other goods during their reign at the palace. After the reconquest, the pits were used to dispose of trash. Most notable is the front of the palace, where Native Americans sell jewelry, pottery, and some weavings under the protection of the portal.

  • St. Francis Cathedral (Cathedral Place at San Francisco St., Santa Fe; tel. 505/982-5619): Santa Fe's grandest religious structure was built between 1869 and 1886 by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy, in the style of the great cathedrals of Europe. Inside the small adobe, Our Lady of the Rosary chapel is full of the romance of Spanish Catholicism. The chapel was built in 1807 and is the only portion that remains from Our Lady of the Assumption Church, founded along with Santa Fe in 1610.

  • San Francisco de Asis church (Ranchos de Taos Plaza, Taos; tel. 505/758-2754): This is one the world's more beautiful churches. Though some might not see how it could compete with elaborate structures such as Chartres or Notre Dame de Paris, it's like a Picasso sculpture: Simple and direct, it has massive, hand-smoothed adobe walls and a rising sense that nearly lifts the heavy structure off the ground. Maybe that's why such notables as Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe have recorded its presence in art.

  • El Morro National Monument (Ramah; tel. 505/783-4226; www.nps.gov/elmo): In the Grants area, this sandstone monolith is known as "Inscription Rock," because travelers and explorers documented their journeys for centuries on its smooth face.

  • Cimarron: Nestled against the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, this town was a "wild and woolly" outpost on the Santa Fe Trail between the 1850s and 1880s and a gathering place for area ranchers, traders, gamblers, gunslingers, and other characters.

  • New Mexico Museum of Space History (NM 2001, Alamogordo; tel. 877/333-6589 outside NM, or 575/437-2840; www.spacefame.org): Tracing the story of space travel, this five-story museum recalls the accomplishments of America's Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, including New Mexico's participation in space exploration, from ancient American Indians to rocketry pioneer Robert Goddard to astronauts.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.