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Old 01-03-2008, 02:49 PM
 
36 posts, read 104,019 times
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Hey all,

I posted a little while back about teaching elementary on/near a reservation, and I subsequently got accepted to Teach for America and will teaching in NM this fall! NOW partly in preparation for the big move from NY, and partly because I just can't wait to start this new chapter in my life (I just graduated from college!), my dad and I were planning on visiting NM for a short stint, possibly in March or April.

We were thinking of flying in to Alb., checking out the city, taking a long drive up near Gallup (where I'll be teaching/living most likely), and basically just exploring as much of NM as possible. Which is obviously impossibly to do in a week's time. The thing is...if Im going in March or April...does anyone have suggestions for some MUST SEE/DO things? Personally, Im fine with meandering around any city and getting some decent New Mex food every day...but since Ill be moving out for a couple years and Dad has never been to NM...I want to have an idea of what we can do. He's really big into the Roswell/ Alien thing but....Im leaning more toward history and culture myself
Thanks!
Danielle
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: AZ
19,645 posts, read 51,198,428 times
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Gallup is pretty interesting, lots of Native American stuff there to check out, and the surrounding countryside is gorgeous!!!! Be sure to head up to Santa Fe and Taos (Rt. 25) and check out the "squares". Old Town Albuquerque is pretty cool too, but not as nice as Santa Fe or Taos' squares. I also recommend the Sandia Tram outside of ABQ, it has the absolute best views around, well worth it! There is also the White Sands area, which is really cool, as well as Carlsbad Caverns. Those are the areas Ive been to, dont know much else about the state, but I hope this helps give you some ideas.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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Default Jemez mountains...

You should take a drive through the Jemez mountains and drive by the valle caldera?? Those were my old stomping grounds when in school at UNM... Might want to check out Sadies, Casa Benivadez, El Pinto, The Frontier... If you like hiking, a little hiking at the top of Sandia Crest would be fun and still not too tiresome... The La Luz Trail makes for a wonderful hike as well if really into hiking... Hope you have fun and realize that this state is going to grow on you, lots to do rather than rot your brain with TV... I was dumb enough to move away and am moving straight back once my house sells... Good luck and hope you enjoy your new area....
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Jemez Springs & UK
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Yup, yemtig's right. Don't miss Jemez Springs. Go to the Jemez Springs Bath House for a hot mineral bath, herbal wrap, then check out the village for a nice meal and glass of Jemez Red from Ponderosa Winery.

In Albuquerque: I'm partial to Old Town actually...and you will get better deals on stuff there than in Santa Fe and your dad might enjoy the museums down there. Eat at Monroe's Restaurant on Lomas. For a gourmet wonder, eat at the High Noon in Old Town, ask for Charlie, check out the beautiful little bar there with the santos in the niches...

If you are out in the desert areas, be aware that March winds are high, have a good pair of sunglasses! Both for the sun and to protect your eyes from the blowing sand!

Get a promo package from the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau or just check the Internet...possibly you can attend at least one Native American dance on a pueblo if they are having any during your time there.

If you want to see a genuine old west town like in the cowboy movies, drive to Cerrillos, it's next door to Madrid.

Keep your eyes and mind open. There is a lot of variety to New Mexico, every town is unique, Gallup is one thing, Albuquerque is another, Jemez another, Santa Fe another, etc. You could live there a lifetime and never see it all.

Have fun and best wishes on your new life adventure! You picked an auspicious & beautiful place for it!

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Old 01-04-2008, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
33,797 posts, read 29,215,017 times
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Take two weeks and do some of the stuff these folks have recommended. Anne & I are planning to visit the same area during this coming summer.

Be aware that northern NM can be chill in March so bring some warm cloths. Say stuff suitable for NYC in April or May..
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:05 AM
 
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Default My recommendations

If you want to stay near Old Town, I would recommend this place, within walking distance:

Casas de Suenos - Stayed there for 2 days with my wife and daughter when we first arrived - very quaint and comfy, laid back.

My fav restaurant: Range Cafe, NM Cuisine Range Cafe

Watch an Albuq sunset from either atop Sandia, or Elena Gallegos SP, off Tramway Blvd. The combo of the sunset and city lights below, will take your breath away.

p.s. March is windy - don't let the windiness get you down - it's temporary. From your "handle" - 89.9 FM sometimes has good jazz in the early afternoons, weekdays, depending on the dj.
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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Don't bother coming to Roswell just for alien stuff. There isn't much to see. The town is boring and about all there is are some junk shops on main street with alien themes and a "museum" which is pretty much all newspaper clippings. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people come here for it, but unless you want to see other things in the area like Carlsbad Caverns or White Sands, it's not worth coming to Roswell. Roswell is about a 3-4 hour drive southeast of Albuquerque. Here are some other things in the area people may not have mentioned: About 2 hours southwest of Albuquerque is Magdalena where the Very Large Array is. It is a nice little stop. Not too far across the border from the Gallup area in Arizona is the pertified forest and the Meteor Crater which are both interesting. There are some lava fields and an old volcano in the Grants area that are kind of interesting. If you do end up coming to the Roswell/Carlsbad area, you can stop in Lincoln on the way north to see Billy the Kid things. The Taos area is scenic and there is a pretty impressive bridge over the Rio Grande gorge in the area. Anyway, there are a lot of things to see in NM.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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jbdykstra is right. Roswell is OK for a quick visit for the UFO stuff, but it sits 45 minutes east of the Sacramentos so there isn't a lot of scenic driving coming down U.S. 285 from Vaughn, with the exception of Bitter lake National Wildlife Refuge and the Bottomless Lakes State Park, 10 miles east of town. Carlsbad is 80 miles south of Roswell and the Caverns are 20 miles southwest on 180. IMHO Carlsbad Caverns is one of the crown jewels in National Park system. It is awesome! Goindg down there in March is the right time of the year as Roswell and Carlsbad start hitting 100 degrees in Junebut in March the temperature is 70 to 75. Also in Carlsbad is Living Desert State Park and Brantley Reservoir for water sports. Imlive in western Colorado but worked in SE New Mexico years ago; love the area, and hoping to move in the next 5 years or so. Hopefully some more people will chime in. BTW, love your name. I was playing John Coltrane's My Favorite Things in the car just yesterday!
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:13 PM
 
36 posts, read 104,019 times
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Default :) thank you!

Thank you so much everyone who responded! Honestly, there is just such a wealth of things worth visiting (and re-visiting!) in New Mexico that it can be hard to pare down to just a week's worth. I really appreciate all the specific directions and such

@ Double H: Thanks! Whenever I give my email address (I use the same name) 9/10 people spell it "coldtrain"....and when I say "Coltrane as in the jazz musician"... it really doesnt help at all

Carlsbad sounds perfect....and Ill try to convince Dad to avoid the touristy traps in Roswell

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
jbdykstra is right. Roswell is OK for a quick visit for the UFO stuff, but it sits 45 minutes east of the Sacramentos so there isn't a lot of scenic driving coming down U.S. 285 from Vaughn, with the exception of Bitter lake National Wildlife Refuge and the Bottomless Lakes State Park, 10 miles east of town. Carlsbad is 80 miles south of Roswell and the Caverns are 20 miles southwest on 180. IMHO Carlsbad Caverns is one of the crown jewels in National Park system. It is awesome! Goindg down there in March is the right time of the year as Roswell and Carlsbad start hitting 100 degrees in Junebut in March the temperature is 70 to 75. Also in Carlsbad is Living Desert State Park and Brantley Reservoir for water sports. Imlive in western Colorado but worked in SE New Mexico years ago; love the area, and hoping to move in the next 5 years or so. Hopefully some more people will chime in. BTW, love your name. I was playing John Coltrane's My Favorite Things in the car just yesterday!
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:09 PM
 
13,223 posts, read 12,397,538 times
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A couple items I forgot to mention regarding the caverns. One of the features is the bat flight. About a half million bats fly out of the mouth of the cave at nightfall and it is witnessed by dozens of people sitting in the amphitheater. I've been there several times over 30 plus years; took friends from North Dakota there last Spring. Pull up their web site as there is a few fees involved. Google some of the other sites-there is good reading there as well. Albuquerque to Roswell is about four hours and Carlsbad another hour and a half. There is plenty of motels in both areas and they are reasonable beings as you are coming down in the off season. Maybe some of the people reading this who are locals can help you with the other details!
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