Things to Do in New Mexico
There are plenty of great things to do in New Mexico
That is the state question, of where I currently live, in New Mexico. If you go to most restaurants, especially a New Mexican restaurant, you will be asked this question. And it is basically asking about your preference for red chilies or green chili. If it’s your first time, ask for both on the side so you can taste them individually.
I’ve lived in the state’s largest city for a smidgen over four years now. And while I’m not thrilled with having been here that long, I still enjoyed New Mexico. There is a lot to do here in Albuquerque, much to the disagreement of some of the disgruntled locals. But they’ve never really been anywhere to appreciate what they have.
The city is fast growing and its youth crowd is bustling with artistic talent and new-age ideals. Culture is a huge mix of Spaniards, Mexicans, Germans, and Native Americans with lots of mixed races.
Variety in food is plentiful here with no lack of Mexican, New Mexican (there IS a difference!), Chinese, Japanese, and high-class multi-national restaurants. The top-rated restaurant in the area is “High Finance Restaurant”, but don’t let the name of the place fool you. While it’s the name suggests it is pricey, it’s not all that bad actually, but the food is delicious. It might also get its name from the fact it sits atop the peak of the Sandia Mountain Range. Accessible of course, by tram car or a long winding road. But if you’re in New Mexico, you have to take the longest tram.
When people think of “High Desert”, they probably envision something closer to the deserts of Arizona, or maybe even Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner (we have real Roadrunners here!). But that’s what’s beautiful about New Mexico, the vast variations of climate and altitude. Albuquerque itself sits right at about 5,352 ft. (ABQ Int’l Airport), while the southern regions of New Mexico like Las Cruces are at about 3,908 ft. The “High Desert” here in Albuquerque is actually a varying temperate climate, 90′s Fahrenheit in the summer and 40′s down to 20′s in the winter. It rarely reaches 100F. People stay cool in late summer with almost daily thunder-showers and all-year-long winds and gusts. While the winds may stir up the dust when it’s been a dry season, people still enjoy the cooling effects.
Albuquerque is speckled all over with parks, playgrounds, and recreational areas. When you’re sitting in the cool grass under the shade of a great Bur Oak tree, you really can forget that you’re in the desert. One of the best parks in my opinion is Roosevelt Park.
If you’re planning on visiting New Mexico, make sure you stop by the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This is one of the city’s most famous events. Albuquerque is known for hot air ballooning, as the wind is quite calm early in the morning, you can usually see a few balloons dotting the sky on your commute to work.
One of the largest booming industries here in New Mexico is the Film Industry! Driving around town, you just might run into a movie being filmed right in front of you. Some note-able movies filmed here are Terminator: Salvation, Thor, In Plain Sight series, Crash series, The Spy Next Door, Crazy Heart, etc.
There are many other things to do in New Mexico and lots of cultures to experience. There are great photo opportunities of picturesque landscapes and mountains as far as the eye can see. As the main hub of New Mexico, be sure to stop by and enjoy the natural and man-made splendors of Albuquerque!