As some of you may know, our ultimate bucket list goal is to visit all the states in USA! Finally, this time not only were we going to explore a new state (and add to our running count), but also attend one of the biggest air balloon festivals in Albuquerque. We highly recommend attending it next fall. I will write in more detail on it further down, but for now enjoy all the other gems we found in this state.
White Sands National Park
I have seen different colors of sand before, but never white! With the blue sky and never ending white dunes, this place makes the most gorgeous backdrop! Fun fact: this park sits on the biggest military base in US, so they sometimes close it down for a missile testing. Make sure to check their website before planning on coming here!
As everyone knows, Roswell is a very well known city especially to those who like quirky towns and like anything and everything UFO related. Here is the thing: if you are around, sure, go and check it out. Otherwise, if it's out of your way, there is nothing you'd be really missing out on. Outside of few stores, a McDonald's in a shape of a UFO, some murals, there really is not much here. We stopped by on a Saturday afternoon, and it was essentially a ghost town. But a cool stop, if you are nearby!
Bandalier National Monument
Amazing landscape which will bring you closer to the Pueblo tribe and teach you about their history. Definitely a great stop especially if you are wanting to learn more about the Native American culture. If you are limited on time, at least check out the Pueblo Loop Trail which is not long and very picturesque.
Albuquerque Balloon Festival
BUCKET LIST dream! We were planning on attending in 2020, but given the situation, we had to wait a year and we finally made it! Sleeping 3 hours, freezing outside in cold to get in before sunrise, and overpaying for one night stay at a hotel, TOTALLY worth it! I recommend it to everyone! It usually lasts 2 weeks, so there is plenty of time to attend. We attended the sunrise portion which went into the early afternoon. There is also a sunset session that goes into the night, which I am sure is just as amazing. If you plan to fly in the balloon, plan ahead! Those get sold out very quickly.
I am always a sucker for unique landscape especially in the southwest, and this park for sure has it! You can easily spend an entire day here, since there is so much ground to cover. There did not seem to be any marked trails, you just kind of make it your own, so it's important to be mindful where you parked and have plenty of water.
Santa Fe is such a cute city, which is a must when in the area. The architecture here definitely has caught our attention because of its uniqueness. You can certainly feel and see all the history and culture when walking down the streets of Santa Fe.
Red Rock Park
If you are in the area, certainly amazing 3 mile roundtrip hike to the Cathedral Rock. Does not get too much foot traffic, so it is a really nice hike without running into anyone for the most part. It is also a campground area, so definitely a cool place to spend the night if you plan on camping!
Few more places we have not been able to see, but maybe you'd be able to :)
- Chaco Culture National Historic Park
- Ghost Ranch
- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
If you go, have a blast and don't forget to go in October to spend at least one day at the Balloon Fiesta!
Adri, Kam & Special guest (my mom :))