I’ve always imagined New Mexico to be the land of adobe and desert, mostly shades of reds and oranges. But as I research my next trip out west, tentatively for New Mexico, I’m learning more and more about the state. The landscape is diverse, with mountain vistas, cosmopolitan skylines, and vast open ranges. I can think of nowhere better for my next summer adventure.
Ruidoso, New Mexico is a mountain town that is a bit off the traditional tourist route of Santa Fe, Roswell, and Albuquerque. Neighboring the Mescalero Reservation, the area appeals to the adventurous type looking to experience the great outdoors. Along with hiking, horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, geocaching, and zip lining are all part of the fun. You never know when you might spot wildlife like deer, elk, and bears.
The town is a short drive from nationally protected areas. You might have seen deserts before, but none quite like White Sands National Monument. The natural wonder is over 200 square miles of gypsum. Massive dunes are just asking to be explored, and maybe even ridden down on a sled. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is a favorite of birdwatchers, especially those in search of sandhill cranes. And Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area includes a petroglyph site, a cave, and 1800s fort.
Small Town Charm
The small-town vibe is best seen downtown, where you can browse the shops, stop for a bite to eat, and admire the galleries of western art. Gallery events take place regularly and the Hubbard Museum of the American West is a Smithsonian affiliate that showcases the cultures of the region. Take in history at Lincoln State Historic Site and the White Oaks Ghost Town.
Walk the same Lincoln County streets where Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett roamed before a stop for a meal at one of Ruidoso’s local restaurants. Jorge’s Cafe is known for their authentic Mexican fare while Alto Cafe offers hotcakes the size of your head. Later on, sit around the fire pits with a drink at Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden.
I can’t wait to plan my trip next summer to New Mexico’s well-known destinations as well as the smaller towns like Ruidoso.
Have you been to this part of the country? Leave your tips below!
This post is sponsored by Discover Ruidoso in collaboration with Blog Meets Brand. All images are their property and used with permission.