"UNIQUE CULTURE AMONGST SOUTHWEST GRANDUER" Top 5 Page for this destination New Mexico by mtncorg

New Mexico Travel Guide: 4,211 reviews and 10,335 photos

Some describe New Mexico as empty and boring. Drive for many miles in this state and you might agree. But just when you thought there was nothing out among the Llano Estacado areas of eastern New Mexico, the dry deserts of the north and west or the utterly dull drive on I-10 across the south, you come across gems like the White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, the Hispanic communities along the Hig Road between Santa Fe and Taos, the ancient Indian pueblos of Taos and Acoma, or the unique jewell of Las Vegas - without the gambling.

What sets New Mexico apart from much of hte West is its cultural history. The State is a true multiethnic land with prehistoric ruins, 17th century Spanish settlements, 19th century mining towns, 20th century US governmental science towns. The history is defined by the three major groups who live here: the local Indians - Pueblos (Anasazi descendents), Navajos, Apaches; Hispanics - dating back to 1598 when Onate first came into the area with settlers; Andlos - cowboys, miners, railroaders, and more recently, nuclear scientists. To know New Mexico, you must first discover something about the historical context first.

A land of such diversity has spawned a wide array of artistic endeavors - both primitive native and folk and contemporary art forms spanning a wide gamut of media. Literature provides an interesting avenue in whihc to discover New Mexico from afar. Stories and myths have been a part of the landscape for centuries but modern writers you might look for include John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield), N. Scott Momaday (House Made of Dawn), Leslie Marmon Silk (Ceremony) or the inimitable detective novels of Tony Hillerman - mysteries set among the Indian reservations and pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona.

New Mexico is a complex state you have to take time to fully discover. Some is easy to see though much remains hidden from the surface. .... certainly hidden from the casual motorist plodding along I-10, I-25 or I-40 at 80 mph.

Note: Must See sites are arranged in a loose historical manner - ancient to more recent.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Cultural Diversity, Natural Beauty
  • Cons:Long stretches of very empty, dry roads
  • In a nutshell:Cultural Uniqueness in the American West
  • Intro Written Mar 23, 2004
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Reviews (21)

Comments (7)

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Thanks for this excellent page loaded with great information. It provides a fantastic overview of New Mexico.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2006 at 12:44 PM

    Fine photos and informative texts, as always! When I was in college I used to work in New Mexico during the summers, but only really saw the northeast corner.

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2006 at 5:53 AM

    Great stuff on this wonderful and overlooked place. We love Taos and the area. Thanks.

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2004 at 4:10 PM

    Awesome and informative page; loved the white sands photo! -- Helen

  • catalysta's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2004 at 7:52 AM

    Love N Mex, and thoroughly enjoyed your page. Another NM book you must read: Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya...Desert magic & mystique, beautiful story...cat

  • kazander's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2004 at 9:16 AM

    great page with some really beautiful pictures! I haven't been to New Mexico yet, but I hear it's one of the places you can get Fat Tire :)

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2004 at 9:35 PM

    What, no mention of camping with cows? How did you escape this? Great pictures of Santa Fe area. You've captured more of my childhood memories - White Sands and Carlsbad. Now please don't tell me there are strip malls now at White Sands....

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