"Help for travellers" Top 5 Page for this destination Socorro by toonsarah
Socorro Travel Guide: 58 reviews and 126 photos
The Spanish arrived in 1598, travelling north from Mexico and led by Don Juan de Oñate y Salazar. He recorded in his log that these locals welcomed the scouting party and showed no fear of the strangers. Instead they communicated with them in hand signals, telling them what to expect on the road ahead, and gave them a gift of corn.
Two Franciscan priests who were travelling with the party stayed behind with the Indians to do missionary work, and one of them, Father Benavidez, renamed the pueblo “Nuestra Señora de Perpetuo Socorro” (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) to commemorate the help that the settlers had received there.
Today’s Socorro is still offering help to travellers, in the form of access to the essential services of lodging, food, gas etc. But you have to work a little harder to see that its history lies in more than just its name. If you pass by on I25, or even if you leave the Interstate and drive through on the main thoroughfare, California Street, you could be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing to the town apart from chain motels, fast food restaurants, supermarkets, shopping plazas and gas stations.
Certainly you are unlikely to realise from this superficial glance that there is any real history to the town, let alone that some of this history is on show just a block behind the modern face that it turns to the highway.
But so it is. One block west of California Street is Socorro’s Plaza, and in its immediate surroundings you can get a sense of the small pueblo it once was. The old adobe church and some other historic buildings seem a worls away from the traffic on the main road just a short distance away.
But really Socorro is all about location, and the small bit of history at its heart is only part of the story. To the south is one of the most interesting bird-watching venues in New Mexico, and to the west one of its most striking images, the massive white dishes of the Very Large Array (VLA) rising from the flat Plain of San Augustin.
So while Socorro might not have the allure of Taos or the culture of Santa Fe, you could do worse than plan a stop here on any driving tour of New Mexico. We were very pleased that we included it on our route.
And to continue with us on our road trip through New Mexico, please visit my Pie Town page
- Pros:Useful base for some fascinating sightseeing
- Cons:Need to look carefully to unearth its character
The Very Large Array, or VLA as it is commonly known, is an amazing sight, and one not to be missed if you are anywhere... more travel advice
I had read good reviews of the Socorro Springs Brewery here on VT and elsewhere, and as the dining options in Socorro... more travel advice
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