Did you know New Mexico has 46 National Historic Landmarks? That’s right! New Mexico offers visitors fantastic opportunities to explore unique attractions. From ancient ruins to old railroads to historic plazas, here are 10 must-see historic sites.
1. Pecos National Historic Park
The Pueblo was once home to more than 2, 000 ancient pueblo people. Today, Pecos preserves evidence of life of prehistoric Southwest people, as well as tells a story of the Spanish exploration of America. If this is your destination of choice, the remains of an 18th-century church is a must-see. The enormous adobe walls and impressive archways are still visible.
2. Palace of the Governors
In the heart of Santa Fe lies one of the nation’s oldest government buildings in the country, and it happens to be one of Santa Fe’s most popular tourist attractions. It currently serves as New Mexico’s History Museum, where visitors can view collections of artifacts and photographs from the Spanish Colonial Period. We’d also suggest taking the time to window shop and and admire the jewelry and other pieces made by the Native American vendors located in the front of the Palace.
3. Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Head Northwest of New Mexico to see the largest collection of ancient pueblos and ruins in the American Southwest. The Ancient Pueblo People occupied Chaco Canyon between AD 900 and 1150. There a plenty of things to do when visiting Chaco. Explore everything Chaco has to offer through guided tours, backcountry trails and night sky programs.
4. Taos Pueblo
Step back in time and see the Taos Pueblo. See how more than 1000 years of heritage is celebrated at the ancient site. The area is made up largely of multi-storied adobe houses and it’s the oldest continually communities in the entire country.
5. San Francisco de Asis Church
Also known as Ranchos Church, is another ancient landmark located in Taos. Built in the 1700s, the adobe church is an important part of its community. In fact, the structure was the subject of several paintings and photographs and made famous by artist like Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. Take time to browse galleries, shops, and other adobe buildings neighboring the church.
6. Mesilla Plaza
Head west of Las Cruces to discover what some refer to as the hidden jewel of the state. Visitors enjoy the quiet atmosphere of the Plaza with a beautiful back drop of the San Albino Basilica. Shop, eat and enjoy the small town charm.
7. El Santuario De Chimayo
Embark on a spiritual journey when you stop in the town of Chimayó to see the 1800’s-shrine, Santuario de Chimayó. It’s famous for its divine healing earth and Good Friday pilgrimages. Finish you spiritual vacation with a night’s stay at Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe located just steps from Santa Fe’s Plaza.
8. Denver & Rio Grande Railroad San Juan Extension (Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad)
The heritage railroad running between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado is the longest and most complete representation of late nineteenth century railroading.
9. Barrio De Analco Historic District
Visiting this historic district mean you get to see the oldest house in the state of New Mexico and the oldest mission church (San Miguel Chapel) in the United States. This district is packed with historic structures.
10. Acoma Pueblo
Discover one of the oldest inhabited communities in the United State, the Acoma Pueblo, also known as Sky City. At the base of the mesa, the beautiful Sky City offers a cultural center, where tourists can learn more about the living history of its people.
Check out these other New Mexico Landmarks that didn’t make the list on our Pinterest board.
Which New Mexico National Historic Landmark will you visit? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @HeritageHtls.