Take the Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway and travel through the mountains from Cedar Crest north to Santa Fe through the mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos, now alive with arts, museums, and restaurants.
Corrales, an historic town on the Rio Grande, has attracted artists and writers who want to live in he country with access to city amenities. Shops, galleries, and restaurants, often housed in historic and colorful adobe buildings, abound for visitors to enjoy. Beautiful San Ysidro Church, built in the 1860s, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Casa San Ysidro is an authentic Spanish rancho, restored and open to the public. Nearby historic and scenic attractions include the Riverside Nature Preserve and the Sandia Pueblo.
For a rural setting with town access, Algodones (Spanish for "cotton") is ideally situated between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. This small Hispanic village was a stop on the Camino Real, the "royal road" of the Spanish Empire. Algodones retains its historic Spanish character. Local residents grow alfalfa and garden crops and worship at the mission Church of San Jose. It is an easy drive to Coronado State Monument.
Acoma Pueblo The adobe houses, plazas, and walkways on the 367-foot tall mesa have been used for nearly one thousand years, making Acoma Sky City the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States. Throughout the year, Acoma residents provide tours of Sky City, including the 17th century church San Esteban del Rey, introducing visitors to the art, history, and culture of the pueblo.
Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities. Approximately two hours from Albuquerque.
Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico, is one hour north of Albuquerque. It has hundreds of art galleries, numerous museums, and many historic sites. Enjoy the comfort of the Railrunner train as an alternative to driving.