It’s that time of year again. The temperatures are rising. The tourists are thinning out. Summer is making its approach and for those of us in the Valley who aren’t snowbirds, there’s no alternative except to tough it out. Or is there?
We took a look at the states bordering Arizona and selected our favorite stops. So pull out your frequent flier miles and pack your bags. It’s time for a road trip!
Celebrating its 100th anniversary as a state in 2012, New Mexico is rich in history. Mining, ranching and the establishment of the railroad helped make this state what it is today. When you come to New Mexico, you won’t be spending a lot of time hanging around your hotel room. With more than one-third of the state comprised of public lands, including 13 national monuments and parks, five national forests and 34 state parks, there’s a lot of land to explore.
Albuquerque Biological Park, Albuquerque
The close proximity of these four attractions — the ABQ BioPark Aquarium, Botanic Garden, Zoo and Tingley Beach — is ideal for families and large groups. Discover the joys of the jungle, the sea and lush gardens.
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Battlefield New Mexico: The Civil War and More, Santa Fe
This event features military drills, lectures, glimpses of camp life and reenactments of Civil War battles fought in New Mexico.
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El Malpais National Monument, Grants
El Malpais, which means badlands in Spanish, is a rugged terrain that offers hiking, primitive camping and diverse wildlife. View evidence of volcanic activity, cinder cones, lava tubes and pressure ridges.
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Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, Santa Fe
This 35-acre nature preserve is great for bird watching and viewing wildflowers in bloom. Also offers environmental science workshops.
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Museum Hill, Santa Fe
On Santa Fe’s eastside, four museums are available for your perusal — Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of International Fold Art, and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.
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Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque
View an estimated 20,000 carved images of animals, people and crosses, remnants of volcanic activity or traverse hiking trails at this national monument.
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Pork & Brew BBQ State Championship, Rio Rancho
Spend your Independence Day weekend by sampling barbecue made by competitors from across the country. The three-day festival also includes live entertainment, fireworks and pig races. July 1-3.
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Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, Santa Fe
More than 170 artists selling wares from more than 50 countries are on hand at this market. Ethnic cuisine, music and dance will also be on hand for your enjoyment.
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Santa Fe Mountain Adventures, Santa Fe
Participate in guided hikes, GPS scavenger hunts, mountain biking, whitewater rafting or horseback riding.
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Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, Cerrillos and Madrid
Travel 15,000 square miles of old mining towns, natural wonders, and a multitude of galleries and gift shops. Turquoise and lead deposits found here were used by prehistoric Indians in jewelry and pottery, and were even used in Spain’s crown jewels.
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Wildlife West Nature Park, Edgewood
Wolves, cougars, elk, deer, raptors and javelina all call this park home. Every Saturday from June to September, visitors can participate in a chuckwagon dinner. There are also camping spots available on site.
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Stay tuned for the rest of this Summer Getaways series.
Next stop? Utah!