As you can imagine, it will be difficult to tell you everything to see and experience, so I am going to choose just a few of my favorite places!
My #1 pick is always Santa Fe. It is such a magical city, and the highest capital in the USA with an elevation of 7,000 feet. Santa Fe is known as “The City Different” because of its unique cuisine, adobe and territorial architecture, hundreds of art galleries and a centuries-old union of three different cultures: Native, Spanish and Anglo. I recommend taking a trolley tour of the city to familiarize yourself with the area while learning about its rich history. Make sure to stop at the Roundhouse, our unique state capital featuring a $5 million art collection.
Bandelier National Monument: Take the incredibly scenic drive to this ancient site. Evidence of human history stretches back more than 10,000 years. Eight hundred years ago, the ancestral Pueblo people built masonry buildings and dwellings in the soft rock cliffs. Stroll the canyon and climb ladders down into caves and view a Kiva ceremonial chamber.
Taos: Nestled between the Taos Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge, the Taos Pueblo is a stacked-adobe village and the only living Native American community with the distinction of being both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. Tours are available, however, the Pueblo closes for six weeks in February and March for religious observances.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Another of New Mexico’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the caverns feature 119 known caves worn into the limestone beneath the Chihuahuan Desert. If you visit in May through October, you can see the swirling cloud of thousands of Brazilian free-tailed bats exiting the cavern at sunset.
Albuquerque: Of course, I cannot close without mentioning “The Duke City,” as I live and work here! Set along the Rio Grande River, the history of Albuquerque can be traced back to 1706. Old Town is known for its charming adobe buildings with secluded courtyards. There are many unique things to experience here. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is owned and operated by 19 of our Pueblos and features weekly traditional Native dance performances. The Sandia Peak Tramway glides up more than 10,000 feet to Sandia Peak. The International Balloon Museum is a must for all visitors. Albuquerque is the perfect place to check hot air ballooning off your bucket list. During the first two weeks in October, we are host to the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, and people come from all over the world to experience over 600 balloons ascending into the turquoise blue skies all at once.
These are just a few suggestions to experience, explore and enjoy. I do hope that you will visit this most enchanting land – you are in for the experience of a lifetime!
Mary Lou moved from Massachusetts to Albuquerque 29 years ago and has been a concierge for 28 years now, 21 of them at the Hyatt Regency. She feels she has the dream job. “I enjoy meeting people from all over the world and assisting them in having a memorable time at our beautiful resort and state. There are so many guests that I have met over the years that have truly touched me and I will never forget them. I am very appreciative to be a member of Les Clefs d’Or USA since 1997. Networking and friendships that have been made with my international colleagues are priceless!”
Nestled on 550 acres of the Native American Santa Ana Pueblo between the Sandia Mountains and the legendary Rio Grande River, Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa is the perfect home base to explore Santa Fe, Albuquerque and the rest of New Mexico. At Tamaya, you can relax and enjoy the stunning Southwestern beauty, indulge yourself at the award-winning Tamaya Mist Spa & Salon, hit the links at the championship Twin Warriors golf course, splash in one of our three heated outdoor pools, take a horseback ride on a rescue horse at the Stables and enjoy authentic New Mexican cuisine in our restaurants.
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