If you’re looking for a quick getaway during winter break, we have you covered! Here are seven highly rated destinations within a day’s drive from Albuquerque. From rugged terrain and desert views to hot springs with charming downtowns, New Mexico is full of inspiring places. With the help of this list, you’ll have an adventure planned in no time. Enjoy!
- Carlsbad Caverns Carlsbad, NM (~301.6 miles from ABQ)
For some travelers, it’s all about the journey and not the destination. If a road trip is calling your name, consider one of New Mexico’s top tourist destinations. Carlsbad offers more than enchanting caves (although the area features more than 100). Carlsbad Caverns National Park is in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, and the scenic drive features haunting, remote desert views. The park offers multiple activities including guided tours, hiking, bat flights and night sky programs. This is a wonderful place to unwind in peace and quiet. Cave explorations are $1 per person. Reservations are required; check out the website for more details on what to bring and expect.
2. Jemez Springs, NM (~59.4 miles from ABQ)
This charming town welcomes you to “soak in the wonder.” As you may guess, this destination offers serene hot springs and is a welcome day escape (or extended getaway). Offering shopping, dining and lodging, Jemez Springs has a little bit of something for everyone. If nature is calling you, there are plenty of hiking trails with scenic views and seclusion.
3. Madrid, NM (~46.4 miles from ABQ)
A blossoming art oasis in the Ortiz Mountains, this small community is a short drive from Albuquerque. If you’re looking for the path less taken, this once-ghostly town is making a major comeback and offers several hours of exploration. There’s plenty to do and see in this bustling mountain community. Pack picnic supplies and bring a camera — Madrid will pique your imagination!
4. Santa Fe, NM (~62.8 miles from ABQ)
One of the oldest cities in the United States, Santa Fe is steeped in rich history and numerous activities. The fourth-largest city in New Mexico offers plenty of things to do. With multiple museums, folk art, dining and shopping options, there is no end to the possibilities.
5. Taos, NM (~132.3 miles from ABQ)
“Taos is a mystical place with a deeply rooted Indigenous presence and imperfectly rendered adobe architecture.”— Visit Taos (@VisitTaos_NM) December 8, 2022
Thank you @MensJournal for naming Taos one of the “30 Best Mountain Towns in America and Around the World.” ✨💛#VisitTaos #TogetherTaos #nmTRUE #NewMexicoTRUE pic.twitter.com/XVlurX9Lju
Known as one of the world’s most beautiful mountain towns, Taos is a well-known art hub. There’s beauty everywhere in this town with plenty to see and do. While you’re here, check out the Taos Art Museum (admission is $10, and children 12 and under are free). The museum is housed in the former home of Russian artist Nicolai Fechin. This museum alone is worth the drive.
6. Valles Caldera National Preserve, Jemez Springs, NM (~59.4 miles from ABQ)
Nature always offers a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle. Valles Caldera offers one of the most scenic escapes in New Mexico. This volcanic caldera has formed over 900,000 acres of majestic countryside to explore. Offering world-class hikes, fly-fishing and snow sports (cross-country skiing and snowshoeing), this place offers a true escape. Advance reservations are not required, however, some additional activities do require a reservation. There is an entry fee of $25 per vehicle.
7. White Sands National Monument (~224.20 miles from ABQ)
This highly reviewed state park offers 145,762 acres of stunning views in the Tularosa Basin. With white sand dunes as far as the eye can see, this majestic landscape offers a rugged, secluded escape. Pack all your supplies including plenty of fuel and water. A $25 entry fee applies per vehicle.