New Mexico Roadtrip Wrap Up

Another mother-daughter roadtrip is in the books. This time Mom and I drove from Phoenix to New Mexico visiting National Parks, soaking in mountain views, eating a lot of tacos, and learning about aliens. It was a diverse trip! Without further ado, here are our best (and 1 not-so-good) moments from our Arizona and New Mexico roadtrip.

Best photo stop:

Our first stop in Sedona, Arizona wins the award for my favorite photo. Sedona really is a special place- no matter what the light or time or day, the red rocks really shine.


Sedona was really just a drive through for us as it is not far from Phoenix. I still managed to get lost here and eat my first roadtrip dinner.

Best meal:

There are two winners for best meal. The best Arizona meal goes to my pizza Margherita at the famous Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. It was superb and worthy of the hype.

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The best New Mexico meal was this amazing burrito with red chile in Santa Fe. The Plaza Cafe on the Santa Fe Plaza had a old-time feeling with delicious food. Mom enjoyed her food there as well.


Favorite City:

The best city stop we made was Santa Fe which was a huge surprise. We had planned to spend 2 nights in Albuquerque and 2 nights in Taos basically exploring Santa Fe for a few hours before moving on. Wow, were we wrong and adjusted our plans to have 2 nights in Santa Fe. Santa Fe was my favorite city on the New Mexico roadtrip and way more fun to explore compared to Albuquerque.

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The plaza, Saint Francis of Assisi church, historical museum, folk art museum, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum were all amazing and worth the time. If you plan on visiting Santa Fe, spend some extra time here. Santa Fe is a good jumping off point to Bandelier and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monuments.

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Favorite Hike:

My favorite hike was at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. The shortest hike there is and easy 1.2 miles with a more challenging 1.5 miles to add onto that. Go for it! The cone-shaped rock formations are cool!


Favorite Place:

Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona was my favorite stop of the trip. I tend to prefer outdoor activities and visiting natural elements so Petrified Forest was a sure-favorite. The petrified wood is so old it turned to stone and very pretty colorful gem stone at that.

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The colors are gorgeous.

New Mexico Roadtrip Petrified Wood

But Petrified Forest National Park was more than just old logs. There were a lot of canyons, rock formations, and other cool geological oddities to keep your inner science nerd in heaven.

New Mexico Roadtrip Petrified Forest National Park

There were many hikes worthy of a stop, ancient Puebloan petroglyphs, picturesque overlooks to keep us busy for most of a day.

Most interesting museum:

Honestly I just loved Roswell in all its kitschy charm and alien references. The International UFO Museum was a fun way to spend an hour or two before moving on to the many fun, alien t-shirt shops.

New Mexico Roadtrip Roswell coke machine

Roswell embraces their past and have made it worth the 3+ hour drive from Santa Fe to investigate the museum and buy some alien socks and hats. (I love my purple alien socks!)

Least Favorite Stop:

I always include one Debbie Downer thing in every wrap-up because vacations aren’t always unicorns and sunshine. This New Mexico roadtrip ’s least favorite goes to Albuquerque. Maybe we came on the wrong day (Sunday-Monday, and again on Friday) but there was nothing going on in the plaza area with most of the shops and restaurants being closed. We did explore the college area as well but was pretty standard. Our one awesome experience there was dinner on the first night after going to two other closed restaurants first.

New Mexico Roadtrip Albuquerque

Overall, I’d highly recommend seeing the outdoor, natural beauty of New Mexico. A New Mexico roadtrip has a lot to offer, particularly for those interested in art and burritos Smile

New Mexico was my 44th state visited. 5 more to go!

Reader question: Burritos or art? Which do you prefer?

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