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How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

Trumbull...
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How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

I'm trying to figure out how much time to allow in each place (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos) in order to see the following:

Albuquerque area: Old town, Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, Rattlesnake Museum, Petroglyph National Monument, National Atomic Museum

Santa Fe: The Plaza, Loretto Chapel

side trips to Taos/Los Alamos: Bandelier National Monument, Bradbury Science Museum, Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Taos Pueblo

We would be arriving in Albuquerque probably late afternoon (in July). I would like to spend 1 or 2 nights there, then move on to Santa Fe, via Turquoise Trail. I'm thinking I'd make Santa Fe our base to make day trips to Taos/Los Alamos. After 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, we would drive down to Carlsbad Caverns. I don't know if I will ultimately have to give up the caverns and sand dunes in order to be able to have a proper amount of time in the Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos area.

We are the type of family that is always on the go. We like to try to see and do as much as we can each day. We can sleep and rest when we get home. I know many people do not like to travel this way, but it works for us.

Thanks for your help!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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1. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

Your plan of 2 nights in Abq and 3 nights in Santa Fe is good. Lots of driving, but it sounds like that is ok for you (we don't mind it either!)

Day 1 arrive late afternoon. Take tram for dinner/sunset.

Day 2 Visit Petroglyph Nat Mon in the morning and then spend the rest of the day around Old Town area, including Rattlesnake & Atomic Museum.

Day 3 To Santa Fe via Tur. Trail. Lunch on the Plaza. Visit Plaza area, maybe a quick visit to a museum

Day 4 Drive to Los ALamos, see Bandelier, Science Museum and maybe a drive to Jemez Springs. Return to Santa Fe for the evening.

Day 5 Drive to Taos via the high road through Chimayo, Truchas. Visit the Taos Pueblo and the Gorge Bridge. Enjoy some of the shops and the plaza area. Return to Santa Fe via the river road.

Day 6 get up early, drive south via US 285 to Carlsbad, about 5+ hour trip. If you get there by lunch time or so, you will have time to visit the caverns in the afternoon and then see the bats fly out in the evening.

Day 7 Caverns in the morning again if you did not see enough. By afternoon, head to Alamogordo to see White Sands about 4 hour drive. You may get there in time for sunset at the dunes.

Day 8 Back to Abq for flight home?

Trumbull...
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2. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

Thanks Casa, that sounds great! Right now, we are actually trying to decide between just New Mexico (flying in and out of Albuquerque), with the itinerary you proposed, along with the caverns and sand dunes and whatever else in 10 nights VERSES taking 11 nights, most likely having to eliminate the caverns and sand dunes, but flying in and out of Phoenix and spending several days in Sedona and the Grand Canyon before heading into Alb, SF and Taos. Although I have been to the Grand Canyon 3 times, the kids never have. This might be the closest (geographically) that we ever get to GC with them, and thought that perhaps we should take the opportunity to take them. I would love to say that the next summer we'll be back, but as college starts to loom closer and closer (and with the stock market completely falling apart), I just don't know.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!

Perhaps I should post this as a separate question on both the NM and Arizona forums?

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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3. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

With kids National Parks and Monuments are great! If you are not planning on the SW anytime soon, I would take the kids to the Grand Canyon. It is a must see place! You could fly into Phoenix and out of Abq, check to see if Southwest flys near you.

I would post on the Arizona forums. Great people and very friendly.

Day 1 arrive Phoenix. Stay there or drive to Sedona.

Day 2 Sedona. Take a Pink Jeep Tour.

Day 3 Drive up to Grand Canyon. Stay inside the park, check for reservations now! www.nps.gov/grca

Day 4 Grand Canyon again.

Day 5 Drive out the east entrance. Stop and see Wupatki and Sunset Crater Nat. Mon. Drive to Holbrook AZ for the night. Wigwam Motel is great fun.

Day 6 See Petrified Forest Nat Park, stop in Gallup NM, then maybe up to Zuni Pueblo, El Morro National Mon, El Malpais Nat Mon, Ice Caves, Acoma Pueblo. I don't think you can do all this in one day, just ideas.

Day 7 Visit Abq, Old Town etc.

Day 8 Abq to Santa Fe.

Day 9 Santa Fe to Bandelier

Day 10 Santa Fe/Taos/(Back to Phoenix if not flying out of Abq).

Day 11 Abq and home.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

Excellent advice! You can put it on the Az forum but I would have given you this route as well and probably others will do the same. A direct link to GC lodging is www.grandcanyonlodges.com

And for the stockmarket. Stay put, that's what I do...

Casa, aren't you forgetting one thing....Tusayan Ruins?

Tet

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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5. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

How could I forget Tusayan Ruins! LOL! And the Desert View Watchtower both along the road toward the Eastern Entrance, must see's.

Trumbull...
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6. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

It's almost spooky, that was almost the exact itinerary I was coming up with, with some minor differences. I must admit, however, I am not familiar with the Tusayan Ruins. I will have to look that up. *Do you really think 2 nights would be needed at the Grand Canyon if we will not be doing any hiking into the canyon?* I must have read one of your previous posts, Casa, because I was planning on staying at the Wigwam Motel if it fit into our plans. I certainly hadn't know about it on my own. Although, it sounded and looked familiar when I looked it up online and I said to myself "OH!! That's where Oprah tried to go on her roadtrip!"

I am having a lot of trouble right now though looking into the flights and car rental. Of course, I haven't had time to check every possible car rental company, but the ones I've checked are terribly expensive out of PHX. And some have $200+ drop off charges if I return to a different airport.

I will keep researching!! Thank you Casa and Tet. I've been reading both of your posts for months now...well, really years, because when I was researching my last 2 vacations, your names came up a lot. Many thanks!!

ps. I've just finished watching Larry King's show about UFO's and it's making it awfully tempting to try to get to Roswell....

Albuquerque, New...
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7. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

It's going to be about a 1.5 hour drive between Santa Fe and Taos. You might consider staying in Taos one night.

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

Sorry to double post, just wanted to add one thing...There are several wineries on the drive between Santa Fe and Taos that might make a good side trip.

Uden, The...
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9. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

Definitely stay 2 nights at GCNP even without major hiking Hershey and make your reservation far in advance. Probably carrental from Las Vegas will be cheaper but it's a longer drive to Sedona and there're no fuel costs if you don't drive back to Phx and you'll gain at least one day for that precious vacation.

On your way from CG to ABQ maybe just drop by Winslow for:"Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona".

Tet

10. Re: How to divided time between Albuquerque/SF/Taos ?

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