I posted back in December for some general advice in planning our road trip through New Mexico, and now I'm trying to lay down a more concrete plan. Of course, plans are always subject to change if we see something more interesting along the way, but I have to start with a plan nonetheless.
We are a couple in our late 30's, no kids, coming from Austin. We love scenic drives, local arts and crafts, enjoying natural beauty without getting dirty, and good food. We only have a week for this trip, and our dates are May 12 - 19. Also, we are intentionally skipping Carlsbad. I can't do caves.
Saturday, May 12 - Leave Austin early, drive to Roswell
Sunday - Visit UFO Museum before leaving Roswell, then drive to Alamogordo. We will take the route through Cloudcroft if time permits, otherwise through Ruidoso. Am I correct in thinking the Ruidoso route is faster due to Cloudcroft elevation? Visit the Space Museum in Alamogordo, and then drive to White Sands for late afternoon/sunset. Spend the night in Las Cruces.
Monday - Drive to Albuquerque. I really wanted to see the Very Large Array, but it seems a bit too far out of the way, and a long detour from the main route. Any thoughts on that? If we skip the VLA, we'll be in Albuquerque early afternoon, and will probably have lunch in Old Town. I am interested in the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, as well, so if we can make it there before closing, that is also on the list for Monday. I am not sure where we are staying. I have some questions and will post those in the Albuquerque forum.
Tuesday - Spend the morning at Petroglyph National Monument. Afternoon at National Mueum of Nuclear Science & History or Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. Evening taking the Sandia Peak Tramway for sunset.
Wednesday - Drive to Santa Fe. I really want to visit Tent Rocks on the way, but I also want make the drive along 14 through Madrid. If we get an early start, we may do both. Once we arrive in Santa Fe, the plan is to just relax for the afternoon. I'm not sure where in Santa Fe we are staying yet. Still considering the options, but probably somewhere near the Plaza.
Thursday - Spend some time in the Plaza area, visiting museums, and shopping. Very interested in the O'Keeffe and folk art Museums. If I can talk my husband into it, I want to go to 10,000 Waves Spa in the afternoon.
Friday - Drive from Santa Fe to Amarillo. Not the most direct route to get back home, I know, but we have to stop at the Big Texan, and we want to visit Palo Duro Canyon before heading home. Spend the night in Amarillo.
Saturday - Drive from Amarillo to Austin. Stop at Palo Duro Canyon on the way. Sleep at home.
I appreciate any comments, suggestions, or insights. We love road trips, but haven't done one in several years, so I'm a little rusty on timing. We are not really early risers, so our plans often change abruptly when we sleep in. I also know I'm missing a lot of fantastic stuff in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and probably points in between as well. We consider every first visit to a new place just that - a first visit. If we like a place, it goes back on the list for a future trip, so I don't feel like I have to see and do everything the first time around.