Though the 2020 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19, there is still plenty to do in the stunning state of New Mexico. We brought you The Ultimate RVer’s Travel Guide to New Mexico Part I, with dreamy, vintage film photography from White Sands, Sandia Peak, and Albuquerque. The guide included our favorite spots to eat, park the RV, play, and repeat. Are you ready for part II? Below is our second installment of the road trip guide to our favorite state, which features Taos, Jemez Springs, and Santa Fe. We have a feeling you’re going to like what you see.
From a ten-mile hike that opens up to drool-worthy hot springs to the best RV parks in the state, we’ve covered all the bases. Fun fact, the duo Hello America, our film photographers and videographers for the road trip guide, got engaged during this epic road trip! La Mesa RV is all about creating memories of a lifetime for families and we couldn’t be more excited for these two love birds! Check out the full road trip video below! The duo took a fan favorite RV, the Winnebago Fuse in their two-week trip. Check out La Mesa RVs Winnebago Class C inventory to see more options for your future adventure mobile!
This small village in Sandoval County is named after the nearby Pueblo of Jemez. The area is full of outdoor adventure, history, culture, and iconic hot springs. It’s a great place to relax, sit back, and enjoy the natural beauty of one of New Mexico’s most stunning landscapes.
Where to RV: Valles Caldera National Preserve
If you’re a fan of boondocking, we have the perfect spot for you! We originally tried to stay at Jemez Falls Campground, a 15-minute drive to San Antonio Hot Springs, but when we arrived late in the evening all RV spots were already taken. We backtracked a few miles and found a forest road nestled in the trees of beautiful BLM land. It was the perfect spot to pop out the slide-out and set up for the evening.
Where to Eat: Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon
Want to dine in an old, western-style dinner full of history in the heart of New Mexico? The restaurant’s slogan, “Serving cowpokes, city folk, hikers, bikers, drifters n’ debutantes since 1947,” is no joke! Come eat through the menu’s American and New Mexican dishes. From burgers to chicken fried steak, burritos, tamales and tostadas, you can have it all. They even have a vegetarian menu.
SAN ANTONIO HOT SPRINGS
San Antonio Hot Springs is not to be missed. The ten-mile round trip hike is accessible by foot year-round. If you’re one of the lucky ones who make it to the springs while the road is open (road closures vary year to year but summer and early fall is usually the only time the road is open) and have an all terrain vehicle (those potholes are a no go for an RV) then you’ll be able to drive the majority of the hike and only walk a mere .7 mile to San Antonio Hot Springs. There are a handful of pools ranging from scalding hot to lukewarm temperatures that overlook a stunning view of the Jemez forest.
Taos is a charming town in northern New Mexico. There are endless things to do in this quaint area. From skiing Taos Valley in the winter to exploring the textiles, ceramics, and art downtown, you can do it all here, and affordably.
Taos Pueblo is your go-to for local culture. This compound of multi-storied adobe buildings (located a mile from downtown Taos) have been inhabited over 1,000 years. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Landmark. Admission is $16/person.
Pro Tip: No photos of tribal members are allowed without permission.
Where to RV: Taos Valley RV Park and Campground
This is one of our favorite campgrounds. The pull-through, full-hookup spots are spacious and each one comes with a quaint picnic table nestled under a wood teepee. The location is ideal as well, as it’s a few minute’s drive from downtown. The welcome center is equipped with coffee, tea, and incredibly friendly staff.
Where to Eat: Medley
Come for the happy hour. Seriously. You’ll be so glad you did. The special runs Tuesday – Sunday 4-6 pm. Margarita’s, beer and select cocktails are only $5. Enjoy delicious snacks like their cheese platter, fried brussels, and Chile fries! If you’re staying for dinner, be sure to try the Ruby Trout. It’s divine.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
If you are in Santa Fe, you do not want to miss the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. In July 1997 the museum opened its doors to the public with over 3,000 works of O’Keeffe’s. “Known as one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, O’Keeffe was devoted to creating imagery that expressed what she called ‘the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.'” – Okeeffe Museum. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop! You can take home some of O’Keeffe’s greatest works in postcard and book form.
St. Frances Cathedral
This stunning church, built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886, sits at the epicenter of downtown Santa Fe. Go in for service, enjoy a picnic on the lawn or walk around this beautiful piece of history.
Where to Eat: Tune Up Café
This small café packs a big punch. Come for the authentic Mexican cuisine and stay for the atmosphere. Check out the specials chalkboard above the check out counter (new daily), grab an espresso and try our personal favorite, the breakfast burrito (and smother it in green chile). You won’t be disappointed.
Where to RV: Santa Fe Skies RV Park
Santa Fe RV Park is located just south of Santa Fe City. With the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley at its fingertips, the RV park is the ideal spot to experience everything Santa Fe has to offer – nature and city life. Pull-thru sights with full hookups are available for 20, 30, and 50 amp rigs.
Meow Wolf – Check Back for Openings Come 2021 (Closed due to Covid-19)
Meow Wolf is so very difficult to define because it is like nothing you have ever seen. New Mexico based arts and entertainment groups came together to create an immersive, multimedia experience for audiences of all ages. The space aims to transport those who walk into imaginative realms of storytelling. As defined by the collective, “Our work is a combination of a jungle gym, haunted house, children’s museum, and immersive art exhibit.” We define it as the coolest experience we’ve ever had so if you come to Santa Fe, put this on the VERY top of your list.
Pro Tip: This place gets packed. We came at 9:45 (doors open at 10 AM) and there was a line of nearly 60 people waiting. Buy your tickets online before you get to the exhibit as there are two lines to enter (one for pre-purchased tickets, one for onsite purchase). The pre-purchased ticket line moves twice as fast as the onsite. Give yourself at least two hours to enjoy this amazing spot!
Can’t get enough of New Mexico? Check out our post, La Mesa RV’s Recap of the International Balloon Fiesta to start planning your 2021 adventure to one of the greatest festivals in the USA. Let us know your favorite place to travel in New Mexico in the comment section below!