New Mexico’s Rich Traditions and Vibrant Culture

New Mexico’s Rich Traditions and Vibrant Culture

For a place that only achieved statehood in 1912, New Mexico has more history than many of the 13 original colonies. The rich traditions of 22 Native tribes define much of this Land of Enchantment, pulsating vibrantly from the pueblos into museums, galleries, restaurants and resort casinos—many of which the tribes now own.

Add the Spanish customs of those who arrived five centuries ago and the influence of the artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and visionaries who have followed. They create a distinctive cultural stew bubbling with seasonings that blend elements of the ancient and contemporary, indigenous and imported, spiritual and sybaritic.

New Mexico culture mixes it all. It’s a blackware bowl by Santa Clara Pueblo potter Margaret Tafoya and a sensuous painting by Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s the Chaco Canyon architecture of the Anazasi, the 400-year-old San Miguel Chapel and carbon-neutral Biopark. It’s the handmade Navajo jewelry on blankets in the plazas in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and the artist’s studios of Madrid.

Throughout the state, New Mexico’s culinary culture hangs from ubiquitous chile ristras and ribbons in smoke from the drums of green chile roasters. Visitors flock to the Taos Pueblo and the nearby world-class skiing and arts scene. Spelunkers gravitate to Carlsbad Caverns, balloonists to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival and roadbikers to the White Mesa Trails. Roswell and Los Alamos also hold an idiosyncratic appeal. The unique, rugged beauty of Dripping Springs and White Sands National Monument beckon hikers from the south, while the soothing waters of Ojo Caliente gurgle in the north.

And speaking of water, you can even jet-ski on Elephant Butte Lake and Scuba dive in Santa Rosa. New Mexico is not just about seeing and eating. It’s about doing—and doing it right.


To get more in-depth information about Culture and Attractions, visit:

New Mexico Tourism Department

Albuquerque Convention and Tourism Department

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