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New Mexico offers so much in the way of memorable landscapes and connections to cultures that have inhabited its land for thousands of years. A journey to New Mexico offers travelers a chance to experience some of the most wondrous locations to be found in the United States.

This one-week circuit road trip gives travelers the chance to start in Albuquerque and wander through some of the most stunning locations New Mexico has to offer. This truly is a bucket list road trip that travelers should not miss out on.


Day 1: Albuquerque

Albuquerque has a bit of everything for all sorts of Travelers. Surrounded by the stunning and unique landscape of New Mexico, Albuquerque offers a blend of Spanish and Native American culture that shows in the architecture as well as the cuisine of the city. During the first day of this road trip, travelers can take some time to visit old churches and adobes, and perhaps wander through the city’s Old Town.

Antiquity Restaurant

An established and excellent fine dining location in Albuquerque, Antiquity Restaurant has something for anyone with a mix of fresh seafood and any kind of meat along with nightly specials. This is a great stop for any diner.

  • Address - 112 Romero St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104-1417
  • Contact - (505)247-3545
  • Cost - $$$$
  • Must-Try - Chicken Madagascar
  • Menu

Monroe's Restaurant

Once a small drive-in restaurant, Monroe’s has grown into a local favorite that serves high-quality New Mexican food and is located in the Old Town of Albuquerque and is quite reasonably priced. This is a highly recommended dining location.

  • Address - 1025 4th NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
  • Contact - (505)242-1111
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try - Seafood Enchiladas
  • Menu

Day 2: Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness

With stunning rock formations and so many trails to explore, travelers can spend hours exploring this region. This truly unique destination is of the many that make New Mexico such a wondrous place to explore.

  • Ah-shi-sle-pah Trail - (Easy) 2.7 miles (4.3 km) 1 hour 1 minute, map
  • Travel Distance - 147 miles. 2 hours 32 minutes
  • Google Maps

Related: 1-Week Bucket-List Road Trip Circuit: Explore wild Montana

Day 3: Tsé Bitʼaʼí (Shiprock)

Standing a jaw-dropping 1,500 feet tall and taking up 33,000 acres, Tsé Bitʼaʼí, also known as Shiprock, is a natural and cultural landmark that travelers must visit. Located within the Navajo Nation, this beautiful place has held a long and historical relevance to the Navajo. Nearby, the Los Alamos sight with a history of human inhabitants dating back 11,000 years. Enjoy some local hikes and take in the true beauty of this natural wonder.

  • Travel Distance - 94.1 miles, 2 hours 13 minutes
  • Google Maps

Day 4: Santa Fe

Venture into Santa Fe where travelers can find high rock mount vistas, and discover Native American culture and how it has been blended with modern art. This city is also full of fantastic cuisine and offers a bit of Spanish charm. This destination has great historical significance and has been bringing in travelers for over 400 years.


Travelers can miss out on this fine dining experience located within a 1756 adobe home. This restaurant doesn't simply rely on its stunning and historical location, it provides an amazing dining experience and a great selection of delicious dishes.

  • Address - 724 Canyon Rd Valet parking is located past the restaurant on the right., Santa Fe, NM 87501-2724
  • Contact - 505-982-1500
  • Cost - $$$$
  • Must-Try - Mesquite Lobster
  • Menu

Café Pasqual's

Offering upscale dining at a reasonable price, Café Pasqual’s Mexican American Southwestern menu offers up delicious favorites that are popular with both the locals and visitors to the city.

  • Address - 121 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2119
  • Contact - 505-983-9340
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try - The Enchiladas
  • Menus

Related: 1-Week Road Trip Circuit: Arizona's Spiritual Destinations

Day 5: White Sands National Park

Known as a national monument and natural wonder, White Sands National Park has a completely unique landscape of true white sand dunes and a unique ecosystem, Take a walk down Dune Life Nature Trail to experience it for yourself.

  • Travel Distance - 233 miles, 3 hr 45 minutes
  • Google Maps

Day 6: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

After experiencing so much on the surface of New Mexico it’s time for travelers to venture beneath the surface. With over 100 cames to explore, the park offers a great glimpse at the world beneath New Mexico’s deserts. The Canyon Desert Loop is highly recommended for visitors.

  • Travel Distance - 181 miles, 3 hours 16 min
  • Google Maps

Day 7: Back to Albuquerque

With this trip coming to an end it's time to make the drive back to Albuquerque. It will be the longest leg of the trip, but travelers should still reach Albuquerque with enough time to enjoy the city a bit before making the end of this road trip.

  • Travel Distance - 297 miles, 4 hours 43 minutes
  • Google Maps
  • Total Driving Distance - 1,198 miles
  • Total Driving Time - 20 hours 48 minutes
  • Route Map