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10 Best Weekend Getaways from Albuquerque

Once considered an obscure and dusty old town, Albuquerque is a rising star among travelers who enjoy amazing food, fascinating cultural experiences, and outdoor recreation. With affordable prices and easy access via the airport and major interstates, many travelers are even extending their stays in Albuquerque and exploring the broader region as well. Using Albuquerque as your home base, here are some fun weekend getaway ideas to choose from.

Taos Taos, New Mexico
Credit: Taos, New Mexico by bigstock.com

Taos

Just a couple hours north of Albuquerque is the quirky and beautiful mountain town of Taos, which is well known for its epic ski resort. But even if you don’t enjoy snow sports or its warm outside, Taos is worth a weekend trip to see the adobe structures of Taos Pueblo village, which is still inhabited by Native residents today. It’s also thrilling to walk across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and look far down below at the amazing river views. Nearby, you can tour an Earthship community made up of eco-friendly and self-sustaining homes that are off-the-grid and truly inspiring. Taos also has a cute downtown area to walk around and check out the shops and restaurants.

Abiquiu Abiquiu New Mexico landscape with cliffs and clouds
Credit: Abiquiu New Mexico landscape with cliffs and clouds by © Diane Beaulaurier - Dreamstime.com

Abiquiu

Abiquiu is best known for the Ghost Ranch retreat center, which was a getaway spot for artist Georgia O’Keeffe and epically inspiring with its landscapes. Even if you know nothing about painting works of art, you can spend your time here going horseback riding and doing yoga, meditation, and photography. There’s a lovely lavender farm in this area that you can visit and also the Abiquiu Dam and Lake Recreation Area for boating and fishing. Abiquiu is an easy weekend trip destination that is under two hours from Albuquerque.

Jemez Springs Jemez State Monument in Jemez Springs, New Mexico
Credit: Jemez State Monument in Jemez Springs, New Mexico by © Benkrut - Dreamstime.com

Jemez Springs

In just a little over an hour, you can reach Jemez Springs from Albuquerque and explore the little town and thermal hot springs in the area. You can take a dip in the warm springs for free out in nature along a hiking trail or go to a local spa for a bathhouse experience. On your weekend getaway, also check out the Jemez Monument and Historic site, the local art galleries for souvenirs, and the mountain biking trails.

Santa Fe  Santa Fe, New Mexico
Credit: Santa Fe, New Mexico by Bigstock.com

Santa Fe

Perhaps the easiest weekend trip destination from Albuquerque is Santa Fe because it’s only an hour away, but there’s so much to see and do here that you definitely need to stay for the weekend. Santa Fe is an epicenter of food, shopping, and culture, which means you can spend most of your weekend just walking around the plaza and exploring all there is to see here. But there are also a lot of ways to get outdoors and experience nature here by hitting up the slopes of Ski Santa Fe or hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. Santa Fe is also a top spa resort destination, making it perfect for your girls’ trip weekend getaway.

Bandelier National Monument Alcove House in Bandelier National Monument
Credit: Alcove House in Bandelier National Monument by Traveller70 via shutterstock.com

Bandelier National Monument

New Mexico is filled with amazing national parks and monuments that really showcase the state’s cultural and landscape diversity. A great example is Bandelier National Park, which is less than two hours from Albuquerque. Ancient Native Americans created their homes from the cliffs in this valley, which you can see today, along with the petroglyphs they carved into the rock. The Valles Caldera National Preserve is also nearby and another beautiful landscape worth checking out on this weekend getaway. Stay in the nearby town of Los Alamos for your weekend in this region.

Chama Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
Credit: Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad by Wikimedia Commons

Chama

Chama is under three hours from Albuquerque and an outdoor lover’s paradise. This Northern New Mexico destination is known for fishing, horseback riding, horseback riding, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. It makes a wonderful weekend getaway on a scenic motorcycle ride and is near the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, which offers fun day trip rides.

Silver City Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in the Gila National Forest near Silver City
Credit: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in the Gila National Forest near Silver City by bigstock.com

Silver City

Take a drive about four hours southwest of Albuquerque and you’ll reach Silver City, the home of the iconic legend Billy the Kid. This is a quaint small town with a museum, Old West charm, and restaurants that feature the state’s iconic green chiles. Make a weekend out of it by visiting the nearby Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and perhaps camp at City of Rocks State Park for your overnight stay. Other highlights are the Catwalk National Recreation Trail that leads to waterfalls and hidden pools and the Silver City Clay Festival that brings art enthusiasts together each summer.

Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Otherworldly hoodoos and blue skies at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Credit: Otherworldly hoodoos and blue skies at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument by © Claire White - Dreamstime.com

Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Another New Mexico nature destination we love is Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, which is about an hour from Albuquerque and worth a weekend trip. These unique rock formations actually do look like tents and were caused by ancient volcanic eruptions. You can hike the easy Cave Loop Trail that’s 1.2 miles long or the more difficult Canyon Trail that’s 1.5 miles long one way for awesome views. Combine this trip with an overnight camping experience at Cochiti Lake to make a weekend trip out of it. This lake has a boat ramp and campground, and some sites have electric hookups and water.

Las Cruces Taking in the view at the Organ Mountains in New Mexico.
Credit: Taking in the view at the Organ Mountains in New Mexico. by bigstock.com

Las Cruces

Las Cruces is a fun and sunny city about three hours south of Albuquerque where you can plan a great weekend getaway. The weather is mild down here, making it a favorite winter spot for snowbirds and anyone looking to escape the cold and snow. When you’re here, you can hike in the beautiful Organ Mountains and stay active with some mountain biking as well. White Sands, which was recently granted national park status, is nearby and an otherworldly place to hike in the gypsum white sands that stay cool even on hot days.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Carlsbad Caverns
Credit: Carlsbad Caverns by bigstock.com

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

If you don’t mind a little extra driving, you can make a weekend trip out of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which is under five hours from Albuquerque by car. This is one of the largest cave systems in the world and an absolutely impressive place to see on a tour. You can see some caves on your own but get access to even more with a ranger guide. The Big Room is accessible by walking downstairs, while other tours require crawling on your hands and knees.

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