If you're wondering what there is to do for a day or weekend trip, check out the New Mexico 30, a list of attractions the state tourism department chose as places every New Mexican should have on their bucket list. It includes state and national parks, man-made landmarks, off-the-beaten-path treasures and cultural sites.
Take a quiz online at newmexico.org to see how many you've been to and then share the number and your photos on social media with the hashtag #newmexicotrue. You might spark a friendly competition between friends and family over who has seen the most places on the New Mexico 30 list. You can also cut out the list below and check off the places you've visited.
"The genesis of New Mexico True 30 is we meet New Mexicans all the time who say there's nothing to do in the state," said tourism department Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham. "One of our missions is to inspire more in-state travel."
"Thirty seemed like a good number to start with," Latham added. "We know through studies consumers want advice over information. It is easier to digest."
New Mexico is the fifth-largest state in the nation. It's easy to live here never visit all of the attractions found within the state's borders. The True 30 are a few of the many sites and places to visit around the state, which has 34 state parks, several national forests, more than a dozen national parks and several historic districts.
"We wanted to make this a simple and fun experience that gave New Mexicans an opportunity to show off how many places they've been, while also providing inspiration for their next road trip," Latham said. "You could live here your entire life and not realize how close you are to standing in the same spot as Billy the Kid once did. Our goal is to encourage New Mexicans to visit all four corners of our state and create memories in these amazing places."
Road trips are gaining in popularity, according to AAA. More than half of Americans have indicated that they were more likely to take a road trip this year than the previous year. Road trips are also gaining popularity in New Mexico. Nearly 16 percent of overnight trips in 2017 were to tour multiple locations of the state.
Of the 30 locations that made the list, visitors will find two dozen, 75-foot antennas at the Very Large Array in Socorro, the site of the first atomic bomb detonation at the Trinity Site, robust music history at the Norman and Vi Petty Museum in Clovis, and the "Best Native American Experience in the Country" as voted on by the readers of USA Today at Acoma Sky City.
So how many of the True 30 has the cabinet secretary visited? I'm embarrassed to say I've only done 16 of the 30, which tells me I spend entirely too much time in the office," Latham said.
Two of her favorites on the list are the Taos Gorge Bridge and Carlsbad Caverns.
But her favorite place to visit in New Mexico, Sitting Bull Falls near Carlsbad, didn't make the list. "That shows you there's no favoritism in this list," she quipped.