Family travel in New Mexico

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - worth every BIT of hype you've heard (photo by Sheila Scarborough)I took a 50 state series hiatus there for awhile, but we’re back!

Until we run out of states, I’ll be posting about family-friendly vacation ideas, attractions and events in each one of the US states, taking input mostly from Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, I know how to search for travel ideas on a destination or attraction Web site, but a tweet or a Facebook Wall recommendation is a much more engaging and public way to spread the word.

Please don’t email suggestions to me; that’s nice but it is one-to-one communication. Tweet me and/or Facebook me, so that all of our networks can see what’s cool about your state.

We’re going in alphabetical order but started with the end, so our first state for the series was Wyoming, then we investigated WisconsinWest Virginia,  Washington,  Virginia,  Vermont,  UtahTexas,  Tennessee,  South Dakota,  South Carolina,  Rhode Island,  Pennsylvania,  OregonOklahoma,  OhioNorth Dakota,  North Carolina, New York and now we’re moving on to….New Mexico!

Their state tourism organization is on Twitter at @NMTourism. I found a Facebook Fan Page for New Mexico but I’m not certain that it is controlled by the state’s tourism office (they should fill out the front page bio to confirm that.)  There’s a Flickr Group Pool for New Mexico, but no YouTube channel, although I did find Albuquerque tourism on YouTube.

When I asked for ideas, here’s what came in….

Twitter Travel Tips for New Mexico

***  From Elmer Boutin via @rehor on Twitter:  I love Ruidoso and Cloudcroft, NM. Carlsbad Caverns is fun, too. Deming is a great little town, though not really a touristy place.

***  From Debbie Dubrow via @DeliciousBaby on Twitter: Explora Science Museum in Albuquerque has tons of hands-on fun. (More on ABQ and New Mexico on this page of her site and here is her Santa Fe info.)

***  From Donna L. Hull via @DonnaLHull on Twitter: You might consider El Morro National Monument for your New Mexico blog post.

***  From Betsy Drager via @BetsyDrager on Twitter: Christmas at Taos Pueblo is awesome; brings all peoples together.

*** From Rachel Farris via @MeanRachel on Twitter: White Sands, museum of the horse in Riudoso, hiking in the Lincoln National Forest, Casa de Patron B&B in Lincoln-Billy the Kid town!

*** From Kara S. Williams via @karasw on Twitter: Santa Fe Children’s Museum has loads of hands-on exhibits. Climbing into cliff dwellings at Bandelier Natl Monument – fun for kids.

Facebook Travel Tips for New Mexico

***  From Marilyn McCray on Facebook  —  New Mexico has so much for families. Start with the pueblos….

The 8 Northern Pueblos have a travel organization that helps plan visits and shares etiquette since these are living communities . The public dances are a look back in time. The Turtle Dance at San Juan and Taos are two of my favorites. A visit to Taos is amazing since people have lived there for over 1,000 years.

Santa Fe is also a great destination where all three cultures come together. The various museums in the Museum of New Mexico system are definitely worth visiting as is the plaza. The Santuario at Chimayo is another must see. It is one of the only churches that still has the original art work, not to mention the healing dirt. The small restaurant in the back parking lot is run by one of the most notables and has great tamales. I think her name is Leona. Rancho Chimayo is one of the best places for Northern New Mexican cuisine.

***  From Scott Ingram on Facebook  —  Go to the Hot Air Balloon Festival (Balloon Fiesta) in Albuquerque. Super family-friendly. On of the most memorable trips of my life and I think I was 10. Can’t wait to take my kids there.

***  From Martha Swenson Hall on Facebook  —  White Sands and a sand board for sand surfing.

***  From Jodell Durkee on Facebook  —  I enjoyed touring through Old Albuquerque.  We took our kids to Carlsbad; it was great too. There is a mystery by Nevada Barr called Blind Descent – she is a National Park Ranger and EMT. She tells a lot about Carslbad, if you like mysteries.

***  From John Holmes on Facebook  —  In NW New Mexico, Red River is an undiscovered but great little four-seasons town. Close to it is Eagle Nest, which has an excellent, huge fishing lake. Both are close to Angel Fire Resort, which has really grown in terms of activities in recent years. All of these are a very easy drive from the Santa Fe-Taos area.

Thanks so much for the contributions!

The Family Travel Guide New Mexico-related posts are here and the BootsnAll Travel Network has a New Mexico Travel Guide.

The next state in the series is New Jersey.

Send your New Jersey highlights to @SheilaS on Twitter or write them on my Facebook Wall (please tell me you’re a 50 state-er if you want to friend me.)

My purpose for this series is not only to highlight worthy kid-friendly vacation destinations in all 50 states, but by using Twitter and Facebook I want to also encourage tourism organizations to learn more about connecting with their visitors using social media and online networks.

Please add your own New Mexico suggestions in the comments below, if we’ve missed anything. Thanks!