ALONG THE TURQUOISE TRAIL. (Allow one day)
Take in majestic views along this scenic drive. The Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway (N.M. 14) links Santa Fe and Albuquerque with breathtaking views of mountains, canyons and forests. Prehistoric peoples, Spanish missionaries, and miners in search of glory have all thrived on this route.
From Santa Fe head south to Cerrillos, a ghost town turned artists' gathering. At their peak in the 1880s, Cerrillos mines produced gold, silver, lead, zinc, and turquoise is still mined today. The village is also home to the Cerrillos Hills State Park, a trading post, and a petting zoo.
Artists have turned Madrid into a community thriving with galleries, shops, and restaurants. Take in the Mine Shaft Tavern. Down the road a little way, take a side trip up the skyward drive leading to Sandia Crest with its incredible views of Albuquerque proper.
In Tijeras, visit the Tijeras Pueblo Archaeological Site, or continue past the Manzano Mountains (this is along the Salt Missions trail National Scenic Byways) to visit the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument where you can explore three separate sets of ruins of old Pueblo mission churches.
If I have omitted anything of interest, please add to comments for this post.