This historic section of Albuquerque sits at the heart of town, its Pueblo-style patios beckoning to be explored. What was once a simple grassy plaza has expanded into more than 150 unique shops, restaurants, and galleries. Many feature authentic crafts produced by local Native American tribes.
With original adobe buildings and Spanish colonial architecture, the area is undeniably beautiful and rich in Southwestern culture. Grounded in history (it was first settled by Spanish settlers in 1706,) there are also five museums in this part of town which tell the city’s story. The main plaza is centered around the San Felipe de Neri, an old church that has remained since 1793. You can plan your day around specific sights, or explore the brick paths and alleys that lead through the historic area. When in need of a break, you’ll find open-air patios and gardens dotted with intricate iron benches that are perfect for relaxing in the shade.
Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico includes ancient pueblo buildings as well as vast areas of wilderness and lots of hiking trails. The whole area covers 50 square miles, most of which remain the natural landscape, including the Rio Grande and the Jemez Mountains. The main attractions at Bandelier, however, are the ruins of the ancient people who once lived there. There are several ancient homes, as well as rock paintings and petroglyphs, both near the modern ground level of the canyon and some further up the rock wall. The ruins and markings date from the 12th through 17th century, though there is evidence that people inhabited the area more than 10,000 years ago.