Tour New Mexico; Observe, Listen, Engage, and Learn. An Awesome Way to Travel.
If you’re a visual learner, you’d be able to understand how important our senses are to learning.
Listening to experts, engaging in conversations, asking questions, and seeking further information helps stimulate our thinking process, challenges our preconceived notions and beliefs, and helps our minds grow.
For these and other reasons, Tours are an awesome way to experience New Mexico.
NOTE: Some of these tours are by appointment. If you are unable to find any specific info on the linked websites, give them a call. I’ve done my homework and all these tours are available as of March 2019.
Here is a list of Tours in our area you won’t be able to find anywhere else!
- Apache Cultural Tour
- Mescalero Tribal Fish Hatchery
- Sunspot Solar Observatory
- Eagle Ranch Farm Tour
- Tularosa Basin Museum of History
- Trinity Site National Historic Landmark
- Native Plant Garden Tour at WSNM
- Full Moon Hike at White Sands
- Lake Lucero Tours
- McGinn’s Pistachio Farm Tours
- Sunrise Arts
- Carrizozo’s Historic Homes Tour
- Sunset Stroll
- Fort Stanton Living History Tour
- Oliver Lee Ranch House
- Two Rivers Fairy Trail
- A downtown Walking Tour of Tularosa NM
- Alamogordo Tour of Historical Homes
- Wind Rider Ziptour
- Tularosa Vineyard Tours
- Sacramento Mountains Museum & Pioneer Village
- New Mexico Museum of Space History
- Cowboy Action Shooting Adventure
- Old Lincoln Living History Tour
- Carrizozo Heritage Museum
- Shroud of Turin and New Mexico History
- Three Rivers Petroglyph Site Guided Tours
Click on any one of these if you’re interested in learning about the beautiful Land of Enchantment.
What is The Spirit of the American Southwest?
It is a body of rich Traditions: Native American spirituality, Spanish culture, Mexican resilience, and the wild, rugged and free character of the American cowboy.
History has blurred ethnicity lines, and although several features of these strong traditions can be identified in the elements of the Southwestern culture, they are, simultaneously, one in substance and nature – The Spirit of the American Southwest.
Native American Spirituality is without a doubt the chief influence and foundational creative force in the Spirit of the Southwest. Being able to experience the Southwest means being in direct contact with its essential elements, and these Petroglyphs speak of that holy communion between man and nature.
The Spirit won’t admit your problems and worries. It won’t allow distractions or lack of commitment. It requires your full focus and undivided attention. It needs a clear mind in order to make a connection with your soul.
The petroglyphs at Three Rivers testify to the connection that can be made.
Take a 360 look at this 360 degree Virtual Tour.
New Mexican cuisine has its own unique style. It is not Mexican. It is not Mexican-American. And it’s definitely not Tex-Mex. It’s true to the Southwestern Spirit of New Mexico’s rich cultural heritage. It is a blend of American Cowboy, Native American, Spanish Colonial, and post-Columbian Mexican.
The Chiricahua, Comanche, Mescalero, and Navajo influence on New Mexican food is expressed through the use of piñones, corn, chile, beans, and squash.
The use of wheat, rice, and lamb were introduced to the Southwestern Cuisine by the Spaniards. Arroz con leche, atole, bizcochitos, calabacitas, and flan are some of the Spanish dishes that have come to enrich New Mexican traditions.
Another example of cultural influence in New Mexican cooking is the Puebloan Horno; a mud adobe-built outdoor oven. Originally introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors, it was quickly adopted and carried to all Spanish-occupied lands. The Puebloan Horno was used by Native Americans and early settlers of North America, and became an authentic tradition in the Southwest.
The most iconic characteristic of true New Mexican Cuisine is the use of Hatch Chile, which is not the same as the serrano chile used in Mexican Cuisine.
Within our local food landscape you will find:
- Green chile cheeseburgers
- Green chile chicken Alfredo
- Green chile cornbread
- Green Chile Stew
- Green Chile and chicken stuffed avocado
- and even more creative dishes like green chile sundaes and smoothies.
So, what should you be looking for when you are in search of a true, authentic experience of the southwest?
- Bizcochitos – The Official New Mexican Cookie
- Carne adovada – slow-cooked cubes of pork marinated in red chile sauce, oregano, and garlic
- Green chile stew
- Navajo Tacos – made with fry bread instead of a tortillas
- Sopapillas – fried pastry dough typically used as an edible scoop for salsas and sauces
- Albondigas (meatball soup)
- Chiles Rellenos – whole green chiles stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg batter and fried
- Enchiladas – corn tortillas filled with chicken, meat or cheese, rolled or stacked and covered with chile sauce and cheese
- Flan – caramel custard
- Tamales – meat rolled in cornmeal dough and wrapped in corn husks
- Indian fry bread – a traditional thick flatbread of deep-fried dough
So, you have done your research and realized that Ruidoso, New Mexico is the-place-to-go this winter.
You are planning to visit Ski Apache, take awesome pictures at Sierra Blanca Peak (weather and health permitting), shop for souvenirs at Tanner Tradition and have lunch at Rachel’s; one of the best restaurants in Ruidoso.
Awesome, but… where are you staying?
Noisy Water Lodge is an option. These are pet-friendly rental cabins, surrounded by the amazing Lincoln National Forest and overlooking the world-famous Rio Ruidoso. Only 2 miles from downtown (and 20 miles from Sky Apache), these cabins are accessible to all Ruidoso attractions and activities.
They do not have a Google Virtual Tour, but here is a Street View image where you are able to view them from the street:
Their ratings are phenomenal and their reviews are stellar:
If the cabin experience is not for you, a vacation rental will probably interest you. Two Ruidoso Redheads have some amazing vacation options in different locations.
How does a vacation townhome rental sound to you? … I know!!!
Sorry, no Google Virtual Tours. But you can check out their photos, rating and reviews here!
If you are traveling with kids, don’t forget about the best local attractions to enjoy:
Easy and Fun, with kids or without, romantic or not, these are four things you must do when you visit Carrizozo, NM.
This attraction (is actually on TripAdvisor…) and is awesome for everyone.
Kids, adults, grandparents and wheelchair-accessible, THIS IS IT!
What you won’t find on TripAdvisor:
- The Burro Challenge. Not on TripAdvisor (though I wonder why not?!) this was such a fun thing to do. We did walk around town a bit, but did not notice how far we traveled or for how long. One cannot visit Carrizozo without doing this, as this is the area of donkeys (“burro” means donkey) and the art is fun and beautiful. And if you are in Carrizozo, you must be into nature and art…and if you are not, you are missing out.
2. MoMaZoZo’s Gallery. 12th Historic Street in Carrizozo is awesome. Stop at all the spots, including the Malkerson Gallery!
3. Chamber of Commerce. The El Paso and Northeastern Railroad built a depot on Carrizozo Flats, and the town was born.
This is a video we took on our last visit:
If you are looking for something to do in Ruidoso, especially if it is kid-friendly, have I got the answer for you … sleigh rides!
During the summer we can enjoy Grindstone Stables horse rides. These are one-hour tours, and children 5 years and up can ride their own horse! If Special Needs is a concern, you can call [ (575)257-2241 ] and they might be able to help you with that too.
Grindstone’s carriage rides through mid-town will provide you (and your tired kids) with an awesome break from shopping. Plus, the experience is just phenomenal!
Their Sleigh rides are available from Thanksgiving ’till the beginning of January.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides through historic Upper Canyon, sleigh bells ringing, Christmas lights on every house, snow covered driveways, and neighbors waving and wishing merry Christmas is a magical experience. It doesn’t get better than that!
This is the one we took last year. We can’t wait to ride again this year!
This is a question I had to ask! Leonard Witter came out of his Fossil Works lab at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
I was watching him through the glass, working on a fossil with a couple of sharp tools, and a magnifying glass. He was focused, but noticed me staring. I smiled. He also smiled and then came out to see me.
He explained a bit about what he was doing, then I asked a couple of short questions and interrupted his answers by asking the one I really, really wanted to know.
Natural History Museums are a family favorite wherever we go. And the last time we visited Albuquerque, we just had to stop by.
Dad and the kids were almost done looking at the exhibition right next to Fossil Works, and before they came back, I really had to ask how could our family find fossils in the area where we live. I recorded his answer because I thought you would also like to know.
When Bob Nichols said this to me, he had a spark in his eye.
I think you can see it in the video, albeit a bit hidden by the hat he’s wearing.
I see this spark whenever I talk to locals about the Spirit of the Southwest.
When I ask how would they define it, at first they look away, as if trying to look inside themselves to give me a thoughtful answer. And once they start sharing, bit by bit, there’s an energy that starts coming through their words.
I see that spark here and there while they say certain words or describe certain feelings.
There’s also this particular way in which New Mexicans carry themselves, and I can’t help but stare.
When I first saw Bob Nichols, he was browsing through some of the things at this local shop. He was quiet, minding his own business. I could see that, although he was aware of his surroundings, he (it seemed to me) only made the absolute, necessary moves.
The word “dignity” is what immediately comes to mind.
I think I understand a bit more of what those old Hollywood movies about the wild west were trying to capture. And it’s difficult to put into words just what the Spirit of the Southwest really is, or looks like, or feels like.
You just gotta visit…
Maybe I should go back and rewatch some of those…
This is Bob Nichols Ranch, when you visit, tell him I said hi.
My mother used to say; “It’s the little things”, when talking to me about cleaning my messy room, talking while eating, or complaining about life. She meant to teach me that small details matter because they are the things that fill our days, and can make the number of days in our lives pleasant, or not. She is a wise woman, just like her own mother, and her lessons have stuck vividly in my mind.
The power of wise, strong women within a family, and in a community is one of those mystical ancient traditions that never fails to stop me right in my tracks, and take notice. My grandmother was one of them, and I kind of have this fifth sense for noticing them.
A few weeks ago I visited my local library, and while chatting with my librarian I saw a side of her I hadn’t seen before; then I realized … she’s one of “them”. Hanging out at “her” library is like hanging out at a friend’s house. They don’t just read there, they commune. There are happy kids there, not just doing homework or connecting to the internet, but enjoying each other.
Sometimes the feeling I get from just walking inside the library is that, at any minute, some friendly face is going to walk up to me with a tray of cookies and milk and ask for me to sit down and just chat. It could be, as the kids who volunteer and spend time at the library are so warm, friendly, and happy. They are Tularosa’s kids.
And the librarian? She doesn’t talk a lot. She’s also warm, and happy. She loves the kids, her job, the library, the future. I think she deeply understands that the job she’s doing is of great consequence. Her demeanor, the way she talks to the kids, the attention to detail in the choices she makes for the library…there is fire in there.
Why do I tell you this? Because I think this is also the fruit of the Spirit of the Southwest. Inner strength, ancient wisdom, deep care, and the occupation of the people who live here to work on what really matters in life.
You gotta visit…