Teenagers are known for having an immense underappreciation of their home towns, and even states. “New Mexico sucks,” is a phrase I’ve heard more than a few times since I moved here, and I’ve definitely said it myself. However, now that I’m older and not an ignorant thirteen year old, I know better. New Mexico doesn’t suck, at least not all the time. There are plenty of cool things to do and discover around New Mexico (as you may have discovered from Mikey Reynold’s article in The Edition). If you aren’t as adventurous, there are always plenty of things you could do while staying in your house all summer long.

There are many of places to go around New Mexico if you’re into small day trips. You can spend the day in Santa Fe walking around The Plaza, visiting some of the many museums, discovering the cultural sites, and taking a journey in the newest art complex in the state, Meow Wolf (see Claire Plymale’s review). If you’re into the surreal and superstitious, spend a day in Roswell where you can tour the many alien museums and purchase a tacky souvenir or two. For less touristy attractions and more adventurous trips, you can go to one of many of New Mexico’s natural wonders. This list includes (but is certainly not limited to) White Sands National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Tent Rocks National Monument, and the Santa Rosa Blue Hole. Each of these outdoor adventures will need their own day to go exploring. You can also visit any of the lakes we have here (Conchas, Navajo, Caballo, Elephant Butte, etc.) to go fishing, tubing, boating, or just plain swimming.

If going out of town isn’t for you, there are many things to do in Albuquerque. Take a day to go to the ABQ BioPark so you can see the animals in the zoo, sea creatures in the aquarium, and beautiful flowers and other plants in the botanic garden. There are numerous museums around Old Town to spend an afternoon going through (Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, American International Museum, etc.) plus Explora for the young hearted. While you’re around Old Town, you could walk around the plaza and grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants around the area. I highly recommend Old Town Pizza Parlor. You can still get your adventure fix in Albuquerque by taking a hike around our very own

The Sandia Mountains delight with their watermelon hue at sunset.
The Sandia Mountains delight with their watermelon hue at sunset.

Sandia Mountains. There’s an abundance of trails to choose from, you could probably go on one every day if you want to. Hiking may be an undesirable task for some, so go on the tram to get to the peak instead of hiking up, the view will be just as stupendous.

Finally, you may need some ideas for what to do when you can’t get out of the house or go adventuring. Instead of relentlessly refreshing your social media feeds, you could do something a bit more entertaining and worthwhile. There’s no shame in binge watching Netflix all summer long, and it would be great if you could for at least a day. There are more shows to watch than humanly possible in two months, so pick one and spend a day watching it from start to finish (unfortunately, you’ll probably need more than one day). Another way to spend your time would be reading, and yes, I do mean an actual book. I know I have a ton of books sitting on a shelf in my room waiting to be read, and summer is the perfect time to read them. There is a ridiculous number of things to do that I didn’t mention, so do some more searching and find other worthwhile ways to spend your summer.