What is New Mexico Known For?

New Mexico—known as the Land of Enchantment—is a unique and beautiful state full of stunning landscapes, rich heritage, and so much more. However, it’s also one of the states that people in the U.S. know the least about. So, what is New Mexico known for?

The Top Things New Mexico Is Known For



  • The Rio Grande – The Rio Grande—also known as Río Bravo del Norte—is the 5th longest river in North America and the 20th longest river in the world. It runs 1,900 miles south from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado through the entire state of New Mexico. It then curves to form the border between Texas and Mexico, flowing all the way into the Gulf of Mexico. The river is not only a beautiful natural spectacle, but it also helps to irrigate many agricultural regions along its course and is great for fishing, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor adventures.
  • National Parks and Monuments – Sticking with the theme of being majestic and enchanting, New Mexico is also home to some amazing national parks. These include:
    • White Sands National Park – This park covers 275 square miles of the state with an ocean of white, gypsum dunes—the largest gypsum dune field in the world—where you can hike, go sand sledding, and more.
    • Carlsbad Caverns National Park – These caverns include more than 119 caves and the 3rd largest cavern chamber in North America, which is also the 7th largest cavern chamber in the world. The caverns are also home to various rodents, reptiles, and bats.
    • Petroglyph National Monument – This petroglyph site holds many different symbols and designs carved onto volcanic rocks hundreds of years ago by Native Americans and Spanish settlers. These symbols are significant—both culturally and spiritually—to this day.
    • Capulin Volcano – One of the most beautiful destinations in New Mexico, Capulin Volcano stands 1,000 feet over the volcanic field at its base and over 8,000 feet above sea level. From its rim, you can see 4 different states, and the volcano is also a great place for hiking, astronomy, and auto tours.

  • Food – Another great question to ask is, “what food is New Mexico known for?” There are a lot of great, tasty answers to the question due to the state’s blend of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences, but some of the food New Mexico is most known for includes green chile stew, red chile enchiladas, chiles rellenos, carne adovada, chicos, pinto beans, sopaipillas, and biscochitos. 
  • Hot Air Ballooning – One of the things New Mexico is known for the most is hot air ballooning. This is because of the landscape of the state that makes it a prime—and breathtaking—ballooning location. Hot air balloons can be seen year round, but especially during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. The festival lasts 9 days in October and is considered one of the most photographed events in the world. There are many different things to enjoy at this festival, including hot air balloon rides, photo contests, balloon glows, fireworks, mass ascensions, chainsaw carving competitions, local food, live entertainment, and more!


The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation proudly raises awareness, involvement, and funds for the Balloon Museum. Our goal is to uplift the Museum through project collaboration, artifact donations, and shared information and resources. The Balloon Museum Foundation also holds special events during The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year. Find out more about the Fiesta and how you can support our efforts by becoming a member, donating, volunteering, or purchasing a wall tile today!