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History, Art, And Counterculture In New Mexico’s Museums

New Mexico’s fascinating culture is honored in some of the state’s unique and fantastic museums. Dedicated to history, art, and science, New Mexico’s heritage comes alive here.

In Santa Fe, visit the Museum of International Folk Art. With a special focus on North and South America, this center preserves and studies the art from indigenous cultures around the world – in all there are more than 130,000 objects from more than 100 countries. In Albuquerque, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center brings the state’s pueblo culture to life – make sure to visit this site before venturing to some of the state’s intriguing ruins and prehistoric sites.

In Taos, the Millicent Rogers Museum celebrates the arts and cultures of the Southwest – it has a special emphasis on textiles and prehistoric pottery. To learn more about the state’s rambling history, step into the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe.

In Abiquiu check out the Florence Hawley Ellis Museum of Anthropology – it preserves cultures who lived in the Piedra Lumbre Valley and has fossils from the late Triassic. Santa Fe’s “oldest church” is the San Miguel Chapel, and inside you can see a great museum explaining the mission and those who served it.

Farmington Museum

Visitors to the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, find a wealth of local information inside. The museum showcases the permanent exhibits: From Dinosaurs to Drill Bits and Farmington: 100 Years of Change, as well as the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau. Stop by the Museum store to browse a wonderful collection of gift items.

While traveling in northern New Mexico, must-see attractions include the Aztec National Monument Ruins and Shiprock Pinnacle. Rest comfortably in Farmington and the surrounding area – enjoy excellent guest services and amenities. Have fun exploring the Four Corners region of New Mexico.

Governor Bent House and Museum

Visit one of New Mexico's mist historic sites. The Governor Bent House and Museum is an old adobe home of New Mexico's first Governor, Charles Bent. He was also a mountain man, trapper and owner of several wagon trains along the Santa Fe Trail.

Bent was appointed Governor in 1834 and was killed in 1847, on the property of the home. Visit the museum to view the current works of art from several area artists. While traveling through Taos, be sure to visit the Taos Pueblo, a 1,000-year-old dwelling included in the Eight Northern Pueblos of New Mexico. Enjoy a stay in Red River and northern NM.

Historical Museum of Lawmen

See one of the most unique museums in New Mexico. The Historical Museum of Lawmen displays a collection of law enforcement artifacts, photographs, memorabilia, guns and badges. The museum is located in the local sheriff's department in downtown Las Cruces, near the New Mexico State University campus.

History buffs can easily spend a few days in Las Cruces. Check out the Museum of Natural History, New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, the Las Cruces Railroad Museum and the Historic Old Mesilla. There's so much to explore in southern New Mexico.

Hubbard Museum of the American West

From cowboy culture to the earliest settlements, there's much to learn about the American West. The Hubbard Museum of the American West strives to educate its visitors on the history of the era. The museum is the first museum in New Mexico accepted in the Smithsonian Affiliate Program.

Stroll the museum to see the wagons, saddles, Western and Cowboy artifacts, photographs, Native American artifacts and Smithsonian videos. The museum is located in Ruidoso Downs, a few miles from Ruidoso. Before leaving town, visit the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack for a fun day at the races or try your luck at the local casinos. Rest comfortably and enjoy exploring southern New Mexico.

Kit Carson Home and Museum

Experience historic insights in New Mexico. The Kit Carson Home and Museum provides the history of Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson, mountain-man, Army General and Masonic Lodge member. Visitors stroll through the three-room family home to learn about this prominent member of town, by viewing the exhibits. The adjacent Romero House, built between 1830 - 1856 is also available for touring.

The nearby Kit Carson Park is a great place to relax or enjoy time outside. Favorite activities include tennis, soccer, baseball, basketball and relaxing under a picnic shelter. Kids love the playground. While in northern New Mexico enjoy excellent guest services and accommodations in Red River before continuing your New Mexico journey.

Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Museum

Enjoy a slice of American west heritage and history in New Mexico. The Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Museum pays tribute to the ranch cowboys who have contributed to the rodeo heritage and the area's ranching industry. The Hall of Fame was founded in 1978, and incorporated the museum in 2005. Both are housed together on the New Mexico Junior College campus in Hobbs.

Enjoy strolling through the museum's exhibits, including The Wild West Comes Alive and the Historic Eclipse Windmill and learn about the area's rich history. There are many ways to enjoy a visit to southern New Mexico, and the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame is just one of the many.

Museum of Fine Arts

New Mexico's oldest museum, the Museum of Fine Arts is set in downtown Santa Fe neighboring the Santa Fe Plaza. Established in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico, the MFA is set within a Pueblo Revival structure, originally designed by I. H. and William M. Rapp – both pioneers of the Santa Fe style.

Santa Fe’s Museum of Fine Arts features permanent exhibits like Georgia O'Keeffe's Legacy in New Mexico and collections of landscapes, contemporary, and works by other New Mexico artists. After your time at the Museum of Fine Arts, rest easy at a Best Western hotel in Santa Fe.

New Mexico Mining Museum

Learn a bit about New Mexico's history during your next visit. The New Mexico Mining Museum is one of "few Uranium Mining Museums in the world". Located in Grants, west of Albuquerque, this underground tour allows visitors to see and touch the recreation of a working mine shaft.

Descend in the "cage" to Section 26, part of the abandoned uranium mine, where materials left the mine. Enjoy the tour at your own pace and learn about drilling and blasting techniques. Complete your Grants visit with a tour of the ancient Anasazi ruins and Native American Pueblos or spend time at the El Morro National Monument.

The City of Las Vegas Museum & Rough Rider Memorial

Visitors to the City of Las Vegas Museum & Rough Rider Memorial will see a wonderful collection of 7,000 artifacts, photographs and archived materials, of the history of Las Vegas. The city opened the museum in 1961 when they agreed to be responsible for the Roosevelt's Rough Rider Association collection. Some of the objects date back to the 1300s.

View the newspapers, personal papers, tintype photographs, blankets, wheelbarrows, clothing, agriculture equipment and furniture. The museum also hosts musical concerts and movie screenings. Enjoy learning about the rich heritage of the Las Vegas region.

White Sands Missile Range Museum

Gain insights into New Mexico's history. Browse the White Sands Missile Range Museum to learn about the United States space activity, the atomic age and the origin of America's missile. The museum is located in Las Cruces and is open year-round. Walk through the Missile Park to see the outdoor display of rockets and missiles that were once tested at White Sands.

Enjoy hiking in the Aguirre Springs Recreation Area, shopping at the outlet malls, dining and sightseeing in southern New Mexico's sunny Las Cruces. See the sights, enjoy a museum tour, and make the most of your time in beautiful New Mexico.