NM's one-day adventures
September 6, 2020
Slowly but surely, things are looking up for New Mexico residents in regard to COVID-19 lockdown. But with social distancing still being a factor in our state, many residents may still be looking for one-day adventures to take in the Land of Enchantment.
Here are a few options:
Mesalands Dinosaur Museum
Distance: 83 miles from Clovis
Location: 222 E. Laughlin St. in Tucumcari
Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Restrictions: Masks and social distancing required. Must sign a transmission form, so visitors can be informed if someone who visited the museum contracts COVID-19.
Cost: $8 for adults; $5 for children 5-11 years old; free for children 0-4; $6 for seniors and college students and staff
If you like history in the form of dinosaur bones, the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum may just be the place for you. The museum contains a vast display of dinosaur fossils from local dig sites with informational exhibits. Newly re-opened, it is also a great place for children as it has interactive exhibits. As its website states, "witness history as it's uncovered and assembled in the laboratory."
Santa Fe attractions
Distance: 212 miles from Clovis
Hours at Nedra Matteucci Galleries: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Restrictions: Masks and social distancing required in the gallery; in regard to hiking trails, clean up after yourself and pets and keep pets on leashes
Cost for the gallery: Free unless purchasing artwork
If you are an art enthusiast, there are still a few options to explore in the state capital. Nedra Matteucci Galleries is still open for business and offers a vast and diverse collection of indoor and outdoor 19th and 20th Century American art. It is located at 1075 Paseo de Peralta.
Looking for more of an open-air activity? Santa Fe also has multiple beautiful hiking trails, such as Dale Ball Trails, Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Aspen Vista Trail, and more. According to the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, Dale Ball Trails is 25 miles long and the quickest route to get from the city into the mountains, and "it offers great opportunities for beginners and advanced hikers alike, along with amazing views."
For more information on Santa Fe hiking trails, visit https://www.santafenm.gov/trails_1
The Santa Fe Tourism Department also offers more ideas for things to do in the capital city: https://santafe.org/blog/
Distance: 111 miles from Clovis
Location of spacewalk: 116 E. Second St .; location for museum: 114 North Main St.
Hours for spacewalk: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Hours for museum: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Restrictions for spacewalk: Must wear a face mask. Restrictions for museum: Must undergo a temperature screening and must wear a face mask
Cost for spacewalk: $5 general admission and $4 for children 6 and under and military. Cost for museum: $5 for adults, $2 for children 5-15 years old, and $3 for military and first responders
The city of Roswell boasts a UFO culture that can make for a fun day trip with the Roswell UFO Spacewalk and the International UFO Museum & Research Center. One can view some Roswell history from the deck of an alien spaceship at the spacewalk, and at the museum, one can learn about the "Roswell Incident" in which a 1947 space craft allegedly crashed in Roswell.
And if the mystery of aliens doesn't appeal to you or you just want to add an outdoor excursion to your Roswell outing, there's always Bottomless Lakes State Park or the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The wildlife refuge just recommends visitors call ahead of time for the most up-to-date information in regard to visiting the refuge.
White Sands National Park
Distance: 222 miles from Portales
Location: 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo
Hours: 7 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday-Sunday (through Saturday)
Restrictions: No camping; main restrooms next to the visitor's center are closed; visitor's center entails one-way traffic and stickers to encourage social distancing.
Cost: $25 per vehicle (valid for seven days) or $15 per person (valid for seven days)
It would make for a long day and lots of sun, but if you think your game for that and getting sand in the floor mats of your car, White Sands National Park is a famous staple in New Mexico, and it is now once again open for business. According to the park website, Dunes Drive, trails, and picnic areas are open with limited access to the visitor's center. It is well worth the drive to see "one of the world's great natural wonders, as its website boasts.