Best Time to Visit New Mexico

Plan your perfect New Mexico trip! Find the best time for weather, activities, and festivals in our guide, from balloon rides to cultural events. Ideal for travelers.

Tobi Miles
July 5, 2024
Plan your perfect New Mexico trip! Find the best time for weather, activities, and festivals in our guide, from balloon rides to cultural events. Ideal for travelers.

New Mexico is a state that has something for everyone. Every year, over 35 million travelers come to this scenic state to explore the diverse landscape, shop in the local marketplaces, and take a hot air balloon ride. If you want to book a trip this way, you may wonder when the best time to visit New Mexico is.

October is one of the best months to book a trip to New Mexico. This time of year, the daily temperature is around 65 F/ 18 C, which is perfect for exploring the sites this state has to offer. Another reason to visit in October is to visit the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.

If you’re planning on booking a trip to New Mexico, you’ve come to the right page. Today, we’re going to discuss the best times to visit this state. We will also give you a month-by-month breakdown of what you can do when you visit.

When Should I Avoid Traveling To New Mexico?

The worst time to book a trip to New Mexico is in mid-December. Around the holiday season, airports are crowded and the rates of travel skyrocket. While the average cost of a round flight to New Mexico is $550, it can jump up to $900 or higher this time of year.

December also brings more people into the state. It’s not just the Christmas holidays that drive people here. This time of year is one of the best times for skiing in New Mexico. A lot of people travel there to spend the holidays at a luxury ski resort.

What Is The Cheapest Month To Travel To New Mexico?

If you want to travel on a budget, January is the best time to book a trip to New Mexico. This is just after the busy season, so it’s quieter, off-season rates are applied, and you can find the cheapest flight tickets.

Traveling on a budget is possible, you just have to be willing to search around for the best rates. One of the best things to do is plan your trip several months in advance and watch out for flight sales. Always book your flight at least 4 weeks ahead of time for lower rates.

Want to know how cheap a flight is to New Mexico in January? Travelers have been able to book flights as cheap as $49.

Best Time To Visit New Mexico: Month By Month Breakdown

New Mexico has all four seasons, making any time the right time to book a trip. Let’s take a look at what makes this state worth visiting throughout each month of the year.

January: Best Time For Winter Activities

Traveling to New Mexico in January is always a great experience because the rates are lower and there’s a variety of fun winter activities. New Mexico is famous for its ski resorts, so you can spend a day on the slopes or even go cross-country skiing to see more of the scenery.

Less tourists are visiting this time of year, so it’s also one of the best months to visit the museums and other indoor attractions. If you’re up for a bit of winter exploring, you can still visit the parks throughout the state. They remain open all year long there’s a good chance that you will have it all to yourself.

  • Ice fishing
  • Go snowshoeing on a local trail
  • Spend the day at Taos Ski Valley

February: Best Month To Taste New Mexico

February can be a cold month in New Mexico, which makes it the perfect time to try different foods in the state. Did you know that New Mexico has 23 different Native tribes? This makes New Mexico one of the best places to try authentic Indigenous dishes.

Tequila tasting is another great way to spend a cold evening in New Mexico. There are several restaurants throughout the state that offer tequila pairings with seasonal dishes. This is a great way to try different tequilas and find out which one you like best.

  • Tequila tasting at Anasazi Restaurant
  • Pop up dinner at Pioche Food Group
  • Enjoy a hot beverage at Cutbow Coffee

Related Read: 75 BEST Things To Do in New Mexico

March: Best Month To Visit Santa Fe

March is one of those months where some parts of New Mexico are still covered with snow, while other parts are sunny and mild.

Santa Fe is absolutely beautiful in March, making it an excellent time to visit this city

. You can enjoy many attractions without having to deal with the summer heat or winter frost.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, Santa Fe is an excellent destination for you. There are many hiking trails that are in great condition in March. If you’re more of an indoor person, you can visit museums, go shopping, or even visit a winery. Sante Fe also has a great selection of restaurants.

  • Explore Atalaya Mountain Trail
  • Book a stay at the cozy El Farolito
  • Eat at The Shed restaurant

April: Best Month Enjoy Attractions Without Crowds

If you’re booking a trip to New Mexico, there is likely a list of attractions and hotspots you want to visit.

This state has a vast selection of museums, cultural attractions, and scenic views to explore.

April is one of the best months to enjoy these attractions without humid weather or large crowds


One of the great things about visiting New Mexico is that there really are attractions for nearly any interest. There are places to visit for art lovers, science enthusiasts, sports fans, history buffs, and more.

This state even has a variety of traditions and activities that are exclusive to New Mexico that you didn’t know you would enjoy.

  • Visit Carlsbad Caverns
  • Spend an afternoon at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
  • Explore the Ghost Ranch

May: Best Month To See Seasonal Blooms

There are many trails throughout New Mexico that attract tourists.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors and exploring a new part of the world, you may enjoy how New Mexico looks in May. This is the month when the trails are brighter with colorful blossoming flowers and trees.

There are several locations throughout the state that have wildflowers in season throughout May. Sante Fe and Albequerque are two popular destinations to find flowers in bloom. You may be able to see tulips, desert marigolds, and blue flax, just to name a few.

  • Visit Botanical Gardens in Santa Fe
  • Explore Nambe Lake Trail
  • Spend an evening at Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino

June: Best Month For Beautiful Weather

If you want to visit Santa Fe when the summer weather is at its prime, there’s no better time to go than June. There are warm days, with an average high of 84 F/ 29  C. However, there’s one thing that makes June better than the other summer months, there’s less rain.

Outdoor attractions are a big deal in New Mexico and a huge reason why tourists choose this state for their vacation. In June, you will have more sunny days for getting out and seeing the parks and beaches. There will be fewer days when you’re stuck indoors.

  • Explore Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
  • Visit the White Sands
  • Go canoeing

July: Best Month For The Railway

Railroads are a big part of New Mexico’s culture, and July is a great month to learn more about them. When you travel to New Mexico in July, you can expect hot and humid weather. There are also more rainy days. This is why it’s a good idea to think of some fun indoor activities to escape the heat.

Have you ever wanted to take a ride through a railway tunnel? July is a great time to take a scenic train ride through one of the most beautiful places in the west. Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and Gilman Tunnels are two of the most popular railways for tourists to enjoy.

  • Scenic train ride
  • Cool down with ice cream
  • Spend hot days at a family-friendly beach

August: Best Month For Water Activity

August is a great month to visit some of the beaches across New Mexico. This state has family-friendly beaches in almost every city. Many of the public beaches also feature water activities to keep the whole family occupied.

When you’re not soaking up the sun on the beach, you can cool off at one of the many local restaurants throughout the state. Nearly everywhere you go, there’s a place to grab food and drinks.  It’s also a great time to stop by a local market for shopping.

  • Go on a boat ride
  • Shop the air markets at the Expo New Mexico Fairgrounds
  • Visit Santa Rosa Blue Hole

Related Read: 12 Best Camping Spots In New Mexico

September: Best Month For Fairs & Festivals

September is an exciting month to visit New Mexico because there are more fairs and festivals. The New Mexico State Fair is usually held early to mid-month. The Southern New Mexico State Fair and Rodeo opens towards the end of the month and stays until early October.

Another big event to look forward to in September is the White Sands Balloon and Music Festival. You can watch some of the most colorful balloons fly off while enjoying live music, drinks, and food.

If you like spiders, September is an interesting month to visit. This is because it’s the beginning of the tarantula migration period. It’s common to spot these spiders on the roads and trails.

  • Stargazing at night
  • Last month to see hummingbirds
  • Visit Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness study area

October: Best Month For Scenic Drives

Mexico is a very scenic state, and October is one of the most appealing months to take a tour. This is when the leaves are changing colors, there are fewer crowds, and the atmosphere is just right. October is one of the best months to visit the parks or take a drive through this state.

This is also one of the most gorgeous times to take a drive over the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It is the second-largest bridge in the entire country and overlooks a massive gorge. When you’re taking a scenic drive, this is one place you will need to visit.

  • Alburquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
  • Halloween events
  • Tasting red wine at a winery

November: Best Month For Autumn Walks

November is still nice and mild throughout New Mexico, so it’s a great month to bring your most comfortable shoes and walk around exploring. This can be a great month to plan an equal mix of indoor and outdoor activities.

Some days can be spent checking out museums, monuments, or even doing a bit of early holiday shopping. On other days you can get out to the parks or enjoy a walk on the trails. When you’re ready to relax, you can always swing by a local cafe for a hot beverage.

  • Visit the Palace of Governors
  • Enjoy wine and cheese hour at the Inn on Alameda
  • Observe a Veteran's Day ceremony

December: Best Month For Holiday Spirit

New Mexico in December will remind you of an old-fashioned Christmas. Many areas of this state look like the set of a Hallmark holiday movie. Christmas lights and holiday decorations make this state feel warm and cozy. There are many stunning light displays to see at night.

December also kicks off the winter season, so there are more winter activities to enjoy. This is the first month you can go skiing or snowboarding. It’s also a fun time to go ice-skating. December is also the middle of the crane migration period, so you might get to see a unique bird show.

  • Grab a hot chocolate and stroll around looking at holiday decorations
  • See the River of Lights in Albuquerque
  • Visit Georgia O’Keefe Museum

When Is The Best Time For A Family-Friendly Trip To New Mexico?

New Mexico has a lot of fun activities for all ages.

The best time to travel with kids would be April/ May or September/ October.

This is because there is a lot to do, but the rates are lower for the off-season.

When Is New Mexico The Most Crowded?

March is one of the most crowded months in New Mexico because many families travel when their kids are on spring break. It’s highly likely that you will run into more crowds at popular family-friendly attractions.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
July 5, 2024 11:06 AM

Tobi Miles is a University of Florida graduate turned globe-trotting culinary explorer and digital nomad expert. As the founder of "Bytes & Bites," he combines his passion for international cuisine with practical advice on remote work, inspiring others to experience the world through food and cultural immersion. With 32 countries under his belt and a knack for uncovering hidden culinary gems, Tobi is redefining the intersection of work, travel, and gastronomy for a new generation of adventurers.

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