Our Road Scholar program was wonderful. My husband and I learned a lot, saw beautiful parts of our country, and met some great people. We would do it again.
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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Activity level for this program is "KEEP THE PACE." All activities during this program take place at an elevation of 7,000 feet; routine physical activity will be more challenging than at sea level.
Afternoon: Program Registration 3:00-5:00 p.m.: After checking into the hotel and getting your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in. Orientation at 5:00 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Your Group Leader will be the Study Guide for most lectures and field trips during this program. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At 6:30 p.m. in the hotel meeting room enjoy a plated meal or buffet with salad, selection of entrées and dessert plus coffee, tea, water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; standing up to two hours at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center; walking up to several blocks on level, paved terrain in Old Town at 5,300' elevation.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel; selections may include eggs, cereals, juice, coffee, tea and water.
Morning: We begin the morning with an overview by our Group Leader of the area's history, from its earliest Ancestral Puebloan inhabitants to the Spanish and American soldiers and settlers who followed. We'll then board our motorcoach and depart on a field trip to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Operated by the nineteen Pueblos of New Mexico, the IPCC is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture, highlighting the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people. Our self-guided visit will introduce us to New Mexico's many different Pueblos as we view the Pueblo-curated exhibits on the lower level.
Lunch: Plated meal at an Old Town restaurant includes choice of entrées plus coffee, tea, water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll travel to Old Town, where our Group Leader will introduce us to the oldest part of Albuquerque during a walking exploration of the plaza and surrounding area. Old Town has been the focal point of community life since Albuquerque was founded in 1706. About ten blocks of historical adobe buildings surround the central plaza, including San Felipe de Neri Church, which dates back to 1793. The city's settlers built their homes, shops and government offices here; many of these historical structures have been converted into the restaurants, art galleries, and shops that we see today. There will be some free time for independent explorations of the area. Nearby museums include the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science across from Old Town on Mountain Road and the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History adjacent to Old Town.
Dinner: Plated meal at a local restaurant; order from a select menu, including coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Evening: Return to the hotel for evening at leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling about 190 miles for four hours over the course of the day; walking up to two miles over varied, uneven terrain with inclines at elevation of 6000-7000'. Some elevations gains via stairs and optional ladders at Bandelier.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.
Morning: This morning we'll travel 100 miles north to Los Alamos, where we will visit the Los Alamos History Museum and the Bradbury Museum of Science. The Los Alamos History Museum is dedicated to preserving, protecting and interpreting the history of Los Alamos. Housed in the Guest Cottage of the Los Alamos Ranch School, the Museum has award-winning exhibits on the area's geology and anthropology, as well as the Manhattan Project. The Bradbury Museum of Science has wonderful exhibits about the history of Los Alamos National Laboratory, its national security mission, and the broad range of science, engineering, and technology research programs including the Lab's focus on Stockpile Stewardship.
Lunch: Boxed lunches.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll take a short drive to Bandelier National Monument, which is fascinating both for its geology and archaeology. After stopping at the Visitor Center, we'll explore some of the trails in Frijoles Canyon where we can see "cavates," the cave-like dwellings used by the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here 400-to-800 years ago. We will then continue 70 miles north to Taos for hotel check-in.
Dinner: Plated meal from a select menu at a local restaurant featuring regional cuisine, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; walking up to two miles over paved, sometimes uneven terrain with inclines at elevation of 7,000'.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. Selections usually include eggs, french toast or pastries, oatmeal, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
Morning: After breakfast we'll travel to the Rio Grande Gorge, which we'll cross via the "High Bridge." The bridge spans the Rio Grande Gorge 565 feet above the river, affording breathtaking views, and has been used as a location in a number of motion pictures. After stopping for photographs, we'll continue on to the Earthship Biotecture Community. Earthship Biotecture is a sustainable building style with a minimal carbon footprint that uses recycled materials, such as old tires, bottles, and aluminum cans, in a variety of fascinating — and sometimes funky — shapes and sizes.
Lunch: Plated meal at a local restaurant includes coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll go to Taos Pueblo (if the Pueblo is open; it sometimes closes with little to no advance notice for private Pueblo events.) This picturesque Pueblo at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America. The multiple-storied adobe dwellings reflect an ancient culture. Approximately 100 Pueblo residents still live much as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago, without electricity or running water. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. Next we'll depart for Taos Plaza, where we'll enjoy free time for independent explorations of the Taos Plaza area. There are a number of museums, colorful galleries and shops in this area, all within walking distance of Taos Plaza. Nearby museums include the Harwood Museum of Art, which houses the Agnes Martin Gallery, the E.L. Blumenschein Home & Museum, home of artist Ernest Blumenschein, a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists, the Kit Carson Home & Museum and the Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House.
Dinner: Dinner tonight has been excluded from the program price so that you can sample local fare or enjoy what you wish.
Evening: This evening we'll be entertained by Cisco Guevara, a professional storyteller from Taos. A river runner since his teenage days in Los Alamos, Cisco honed his storytelling craft around campfires deep in the canyons of northern New Mexico. Cisco’s stories range from his rebellious youth, to tales that draw on his Hispanic and Native American heritage, to hair-raising adventures in the wilderness, to haunting tales of love and loss. A headliner at the Taos Storytelling Festival for the past 11 years, Cisco performs regularly for groups in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and has told his stories to rapt audiences as far afield as London and Paris.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 70 miles for two hours over the course of the day; walking up to a mile over varied terrain with inclines.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Check out of hotel and depart for Chimayó, 70 miles south of Taos,via the "High Road Scenic Byway". On arrival, we'll visit Centinela Traditional Arts Weaving Gallery. Many local families have been carrying on the traditions of Hispanic-style weaving for generations. We'll have the opportunity to see some beautiful pieces by an award-winning, seventh-generation weaver whose work is on display in a number of museums, including the Smithsonian.
Lunch: We'll have lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayó, a charming restaurant housed in an old hacienda. Chimayó is known for its heirloom chiles, the fruit of the Capsicum plant; most traditional New Mexican dishes are prepared with red or green chile. (New Mexico's official state question is "Red or green?" If you'd like to try both, order "Christmas!") Our group will have a plated meal, ordering from a special menu featuring traditional New Mexican cuisine, with chips, salsa, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Additional beverages are available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll visit El Santuario de Chimayó. This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "the most important center in the United States for Catholic pilgrimage." Many of the faithful believe that the Santuario is built on sacred earth with miraculous healing powers. Inside, a small side room houses el pocito (the little well), which is the source of the "blessed earth" (tierra bendita). Continue on to Santa Fe.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost so that you can enjoy what you wish or sample the local fare. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," New Mexico's unique cuisine has been influenced by ingredients and techniques used in Native American and Spanish cooking. Santa Fe is know for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings. There are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and the Santa Fe Plaza. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and directions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking up to two miles over the course of the day over uneven sidewalks during the Plaza exploration; possibly more during free time.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet available at 6:00 a.m.; choices usually include cold cereals, oatmeal, bananas and raisins, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, yogurt, hash browns, sausage, French toast, syrup, red and green chile, and freshly brewed coffee, hot teas, fruit juice, and toast bar.
Morning: After breakfast, our Group Leader will introduce us to Santa Fe's history. Established by the Spanish in 1610, the city is the oldest capital city in the country and is home to the oldest public building, the Palace of the Governors. We'll then head out on foot for the Santa Fe Plaza, where we'll see historical sites such as the Palace of the Governors and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Lunch: Plated meal from a limited menu at a local favorite; selections include some traditional New Mexican dishes, as well as non-New Mexican options, coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase at the bar.
Afternoon: Free Time: Explore the Santa Fe Plaza area on your own. There are a number of museums, shops and galleries in this area, all within walking distance of the Plaza. Nearby museums include the New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico History Museum, the Palace of the Governors, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art. You might also enjoy visiting Loretto Chapel with its intriguing spiral staircase and the State Capitol building. The State Capitol houses the "State Capitol Art Collection," featuring the work of local New Mexico artists, sculptors and photographers. Those willing to travel a few miles down Cerrillos Road (city bus transportation available on Sheridan Street near the Plaza) might enjoy visiting "The House of Eternal Return" at the Meow Wolf Art Complex. A uniquely Santa Fe experience, "The House of Eternal Return" is a multimedia, interactive art experience that has been described as “immersive storytelling.” Developed with the generous support of Santa Fe resident and "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin, it was an immediate sensation after its opening in March 2016 and already has become a destination attraction for adventurers from around the world, attracting over 1,000,000 to date. It's been recommended by CNN Travel as one of "the best things to do in Santa Fe," and declared by CBS News to be New Mexico's "most Instagrammed destination." It's a far cry from traditional Santa Fe style, but is a lot of fun for the open-minded young-at-heart.
Dinner: On your own.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 85 miles for 1 1/2 hours over the course of the day; walking up to two miles over paved and uneven packed dirt terrain.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Check out of hotel, board motorcoach and travel to Museum Hill for visits to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture features pottery, jewelry, sculpture, baskets, and other objects made by Native Americans from the earliest times to modern day, scrupulously documented and beautifully displayed. Most of the work is from the Southwest. The Museum of International Folk Art focuses on indigenous populations from around the world through their art – ranging from ceremonial dress and masks to furniture. The museum hosts the largest collection of international folk art in the world, including wings featuring some of the 106,000 pieces donated by collectors Alexander and Susan Girard and Lloyd Cotsen's Neutrogena collection. Following our visit to Museum Hill, we will travel to Tesuque Pueblo, 10 miles north of Santa Fe. The two- and three-story adobe room blocks surround a small plaza and Catholic church. The traditional character of this Pueblo is so well maintained that Tesuque is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lunch: Traditional Feast Day meal served in a private home at Tesuque Pueblo.
Afternoon: After lunch, we will have a discussion with Louie Hena, a traditional farmer and member of Tesuque Pueblo. He will share stories of life within the pueblo communities. Following the discussion, we will depart for Albuquerque and hotel check-in.
Dinner: In the hotel meeting room.
Evening: Program closing. We'll share our experiences and exchange our farewells.
Activity note: Breakfast available between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. Hotel checkout time: 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: At the hotel from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. This is the last meal included in our program.
Morning: Hotel checkout: 12:00 p.m. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Our Road Scholar program was wonderful. My husband and I learned a lot, saw beautiful parts of our country, and met some great people. We would do it again.
A must experience to seeing and understanding New Mexico and its culture. Should be on one's "Bucket List"
This tour was truly one of the best travel experiences I have had. I look forward to many adventures with Road Scholar in the future!
Our tour of Albuquerque, SantaFe and Taos was delightful. We learned so much and met such interesting, fun people!
This program "The Best of New Mexico" gave me a whole new appreciation of the American Experience in the Southwest. Being from the South I had little understanding of the Native American Indian/Spanish explorers/Mexican natives interplay and their cultures. The program was truly enlightening to me.
Please see my notes concerning participants arriving by RV.
The program covers the history of New Mexico and takes you to some of the places where it happened. If you like history, this program is for you.
I enjoyed everything in the three towns we visited: the ambience, the history, the culture and the fun. It was a trip to remember!
I really enjoyed this trip - all of it! We had everything from the low 70's to snow one evening and early morning. The Leader obviously was proud of his State of New Mexico; its diversity, its history, its geology, and the people. For me, it was all new and I feel I learned so much from the places we visited and from the background information given us by our Leader. I had not paid much attention to geology before, but because of his introductory remarks and reminders of things we were seeing while traveling, I have a new interest in geology. Also, I did not know the difference between a Pueblo and an Indian Reservation, so I learned along with the history of how and why some of that distinction happened. The variety of art that I saw was outstanding! From the Pueblos to the State Capital to the Museums and on and on! I will never forget it. Walked quite a bit, but every step was worth it. The pace suited me just fine. At my age, I am not as intereseted in shopping as when I was younger, but I still like to look and we had time to do that as well. I would recommend this trip to others who want to learn some history behind this State, who like to see and enjoy a variety of artistic endeavors, and for those who would enjoy the stark and contrasting beauty between mountain and desert, canyon and mesa, and a variety of manmade structures for living and working. Great trip!
This program will inform you of the cultural, and religious history of the South West, and our Native American citizens.
I've wanted to get back to the Santa Fe for 55 years and finally found a way to do it with other interesting and curious travelers.
I gave this trip a three. First for the good parts: The guide Mark was great. He truly is an expert in his field. The people I met were interesting, friendly and affable. The historical content of the trip was very good. The hotels were a mixed bag. The double tree is out of the way, has a lot of structural issues and service is a mixed bag. The motel was in a good location but, had a lot of issues. I just can't understand why you expect a bunch of seniors (some with walking issues) to pull their bags on a gravel pathway. The Drury was truly a nice hotel. The bad: Too much time on your own. I'm paying for a guided tour. If I wanted to do it by myself, I would have done so. I've taking many tour groups to see the world, from the likes of Globus to Tauck and I never, never, had to carry my bags from and to the bus. Our second bus driver was rude and dangerous. Unlike his predecessor, he refused to place the carry on bags in the lower part of the bus. One lady tested his rule and he was ready to pull out with her bag still on the sidewalk. On the road he was driving while looking at his phone. Meals could be improved. Not too many people enjoy having a choice between a tuna melt or burger for dinner. How about a choice of hot meals? This was my first trip with Road Scholars, I'm not sure I will do another.
This program is very well organized and gives a broad view of the area....its history and its beauty. Mark, our guide, was so knowledgeable and always open to the questions we presented. I waited a long time to go on this Road Scholar, and I am so happy that we finally went!
This is an excellent program with a diversity of events packed into one week including exploring native Puebloan culture past (Taos Pueblo, Painted Kiva at Coronado Historic Site) and present (feast at the home of a Puebloan leader), the interplay of geology and nature in the rise and fall of indigenous culture at Bandelier National Monument (with a great loop trail, and remarkable museums, art galleries, and Earthships both past (adobe architecture) and present (Earthship Biotecture). As an optional activity try the Santa Fe Botanic Garden. I highly recommend this program.
If you sign up for this program you are in for the most amazing week. You will return home with so many fond memories and a wealth of new information.
This program gave us a deeper understanding of the history and culture of this part of New Mexico while enjoying the magnificent rugged beauty of this area. We shared this trip with a marvellous group of new friends.
This was a mother/daughter trip for us. I had always wanted to go to NM and this was the perfect way to do it. We hit all the hightlights in northern NM and learned so much along the way. It was the perfect amount of guided/learning time and free time. What a great way to travel where someone else does all the planning/research/driving/coordinating and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy. The hotels and food were fabulous, the lectures were interesting and just the right amount. We are already looking into another trip in the future.
This is a very informative program with presentations and field trips to educate participants about an unfamiliar culture as well as an opportunity to experience a unique part of the country.
THIS WAS THE PERFECT WAY TO LEARN ABOUT INDIAN CULTURE AND SEE SOME OF OF NEW MEXICO'S HIGHLIGHTS. JUST THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF TIME AND VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES. TO EAT WITH A TESUQUE PUEBLO INDIAN FAMILY IN THEIR HOME IS A MEMORY I WILL ALWAYS CHERISH.
I could highly recommend this trip. The scenery is spectacular, the architecture fascinating, the visits educational and varied and the history and culture of the people extremely rich. I would happily do it all again but for longer!
Wonderful tour. Not enough time for all you will want to do. You will need to come back for more!
Great Adventure! Learned many new things that will enhance my view of the country on many different levels!
The trip to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos was great. Seeing the numerous Pueblos and meeting residents was very special. Museums were very interesting and we were very impressed with their gift shops as well! And meeting all the participants was a real plus. Thank you Road Scholar!
The tour to Albuquerque, Taos, and Santa Fe was enhanced by the scenic beauty, fascinating history and admirable people. Road Scholar provided an excellent itinerary, guide, accommodations, and presenters. I highly recommend this tour.
I have traveled abroad extensively and now want to see my own country.On this trip I was looking forward to seeing and learning more about the US. I was surprised at the beauty and interesting history we have that I never Knew about.
This was our 21st Road Scholar program. We will recommend it as one of our favorites.
My first trip alone and with Road Scholar was a marvel. Our group leader was outstanding, the accommodations excellent, the food very good, the places we visited were enlightening and fascinating, and the people in the group were welcoming and made me feel very comfortable. I loved it and I hope to do other trips with Road Scholar. I learned a lot about myself and feel I enriched my life by plunging in to a new adventure.
This trip is a great overview of New Mexico and Native American life in northern part of the state. Don't forget your water bottle!
A wonderful experience for a first-time Road Scholar . I look forward to many more tours with Road Scholar.
Whether you are familiar with the Pueblo nation or not, this program will enhance your understanding, respect and affection for the Pueblo culture, past and present. The beautiful landscapes, variety of experiences and ability to absorb the culture of this area of our country is an experience I could not have had without the Road Scholar organization.
We really enjoyed the Best of New Mexico. We learned so much history and local culture, and saw many interesting sites. The program leader was superb, very interesting, informative, and funny! As in other Road Scholar trips I’ve taken, the other participants were very friendly and interesting and really contributed to the whole experience.
The Balloon Fiesta was fabulous -- a tick off an item from the bucket list event. It was great to see Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos in one trip. We will spend more time in one place when we return on our own. The trip was informative and a great value. Ben, our bus driver, was great. A real asset to the trip.
First class program. Upscale accommodations, wonderful learning experience.
The Best of New Mexico with the Balloon Fiesta is a great learning adventure! Wonderful cities and sites to visit with a fun experience you will never forget!
This trip is very comprehensive if you want to see New Mexico’s highlights, and the balloon festival
If you want to experience the charm and beauty of the Southwest then this program is a must.
The opportunity to immerse myself in the Pueblo cultures introduced me to a very different world. These societies still live on the lands of their origin (according to their origin stories). This gives them a very different sense of place and time than the dominant culture of the United States, or even other Native American tribes.
I just got back from The Best of New Mexico Trip. This included Albuquerque, Santa Fe & Taos. I highly recommend this trip to learn more about the areas & people of New Mexico.
The quality of the Road Scholar program The Best of New Mexico: Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque was excellent. The organization, the content and the staff were exceptional. I came away with a great appreciation of the way of life of the Native Americans as well as with a better understanding of the historical aspects of how the culture was influenced over hundreds of years. I highly recommend this tour.
This New Mexico trip with Mark Utgaard as our guide delivered far more than magnificent landscapes. His insights into the four cultures of the regions made the trip so much more.
My first Road Scholar trip ever .. Exceeded my expectations.... Should have tried this sooner!
We had a terrific guide in Jamie McGrath Morris! This trip is a great way to sample New Mexico. I especially enjoyed the visits to Pueblo Acoma, Taos Pueblo and Bandolier National Monument.
Thought we had already reviewed trip. It was a great experience. We learned a lot, all set in a wonderful area. Our guide was truly amazing. We can hardly wait for our next Road Scholar trip.