Must-see attractions in The Southwest

  • Flagstaff, Arizona, United States of America - January 5, 2017. Interior view of the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, with dinosaur skeleton and exhibits.

    Museum of Northern Arizona


    Housed in an attractive Craftsman-style stone building amid a pine grove, this small but excellent museum spotlights local American Indian archaeology,…

  • White Sands National Park

    Southeastern New Mexico

    Undulating through the Tularosa Basin like something out of a dream, these ethereal dunes are a highlight of any trip to New Mexico, and a must on every…

  • 520190740
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    Las Vegas

    The Bellagio experience transcends its decadent casino floor of high-limit gaming tables and in excess of 2300 slot machines; locals say odds here are…

  • Musical Instrument Museum


    From Uganda thumb pianos to Hawaiian ukuleles to Indonesian boat lutes, the ears have it at this lively museum that celebrates the world's musical…

  • Moulin Rouge sign at Neon Museum.

    Neon Museum – Neon Boneyard

    Las Vegas

    This nonprofit project is doing what almost no one else does: saving Las Vegas' history. Book ahead for a fascinating guided walking tour of the ‘Neon…

  • El Santuario de Chimayo pilgrimage site in New Mexico.

    El Santuario de Chimayó

    Santa Fe Region

    Often called the Lourdes of America, the chapel was built in 1816, over a spot of earth said to have miraculous healing properties. The faithful come to…

  • Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, Arizona

    Desert Botanical Garden


    Blue bells and Mexican gold poppies are just two of the colorful showstoppers blooming from March to May along the Desert Wildflower Loop Trail at this…

  • The facade of the Albuquerque Museum.

    Albuquerque Museum


    Formerly known as the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, this showpiece museum shouldn't be missed. With an engaging Albuquerque history gallery that's…

  • Sunset Crater National Monument, Arizona, USA

    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument


    Around AD 1064 a cinder cone erupted on this spot, spewing ash across 800 sq miles, spawning the Kana-A lava flow. Now the 8029ft Sunset Crater is quiet,…

  • Lowell Observatory

    Lowell Observatory


    Astronomers, get ready to geek out! Sitting atop a hill just west of downtown, this national historic landmark – famous for the first sighting of Pluto in…

  • New Mexico, Albuquerque, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

    Indian Pueblo Cultural Center


    Collectively run by New Mexico's 19 Pueblos, this cultural center is an essential stop-off during even the shortest Albuquerque visit. Revamped in 2016,…

  • New Mexico, Aztec Ruins National Monument. Anasazi. Kiva Ruins.

    Aztec Ruins National Monument

    New Mexico

    This prehistoric pueblo was built around AD 1100, and connected with the larger settlement at Chaco via a road that ran due south. Its central feature, a…

  • UFO Museum.

    Roswell Museum & Art Center

    Southeastern New Mexico

    Roswell's excellent museum deserves a visit. Twelve galleries showcase Southwestern artists including Georgia O'Keeffe, Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth,…

  • Hoover Dam.
Las Vegas, Nevada, North America, United States, architecture, concrete, dam, energy industry, industry, power, structure, wall, water

    Hoover Dam

    Southern Nevada

    At the height of the Depression, thousands of men and their families migrated here and worked in excruciating conditions, dangling hundreds of feet above…

  • New Mexico, Santa Fe, Museum Hill, Museum of International Folk Art

    Museum of International Folk Art

    Santa Fe

    Santa Fe’s most unusual and exhilarating museum centers on the world's largest collection of folk art. Its huge main gallery displays whimsical and mind…

  • Bandelier National Monument

    Santa Fe Region

    Bandelier's 1.2-mile Main Loop Trail in Frijoles Canyon offers an excellent introduction to the main ruins and history of the park. The trail first passes…

  • Rock formations in Chiricahua National Monument, Willcox, Cochise County, Arizona, United States of America, North America

    Chiricahua National Monument

    Southern Arizona

    Named for the Chiricahua Apaches whose land this is, this wild and evocative landscape is one of Arizona's most stunning. Improbably baroque 'sculptures'…

  • Parasols raining down inside atrium of Palazzo hotel resort in Las Vegas, NV.


    Las Vegas

    A true high-roller's casino, this younger sibling and an extension of the Venetian to which it is linked doesn't rely on flashy attractions to get punters…

  • SANTA FE, NM - OCTOBER 20, 2013: An adobe structure on Santa Fe, New Mexico's historic Plaza is home to the New Mexico Museum of Art. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

    The Plaza

    Santa Fe

    For more than 400 years, the Plaza has stood at the heart of Santa Fe. Originally it marked the far northern end of the Camino Real from Mexico; later, it…

  • The Goldfield Hotel sign in Goldfield, Nevada.


    Southern Nevada

    Goldfield became Nevada's biggest boomtown after gold was struck here in 1902. Much of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1923, but a few precious…

  • Interior of the Western New Mexico University Museum, featuring displays of Mimbres Mogollon Prehistoric pottery.

    Western New Mexico University Museum

    New Mexico

    Fresh from a $3.2 million renovation, this excellent museum in the schools's former gymnasium boasts the world's largest collection of 1000-year-old…

  • There are dinosaurs and more at Arizona Museum of Natural History -- the only museum of its kind in the great Phoenix area, Mesa, AZ, USA

    Arizona Museum of Natural History

    Greater Phoenix

    Even if you're not staying in Mesa, this museum is worth a trip, especially if your kids are into dinosaurs (and aren't they all?). In addition to the…

  • Fort Bowie National Historic Site

    Southern Arizona

    Somewhere between the abandoned stagecoach stop and the sun-bleached cemetery, it hits you: this hike is a little spooky. Why? Because the 1.5-mile trail…

  • Millicent Rogers Museum


    Rooted in the private collection of model and oil heiress Millicent Rogers, who moved to Taos in 1947, this superb museum, 4 miles northwest of the Plaza,…

  • New Mexico, La Mesilla, . (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)


    New Mexico

    Dating back 150 years and little changed since, Mesilla is a charming old adobe town. Despite the souvenir shops and tourist-oriented restaurants, its…

  • 2C4FT46 North American Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi City, Utah, USA, North America

    Museum of Ancient Life

    Salt Lake City

    A family-friendly museum at Thanksgiving Point that houses one of the world's largest displays of mounted dinosaurs. The exhibits, many of which are hands…

  • Museum of Indian Arts & Culture

    Santa Fe

    This top-quality museum sets out to trace the origins and history of the various Native American peoples of the entire Southwest, and explain and…

  • Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
South Las Vegas Boulevard, Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, giant tulips

    Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

    Las Vegas

    Changing with the seasons, Bellagio’s conservatory displays ostentatious floral arrangements, installed by crane through a soaring 50ft-high ceiling. The…

  • Bower's Mansion in Carson City, Nevada.

    Bower's Mansion Regional Park


    Just 12 miles north of Carson City off Hwy I-580, almost halfway to Reno, you'll find this fabulous regional park with manicured gardens perfect for…

  • Wynn & Encore Casinos

    Las Vegas

    Steve Wynn's signature casino hotel (literally – his name is emblazoned across the top) Wynn and younger sibling Encore are a pair of curvaceous, copper…

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - August 2, 2016: Exterior of American International Rattlesnake Museum, Old Town Albuquerque.

    American International Rattlesnake Museum


    Anyone charmed by snakes and all things slithery will find this museum fascinating; for ophidiophobes, it’s a complete nightmare, filled with the world’s…

  • Dinosaur Museum

    Southeastern Utah

    Blanding's Dinosaur Museum is fascinating and highly ambitious; it's aim is to cover the complete history of the world’s dinosaurs. Mummified remains and…

  • Wupatki National Monument


    The eruption of Sunset Crater (AD 1040–1100) briefly enriched the surrounding soil, luring the ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni and others to the region. By AD…

  • Kartchner Caverns State Park

    Southern Arizona

    This wonderland of spires, shields, pipes, columns, soda straws and other ethereal formations has been five million years in the making, but miraculously…

  • El Morro National Monument

    New Mexico

    The 200ft sandstone outcropping at this monument, also known as Inscription Rock, has been a travelers' oasis for millennia. The only reliable water…

  • Sharlot Hall Museum


    Prescott's chief museum highlights the town's period as territorial capital (1863–67). The 1928 museum is named for its founder, pioneer Sharlot Hall …

  • Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner

    New Mexico

    The convoluted name sums up the tragic history of this bleak, windswept spot, beside the Pecos River 6 miles southeast of town. Fort Sumner was built in…

  • Grand Canyon Lodge

    Grand Canyon National Park

    Enter the front door of the lodge and see...the Grand Canyon, somehow looking even larger framed by the massive windows of the sunroom. Built in 1937 out…