Corrales' Most Beautiful Southwestern Country Drives

New Mexico is proud to possess eight of the 126 America's Byways which have been picked for their historic, archaeological, scenic or cultural significance by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Here are two of these drives for your Corrales Things to Do.

El Camino Real National Scenic Byway

This 299-mile-drive lasting 9 hours (or a leisurely couple of days) takes you along the  Rio Grande River from the Mexican border all the way to Santa Fe. The highway's climb to an altitude of 10,000 feet will take you through stunning and varied southwestern desert landscapes. It's also a great drive for birdwatchers.
 
El Camino Real or "The Royal Road" has been the main route for travelers in Southwestern New Mexico for 300 years. You will be following the Rio Grande Pueblo Indian Trail, winding through Tomé, Belen, Bernalillo and Los Lunas. It's a drive you can't miss while you're at your Corrales Bed and Breakfast.

On the way, you can take in the El Camino Real International Heritage Center south of Socorro in the Chihuahuan Desert. The center houses exhibits related to the indigenous people of the southwest and the trade that flourished on the historic 1,500-mile El Camino Real. In this award-winning building, you'll also discover how the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors affected the formation of New Mexico. There are hiking trails here if you'd like to explore the desert by foot or horseback. Why not add some adventure to your list of Corrales Things to Do?

Casa San Ysidro, built during the 18th and 19th centuries, is a restored Spanish Colonial Rancho in Albuquerque with a huge and varied collection of Hispanic and New Mexican relics. You'll see religious objects, household furnishings, Hispanic and Native American textiles, Native American pottery, gold filigree jewelry and much more.

Route 66 National Scenic Byway

A worthy addition to your Corrales Things to Do, this legendary highway traverses the entire state of New Mexico. It stretches for 1,410 miles and takes 5 to 6 days to explore.

You drive past streams, rocky outcrops, cow pastures, beautiful desert landscapes with red cliffs overlooking hills and valleys forested with pine, and adobe villages.

Tucumcari Mountain with its clouded peak heralds the high country climb. Near the village of Pecos, you could stop by the Pecos National Historical Park. It has two Franciscan missions built in the 17th and 18th centuries and ancient Pueblo ruins.  

Visit the vintage church of San Felipe de Neri (1705) in Albuquerque's Old Town. The town has a distinct Spanish colonial feel.

If you choose to switch to the I-40 to Mesita instead of staying on a bumpy portion of the byway, you can stop by at the ancient Sky City of Acoma Pueblo perched on top of a mesa 357 feet high. The pueblo overlooks a lush valley surrounded by cliffs and there's a museum and visitor center with art, artifacts and educational programs. This drive is a wonderful excursion from your Corrales Inn.