Big art scene and inviting central city court with vendors.
Seeing any live show here is an experience in itself. If you're not in to music, the rock formations, surrounding hikes, and museum are worth the trip.
We camped just at the base of the Sand Dunes and reserved the site months in advance - big tip: reserve as far in advance as you can, the place books up fast, and do your best to get a site at the edge of the campsite facing the dunes and within any tree canopy. The views from the edge site are jaw dropping and the trees help block the wind. Surf the dunes if you can! The park rents boards. Also try the day(or overnight) in to the National Park to view the preserved Dunes that are only accessible by foot! WHOA! What a site.
Ready for a rollercoaster of a drive?! Make sure your car brakes are well in order. The windy, super steep drive down the canyon is a trip worth doing in itself. What a thrill. We camped at the very bottom of the canyon, right on the river, and just next to the very first **bleep** they attempted for the irrigation of the surrounding land. It's a thrill, it's drop dead gorgeous, it echos a sound that I will never forget, and worth every moment of fear while driving to the bottom. US National Parks are the best of the best when it comes to exploring the US!
Rio Grande National Forest
Rio Grande National Monument. Breathtaking! Great moderate level hiking with incredible views of the Rio Grande River. Priceless and free!