Today, we’re talking about seven remarkable vacation destinations near Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino. Today’s post looks at non-gaming destinations, so we won’t cover other casinos in Sandoval County.
We also won’t be covering those in Santa Fe or Albuquerque, both of which have sections to themselves. Odds are, if you’re stopping at this travel center, you’re on your way to one, the other, or both cities. With that said, we will pinpoint remarkable vacation destinations within the vacation destination.
But if you’re looking for an extended stay in Cuba, New Mexico, we also included five attractions in and around the small town.
Are you ready to discover what’s waiting for you? Let’s start with what you will uncover in Santa Fe.
1 – Santa Fe, New Mexico
It’s one of the hottest places for tourism in the Southwestern United States, given its illustrious mountain scenery that are great for skiing during the coldest months of the year. But there are also several cool things to do within the city, if you’re looking for a touch of life in one of America’s top metropolises.
They call El Rancho de las Golondrinas a “living history museum,” given its eclectic exhibits. It’s a great spot in the area to see what life was like for those living in the area during the 18th century featuring guides that live, dress, and play their parts well.
You’re also getting something eclectic at Meow Wolf Santa Fe. It’s arguably the most open interactive collection of arts in the region and almost every reviewer on TripAdvisor will tell you to go in with an open mind, considering the unique collection available to you.
And finally, head over to the historic Santa Fe Plaza where you can mingle with locals, catch some solid, local eats, find retail places to spend some winnings from Apache Nugget or the other New Mexico casinos if you were lucky enough to get something, and so much more.
Other cool vacation destinations in Santa Fe include Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing, Canyon Road, and Skiing Santa Fe.
2 – Highway 126
If you’re looking for perhaps the most scenic byway in the area, Highway 126 is where you will find it. If you’re camping out at the Clear Creek Campground, just venture 2.5 miles down the road and you will uncover Highway 126.
Of course, you will treat the eyes to one of the finest experiences in the region. But as with our Santa Fe attraction above, there are several cool attractions within the attraction.
You will stumble upon places for hiking, biking, camping, picnicking, nature watching, and of course, spots to step out of your vehicle and snap some photos.
And best yet, the landscape changes at the snap of a finger. It’s something many reviewers have noted and appreciated. From high desert to rolling pine forests, all in just 12 miles, you will remain in the same region but will feel as though someone picked you up and transported you to another dimension.
Many who have taken this path in the past also state that much of it has been paved over, allowing for a smoother drive than before. At one time, only certain vehicles would perform well. But now, even smaller cars and sedans should have no problem.
3 – Mesa de Cuba Badlands
You’re catching some of the finest geological formations around at the Mesa de Cuba Badlands. Another attraction just down the road from Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino, Head over to Cubita Road 110, and you will discover a place many reviewers claim looks like real-life paintings more than anything else.
Before venturing into one of New Mexico’s largest cities, pull over and admire the natural beauty that the desert lands in the area bring.
4 – San Pedro Parks Wilderness
You will find this hot attraction near Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino within the confines of the San Pedro National Forest. Sitting at an average elevation of 10,000 feet, you’re guaranteed to catch quite the view here.
If you’re not quite a fan of the desert landscape, despite their breathtaking geological formations, you got something else in the region to look forward to given the evergreens, aspen trees, lush, green landscapes, and hiking trails whose scenery looks as though it were plucked from a fantasy novel.
Take Highway 126 east of Cuba, turn onto Forest Road 70, follow it to the Las Vacas Trailhead, and you will find it along with several hiking trails both long and short and of varying difficulty.
Catch open fields, misty forests, clear, blue waters, and open meadows, to name just a few scenic hot spots.
5 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
As mentioned in the intro, you aren’t too far from Albuquerque if you’re stopping for a break at the Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino.
And as the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque brings to you a plethora of hot things to do. If you’re looking to catch a breathtaking overhead view of the area, check out the Sandia Peak Tramway.
And for a look at a hot geological formation coupled with even more scenery, Petroglyph National Monument is where you will find it. And if you’re looking to further entwine yourself within Albuquerque’s nature scene, check out the La Luz Trail.
Many of us know New Mexico for its history in the nuclear industry, and they have a museum right in the city that gives you a historical look at it. Check out the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History for an up-close look at how the nuclear industry has evolved in the United States.
6 – Fenton Lake State Park
If you’re still staying local, it’s a must to check out Fenton Lake State Park. Head over to 455 Fenton Lake Road in nearby Jemez Springs, New Mexico, and set off on a journey to remember. Once again, you will find all sorts of scenic beauty that the area offers.
They also have boating opportunities, beaches, places to hike, fish, picnic, or if you wish, to sit and gaze at the scenery. Hiking trails vary in difficulty, but if you’re a novice, several reviewers have praised the place for its number of easy trails.
A great place for birdwatching, there are dozens of different species inhabiting the area, along with a diverse number of wildflowers.
They also have several pull-throughs to park the RV, but they’re limited to just 30-amp spots, and the place lacks a dumping station. There are a few pros and cons here. Reviewers have also noted that you will not have cell service or even the slightest internet connection, so you will go off the grid for a while.
Overall, Fenton Lake may not be the ideal spot near Apache Nugget to stay overnight, but it’s a great place to spend an entire day away from the casino gaming if you need to unwind.
7 – Amanda’s Jemez Country Store
This place is a good spot to visit when you’re looking to stock up on fishing supplies. As you can see from today’s post, there are a few state and national parks to engage in the sport.
If you’re doing things on the spur of the moment, or if you’re hoping to enhance the experience, look no further.
Reviewers have praised the staff for their friendliness, and whether you’re looking to fish or to just get to know the region better, they will be more than happy to help you out. They also sell camping supplies here.
Our Conclusions About the Santa Fe Area
Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino is a place that you will probably stop at on your way to either Santa Fe or Albuquerque, so we decided to list entire cities as an attraction in today’s post.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t remarkable vacation destinations near the travel center or in Cuba, New Mexico. You will find them in a few different locations, and we have listed our favorite points of interest in today’s post.
Regardless of where you’re headed, you will find cool things to do at every corner in the region.
Have you visited Apache Nugget Travel Center and Casino? How about any other casinos in New Mexico? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments. And let us know if you visited any of the above attractions. We are looking forward to reading your stories.