5 Best Places and Things To Do in Socorro, New Mexico

Socorro, New Mexico is a charming town located in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley. Known for its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant community, Socorro offers a variety of attractions and activities that make it a must-visit destination. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or exploring the local cuisine, Socorro has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places and things to do in Socorro:

1. Mineral Museum

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Located on the campus of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the Mineral Museum is a treasure trove for geology enthusiasts. The museum showcases an impressive collection of minerals, gemstones, and fossils from around the world. It’s an educational and visually stunning experience for visitors of all ages.

2. National Radio Astronomy Observatory

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The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a prominent institution dedicated to radio astronomy research and observation. It operates a network of cutting-edge radio telescopes across the United States, with its headquarters located in Charlottesville, Virginia. One of the NRAO’s key facilities is the Very Large Array (VLA) located near Socorro, New Mexico.

3. Old San Miguel Mission

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The Old San Miguel Mission, also known as the San Miguel Chapel, is a historic adobe church located in Socorro, New Mexico. It holds the distinction of being one of the oldest churches in the United States, with its origins dating back to the early 17th century.

4. Socorro Historic Plaza

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Take a stroll through the Socorro Historic Plaza, which serves as the heart of the town. The plaza features beautiful adobe buildings, quaint shops, and restaurants. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture, shop for unique crafts, and savor delicious New Mexican cuisine.

5. Quebradas Backcountry Byway

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The Quebradas Backcountry Byway is a scenic route located near Socorro, New Mexico, that offers visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s stunning desert landscapes and unique geological formations. The Quebradas Backcountry Byway is situated in Socorro County, just east of Socorro. It can be accessed from US Route 60, which runs between Socorro and Magdalena. The byway covers approximately 24 miles and is an unpaved road, so it’s advisable to have a high-clearance or four-wheel-drive vehicle for a comfortable and safe journey.

Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, historical exploration, cultural immersion, or simply a taste of New Mexican hospitality, Socorro has it all. The town’s unique blend of history, outdoor adventure, and community spirit make it a destination worth exploring and experiencing.