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A ladder leads to a cave ruin in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

5 HISTORIC SOUTHWEST LANDMARKS YOU HAVE TO VISIT

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The next time you get bit by the travel bug, why not stay in the region and check out some of the amazing historic landmarks around the Southwest? It’ll give you a chance to see some beautiful sights as well as learn about the history of this part of the country.

Here are a few places to add to your travel list.

Bandelier National Monument

This national park is one of the most beautiful locations in all of New Mexico. Further, its history stretches back 10,000 years. One of its most famous features is the ancient pueblos inhabited by the local population from approximately 1150 to 1500. The park is also home to mule deer, elk, coyotes, and badgers, as well as numerous species of birds and insects.

San Xavier del Bac Mission

Just over an hour away in Tucson, you’ll find this historic mission that dates back to 1692. (The current building’s construction began in 1783.) Inside, you’ll find the original statuary and murals, giving you the feeling of stepping back in time to the 18th century.

White Sands National Park

Imagine an ocean of white sand as far as the eye can see – that’s what awaits you at this national park. This is the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, which has been around for 7,000 to 10,000 years. There, you can explore its prehistoric and military history, the latter of which dates back to 1942. Plus, who wouldn’t want to say that they’ve gone sledding on New Mexico sand dunes?

Zion National Park

The majesty of this park is hard to capture in words. You will be able to follow the paths of the earliest native inhabitants of the region, as well as the pioneers who followed in their footsteps. You’ll see the colorful sandstone cliffs that have subtly changed shape over the centuries. And all of this converges with the present-day population of wildlife who roam this Utah park.

Petrified Forest

You’ll find this gem right here in Arizona, a sweeping and stunning national park with roots that stretch back to 13,500 BCE, the time of the Paleoindian people who found the area to be the perfect place to settle. You’ll also enjoy the beautiful trails and opportunities to connect with the local wildlife.

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