Place Bucket List (Southwest Edition)

This post is the fourth in my Place Bucket List series inspired by Adventures in Preservation, which asked readers what buildings were on our bucket lists.

*Note: The regions I have given these states in this and upcoming posts are how I have come to rationalize them for this purpose (and to prevent any one post from being too long), not necessarily how these regions are defined by any government or tourism entity.


  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Tombstone
  • Phoenix
  • Monument Valley
  • Saguaro National Park
  • Any of the many Pueblos (both ruins and those still intact, perhaps Walnut Canyon National Monument) *Thanks, AiP for reminding me that there are still habitable Pueblos today, and The History Tourist for suggesting Walnut Canyon*
  • Taliesin West *Thanks, Robert, for the suggestion!*

New Mexico:

  • Albuquerque
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Chaco Canyon National Historic Park
  • White Sands National Monument
  • Santa Fe


  • Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
  • Park City
  • Dinosaur National Monument
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple


  • Reno
  • Tahoe
  • Las Vegas
  • A Ghost Town
  • Death Valley (Mostly in California, but the Nevada side has a great tour offering-haven’t made my CA list yet, so I can’t say what that side offers.)
  • Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
  • Great Basin National Park

Think I missed something? Let me know!

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6 Responses to Place Bucket List (Southwest Edition)

  1. I would add one of the pueblos – Acamo or Zuni perhaps – to see how this traditional architectural form fares in modern society.

    Grand Canyon National Park has a number of National Register properties worth a view, including the trails built by the CCC and the Desert View Watchtower and other structures designed by Mary Colter. Death Valley is in Eastern California, so you can make room for another spot in Nevada.

    Need someone to travel with you?? 🙂

    • Hey there, thanks for the suggestions! You’ll see that I tweaked my list a bit to reflect them. The Grand Canyon was always at the top and that encompasses basically everything there, the canyon and beyond. I had Pueblo ruins but expanded it; you’re right, I really should see ones still in use.

      You *mostly* got me with Death Valley, but a small part is in Nevada, and from the Nevada tourism site I visited, it looks like they offer some great tours on their side. Plus, putting it on my Nevada gives me the space in what will be a long California list, and I know I’ll end up in the California traveling to/from. There’s a method to my madness, lol.

      Always up for a travel buddy!

  2. Laura DiSciullo says:

    Are there specific things you plan to see in Albuquerque and Santa Fe? I’ve been to those cities, as well as Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. In the cities, my friend and I focused on art galleries, old churches, and some of the smaller museums that were free or cheap.

    I love that Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is on your list – I would LOVE to go there!


    • When I list a city, it’s usually because there is a list of places within it that I want to check out, but won’t list to save length. For example in Albuquerque, there is the International Balloon Museum, the Petroglyph National Monument, the Historic Old Town, and really the list goes on. Plus, if I could go during the International Balloon Fiesta then that would be great too.

      I love that you know about Best Friends!

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