New Mexico ranked 5th worst for road trips, locals disagree

New Mexico

New Mexico prides itself on its scenic beauty and route 66 history, so it stands to reason we have a great state for road trippers right? A well-known web site doesn’t think so.

From the historic diners to the wide open roads. 

“I definitely think New Mexico is underrated,” said Shivanni Gardner of Albuquerque. 

New Mexicans are proud of the beauty of our state.

“If you were traveling on Route 66 from Chicago to L.A., New Mexico is really the first place you would see a difference in the scenery,” said Rebecca Latham, New Mexico Tourism Secretary. “You would start to see the mountain views and the vistas.”

However, a new ranking by the national financial website, WalletHub, says otherwise. When it comes to the best and worst states to take a road trip this summer, New Mexico ranked fifth worst.

“Definitely not. I don’t think so,” Garder said. 

“I think it’s pretty acceptable honestly,” said Tanner Kelsey of Albuquerque. “Growing up here, it’s a pretty crazy town.”

The survey is based on 31 factors. While New Mexico ranked well when it came to costs and activities, the safety risk pushed the Land of Enchantment down toward the bottom of the list, even ranking as the worst place for car theft. 

“I actually don’t find it too alarming since my homie’s car just got stolen two days ago,” Kelsey said.

“Anytime you travel, you have to be cautious,” said Melissa Lee Beasley, president of the Route 66 organization. “But, I tell you the crime is outnumbered by the wonderful friendly people here in New Mexico.”

The State Tourism Department is confident crime is not scaring tourists away.

“Nothing seems to be deterring the road trips in New Mexico,” Latham said. “We know people love experiencing the Land of Enchantment by car.”

“I definitely think there’s a lot to do, a lot to see and really friendly people,” Gardner said. “And it’s a really low-cost vacation.”

The Tourism Department has named this, the “Summer of the Mother Road,” encouraging people to take a drive down historic Route 66.

The department says 17 percent of trips taken to New Mexico are part of cross-county road trips.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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