Madrid (New Mexico)
The town's name is stressed on the first syllable.
Madrid, New Mexico was founded as a coal-mining community in the 19th century, and was a major supplier of coal for the U.S. Government and for the Santa Fe Railroad. Madrid flourished into the 1930s, with a large Independence Day parade, a Christmas display which attracted visitors from all over the state, and the first lighted stadium in the Southwest. The town declined with the falloff in coal usage until the mines were closed in the 1950s; Madrid never became a true ghost town (it was never completely abandoned), but by 1970 its population had dropped to 30. However, starting in the 1970s, the area became a magnet for creative artists. Madrid is now a small but thriving art colony numbering 200 or more.
- Every December, Madrid hosts a townwide Christmas celebration with a parade, lighting displays, carolers and costumes.
- Old Coal Mine Museum -- three acres of mining and railroad history. See an actual below-ground coal seam, and ring the bell on a 1900 steam locomotive!
Madrid is a minor Mecca for creative artists, and shops line both sides of Main Street (S.R. 14 as it passes through the town). Contemporary art, jewelry, pottery, and "wearable art".
- The Mine Shaft Tavern, 2846 SR 14, +1 505 473-0743. Steaks, hamburgers, buffalo burgers and "guaranteed" margaritas. What they are guaranteed to be or do isn't clear -- be brave, stop in and try one at what's advertised as the longest bar in the state.
- Mamma Lisa's Ghost Town Kitchen Pie, coffee, and great lunch specials.
- Hacienda Dona Andrea de Santa Fe, 78 Vista del Oro, +1 505 424-8995, . Spectacular bed and breakfast in a hacienda on a 65 acre estate, 10 minutes from Madrid.
- Santa Fe is a short distance to the north on SR 14, and Albuquerque is slightly farther away via SR 14 to the south. Both contain enough attractions, including superb outdoors activities, to keep you busy for weeks.
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