Salinas Pueblo Missions
The Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument encompasses three separate and dispersed ruins. All three sites had been Puebloan Indian towns for many hundreds of years when Spanish missionaries arrived in the late 1500s. The Spanish quickly took control of the towns and forced the local population to build extravagant mission churches. The ruins of these churches are the most prominent structures at the sites but there are also significant remains of the original pueblos. All three of the sites were abandoned in the 1670s and have been mostly unoccupied since. These unique and interesting historic ruins are convenient to Albuquerque but not heavily visited from what I could tell. The Monument's main visitor center is in the town of Mountainair which is close to all three sites and has a couple of nice, affordable motels. Monument Website.