5. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio, New Mexico
Mehlman recommends this refuge as a prime place for watching shorebirds, waterfowl, herons, and egrets. Situated between Albuquerque and Las Cruces, the park is best known as a wintering home for sandhill cranes. You likely see many over Labor Day weekend, but return in November for the “Festival of the Cranes,” when as many as 14,000 cranes descend on the refuge.