January 3, 2013 at 6:11 am #606106
I’m leaving on a jet plane…,really, leaving in the early a.m. for 5 days to meet up with a friend for a quick road trip. I’ve always known I’d see New Mexico one day, and this trip just came up 4 days ago. Never been there, any good ideas on what not to miss. Check one more off my bucket list.January 3, 2013 at 6:46 am #781608
The Velvet BulldogParticipant
If there are any flea markets open during this season, I’d check those out. That was my first stop during a trip in September of 2011. (Also my first time there after wanting to go for years.) An amazing array of stuff, including original paintings by local artists. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Albuquerque. Dragonfly Cafe & Bakery in Taos. There are SO many art galleries that you won’t run out of them–you might burn out though! There’s a natural preserve outside of Santa Fe that was a gorgeous little walk-about. Which of course I can’t remember the name of. If you have time to take a tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiu, it’s worth it.January 3, 2013 at 7:43 am #781609
Actaully the O’Keeffe museum is in Santa Fe–which is awesome! They have an adobe building code there that is pretty hilarious also. The local artisans sell their crafts under the awning at the Palace of the Governors. Stunning stuff! Canyon Road has incredible art. If you take the high road to Taos, stop in Chimayo and visit El Sanctuario di Chimayo. And the chili powder!!!
It’s so beautiful there. You won’t regret it!January 3, 2013 at 8:09 am #781610January 3, 2013 at 8:16 am #781611
If you are into the outdoors and like a little hiking the Gila Cliff Dwellings are fantastic.January 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm #781612January 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm #781613
Take the Turquoise Trail from the Alburquerque airport to Santa Fe. Stop in the old mining town of Madrid on the way for boutique galleries and little restaurants.
High road to Taos: Santuario de Chimayo, town of Truchas (set location for the film “Milagro Beanfield War”).
Santa Fe has become so commercialized as to be almost unrecognizable, but at least there aren’t as many tourists right now. Keep in mind that any art or jewelry you buy will cost at least double what you’d pay in Gallup. My advice would be to eat and window shop in Santa Fe, but make purchases elsewhere. Check out the Wheelwright Museum.
There are many pueblo dances and ceremonies around this time of year. If you can make it up to Zuni, they perform the amazing Shalako ceremony annually, which is open to observers. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to casual observers or tourists. Zuni pueblo also has an old chapel that contains incredible restored murals.
Keep your eyes open for pronghorn antelope along the roadways. Once, while driving in snow near Elephant Butte, a golden eagle swept across the road in front of me and landed on a fencepost. If you’re driving side roads at night, watch for burrowing owls.
There’s good reason to call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment. There’s no place quite like it.
Walk in beauty!January 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm #781614
Oooooooh the sun! I lived in Taos two years and loved it. One of my favorite things in addition to hiking is The International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe. I loved it — will nourish your innards. I worked at 8500 feet and loved that you could wear t-shirts and sorts during the day in dead of winter. Carry lots of water. Oh what fun!January 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm #781615
ojo Caliente hot springs was just starting to get gentrified when I was there, but it might still be very interesting mix of folks (was not a sterile environment like many of the “spas”).January 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm #781616January 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm #781617January 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm #781618
One of my favorite places was Sky City at Acoma Pueblo, about an hour from ABQ or Santa Fe. Only open weekends at this time of year. http://sccc.acomaskycity.org
Do make sure you travel with water – on our drive from ABQ to Santa Fe many years ago, most places we stopped did not have potable water and we had to drink bottled. Used a lot of portable toilets too for the same reason (lack of water).January 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm #781619
if th erest tops are open.
i haven’t been to New Mexico recently, but they pretty much aren’t in ArizonaJanuary 4, 2013 at 12:25 am #781620
This thread has really reminded me how much I love and miss New Mexico.
If I’m not mistaken, former governor Bill Richardson was instrumental in getting a commuter train running North/South in New Mexico. Might be a pleasant option to driving, although I don’t know the details.
Santa Fe is in a ski basin, and Taos is even higher in elevation. It’s cold in January, and it snows – sometimes a lot. A few years ago there was so much snow that my friend in Galisteo had to have supplies helicoptered in. Sunny, yes, but warm – possible, but I wouldn’t count on it.
A really lovely, authentic border town worth visiting is Mesilla, down by Las Cruces. It’ll be warm there, for sure! I was always blown away by the 6 ft. agaves in the yards of the casitas – as common there as rhodies are here.
Acoma Pueblo is awesome, but the addition of the casino has dramatically altered the ambience IMO. It also made me really uncomfortable to walk around peering in people’s windows and looking at the residents as if they were zoo exhibits – but maybe that’s just me.
Jo is right about rest stops – not all that many ameneties in New Mexico. It’s also one of the worst states for speeding and drunk driving, so be careful!January 4, 2013 at 1:07 am #781621January 4, 2013 at 8:38 am #781622
Santa Fe Ski Basin to rent some skis or snowshoes: mellow and easy to get to from Santa Fe, followed by a soaking at Ten Thousand Waves, kind of a mountain spa on the same road, then dinner at Cafe Pasquals! Spend the night at Inn On the Alameda, then walk Canyon Road, and yes, the Folk Art Museum!
Swoon, swoon!January 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm #781623
anonyme, I’m sorry to hear that Acoma Pueblo has changed so much since my visit there (it was 10-15 years ago). No casino (or at least not one I recall), and almost no one lived there, so you weren’t looking in windows of occupied homes. Felt more like a cultural site than a living community.January 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm #781624January 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm #781625
Take an art gallery tour in Santa Fe and Taos. They have some of the world’s most incredible artists down there.January 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm #781626
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