Welcome to the Land of Enchantment. Cool temperatures. Stunning desert landscapes. Jaw-dropping mountain views. The mix of Spanish and Native American culture. It’s not hard to guess how New Mexico earned its nickname—between its breathtaking views to its world-renowned art, there’s plenty of enchanting characteristics of the state. Charming Santa Fe is home to world class art galleries, the San Miguel Mission, and the Santa Fe Opera. Take a quick trip to Meow Wolf to have an interactive art experience like no other. Sportier visitors will enjoy Taos, which offers hiking up the state’s tallest mountain during the summer and skiing at four different ski areas.
Not sure where to start? Check out the best destinations in the state for art lovers, hikers, and skiers—there’s something for everyone in New Mexico.
- Visit the oldest church in the United States in downtown Santa Fe.The market square in downtown Santa Fe is a cultural destination; get lost exploring Spanish and Native American markets, art galleries, and eateries. Travel back in time to 1610 when you visit the San Miguel Mission, the country’s oldest church. Simply referred to as “Oldest Church,” the current structure dates back to 1710.
- Get lost inside interactive art exhibit Meow Wolf.Meow Wolf is a 20,000 square-foot installation located 15 minutes of downtown Santa Fe. It features dozens of rooms and secret passages that come together to comprise a children’s museum and jungle gym.
- Hike up New Mexico’s highest peak, Wheeler Peak.Hiking is a popular pastime during the warmer months for locals and visitors alike, and many attempt to conquer New Mexico’s highest peak, Wheeler Peak, which reaches a whopping 13,161 feet. The trail is 4.1 miles each way with an elevation gain of 2,961 feet. Hikers who make it to the top are gifted with jaw-dropping views of the Rio Grande Gorge and some of New Mexico and Colorado’s surrounding highest mountains.
- Hit the slopes in Taos Ski Valley.The Taos area boasts four main ski areas–Taos Ski Valley, Red River, Sipapu, and Angel Fire—all located about 30 minutes north of the town of Taos. Legendary Taos Ski Valley is touted as being a great area for both experienced skiers and those trying it out for the first time. In fact, the area is split 50-50 in beginner vs. intermediate terrain. Sigapu has a reputation for being family-oriented, and both Red River and Angel Fire offer lessons.
- Go llama trekking near Taos Ski Valley.Companies such as Wild Earth Llama Adventures make it possible to hike in style: on the back of your very own furry friend. Climb aboard a llama and head out on an expedition in either the Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area or the Columbine/Hondo Wilderness Study Area just north of Taos Ski Valley.