New Mexico is the fifth largest US State, but also the 6th least populated, meaning that it has swathes of untouched wilderness just waiting to be explored. You’ll find everything from snow-capped mountains and vast forests to dusty deserts and dramatic rock formations. With its proximity to Mexico, the food in New Mexico is undoubtedly inspired by the hot favourites from across the border, but it also has a thriving culinary scene all of its own.
Its capital, Santa Fe, is the second-oldest city and oldest capital in the United States. Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is a charming mix of the old and the new, with Pueblo-style architecture, a thriving art and culinary scene and plenty of historic landmarks. Albuquerque is another of the major cities, and probably the most visited. It’s the most populous city in New Mexico and home to the Albuquerque International Airport, the largest airport in the state. Albuquerque is also one of New Mexico’s most innovative culinary stages, with the mix of Native American, South American and Spanish flavours all combining with North American classics. Oh, and when you’re asked ‘red or green’ they’re asking what colour chili pepper you want. There’s also plenty of wine and beer on offer, with wineries and breweries making the most of the space and climate.
New Mexico is famed for its scenery, with many choosing to forgo to city and instead, head out into the wilderness. Here you can unwind beneath an open sky, with nothing but vast tracks of untouched nature around you. In most areas you can hike, with plenty also allowing both biking and horse riding. There is also an area of great historical significance found in New Mexico, the petroglyphs at the Petroglyph National Monument. Here you can see a vast selection of images created by Native American and Spanish settlers between 400 and 700 years ago. If you travel at the right time of year, 7-15 of October, Albuquerque also has a world renowned balloon festival.
When it comes to where to stay, it’s really up to you. Head into a city and you’ll find great 5* hotels, but out in the wilderness, you’ve got some equally luxurious retreats. Up in the mountains you can find beautiful lodges, perfect for those looking for a real, away from it all vacation. If you feel like enjoying the scenery, but also knowing you have a choice of cooking for yourself, or allowing someone else to, there are plenty of inns which allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Over on the plains you can find ranches, so those keen for authentic experiences and plenty of horse riding will be in heaven. So, whether you’re looking for an authentic ranch, a forester’s lodge, or a cute and comfy bed and breakfast, you’ll find plenty to choose from. New Mexico is all about the slow vacation, so no matter where you stay, get ready to unwind and enjoy a more languid pace of life.
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