Every Friday in 2013, the Let’s Fly Away Across the USA series will feature a different state, documenting the things we love about each sate and what you should do or see when you visit.
Hello, I’m Annabelle and I blog over at www.annabellemintz.com, along with making pretty videos for www.evergreenlaneproductions.com. I currently live in Denver, Colorado, but spent many years of my childhood visiting New Mexico — particularly Santa Fe — and now we pass through when visiting my husband’s family in Arizona.
Everything still feels a little “wild west” in New Mexico, and even if you’re just driving through, you totally get why it inspired so many amazing artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. I still get that creative buzz every time I’m there.
1. The Santa Fe Opera House. Even if you’re not that into opera, they usually do one “beginner” opera a season (think Magic Flute and Marriage of Figaro). The Santa Fe opera house is an open air theater, and it’s completely amazing to sit and watch the sunset behind the stage as you’re listening to beautiful music.
2. The High Road from Taos to Espanola. It’s a gorgeous scenic byway through the mountains of New Mexico and you get bonus points for stopping at the delicious Rancho de Chimayo (in Chimayo, shockingly) for incredible sopapillas and sangria. So, so good.
3. White Sands National Monument. It’s like the most pristine beach where the ocean has gone missing. Kind of a bummer when you think about it that way, but the sand is white, white, white and completely stunning. Worth a drive out to the middle-of-nowhere part of New Mexico.
For bonus points
We have had some of the WORST winter driving experiences ever in New Mexico — I’d recommend skipping that season (at least in a car) if you can help it, and visit in the early fall. You’ll get in before the snow and after the brunt of the summer heat. However, if you want to catch the opera season, you’ll have to visit in June, July or August.
Hernandez, New Mexico is where Ansel Adams took his famous Moonrise photo, and it’s pretty cool to see the location in the flesh (and it makes you even more in awe of Adam’s photography skills, if possible). I’m a bit of an art nerd, so if you are too, you might want to drive by.
Seems like everyone in the state is an artist, so while you’re here, dip your toes in the water and try your hand at some painting or photography (or sculpture, or whatever your thing is). Maybe some of the creative energy of past artistic geniuses will rub off on you.