Lured by good skiing, green chile and a dose of sun in the Land of Enchantment, we headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico. And that's exactly what we found.
A weekend getaway in this centuries-old capital city is like taking a trip around the world, just 45 minutes from Albuquerque.
Mild winter temperatures, spring conditions, adobe and all the green chile, carne asada and stuffed sopapillas we could eat. Make that Christmas style (with both red and green chile), please.
Downtown is distinctive, based on an old plaza founded in 1610 and remarkably still functioning today as the central business district. Labeled the Pueblo Revival, the adobe architecture that dominates here casts a spell of sorts. It puts you in a comfortable mindset: That's Santa Fe.
Surprisingly narrow streets overflow with shops, cafes, galleries and bars. Flannel-clad hipsters stroll and laugh with leather bags over their shoulders. Dads in blazers and ponytails, punks in cowboy hats and tattoos, septuagenarian hippies, teenage street folk artists, mountain wear and cars mounted with ski gear are routine sights.
In the plaza, native artisans sell their wares under a canopied block. At night, Southwestern colored Christmas lights blanket the square and the plaza comes to life. It's a multi-cultural vibe that mixes New Mexican heritage with an affinity for the outdoors, and people pour in.
See how we found this enchanting ciudad en las montanas. It's fun to say and fun to stay.