Great Day Trips from Santa Fe
Collected by Kate Donnelly, AFAR Local Expert
Santa Fe is a terrific embarkation point for epic day trips. Follow the winding, highly scenic High Road to Taos through the shifting landscapes of the mysterious Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Artist Georgia O'Keeffe's Abiquiú home and studio is a short trip from Santa Fe, as are the stark canyons, cliffs, and red rock mesas of Ghost Ranch and Bandelier National Monument.
21120 US-84, Abiquiu, NM 87510, USA
Located 60 miles from Santa Fe, artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu is magnificently available just the way she left it. You can almost channel her ghost. Anybody with appreciation for amazing restoration,...
Espanola, NM, NM, USA
El Prado, NM 87529, USA
10 miles north of Taos (you head out of town and turn left at the "blinking light"), the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, recently renovated in 2012, will give you a dizzying sense of vertigo and the opportunity to take pictures that will make you look...
Madrid, NM 87010, USA
To get from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, don't take I-25 North--it's busy and sterile. Drive east on I-40 to the backside of the Sandía Mountains, get off on exit 175, and head north on Highway 14, also known as "The Turquoise Trail." You'll wind...
White Mesa, New Mexico 87053, USA
I love mountain biking! I am basically obsessed with the activity, have been racing for half my life, and spend the majority of my disposable income on bike related activities. I would do it every single day if I could and at times I do. There are...
228 Old Santa Fe Trail #10, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The Turquoise Trail is a National Scenic Byway in New Mexico linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe. If you plan to drive to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, avoid the interstate and take this well beaten path instead. You will be rewarded with majestic...
15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
I’m not sure at what age humans develop the skill to stand still and appreciate scenery, but based on a scientific survey of kids who live in my house, it’s not age seven. (On a trip to the Canadian Rockies, as my wife and I snapped photos of the...
30 Tramway Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122, USA
The Sandía Mountains rise to over 10,000 feet behind Albuquerque. From the top, the view over New Mexico is unparalleled: on a clear day, your eyes can take in eleven thousand square miles--almost one-tenth of the state! The quickest way up is the...
San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM 87506, USA
La Capilla de la Familia Sagrada sits at the base of Black Mesa, a sacred mountain on the San Ildefonso Pueblo reservation. It is one of the most photographed buildings in New Mexico. The little adobe chapel, against the backdrop of the Sangre de...
Santa Fe, NM, USA
Santa Fe ski area (as well as Taos) is one of my favorite ski resorts in the world. Although it's not the biggest, it has a great mixture of runs for experts as well as beginners, and what always impresses me is that for such a small ski area, how...
Espanola, NM, NM, USA
Up a dirt road that feels more like someone's private driveway, past the village cemetery with its handmade crosses framed against a dusty hillside, the Penitente Morada in Abiquiu sits crouched on the earth, a wonderful secret, discreet against...
New Mexico, USA
Located just outside Alamogordo, New Mexico, White Sands National Monument is one of the most beautiful places to watch a sunrise or sunset in the U.S. The combination of a desert sky and pure white sand makes the most striking images. If there...
Espanola, NM, NM, USA
Georgia O’Keeffe called the grouping of weathered rock outcroppings near Abiquiu “The White Place” and immortalized it in paintings. The land is so arid, and so little changes in New Mexico, that the location and signature V shape have survived. A...
Socorro, NM 87825, USA
Featured in the 1997 Jodie Foster film, Contact (based on the Carl Sagan book), the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) is an impressive, stunning radio astronomy observatory located on the Plains of San Agustin. The massive dishes are arranged...
8400 Pan American Fwy NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, USA
Experience the tasting room of Gruet Winery, founded by Gilbert Gruet, whose family originally hailed from the Champagne region of France. The stately winery is a perfect venue for serious sipping of the label's sparkling wines (popular in both...
50 Los Banos Drive, Ojo Caliente, NM 87549, USA
A short hour's drive from Santa Fe sits the sulfur-free mineral rich waters of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. Sit and soak in temperatures of 80-105 degrees, and let all tensions melt away. Shhh, keep conversations low, most of the...
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