DAY ONE — Out of ABQ
After arriving in Albuquerque, start your vacation on a “high” note by heading to Sandia Peak. Ascend one of the country’s most majestic urban peaks via the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway for breathtaking panoramic views of New Mexico. Once atop the peak, grab a quick lunch at the exquisite Ten 3 restaurant — located 10,300 feet above sea level.
Skip the interstate and take the scenic route to Santa Fe along Highway 14, the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. Discover old mining villages and ghost towns now teeming with life. Traveling to Santa Fe along Highway 14 adds a little extra time to your journey. We think it’s worth it, but don’t dilly-dally because there’s so much to see in Santa Fe.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all Santa Fe has to offer. Lovers of art and designer boutiques should make a point to walk the “miracle half-mile” arts district along Canyon Road — home to more than 80 galleries and studios. Folks fascinated by legend and architecture should make a pilgrimage to the Loretto Chapel and investigate its mysterious spiral staircase. And if history is more your thing, visit one of the area’s 25 museums including the Georgia O’Keefe Museum celebrating one of America’s most influential artists.
As the sun sets on your first day, celebrate Santa Fe’s culinary traditions with dinner at The Shed. A James Beard Award-winning restaurant, The Shed is world-renowned for its red enchiladas and northern New Mexico cuisine. If you aren’t able to snag a table at The Shed, check out their sister restaurant La Choza.
Many hotels are found around downtown, including La Fonda on the Plaza. Luxurious, historic, and authentically New Mexican. Enjoy a cocktail under the stars at the hotel’s Bell Tower rooftop bar (open seasonally), then head back to your room to rest up for your downhill adventures tomorrow morning.
DAY TWO — Ski & Soak
No matter your ski level, we recommend waking up early to grab the first chair at Ski Santa Fe. Family-friendly and phenomenally affordable, Ski Santa Fe offers an unforgettable experience for everyone. Spend the morning conquering more than 80 runs across 660 acres — but don’t forget to take in one of the best views in the American Southwest.
After your morning adventure, leave the rest of your day to the art of recharging. Stop in at Totemoff’s Bar & Grill for a hearty lunch of pork green chile stew or their signature green chile cheeseburger. Warm up at the Tram Car Bar with any one of their 15 hot cocktails, including The Totemoff — bourbon, rum, coffee, and whipped cream. Or, if you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, grab a round of hot chocolates for the entire group before heading back toward Santa Fe.
Nourish your palette and your soul with a rejuvenating stay at the award-winning Ojo Santa Fe Spa & Resort. Whether your body needs an invigorating massage treatment or a relaxing soak in a saltwater pool, Ojo Santa Fe will revive you for tomorrow. Once restored, slip down to the resort’s Blue Heron Restaurant featuring seasonal menus showcasing local ingredients from the Ojo Caliente Farm. If nightlife is what you crave, you’re a short ride away from Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery — named 2020’s best producer of distilled spirits in New Mexico by readers of Edible Magazine.
DAY THREE — All of Los Alamos
Grab a quick breakfast and hit the road to Los Alamos, about 50 minutes northwest of Santa Fe. On the eastern edge of the Jemez Mountains sits your next adventure destination: the 750 skiable acres of the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Don’t let the vastness of Pajarito intimidate you — it’s one of the friendliest ski resorts around with an unbeatable family feel. (Kids 12 and under always ski for free.) Enjoy the wide-open turns and eye-opening views during this monumental mountain morning.
If you time your visit correctly, take advantage of the extraordinary festivals hosted by Pajarito Mountain and enjoy seasonal music, beer, and events. Regardless of when you visit, delicious and casual Mexican fare can be found year-round at El Parasol (1903 Central Avenue in Los Alamos). Before ending your journey in central New Mexico, visit the Bandelier National Monument and marvel at the ruins of Pueblo structures dating back nearly a thousand years. Explore one of the many meandering trails, or get back on the road before sunset.