From vast and colorful landscapes to the magnificent Rocky Mountains, New Mexico is home to a wide range of terrain. A visit to this state means the opportunity to fly fish in the river in the morning and shop in the Santa Fe square in the afternoon. It means the chance to eat some of the world’s most flavorful cuisine, to witness spectacular works of art, and to interact with interesting locals. These experiences often put New Mexico on the top of every adventurer’s travel list.
The Land of Enchantment appeals to avid outdoorsmen, lovers of the arts, foodies, music aficionados, and explorers alike, but regardless of what you choose to see when you get here, there’s only one true way to get a true taste of the culture—staying in a New Mexico bed and breakfast.
Here’s our guide for why a bed and breakfast is the best way to make your next trip to New Mexico the vacation of a lifetime, how to choose the best one for you, and a few of the must-do activities while you’re here.
Why a Bed and Breakfast is Truly The Best Way to Experience it All
Where you stay will define your entire trip — so make it count! When you consider the facts, a bed and breakfast is undoubtedly the best way to go. Here’s why.
At a bed and breakfast, you will have access to unparallelled personalized attention. The wonderful locals who have chosen hospitality as a career have done so for a reason. Not only do they love providing shelter and a warm meal in the mornings, but they enjoy lively conversations with their guests.
At breakfast, get to know your host. He or she will likely have a long list of recommendations for the area, and a few personalized stories to make your trip even more special.
At a hotel, you’ll likely be crammed into a small room with white bedding, dark carpets, and standard lighting fixtures. Not so at a bed and breakfast. Part of what makes bed and breakfasts so great is that the owner has taken great care in decorating the rooms with interesting furniture, artwork, and colors. Most owners will even let you book your room of choice, which means you’ll feel right at home in the cozy space while experiencing something totally different.
Not only is a New Mexico bed and breakfast the most fun, colorful, and personable option, it also offers better bang for your buck. While at hotels you typically have to pay extra for parking, WiFi, or even bottles of water, nearly all bed and breakfasts now offer these amenities for free. Plus, instead of a cold continental breakfast, you’ll be treated to a hearty meal straight from the kitchen.
How to Choose the Best Best and Breakfast for You
Now that you’re convinced a bed and breakfast is the only way to go, you’ll have to choose the style and location that will fit you best. New Mexico bed and breakfasts stand out from the rest because of their unique architectural styles - each representing a different side of our state’s multi-faceted character.
Adobe is a traditional style of New Mexican architecture, typically represented by clay walls, a flat roof, and geometric accents. Adobe homes blend beautifully with the New Mexican landscape and allow you to truly experience the essence of the state. Many adobe bed and breakfasts come equipped with chile ristras hanging out on the patio or kiva fireplaces to warm you after the sun sets.
The Wild West truly presents itself in a ranch-style bed and breakfast, where you’ll likely enjoy produce, meat, and dairy from the property, and maybe the opportunity to ride horses by day. Expect the rooms to be decorated in Southwestern fashion, with cow-hide throws and fireplaces throughout.
Wines from New Mexico are complicated, flavorful, and bold—just like the state itself. Several of the state’s vineyards offer onsite lodging, meaning you can explore the nearby attractions by day and come back to a perfect glass of wine and great conversations with the owner at night.
*Bonus: Bottles of wine straight from the source make the best travel mementos! *
Hacienda is the Spanish word for estate, which means you’ll have plenty of room to wander around if you choose to stay at this style of bed and breakfast. Haciendas usually come complete with grand architecture, Spanish-style arches, idyllic gardens, and outdoor patios perfect for enjoying your breakfast al fresco.
If it’s a mountain adventure you’re after, New Mexico offers no shortage of opportunities for skiing, fishing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. And after a long day of adventure, there’s no better place to rest your head than a cabin close to the trailhead. Many of New Mexico’s finest bed and breakfasts are built from the wood of the surrounding trees and offer a rustic yet cozy escape that will be hard to leave when the weekend ends.
What to Do
When it comes to experiencing New Mexico, the opportunities are as varied as the travelers who choose to visit. However, there are a few things that you should definitely make it a point of seeing (and eating) while you’re here.
Eat Green Chile
First things first — you haven’t actually visited New Mexico until you’ve had a spicy and heaping serving of green chile. The best green chile is grown in Hatch, a small town in southern New Mexico that has come to be known as the Green Chile Capital of the World. Every year the town hosts the Hatch Green Chile festival in early September, and to say it’s a flavorful celebration would be an understatement. Whether you’re able to make it out for the festival or not, make sure to enjoy New Mexico’s hottest commodity smothered on top of your breakfast burrito, enveloped in enchiladas, or in a hearty stew.
Visit a Historic Church
From Santa Fe’s Loretto Chapel (home of the miracle staircase) to El Santuario de Chimayo, the churches in New Mexico are absolutely spectacular to behold. While the outstanding and unique Spanish-style architecture makes them marvelous on the outside, make sure you go inside to see the ornate detailing and brilliant colors that set New Mexican churches apart.
Experience the Great Outdoors
Because of our rugged terrain and spectacular natural beauty, New Mexico is one of the best states in the country for skiing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, mountaineering, bird watching — you name it. Regardless of how you choose to adventure, make sure you experience the outdoors while you’re here. Trekking up a steep trail will likely reward you with breathtaking views and wonderful memories.
Explore a National Monument
The Land of Enchantment is filled with gorgeous public lands, all worth exploring. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these are Bandelier, with 33,000 acres of rugged canyons and human settlements from 11,000 years ago; RíoGrande del Norte National Monument, an area that has attracted human activity since prehistoric times; and the Gila Cliff Dwellings, which were used by the Mogollon culture in the 1200s.
Ready to book a weekend at a bed and breakfast? Find a complete list of B&Bs across the state here.
Originally written by RootsRated for New Mexico.