Travel + Leisure has revealed its "50 Best Places To Travel In 2021 List" and two New Mexico Destinations have made the list!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
A UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art as well as City of Design, Santa Fe is widely known as an arts mecca. Stalwart stays like theInn at Five Graces and the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, celebrate that status with their adobe architecture and distinctive art. But sometimes it takes a new hotel to help us see a destination with fresh eyes. The reimagined Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe’s newest luxury hotel in nearly a decade, aims to showcase far more than the city’s artistic side when it opens this spring. Set on 317 acres bordering Santa Fe National Forest, the 100-room Auberge Resorts Collection property will offer fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and wrangler-led trail rides from its on-site stables. A restaurant helmed by Dean Fearing, the godfather of Southwestern cuisine, and a healing arts studio with therapies such as turquoise gem therapy are respites from wilderness adventures. The lodge will serve as a base for new four- and six-day cycling trips from Trek Travel, as well a new road trip itinerary from Black Tomato. Meanwhile, Marcia Gordon, the New Mexico-born co-owner of African safari specialist Extraordinary Journeys, has cast her attention back home, with custom itineraries that might include hikes in Georgia O’ Keeffe’s beloved Ghost Ranch or Navajo-led walks through the ruins of Chaco Canyon. —Jen Murphy
White Sands, New Mexico
Nothing is as it seems in White Sands, the 176,000-acre swath of New Mexico desert that was first established as a national monument in 1933. From afar, the gypsum dunes —the world’s largest such expanse — look as sterile and sun-scorched as the surface of a distant planet. Up close, the luxuriously cool sand teems with life. Bleached earless lizards, Apache pocket mice, and sand wolf spiders — all mostly white, to blend in with their surroundings — skitter across the dunes. At first, there’s no evidence of humankind, but investigate the right spot and you’ll find fossilized footprints overlaid by mammoth and giant-sloth tracks. Last year’s redesignation as a national park expanded the protected region’s scope by 2,030 acres, and, more importantly, increased its visibility to travelers. Researchers estimate that the change in status could contribute $7 million in spending, and 100 jobs, to the local economy. —Kieran Dahl
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