The Southwest, Under Snow
If you think summer is the only time to visit the Southwest, think again. Winter in Santa Fe means adobe walls frosted with snow and air scented with fragrant piñon smoke. There’s also plenty to see, from SITE Santa Fe’s acclaimed biennial, which runs through January 7, to the art spaces that line Canyon Road. And just beyond the city, the ski slopes of Taos beckon.
WHERE TO STAY Check into the Inn of the Five Graces (150 E. DeVargas St.; 505/992-0957; www.fivegraces.com; doubles from $295), where the 24 rooms are a textured blend of the East (tile mosaics, kilim rugs) and the Southwest (kiva fireplaces).
WHERE TO EAT The intimate bar at Ristra (548 Agua Fria; 505/982-8608; dinner for two $90) is a jewel box of contemporary design, with an exacting menu to match. Nobody’s told chef Rham Fama of Fuego (330 E. Palace Ave.; 505/986-0000; dinner for two $130), that the restaurant is not deep in the French countryside and every guest a potential Michelin rater, so the food and service shimmer accordingly. Craving some local fare?Sidle into Castro’s (3904 Rodeo Rd.; 505/438-0146; dinner for two $30) for platters of tamales and chiles rellenos, and finish with honey-drizzled sopaipillas.
WHAT TO DO The challenging runs at Taos Ski Valley (www.skitaos.org) are just an hour-and-a-quarter-drive away, but Santa Fe Ski Basin (www.skisantafe.com) and Sipapu Ski Resort (www.sipapunm.com) are right outside the city. Save time for an afternoon in one of the Japanese-style outdoor wooden hot tubs at the Ten Thousand Waves spa (505/992-5025; www.tenthousandwaves.com). —Candace Walsh