The heady aroma of burning piñon logs permeates the air every night in Santa Fe, where the altitude-nearly 7,000 feet-ensures that even summer evenings are crisp enough for locals to light up their kiva fireplaces. The smoky scent is a constant presence in this ever-changing city, where thick-walled adobe buildings four centuries old stand cheek-by-jowl with avant-garde art galleries and lively new restaurants. It's a reminder that, despite its vibrant population of skiers and hikers, painters and photographers, alternative healers, hippies, gays and lesbians, and émigrés from seemingly every one of the other 49 states, this city remains strongly connected to its Spanish-Native American heritage-and to the pristine landscape that surrounds it.
A stroll through the rose and herb gardens of El Zaguán, a Territorial-style hacienda often bypassed by gallery-hoppers.
Peeking inside San Miguel Mission, the nation's oldest church, in use since the early 17th century.
Tasting the edible (chocolate) religious art sold at Todos Santos, a Lilliputian candy shop in an 18th-century courtyard.