After a stressful 2020, we all need a change of scenery and place to unwind — but many of us are still weary of being around other people, and rightfully so. Being around adorable puppies and silkie chickens, however, is a whole different story.
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Guests can play with adoptable rescue dogs at the Puppy Patch, a magical place that aims to lower stress levels for humans and find homes for the pups in partnership with Española Humane. Hotel staffers care for the dogs between visits until a guest or local falls in love and gives them a forever home.
The resort’s silkie chickens are sadly not for adoption, but pull up a chair and relax among the birds, who are as fluffy as they are friendly. Offering a healthy, farm-grown snack is the quickest way to get to their hearts. The quirky breed, known for their super-soft plumage and sweet personalities, welcome human company — they often purr when you hold them — and there may be no better way to enjoy your morning coffee before a hike.
New Mexico is a hiker’s paradise, and many of its best trails are within reach, through canyons and along the Rio Grande. There are even multiple trails to explore right off the hotel grounds.
Once your hike is through, keep your blood pumping with a pilates or yoga class, or wind down with a good, long soak in a spring-fed thermal pool or private spa tub overlooking a serene pond. Go for a swim in Santa Fe's largest saltwater swimming pool, and by night, gaze at the stars from a hot tub. It's the perfect COVID-friendly girlfriends getaway, romantic escape, or solo trip to get healthy and mentally prepared for a new year.
Nina Ruggiero is Travel + Leisure's deputy digital editor. A New Yorker living in Los Angeles, she's happiest on a beach, a cobblestone street, or in a hotel bathtub with a view. Find her on Instagram @ninamarienyc.