Road Trip: Albuquerque & Santa Fe

Central New Mexico is More Than Great Golf

So much has been written about Albuquerque and Santa Fe’s remarkable golf properties. Be it the majestic surrounds of Paa-Ko Ridge, Twin Warriors (aerial video below), Sandia Golf Club or University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, or the prestigious Las Campanas, Towa Golf Club or Black Mesa in nearby Santa Fe, there is plenty of game to stir the emotional embers of any ardent golfer.

But what about off-course? Here, too, the Land of Enchantment comes through in glorious fashion. Consider these five world-class happenings when planning your next stay-and-play trip to our southerly neighbor:

1. Talk about a perfect pairing: In Santa Fe, the 2nd Annual Outside Bike & Brew Festival will celebrate craft brew culture and road and mountain biking during a high-octane, five-day schedule that includes free concerts, great grub and the 30th Annual Santa Fe Century 100 bike ride. May 13-17 at various locations.

Photo courtesy of the New Mexico Tourism Department

2. For 28 years, the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque has been the most important and longest standing event of its kind outside Spain, exposing patrons and students to dozens of the most highly revered flamenco artists in the world. June 7-13 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

3. One great way of celebrating the July 4th weekend is to attend the 12th Annual Rio Rancho Pork and Brew and New Mexico BBQ State Championship, a festival of food, beer, live music and interactive family activities, including the twice-a-day kids’ watermelon- and adult pie-eating contests. July 3-5 at Santa Ana Star Center.

4. “Red or green?” refers to those scrumptious Hatch chili peppers—used on everything from enchiladas to breakfast burritos to ice cream—and it’s a culinary question you’ll often be asked while dining in New Mexico. For a truly immersive experience, attend the 25th Annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival, which brings together 75 regional restaurants with 90 wineries for the finest in food and spirits. Sept. 23-27 at various locations.

5. Admit it—you’ve been aching to attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival for years. Since first taking flight in 1972 with 13 hot air balloons, this iconic celebration has grown to 600 balloons, the largest event of its kind in the world. Oct. 3-11 at Balloon Fiesta Park.

Via Interstate 25, Santa Fe is 5.5 hours and Albuquerque is 6.5 hours south of Denver.  Click here for more information about these two recreationally resplendent cities.


Las Campanas: The Sante Fe Grail

Southern Exposure: New Mexico

Black Mesa and UNM Are Must Plays

Love Thy Neighbor: Santa Fe

Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via