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WHERE TO | New Mexico’s Ski Secret

Okay, friends (and family). There are only a few more weeks left in ski season. That means, you better be scrolling flight options as you’re reading this. Where you’re going? New Mexico.

I know, I know. No one here on the east coast knows that you can ski in New Mexico. I didn’t either. But, the desert city is more (waaaaay more) than just cacti, canyons and big horn sheep. It’s food, Alpine exercise and seriously acclaimed art museums (hello, georgia o’keefe). It’s also a much cheaper flight and stay out west than your Vails, your Tahoes and your Jackson Holes.

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So, here’s what you should do:

Book your flight into Albequerque (it’s direct on Delta). Rent a car to Red River. It’s 3 hours, which is tough, if you were on 75 North, but it’s like your own private (really, there is so little traffic) tour of the Rio Grande Gorge.

Red River Ski Area is one of the cutest, storybook towns you’ve ever seen. Literally, all 400-something of it’s residents live nestled together in this tiny little valley, hugged on one side by the ski slopes and the other by dense forest. Everyone knows each other, and wants to know you just as much. You can’t get that in a lot of places. No one is an outsider, in fact, they’ll volunteer you as their fifth wheel on the “Shot Ski”, no questions asked. When you’re there, make sure you get a lesson with the king of the

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Where to Eat | Shotgun Willie’s for Breakfast, The Black Diamond Grill for lunch, The Lift House for a shot-ski run and do The Snowcoach Dinner Tour at night.

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Taos Ski Valley is where Julia Roberts lives… so whether or not you need more description than that, it’s a luxurious, retreat-style place to cross your tips. The runs are long and winding, but it’s scarier than it looks. Plus, the Taos Ski Instructors are renown, so you’re in good hands (err, gloves). Ask for Bob. The whole Ski Valley just underwent a big overhaul as the legendary original family owners have moved on. But, the legend lives on in the quality of skiing and love for the lodge life.

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Where to Eat | Stray Dog Cantina for brews

Ski Santa Fe, aside from being the coolest little town on a minimal map of New Mexico, it’s only 15 minutes from the highest point you can get to when it comes to skiing the Southern Rockies. So, stay in town for the culturally sound nightlife and ridiculous food scene (we vote Sage Inn for quick and casual, or Hotel Santa Fe for the cozy, fireplace-in-your-room style lodging), and ski outside the city limits for breath-taking views on truly sun-skissed slopes.

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Where to Eat | Blue Corn Cafe for margaritas and guacamole, Il Piatto for Italian indulgences and The Shed for tacos and piping hot posole.

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