And just like that, our New Mexican mini-moon – complete with stops in Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe – was set in motion. With Stephen heading to the region for a week of work conferences, we figured it would be the perfect place to kick back for a few days of R & R ahead of time.
And let me honestly say, New Mexico might very well be my new favorite place in the country. The landscape is stunning, the weather is gorgeous, and the people are friendly, laidback and gracious. Plus, the Mexican food rivaled even my California favorites, which is a tough standard to measure up to!
Given all these positives, it came as no surprise to also discover that New Mexico’s wedding industry is growing as fast as many of its cities themselves. Throughout our trip, I loved learning all about the history and culture of the region, with its fusion of Native American and Spanish elements, as well as all the amazing wedding venues and vistas available to Southwestern brides and grooms.
Here are a few of my favorite trip highlights!
Our first night in Albuquerque, we wasted no time in heading to Gardunos for some delicious Mexican food, plus sweet and spicy jalapeno margaritas!
Albuquerque's New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science offered a glimpse into the region's ancient past.
Wineries are becoming more common near Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, with many hosting weddings and serving up a range of varietals. They may have a long way to go before being on par with California or even Virginia wineries, but the ranch-style ambience can’t be beat! We loved Albuquerque's Casa Rondena, pictured above.
White Sands National Monument, featuring snow-colored sand dunes as far as the eye can see, was a fun stop on our drive down to Las Cruces. Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque was also a great place to hike and explore.
No trip to the Southwest would be complete without shopping for Native American pottery and jewelry.
Santa Fe is a hip and artsy town, featuring galleries and great restaurants, plus posh spas and beautiful churches. The state capitol building is also a must-see.
Albuquerque’s balloon fiesta takes place during the fall, and brides often seek it out as a great place to get married, some on the ground and some in a hot air balloon before it takes flight!
Have you been to the Southwest? What are some of your favorite places and sights to see?
(Photo Credits: Personal Library & Google Images)