Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Have you purchased an engagement ring for your lovely lady and seeking that perfect spot for your marriage proposal? Consider a ski weekend in Taos, New Mexico. New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment and for good reason. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment and one will certainly be enchanted taking in the views of high-desert hills and mystical sunsets.
Winter is off-peak for both of New Mexico's major cities, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, so it's certainly a peaceful time to visit and head up to Taos for world class skiing. The sights, sounds and smells of the New Mexico high-desert during this time of year presents a wonderful option for anyone searching for engagement ideas.
Remember Coolaz Koozies offers premium custom koozies for your engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette parties or reception.
Do You Know the Way to San...ta Fe?
Before driving the High Road to Taos, it worthwhile to spend a night in Santa Fe and take in the unique culture and southwestern cuisine. In Santa Fe, the simple refined beauty of adobe architecture balances the vibrancy of the city's art scene.
Daily non-stop flights from Dallas and Denver and within one-stop connections from LAX, Chicago and New York. From Sante Fe airport, the best travel option would be to rent a car. Much of the delight of your trip up to Taos is taking in the scenic beauty of the New Mexican landscape so it is recommended you rent a car for the duration of your stay in New Mexico.
Where to Stay
Hotel St. Francis
Named for the patron saint of Santa Fe, NM, the historic Hotel St. Francis embodies the authentic spirit of old Santa Fe, with handcrafted wood furniture by local artisans inspired by the Palace of the Governors, and a palette of natural colors reflecting the days of Santa Fe's early Franciscan missionaries.
A Heritage Hotel and Resort property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hotel St. Francis has been magnificently restored and renovated, offering guests a wide array of modern, luxurious amenities in a style that honors its cultural heritage.
Hacienda del Cerezo
An all-inclusive ranch that is exquisite, but considerably more expensive and there is a two night minimum stay. located about a 20 minute drive from downtown Santa Fe. If the Hacienda is selected, you will enjoy world-class food in some of the most pristine surroundings in all of the United States.
Things To Do
Santa Fe Plaza is also on the National Registry of historic places and a must see for any visit to Santa Fe. Renowned for its artisans, the Plaza offers shopping and museums specializing designs of Spanish and Native American heritage. Santa Fe is the nation's oldest capital city at a mere 400 yrs young. This is a vibrant city with an infinite amount of sights and sounds that will delight your senses and calm your spirit. Works by Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keefe are abound in the greater Santa Fe area. The Georgia O'Keefe Museum is a must-see and contains the largest single collection of her paintings anywhere in the world.
While meandering around the plaza, you'll undoubtedly hear the pleasant sounds of classical guitar played by one of the 150 or so professional guitarist that make Sante Fe their home. Small boutiques, art galleries and museums line the square and surrounding streets providing an excellent opportunity to take in the many different sculptures and paintings or shop for finely crafted jewelry, clothing and home furnishings.
On the northern edge of the plaza sits the Palace of the Governors, New Mexico's first state capitol. Today, the Palace is a cultural museum displaying all aspects of the area's Spanish and Native American heritage including a portrait gallery of the individuals who shaped Santa Fe past. ï¿½Under the portal facing the Plaza, Native American artistsï¿½representing almost every New Mexico tribeï¿½sell their handmade jewelry and art.ï¿½By law, these artisans are only allowed to sell ideas that are individually crafted and not mass-produced.
The High Road to Taos
If the purpose of your trip to the Sante Fe-Taos areas is to propose, the High Road to Taos will present many opportunities for those searching for proposal ideas.
The journey from Santa Fe to Taos is an eventful one and one of the most impressive drives anywhere in the United States. It is on this drive along picturesque, winding roads through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where you may find an idyllic place to propose. The High Road officially begins 25 miles north of Santa Fe in the town of Espanola and begins you quest through magnificent vistas of snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, and charming traditional Spanish and Pueblo villages. All along this byway are studios and galleries displaying incredible art by local artists and sample authentic Spanish, Mexican and southwestern cuisine.
From Espanola, heading east will bring you to Chimayo. Be sure to visit the Santuario de Chimayo, one of the most frequented churches, attracting visitors from all over the world for its purported healing powers. Continuing along Route 518 you'll past more quaint pueblo towns such as Cordova, Truchas and Picuris which is still inhabited by the Picuris tribe. The grand finale is the magnificent San Francisco de Asis Mission Church. This stunning Spanish Colonial adobe boast twin symmetrical bell towers and is the most photographed church in New Mexico. If you had the opportunity to visit the Georgia O'Keefe's museum in Santa Fe, San Francisco de Asis will be immediately recognizable as it was this church that was the inspiration for many of her paintings.
Things To Do
Continuing on for another 45 minutes from Ranchos de Taos brings you to the charming village of Taos Ski Valley. Situated in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, The surrounding area was founded by miners in the 1800's and turned into a ski resort by Ernie and Rhoda Blake in the 1950's.
The best thing about Taos Ski Valley is that it is probably one of the best kept secrets. While many of the resorts in Colorado, Utah and California attract massive crowds during the ski season, Taos offers world-class skiing without the hoards of people flocking to their slopes. Taos Ski Valley is a rugged, authentic mountain, pioneered by people who put skiing first and all else second. Kachina Peak stands high above the Sangre de Cristo mountain range at 12,481 feet. From here, skiers and boarders survey some of the finest terrain in North America- bone dry powder shots, steep chutes, big bumps, cornices, and glades- it is all here. If heart-stopping terrain is not your thing, you will find miles of well-manicured slopes and gradual groomers to carve up.
Check the current ski report for Taos Ski Valley.
A popular event in Taos is the Winter Wine Fest. Sample local cuisine and award winning wines from all over the world. The 27th annual festival will host vintners such as Alexander Valley Vineyards, Merryvale and Miguel Torres of Chile will be on offer this Jan 30-Feb 2. It's a perfect extended weekend of skiing with Sunday being set aside for recovery and to enjoy the Superbowl, Sunday Feb 3.
One of the highlights of the wine festival is The Art of Wine; an apres ski wine tasting event in which many exquisite pieces are on display from the renowned artist communities that dot the area.
The Art of Wine is held at the Harwood Museum where you'll enjoy private access of works from Taos Society of Artists, Taos Moderns, historic Hispanic along with contemporary artists all of which benefits Harwood Museums educational programs.
A myriad of dining options are available in Taos Village with many of the restaurants serving flavorful Southwestern dishes; no doubt you'll find many creative uses of the ubiquitous green and red chilis.
Where to Stay
The Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant is an amazing property that will make you feel as if you are in a remote village in the Swiss Alps. Ideally located at the base of Kachina Peak, the lodge provides ski-in/ski-out facilities, rustic elegance and fine Bavarian fare.
Another option is The Edelweiss Lodge and Spa which offers luxury accommodation in 1, 2, and 3-bedroom condominiums in the Taos Ski Valley village. The Edelweiss Lodge provides a range of spa treatments and is located on the Strawberry Hill slopes enabling ski-in/ski- out convenience as well.
If you are unable to make it to northern New Mexico during the winter, the Autumn is also a lovely time of the year to visit the area. Albuquerque International Ballon Fiesta is an event not to be missed and takes places every year during the first week of October.
Chances are you will fall in love with the Land of Enchantment and possibly decide to bring your family and friends back to New Mexico for your destination wedding. Remember that when the weather heats up in the high-desert, you'll want to ensure your drinks are kept cold with premium beverage insulation from Coolaz Koozies.