Red Rock Balloon Rally in Gallup.
Photograph by Getty Images.
As a native New Mexican, I was raised in the captivating environment so many travelers and transplants have come to appreciate. I grew up with hundreds of hot air balloons rising over my hometown each October, with equal measures of artists and nuclear physicists as neighbors, and yearly camping trips to the Duke City's watermelon-colored mountains.
Today, as a professional travel writer, I visit dozens of new places each year. After all the miles on the road and in the air, there's one thing I can attest to: There's no place like home because there's no place like New Mexico
There are plenty of ways to get to know the Land of Enchantment in this edition of GuestLife New Mexico — from finding your muse in art classes in Taos and Santa Fe to enjoying Native American–inspired spa treatments. You'll discover the best places to dine in Chile Country (aka the Mesilla Valley) and what makes a truly fantastic margarita. Along the way, local tastemakers offer their own tips on the best places to explore their hometowns and the state at large.
Our feature stories reveal the best places to hike in southern New Mexico, introduce you to top contemporary Native American artists in Gallup, and take you to Las Vegas — the other Vegas — where a former railroad town is having a renaissance.
I hope you enjoy your New Mexico travels, whether you're discovering the state for the first time or you're a resident experiencing it anew. Prepare to be enchanted.
—Ashley M. Biggers, GuestLife New Mexico Editor