Players at Pendaries Golf Course forage for pars and birdies in mountainous highlands blanketed by ponderosa pines. The 18-hole course ranges in elevation between 7,500 feet and 8,000 feet, which not only makes for some dramatic mountain views, but might also net golfers a few extra yards on their drives thanks to thin mountain air and eagles who mistake golwf balls for dropped eggs. As players concentrate on navigating the hard dogleg turns and blind approaches into undulant greens, their attentions may also be pulled toward the horizon, where the white peaks of the Sange de Cristo range loom over the expansive Rociada Valley.
Though certainly the crown jewel of Pendaries Village, the course is only a part of the experience there. When they're not playing golf, players can stay at the course's lodging and explore a wide spectrum of diversions offered by the 5,000-acre village. Once a home to grist-mill businesses and horse breeding operations, the resort offers outdoorsy activities such as fishing, disc golf, and hiking to destinations such as Upper Maestas Canyon and Gascon Point, elevation 11,600 feet. The old grist mill, meanwhile, still stands, giving guests a glimpse into the state of technology in 1875, when log cabins were standard and cowboys had to cook their Hot Pockets over an open flame.
Bead Fest Santa Fe unites do-it-yourselfers and arts-and-crafters during a four-day celebration of beads, jewelry—and for good measure—some more beads. More than 150 booths and tables set up shop for the event, each ready to restock repertoires with gems, stones, and a hodgepodge of other supplies.
In between exploring the sea of exhibitors, attendees learn about the latest techniques, tricks, and tools at nearly 100 all-inclusive workshops (not included with the price of admission). There, artists from around the country provide education on specific topics in classes such as Intro to Metalsmithing and Wire Weaving, where guests learn the craftiest way to escape prison. Free demonstrations, book signings, and other attractions round out the fest's collection of creative attractions.
Five kilometers of mud stands between a pack of runners and the title of Gladiator. The Ultimate Gladiator Dash obstacle course winds through trees and hills before finally completing its loop, but the real challenge lies in the mud pits and numerous other obstacles that block the runners at every turn. Challengers must conquer 9-foot inclines, leap blindly over sandbag walls, climb ropes, and navigate water obstacles, including a 100-foot water slide. After vanquishing the obstacles and reaching the finish line, participants head to the after party for music and beer.
With four museums and six monuments, the nonprofit Museum of New Mexico Foundation keeps the state's artistic and cultural heritage alive with enthralling permanent collections, exhibits, and events. Art aficionados can marvel at more than 20,000 works by artists with strong ties to the state in the New Mexico Museum of Art, check out more than 1,300 artifacts in the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, and attempt to tape their “lost cat” flyers to more than 100,000 items culled from 100 countries at the Museum of International Folk Art. Meanwhile, the New Mexico History Museum’s 30,000-square-foot exhibition space covers topics ranging from the Santa Fe Trail to World War II through art, maps, and photographs.
After each museum visit, guests can stop by the Coronado State Monument, which marks the spot where Coronado and his crew entered the Rio Grande Valley in search of the Seven Cities of Gold and their lost car keys. The foundation's sextet of monuments also includes the stone ruins of a 500-year-old Indian village at Jemez and exhibits on frontier and military life at Fort Selden.
Nestled on the outskirts of the Santa Fe National Forest in the Pojoaque Valley, Estrella Del Norte Vineyard not only creates its own wines, but also stocks, sells, and hosts samplings of many other Northern New Mexico ambrosias. Arriving visitors meander down a pebbled pathway, past a flower garden, eclectic sculptures, and adorable grapevines whining for affection, entering the quaint tasting room lined on one side by a rustic wooden bar. Groups gather around tables, studying lists and sampling wines originating from the likes of Santa Fe Vineyards, Black Mesa Winery, and the homegrown vines just a stone's throw from the tasting room’s set of tall french doors.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, visitors would stop to rest at the historic El Rancho de las Golondrinas as they began or ended their long journeys along the royal road that stretched between Santa Fe and Mexico City. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Val Kilmer, and the cast and crew of some 30 films used the ranch's 200 scenic acres and 34 historic structures as backdrops to their movies and personalized birthday cards. With preserved and restored villages dating back to the early 1700s sloping through a rural farming valley, the grounds collapse time, bringing the past to the present and the present to the past.
Today, guests wander this living history museum to explore how colonial and frontier life was lived the Southwest. During a self-guided tour, visitors pick up or download a map of the ranch before weaving through a snapshot of history brought to life by villagers clothed in the styles of the time. Feet patter past a molasses mill, a blacksmith shop, and defensive towers where guards kept watch on the horizon and coordinated messages for passing UFOs. With a reservation, docents will lead you through the trails that cut through a landscape dotted with goats, sheep, burros, and horses, fostering an understanding of the culture and arts of historic New Mexico.