Santa Fe Mountain Adventures' geocaching excursions equip hikers with GPS devices to aid their search for hidden containers, or geocaches. After meeting at the Dale Ball trailhead, adventure-seekers will be briefed on how to use their GPS for good, before being given coordinates for the first geocache hiding place. Over two and a half hours, groups of approximately eight brave human explorers will be accompanied by an experienced local geocachist, and together they will progress to each successive point of interest while dousing the flames of thirst with swigs from complimentary souvenir water bottles. Kids will be rewarded with treasures at each hidden location. Geocachers are encouraged to share their exploits online via WiFi, Ethernet cable, or Bluetooth.
The Santa Fe Southern Railway revels in a rich history, one that commenced in the 1800s and was heralded in the Academy Award–winning Judy Garland song "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe". Connecting Santa Fe to the rest of the country, the train line helped to build the southwestern city's reputation as a great arts destination as it transported visitors and wanderlust-filled paintbrushes to the picturesque terrain. During regular expeditions to nearby Lamy, the railway continues to dazzle riders with sweeping vistas just outside the windows of vintage 1920s train cars, which each sport their own snack and drink bar.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
In the historic landscape of El Camino Real, the Black Mesa's vines produce the purple foodstuffs formed and fermented into award-winning wines. Partakers can sit indoors or out on Black Mesa's gazeboed patio while wetting their whistles on a wealth of varietals, including chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, and zinfandel. Tickle tongues' taste receptors with six of Black Mesa's wines and six New Mexican cheeses, earthier alternatives to showy moon gouda. Guests are gifted with two souvenir wine glasses and $20 towards a bottle of their choice, including Black Mesa's award-winning blends, such as Coyote, Antelope, and Black Beauty (prices range from $12.45-$34.50), ensuring at-home sips are enjoyed in more appropriate receptacles than plastic cups or "World's Best Cousin" mugs.
Back in the '80s, winemaking was just a hobby for artist and wine enthusiast Jim Fish. Today, some of his original hobby casks still serve as a reminder of how far he's come, as they stand surrounded by hundreds of gallons of newer wines. At Anasazi Fields Winery, Fish focuses on table wines made from locally-sourced fruits and berries such as plum, apricot, blackberry, and peach. And despite being fruit wines, they're dry and multi-faceted, a far cry from the sweet varietals some might imagine when they hear fruit wine.
The winery is open throughout the year, beckoning visitors inside for tastes and tours, events, or to buy a bottle, sold on the premises. Orchards and vineyards surround the property, all watered by a spring-fed irrigation system that dates back more 1000 years when Anasazi people farmed the valley.
Fire and wind: that’s all it takes to fly. Hot air ballooning’s sheer simplicity sparked pilot Scott Appelman’s interest in the sport 30 years ago. “In a lot of ways, it’s the exact opposite of the way the world is today,” says the Rainbow Ryders, Inc. founder. “And I think that gives it a certain degree of romance.”
Further evidence of ballooning’s inherent romance can be found in the number of proposals and weddings that have taken place aboard Rainbow Ryders’ fleet of 19 balloons, earning the company a spot on Yahoo’s list of top five places in the nation to pop the question. Even if engagement is not on passengers’ agendas, the crew still strives to ensure a memorable expedition. Guests can join the launch crew to help inflate the balloon before takeoff, and upon landing, pilot and passengers clink glasses in a champagne toast to celebrate another successful flight.
Though whimsy and romance may prove the biggest draw, Rainbow Ryders’ untarnished safety record is what ultimately keeps the balloons hovering. Since 1982, experienced pilots have safely floated 160,000 people over the Rio Grande Valley. Pilots not only helm top-tier equipment, but carefully monitor the region’s weather patterns to ensure smooth thermal drafts and minimize hitchhiking requests from migrating geese.