Trinidad

If you're traveling on I–25 and want to stop for a night in a historic town with character instead of a motel on the outskirts of a bigger city, check out Trinidad. Walk around Corazon de Trinidad, the downtown area where some of the streets still have the original bricks—instead of pavement—and visit a few of the town's superb museums, a remarkably large number for a town of about 8,500 residents.

Trinidad was founded in 1862 as a rest-and-repair station along the Santa Fe Trail. Starting in 1878 with the construction of the railroad and the development of the coal industry, the town grew and expanded, especially from 1880 to 1910. But the advent of natural gas, coupled with the Depression, ushered in a gradual decline in population. Since the 1990s there’s been a modest increase in the population and a major interest in the upkeep of the city's rich cultural heritage. Although newcomers are moving in and Trinidad is coming to life again, with restaurants, cafés, and galleries, the streets in the heart of town are still paved with brick, keeping a sense of the town's history alive.

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