Christmas in the Southwest

May 7th, 2000, 04:52 AM
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Christmas in the Southwest

We are thinking of spending the week between Christmas and New Years somewhere in the Southwest. We have a credit on America West (because of canceled plans to go to Sedona this Spring), and are leaning toward Tuscon or Santa Fe.
Any thoughts about these and other places during the Christmas holiday. We have two sons, 10 and 14, and an active, outdoorsy vacation would be perfect. The guest ranches around Tuscon are already booked for that week, unfortunately.
Oct 9th, 2000, 06:57 PM
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Santa Fe is enchanting at Christmas. It's fairly cold but your soul is warmed by lovely farolitos (candles or lights in paper bags) that light up the walls and walkways and the wonderful smell of pinon that is burning in the fireplaces in most hotels. There is plenty to see around and still lots of outdoor activities to do. If you ski a trip to Taos would be worthwhile - but I much preferred Santa Fe (but lots of people LOVE Taos). There are fabulous resturants and galleries in Santa Fe too. Can't make any special reccomendations for the kids but I bet there are horseback trips and plenty of activities in the surrounding area and there's always hiking.
I've been to Santa Fe once before at Christmas and am going back this X-mas that's how much I like it.
America West has flights into Albuquerque with $99.00 fares from some cities.
Oct 10th, 2000, 08:43 AM
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Some years ago we did the mule trip into the Grand Canyon on Christmas Eve, in a snow storm. An unforgetable experience.
Oct 10th, 2000, 12:35 PM
J T Kirk
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I second Santa Fe. I have been there 3 times at XMAS. If you're lucky enough (and the odds are in your favor) to get snow while you're there, it will make a truly memorable experience. The bright orange adobe walls, brilliant white snow, and azure blue skies make it a picture postcard kind of place. At night when the air has a steely chill to it, a choral group sings Christmas carols in the square downtown. It is just so peaceful. You can ride horses, you can hike around Bandolier (sp?)(a great Indian site with cliff dwellings). You can drive up to Chaco Canyon, which is simply one of the most unique Indian sites in the North America. This will be an all day trip. A trip to Taos is also a must. Taos is a smaller, more compact Santa Fe. And make sure you take the high road back from Taos at dusk. You will see some of the most spectacular lighting, as the sun's setting rays hit the mesas and buttes, and lights up the sagebrush. Awesome. There is "light" there like there is nowhere else. My favorite places to stay in Santa Fe are Rancho Encantado and Bishop's Lodge (this is more kid friendly). Both on outside of Santa Fe. There are many fine hotels right in downtown if you prefer. Also, check out the 10,000 Waves spa. Have fun.
Oct 10th, 2000, 05:27 PM
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Absolutely, Santa Fe gets my vote too! We stayed for a week during Xmas several years ago and loved it. Had a huge snowstorm, then bright, cold, sunny days.

On Christmas Eve the thing to do is walk along Canyon Road and see all the adobe buildings with the farolitos and lights all over. The streets were packed when we were there, wall-to-wall people, but we had a great time and amazingly enough, no difficulty findind a parking spot downtown. Santa Fe is the most dog-oriented town I've ever seen; everyone has their dog everywhere, your kids will enjoy seeing and petting them. Several street performers and musicians had the crowds singing.

On Christmas Day we attended an Indian ceremonial dance at one of the outlying pueblos, and although we did get boxed in at the parking lot for a time, it was fun. Just try to park on the outskirts.

The skiing was wonderful as well, there's a resort close to town, and the museums are great. We also attended a candlelight chamber concert at the Loretto Chapel, very memorable, although perhaps a little slow-paced for kids.

There's huge store on Cerillos Road called Jackalope that your kids might enjoy. Not only are there all kinds of knickknacks and fun things to look at, they have animals on the grounds: burros, goats, geese, pigs, parrots flying around, dogs wandering throughout the store, cats asleep on the jewelry counter, a large aviary, a greenhouse, and in the summer, even a prairie dog colony. Fun place to wander and spend a few hours.

Have fun!

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