September 2020 Insider Blog
We've missed you, and we bet you've missed us, too. With the gradual re-opening of Santa Fe County, we can't wait to see you. As any local will tell you, fall is a spectacular time to be here. The intoxicating scent of roasting green chile fills the air, and the aspens and cottonwoods turn a brilliant shade of gold. Autumn's cooler weather is perfect for exploring scenic backroads and byways, sampling award-winning food and local craft beer and seeking out treasures to take home as tokens of your visit. A fall getaway to our majestic high desert landscape will elevate your spirits and warm your heart.
While you're here, please remember that everyone in New Mexico is required to wear a mask in public. We strongly encourage you to wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of six feet from others, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information, visit NMSafePromise.org.
Bountiful Beer Creek
Out on the historic Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway lies Beer Creek Brewing Company, where the only thing better than the audacious ale is the spacious patio with stunning mountain views. This popular brewpub began as a backyard home-brewing project. Today, Beer Creek grows its own hops on a nearby farm, part of a local craft beer movement that co-owner Rich Headley calls “Farm to Tap.” Choose from eight beers on tap and prime pizza offerings for meat-lovers as well as veggie-vores. Save room for dessert, because the green chile cheesecake rocks it. Time your visit right and catch an autumn sunset ablaze in a riot of color.
Further south, the Turquoise Trail takes you through fall foliage shimmering in shades of red and gold. You'll reach the old mining town of Cerrillos, named for its “little hills” mined for turquoise, gold, silver and lead. Wander the dusty roads, past the historic opera house and other remnants of the 19th-century mining town's heyday, when 21 saloons, four hotels, dance halls and other rowdy businesses lined the streets.
Sift through unique items at the Casa Grande Trading Post, including handcrafted silver jewelry set with turquoise, rocks and minerals from the Cerrillos hills. The onsite Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum chronicles the area's rich mining history. Stop at Cerrillos Station, an eclectic art gallery and mercantile offering Native American jewelry and pottery and many other treasures.
When hunger strikes, the Black Bird Saloon calls. Step inside and step back in time in this 19th-century building, with wood plank floors, a potbellied stove and a Western-style swinging door that leads to the kitchen, where Kelly Torres cooks up some mighty fine fare. Belly up to the bar with a brass footrest and place your order with her husband, Patrick Torres, whose amiable demeanor draws customers back, again and again. Dig into the Black Jack Ketchum—an Angus beef burger sporting Gun-Powder Rub and Bandit Sauce—or the Rogue Cowboy, a hearty Reuben piled with Wagyu beef pastrami, grilled onion, slaw, sweet pickled jalapeños and Menonita cheese. A table on the front porch provides the perfect view of Main Street.
Train Depot Taproom
At the turn of the 19th century, Lamy was a busy railroad town that became a sleepy village once the railroad declined. But Lamy has bounced back, thanks in part to the Chili Line Brewery Tap Room, a friendly hangout inside Lamy's historic train depot. Built in 1909 by the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, this Mission Revival Style station is still operating, but its old luggage storage room is now a great place to grab a seat at the bar or barrel table and sip New Mexico craft beer and wine. The cafe serves up lobster rolls and other light fare that you wouldn't expect to find in a rustic train depot in the high desert. Foot-stompin' live music is on the menu, too. Take a seat on the trackside patio and wave when the Amtrak Southwest Chief pulls in. The passengers always wave back.
For a meaningful connection with nature, head to Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, about 45 minutes from Lamy via NM-41. This 122-acre nature park, operated by the New Mexico Wildlife Association, provides a habitat for 25 species of native rescued wildlife, including mountain lions, black bears and elk. Walk the Birding Trail to see snowy and great horned owls. The park also showcases an array of native plants. Pack a picnic or bring take-out from a local restaurant and dine outdoors, in the splendor of fall. It's great family fun!
To help you plan your Fall Getaway to Santa Fe County, here's an up-to-date list of restaurants and other businesses that are currently open and serving customers: https://whatsopennm.com/ Stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
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