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Taos

Almost 7,000 feet up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is what Santa Fe once was: a high-desert village where art galleries outnumber stop signs, the Native American and Spanish influences prevail, and the most pressing decision is whether you’ll be ordering the red or green chile sauce.

Palm Springs

Up here, on what should be a thoroughly touristy outing, awe sets in, with the mountain and Palm Springs all the more miraculous in the context of each other.

Grand Canyon

The rock star of the southwest is grander still with a little snow

Tahoe

With seven snowy destinations, there may be more fun packed into a square mile here than anywhere else in the west.

The Weekender: Boulder

Back around 1900, as the University of Colorado Boulder campus came of age and the Chautauqua cultural center opened on the edge of town, Boulder touted itself as “the Athens of the West.”

Abiquiu, NM

Georgia O’Keeffe spent nearly 50 years living and painting in Abiquiu, a tiny village an hour north of Santa Fe set amid the red rock bluffs and mesas of the Chama River Valley.

Ashland, OR

Photograph by T. Charles Erickson Set in the Rogue Valley 15 minutes north of California, beneath a conifer quilt named the Cascades, Ashland is a commercial experiment constructed around the...

Austin, TX

It’s not only the barbecue joints and music haunts that make Austinites so dang happy. They know how to appreciate the great outdoors, too. Go local by camping out near South Congress Avenue, which is lined with the town’s coolest shops, clubs, and restaurants...

Big Sur, CA

Photograph by Bill Edwards Lots of folks go to Big Sur to do nothing. We understand: It’s easy to slip into a catatonic state after driving Highway 1. But if...

Boonville, CA

The old logging town of Boonville anchors the 16-mile-long Anderson Valley, located about two hours north of San Francisco. It has a heritage strong in apples, hops, and lumber...