Founded by conquistador Don Juan de Oñate in 1598, Española sits at a major fork in the road between Santa Fe and points north, including Taos, Ojo Caliente, and Abiquiú. There's not much to appeal to visitors here, unless you're in search of a Super Wal-Mart or the best chicken-guacamole tacos on the planet.
Española is known as the 'Low Rider Capital of the World.' You're still likely to see some seriously pimped-up rides cruising through town on summer weekend nights, though there are far fewer around now than in its heyday. For some of the craziest stories you'll ever read, check out the police blotter in the local paper, the Rio Grande Sun (www.riograndesun.com).