Go on, take the high road. Of the two routes between Santa Fe and Taos, the famous High Road isn't necessarily any prettier than the faster Low Road – beauty is relative here – but it has a special rural mountain feeling that is classic northern New Mexico. The road winds through river valleys, skirts sandstone cliffs and traverses high pine forests, all beneath the gaze of the 13,000ft Truchas Peaks.
Villages en route are filled with old adobe houses with pitched tin roofs. Massive firewood piles rise next to rusting, disassembled pick-up trucks in yards surrounded by grassy horse pastures. Many of these towns are home to art studios and traditional handicraft workshops.