They call this the Land of Enchantment for a reason. Maybe it's the drama of sunlight and shadow playing out across juniper-speckled hills, or the traditional mountain villages of horse pastures and adobe homes. Maybe it's the centuries-old towns on the northern plateaus, overlooked by the magnificent Sangre de Cristos, or the volcanoes, canyons and vast desert plains spread beneath an even vaster sky. The beauty casts a powerful spell. Mud-brick churches filled with sacred art, ancient Indian Pueblos, real-life cowboys and legendary outlaws, chile-smothered enchiladas – all add to the pervasive sense of otherness that often makes New Mexico feel like a foreign country.
Maybe the state's all-but-indescribable charm is best expressed in the iconic paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe. The artist herself exclaimed, on her very first visit: 'Well! Well! Well!… This is wonderful! No one told me it was like this.'