Experience the Scenic Southwest
The American Southwest has some of the most distinctive landscapes in the country, so it’s no surprise that Arizona and New Mexico boast awe-inspiring views from almost every angle. Set aside some time to explore the best spots to take in the scenery.
Nestled among 70 acres of vibrant red-rock formations, Enchantment Resort offers unforgettable views of Boynton Canyon. The Sedona, Arizona favorite has been voted “best hotel for a spa weekend” and “best hotel view” by reviewers at AZCentral.com, and even if you can only get away for one night, the scenery alone is well worth it. Enjoy canyon views from the outdoor lap pool or grab a seat on one of the patios overlooking the pitch ’n putt golf course. Enchantment Resort also features a Native American program, which includes several educational walks that take you to ancient natural landmarks. In addition, the concierge team can arrange for railroad, helicopter and hot air balloon tours. If you want to take a local scenic drive, check out Oak Creek Canyon or the famous Cathedral Rock near Red Rock Loop Road. For one of the best views in the area, however, head to Airport Road where the sunset will take your breath away. For more info about Enchantment Resort and the surrounding natural beauty, visit www.enchantmentresort.com.
Although the Grand Canyon is always an incredible sight, few experiences surpass a stroll on the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Situated 4,000 feet above the canyon, the Skywalk juts out 70 feet beyond the rim and weighs in at 1.2 million pounds. Perhaps the observation deck’s most thrilling feature, however, is its glass floor, which lets visitors see down into the canyon from beneath their feet. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is located in Arizona at Grand Canyon West Rim where you can also catch performances by Hualapai tribe members. Browse the photo gallery and purchase tickets online at www.grandcanyonskywalk.com.
For more than 40 years, the Sandia Peak Tramway in New Mexico has carried more than nine million passengers to the top of Albuquerque’s 10,378-foot Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest. After ascending 4,000 feet in about 15 minutes, get ready for an unbelievable 11,000-square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. In addition to towering cliffs and granite rock faces, you’ll see aspens, hardy pines, scrub oak, fir and spruce, along with the amazing wildlife that calls the forest home; many visitors have spotted eagles and black bears deep in the canyons. On the summit’s observation deck, look for the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and New Mexico’s capital city of Santa Fe. Turn south and you’ll be treated with views of the Estancia Valley and Manzano Mountains. Plan your Tramway adventure at www.sandiapeak.com/index.php?page=sandia-peak-tramway.
Although the Tramway does most of the work for you, scaling Sandia Peak can work up quite an appetite. Fortunately, Sandiago’s Mexican Grill at the Tram offers a feast for all your senses. Grab a table on the west side of the restaurant where the award-winning views include the Jemez Mountains to the north and Los Lunas to the south. Coastal Mexican dishes like the Baja Tacos and Scallop & Shrimp Ceviche offer a taste of local flavor at its best. Whether you go during the day to admire the wildlife from your outdoor seat or take that special someone for a sunset dinner, Sandiago’s has great vistas in every direction. Check out the photo gallery and complete menu at www.sandiapeakrestaurants.com/sandiagos/.
Start discovering the views in Arizona and New Mexico and you’ll be rewarded with memories that will last a lifetime. For more scenic locations and landmarks, visit www.arizonaguide.com and www.newmexico.org.