Half the fun of visiting New Mexico’s unique vacation spots is getting there. New Mexico’s scenic drives are best travelled under summer’s ever-changing skies, be it the road from Santa Fe to Chama, past ancient mineral springs and through magical Abiquiu for a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad; or en route to one of New Mexico’s 19 unique Pueblos, two Apache Reservations or the Navajo Nation.
And speaking of scenic byways, New Mexico is home to 26 of these specially designated routes. Clients can discover Western history along the Billy The Kid National Scenic Byway; travel famous trails on the Route 66 National Scenic Byway and Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway; visit world-famous archaeological sites along the Native Heritage Trail; and soak up the spectacular scenery in the state along all of the others.

Glorious Golf
Golf in New Mexico isn't just golf. It is a spiritual experience that blends history and atmosphere, landscapes and legend. There's no need to go searching for cultural flavour here. It's everywhere – behind every bit of sagebrush and down every fairway. Towa, Cochiti, Taos, Black Mesa, Pendaries, Angel Fire, The Links at Sierra Blanca, Twin Warriors (Golf Magazine’s Silver Medal Resort 2004/05), and Paa-ko Ridge (on Golf Magazine’s "Top 10 You Can Play" list) – the very names conjure up adventure.
There are nearly 100 golf courses – eight of them Indian owned and many of them championship calibre – that dot New Mexico’s’ unique landscape. From Las Cruces to Santa Fe, Truth or Consequences to Los Alamos, Taos to Apache Mesa and White Sands – somewhere in New Mexico there's a course with the challenge and the terrain to match your clients’ need for that perfect golf vacation.

Ah, The Spas
When the Spanish explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries stumbled across New Mexico's natural hot springs, they discovered the healing properties that the Native Americans had known about for centuries. Some claimed they'd found the Fountain of Youth, while others believed they'd come across a cure for syphilis.
Modern-day soakers know that, exaggerated claims aside, the mineralized waters that swirl up and down the Rio Grande and other waterways provide health benefits beyond mere relaxation. Explore the riverbanks long enough and clients will come across any number of natural springs. But for those who don't have the time to search, there are a handful of funky, old-style spas within easy reach of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos where they can enjoy the same invigorating experience that revived the weary travellers of days gone by.
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, 40 minutes north of Santa Fe, comprises several mineral pools: iron, sodium, lithium, sulfur, and arsenic (yes, it's healthy!). No need to feel self-conscious about revealing your cellulite or spare tire at this low-key spa – it's intentionally short on glamour, which is a plus when all your clients want is a soak, a salt rub, and a body wrap in a serene but powerful setting.
On the other side of the Jemez Mountains in the town of Jemez Springs, the eponymous spa has an unpretentious bathhouse more than 100 years old that offers a similar no-frills experience amid the mountain pines. Naturally occurring minerals include acid carbonate, aluminum, calcium, chloride, iron, magnesium, potassium, silicate, sodium, and sulfate. Clients can also get massages, manicures, and other treatments.
South of Albuquerque, more new-age amenities are being added to the traditional offerings at the hot springs of Truth or Consequences, such as the River Bend Hot Springs and the San Francisco Hot Springs. Clients can choose among five natural mineral pools and a roster of massages, wraps, cranial-sacral therapy, and reflexology.
All of these spas provide accommodations for those seeking a lengthier immersion.

What’s New
Buffalo Thunder Resort is a US $250 million development that will feature a 387-room Hilton full-service resort, a 79-suite Homewood Suites by Hilton, an upscale extended stay hotel, a spa, convention facilities, entertainment venues and a 7,360-square-metre casino with 1,200 slot machines, 22 table games and a 10-table poker room. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2008. The site is on 37 hectares of Pojoaque tribal land, north of Santa Fe and adjacent to the Towa Golf Resort. Once completed, it will be the largest resort in New Mexico. www.citiesofgold.com/hotels/buffalo-thunder-resort/
Isleta Casino & Resort and Isleta Pueblo are building a new hotel complex adjacent to the casino located just south of Albuquerque. The addition will have 201 rooms and suites; 24-hour café; steakhouse; Asian Bistro; indoor pool; fitness room; spa; child care centre; and more than 2,760 square metres of conference and banquet room space. Visit www.isletacasinoresort.com.
• The Unser Racing Museum, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, highlights the Unser family’s long legacy in car racing, the design and engineering evolution of race cars, plus a variety of changing exhibits related to the racing world. Visit www.unserracingmuseum.com.
• The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum features exciting exhibits and programs interpreting the art, history, science and culture of balloons. Visit www/cabq.gov/balloon.
El Camino Real International Heritage Center presents a 400-year history of trade and cultural exchange between Mexico, America, Spain, Europe and Asia. El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Royal Road of the Interior Lands, is recognized as the first European road in North America and one of the most important historic trails in the United States. www.nmmonuments.org.

For more information on New Mexico visit www.newmexico.org.