5 Reasons to Vacation in the Southwest

The Southwest has some of the most beautiful landscapes this nation has to offer and a rich human history. The majority of the Southwestern states have beautiful climates. The springs are moist and cool, while the summers are warm and sunny. Fall is colorful and mild, leading into snowy, yet calm, winters. The cost of living, on average, is one of the lowest in the nation. Phoenix real estate, for example, is about 5% less than the national average. Here are 5 reasons to vacation in the Southwest. 

 

  1. Hiking

Hiking & backpacking in the desert is a completely different experience than hiking in the mountains, and some of my favorite backpacking trips to date have been in the desert. The southwest is one of the top destinations for backpackers, but before you hike out into the sunset, you have to plan. The preparation is one of the most important parts of backpacking in the desert, allowing you to plan and pack so that the trip is not just exciting, but safe as well.

 

  1. Art

The southwest is home to beautiful landscapes, vast deserts, red rocks, Native American influences, and, of course, the majestic Grand Canyon. Explore the unique style and the vibrant colors of the southwest with these great art pieces. 

 

  1. Regional Cuisine

Chiles are at the heart of the Southwest food tradition of spice-laden dishes. Chiles in Southwestern cuisine is either green or red. Both are the same species of chile with the one difference being that green chiles are picked early while red chiles are picked fully ripe. These are often dried and hung; they can be seen decorating restaurants, markets, and kitchens. Note that “chili” is a stew of beef, tomatoes, spices, and chiles, while “chiles” are the fruit of the chile plant.

 

  1. Wildlife

A diversity of ecosystems, from deserts to prairies, to shrublands and mountain forests support an even greater diversity of animal life in the Southwest. However, the distribution of vertebrate species in this arid land is limited by water availability and water-related vegetation diversity. Especially important are the riparian corridors, which provide vital migratory and breeding habitat for birds. More than 400 species of birds can be found in the region.

 

  1. Santa Fe, New Mexico

With outdoor activities, stunning landscapes, culinary delights, shopping, and a thriving arts community, Santa Fe offers something for almost any visitor. Set against Santa Fe’s breathtaking desert landscapes, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities year-round including skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Santa Fe’s downtown area provides visitors with numerous fine dining opportunities as well as an abundance of boutique shops and art galleries. Visitors can also explore the area’s rich Native American culture and heritage through local art, museums, and pueblo tours.

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