5 Southwestern Cities You Must Visit

by Michael Satterfield

The Southwest is a magical place, filled with amazing art, history, and culture. If you are looking for inspiration, a place to unwind, or even a new home in the Southwest here are five destinations you should put on your list.

#1 Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a magical, exuberant, colorful place year around. The legendary history and culture will inspire you without having to give up any modern comforts. Art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and year-round events make Santa Fe a great city to be social in.

#2 Marfa

Modern artist Donald Judd put Marfa on the map in 1971 when he moved from New York City making it his home and a showcase for much of his work. More recently  a new generation of artists and writers have moved to the tiny West Texas town making it a destination for art lovers from around the world. The city is also known for Prada Marfa, a pop art exhibit which is about 40 miles outside the city limit. Expect film festivals, art shows, and live music events year-round.

#3 Bisbee

Tucked away in a valley just north of the US/Mexico border the city of Bisbee is rich with history. Another small town saved in the 1970s, the city became a center for authentic western art and culture attracting celebrities like John Wayne and Artist Stephen Hutchison who invested in the community. Today it is known for art and as one of the "quirkiest" towns in America.

#4 Joshua Tree

The gateway to Joshua Tree National Park the small town of Joshua Tree is often seen as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the Los Angeles area. The area has been inhabited by humans for an estimated 5,000 years, yielding numerous archaeological sites and historical structures. The National Park itself is over 800,000 acres of unspoiled desert wilderness. For history buffs the Lost Horse Mine, a historical mine located inside the National Park.

#5 Taos

The only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark is the Taos Pueblo. The multi-storied adobe dwellings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. The plaza has been the center of local trade for hundreds of years, today old mercantile stores house galleries, restaurants, and shops. Nearby, Kit Carson Road, Bent Street, and Ledoux Street lead to even more historic homes, neighborhoods, and shopping.