New Mexico’s got art. With its state capital Santa Fe being the 3rd largest art market in the entire USA, it is bound to spill over into even the smallest little villages surrounding it, like Madrid. The once-a-ghost-town, now a community of about 400 or so residents, Madrid is definitely artsy.
It’s pronounced MAD-rid by the way, not Ma-DRID, with the stress on the first syllable, unlike its namesake the capital of Spain. Located at about a 30 minute drive south of Santa Fe and despite being minute in size, it’s packed with a visual appeal that’s very unique, and yet very New Mexico. Derrick and I actually stumbled upon it by chance: while driving around randomly one day we started noticing some very colorful and peculiarly artsy buildings on a little stretch of the road- that’s Madrid.
It is totally worth it to get out of the car and walk through the entire town while enjoying the sights along the way. The art galleries, artisan boutiques, cafes and restaurants are all on the same main road so no special directions are necessary. I loved the artsy, hippie vibe of the town and couldn’t get enough of the bright colors contrasted against the blue sky and the desert and sand tones of the mountains in the background. New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment, and the little village of Madrid is a good illustration why. Also, it is incredibly photogenic so it’s good to have a camera in hand wherever you go!
To me this is the best kind of exploring and traveling: getting off the main road and stumbling upon something unique and awesome that will make your day. While the most famous attractions anywhere are obviously famous for a reason, there is so much more out there. Hidden treasures that you can discover when you let your intuition, chance or a whim guide you off the beaten path.
Have you stumbled upon a hidden treasure on your travels?
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