Down a tree-lined, bumpy driveway, past the chickens and sheep, and main house, we found our Airbnb in Dixon, New Mexico. We’d discovered this out of the way town in a roundabout way. The spot we wanted to stay, closer to Taos, was full, and I’m glad it was.
Dixon is a quiet town with a population of less than 500. About 30 minutes from Taos, and 30 minutes from Santa Fe, it is in the middle of Northern New Mexico wine country. Yes, there is such a thing. In fact, wineries had become a big part of what we were planning to do while in the area. There are literally five wineries within 10 minutes of our Airbnb.
As many HeidiTown citizens know, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and we didn’t travel to anywhere that had adobe, stucco buildings. Or, anywhere with cactus. So, the first time I saw the low-slung adobe courtyards of Santa Fe in 2000, it was magical.
Dixon is not a town to go to if you are looking for nightlife, but if you are looking for a bit of peace, something that’s difficult to come by on Colorado’s Front Range these days, Northern New Mexico is the place for you.
Our anniversary, in mid-May, falls right before the busy season and is one big reason we chose that time to get married. We can usually travel without much worry about oppressive heat, crowds or peak prices. We’ve traveled on every single one of our 21 anniversaries, and lately, we’ve been doing purposeful anniversary road trips with Fritzi.
Our visit to Dixon was a bit rainy but the accommodations were affordable. We always risk rain in May, and this May was especially rainy. We stayed for three nights in a one-bedroom, pet-friendly, fully equipped Airbnb for $123.65 per night (including taxes and all fees).
There is one restaurant in Dixon, with odd hours, plus there is a little deli at the market. The market is a real bonus for this town (and visitors). Dixon Cooperative Market & Deli is within walking distance of the Airbnb and we visited three times.
With an extremely well-equipped kitchen, the best I’ve seen at an Airbnb, we made several meals “at home.” The market has a patio and on our first morning, we met some retirees from Loveland, Colorado, who were enjoying coffee there. Small world, as we live in Loveland.
Without a doubt you should eat at at Zuly’s Cafe in Dixon. The one restaurant in town, it is within walking distance of the Airbnb. We ate breakfast there and although not fast, it is so worth the wait. Everything tasted fresh, and my red chile was so good that I bought a pint to go. Currently Zuly’s is open on Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The other restaurant recommendation is Sugar Nypmphs Bistro in Peñasco, New Mexico. About 17 minutes by car from Dixon, we had a memorably delicious lunch that started with scones. I was going to have just a bite, as sweets aren’t my thing, but it was so scrumptious I ate the entire scone—it comes with warm berry jam. They are served with every meal which is one reason to go here. Be sure to check the hours before going (they only do dinner Friday and Saturday nights), and are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Our Airbnb host, Jessica, had recommended a few hikes, and after eating at Sugar Nymphs, we found the Embudo Box Canyon Trail. Relatively close to our Airbnb we sincerely appreciated the directions (Jessica is awesome), and it was the perfect way to work off our scones.
There is a bit of uphill, but for the most part, this is a fairly easy hike with 360-degree views from the top and a birds-eye view into the slot canyon and the Rio Embudo.
We didn’t see another soul during this outing and Fritzi was in free-range dog heaven. I am fairly sure, if she could tell us she’d say, “Move to New Mexico!” She loved every minute of this New Mexico excursion and I have never seen her so tired on every night of our stay in Dixon.
Take your dog to Northern New Mexico. From our dog walks every morning and evening directly down the property from our Airbnb to the river, to the hikes, to the dog-friendly patios, this is a dog-oriented place to explore.
We stopped in at Blue Heron Brewing on the first night in New Mexico. Even though this trip was all about wine, we always end up at a brewery. Located about five minutes from our Airbnb, it’s next to the Rio Grande River. As I wrote previously, it was a bit of a rainy trip and this evening was no exception.
When it started to come down in earnest, everyone ran from the patio to inside the small brewery. I am so glad we got a table. Worth a visit, they serve up great pizza and craft beer. A delightful experience after a day on the road. By the way, you get La Chiripada wine at Blue Heron (it’s a winery next to our Airbnb and I’ll tell you all about it in a later post).
By the way, it is only about five hours from Denver to Dixon. I know! It surprised me too.
Part Two coming on Thursday.