I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love driving trips! I especially love driving trips when they combine seeing close friends, eating amazing food, experiencing exciting culture, and basking in natural beauty.

Tomorrow I head east for a week spent driving through Arizona and New Mexico. Here is my itinerary, and of course you can follow along here on the blog (though my stories are a couple weeks behind) and on my social media accounts.

Day One – Phoenix to Las Cruces

I am picking up one of my best friends in Phoenix and together we are headed to New Mexico for his first visit. (It amazes me that some people prioritize international travel to the point that they forget the incredible things this country has to offer.)

Day Two – Hatch Chile Festival

Hatch, NM, a short drive north of Las Cruces, is the Mecca for chile lovers. Labor Day weekend is when they hold their annual festival, and I’m excited to visit it for the first time!

Day Three – Las Cruces to Santa Fe

I’ll drop my friend off in Albuquerque so he can get home for work and I’m off to Santa Fe.

Day Four – Santa Fe

This is an art day. I’ll explore the galleries of the old town, swing by the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, and end the day by interviewing local artist Michael Romero for The Royal Tour: Santa Fe.

Day Five – Bandelier National Monument

Just outside Santa Fe, this is a new unit of the National Parks system for me.

Day Six – Santa Fe to Show Low

The highlight of the day is my return to Petrified Forest National Park, pretty much the oldest forest in existence.

Day Seven – Show Low to Phoenix

Back to Phoenix to see a couple more friends before heading home.

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