The per­fect day trip

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - SPOUSESSELLINGHOUSES - MELISSA PIPPIN- CAR­SON ROGER CAR­SON

With spring nearly over and good weather ahead, it is time to put those gar­den tools down long enough to get out and en­joy a day trip. There are many won­der­ful places to visit within a short dis­tance of Santa Fe. If you haven’t been out on N.M. 14, aka the Turquoise Trail, lately, you owe your­self a treat. Most peo­ple are fa­mil­iar with Madrid, but Cer­ril­los, Madrid’s sleepy neigh­bor, gets less at­ten­tion and de­serves a new look be­cause it’s cur­rently en­joy­ing a re­nais­sance. This small west­ern town of around 200 res­i­dents with scenery so au­then­tic that it’s a peren­nial fa­vorite lo­ca­tion for Hol­ly­wood moviemak­ers. All you need to do is stop traf­fic long enough to shoot the scene.

A min­ing boom town of the 19th cen­tury, Los Cer­ril­los (Span­ish for “the lit­tle hills”) had thou­sands of min­ers fill­ing the town’s 21 sa­loons, four ho­tels, and five broth­els. The true heart of the Turquoise Trail is Cer­ril­los, where the turquoise min­ing his­tory goes back to 1000 A.D.— the old­est min­ing com­mu­nity in the Unit- ed States. Tif­fany & Co. was so en­am­ored of turquoise that in 1845 Charles Lewis Tif­fany thought the robin’s-egg turquoise blue hue so el­e­gant that it be­came the com­pany’s of­fi­cial color. The com­pany had ex­ten­sive min­ing in­ter­ests in Cer­ril­los and in the 1880s deemed the lo­cal turquoise to be of the high­est qual­ity; the price of Cer­ril­los turquoise rose to a level that at one point was higher than gold.

Th­ese turquoise hills now are known as the Cer­ril­los Hills State Park and serve as a play­ground for the ad­ven­tur­ous, of­fer­ing more than five miles of trails for hik­ing and moun­tain bik­ing. The trails have spec­tac­u­lar views of the San­gre de Cristo, Je­mez, Or­tiz, and San­dia moun­tain ranges. If you want to get a real taste of Cer­ril­los and the old west, Harold at the Bro­ken Sad­dle Rid­ing Com­pany will take you and your friends out for a mem­o­rable horse­back ride.

In town, you can sim­ply park your car and walk around. The oldWhat Not Shop, which was in the Mitchell fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions, has changed hands and has un­der­gone an im­pres­sive ren­o­va­tion. Known now as Cer­ril­los Sta­tion, this iconic build­ing serves as a mul­ti­pur­pose space with re­tail for unique shop­ping as well as stu­dio space for dance and yoga. The newly opened Black Bird Café is a great stop for lunch and then you can head over to the al­ways en­joy­able pet­ting zoo at the Casa Grande Trad­ing Post.

If liv­ing in a mod­ern ghost town sounds like your cup of tea, the real-es­tate mar­ket in Cer­ril­los of­fers some in­ter­est­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. One ex­am­ple is the old rail house. Lo­cated on the cor­ner of 3rd and Main, this his­toric res­i­dence dates back to 1897 and was used as a board­ing house for over 30 years. It hosted no­table guests in­clud­ingThomas Edi­son, who used the shed (which is still there) as a work­shop. The board­ing house, listed at $569,000, sits on a lit­tle less than an acre and in­cludes a main house, guest house, and ca­sita. This would be a great op­por­tu­nity for some­body look­ing to open a bed and break­fast.

If you’re feel­ing the need to get out of town for the day, Cer­ril­los is well worth the trip.

Roger and Melissa are Real­tors at KW and Melissa is the pres­i­dent of the Santa Fe As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors. Call them at 505699-3112, email twicethe­selling­power@ gmail.com, or fol­low them on Twit­ter@ Car­so­nandCar­son and at www.face­book. com/car­so­nandcar­son.santafe­r­ealestate

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