Taos, New Mexico: a road trip of highs and pueblos

On the boards and on the town … Snowboarders are well served by Taos’ slopes … and its lively downtown.Photograph: Michael DeYoung/Getty Images In the biting cold of the dark, incense-scented St Jerome chapel, tour guide Francisco Velarde, or “Flying Hawk” in his native Tiwa language, is explaining his people’s history to a small audience […]

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San Luis Obispo, California: America’s happy valley

A few years ago my husband and I rented a bungalow in the Californian mission town of San Luis Obispo. We lived next to a firefighter and an octogenarian cowboy named Webb. There were annual block parties, potluck suppers, a coveted tomato growing prize (the champion donning a flowing silk cape, parading around our cul-de-sac). […]

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Ace Ventura: oysters, craft beer and wildlife in California’s most laid-back town

The San Buenaventura state beach is all but empty of sunbathers. The only bodies on display are the ones at Surfers Point, where a constant churn of frothy white peaks keeps them bobbing aloft on their distant boards. From there, the sands sweep south to infinity, or at least to the neighbouring town of Oxnard. […]

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