Book A Pet Friendly Hotel

Mountainair Does A Body Good...

August 12, 2017
pet-friendly national parks in new mexico

Mountainair, New Mexico. Known as the gateway to ancient cities. I had never heard of this place before. Until I traveled there last month to meet with a talented artist friend of mine who recently moved there from FL. Check out her fabulous animal jewelry at Tell her I sent you. It would delight us both.

It’s not surprising that artists and writers find their way to this charming town with a population of less than 900 people. The wonderful pet-friendly, quaint, and tranquil “downtown” is reminiscent of an historic painting. There is a small grocery store, a local bank, a bakery, a diner, a pub, a coffee shop, one gas station, and a magnificent art gallery. Cibola Arts Gallery ( Reason enough to venture to this less traveled town. It’s a co-op featuring the magnificent works of some of the local artists. Their paintings and drawings, jewelry and photography, stained glass and woodworkings, mosaics and ceramics; reveal their collective creative spirit and their passion and love for this small town in the heart of New Mexico. If you are an art collector or jewelry lover, you are sure to find something unique and magical in Mountainair to decorate your home or adorn your body.

One of the greatest draws to Mountainair are the three ancient ruins that make up the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. My visit there was brief, so I was only able to check out one of them. The Quarai Ruins (pictured above with my Maya Moo). I was transported to another time as I hiked with my dogs through this eerily quiet, fascinating, historic park. The first Spanish missionary came to Quarai in 1627, with 658 souls under the church’s administration by 1656. Even my dogs seemed to sense how sacred and special the ground was. Word to the wise: please heed the signs which instruct you to respect the rattlesnakes and stay on the designated walking paths (not the grass). One of my dogs poked their nose under some sagebrush and we quickly learned how to respectfully and swiftly move away from the dancing, poisonous snake tail we encountered. You can plan your pet-friendly trip to the Salinas Pueblo Missions and learn more about them here,

If you are looking for a place to go during the final dog days of summer, I would highly recommend traveling to Mountainair at the end of this month for their annual Sunflower Festival ( The Sunflower Festival will be held on Friday, August 25th and on Saturday, August 26th. You can enjoy wine and live music and food and art. You can even get into the full spirit of the festival and enter their sunflower hat contest (make a sunflower hat for your dog…judges can’t resist our furry friends). When I was there at the end of July, all of the wild sunflower stems had reached their height of 1-2 feet and their buds were following the sun from east to west each day; waiting to grow taller and to reveal their bright, happy, sunflower faces. How I wish I could return to see them in all their glory later this month.

Mountainair is just 50 miles south of Albuquerque. You can book a pet-friendly hotel in Albuquerque and easily make a day trip (or two or three) to Mountainair. When I visited, I stayed at a most amazing vacation rental. A pet-friendly, breathtakingly beautiful, ridiculously relaxing casita nestled at the base of the Monzano Mountains on a 40-acre ranch. This place was quite simply, a slice of heaven on earth. The pic below was taken during our stay. Heavenly, I tell you! Karen, the owner of the ranch, could not have been more lovely and accommodating. Check out this very special rental at If you inquire about staying there, please tell Karen that Michelle from sent you. I don’t benefit from this in any way other than knowing that my blog has been read and that you might enjoy this beautiful part of the country as much as I did.

Before leaving Mountainair, you must stop by the Alpine Alley for some great food, great coffee, and great conversation ( I stopped into this homey, bustling place to get some iced coffee and to get a recommendation about which of the ruins I should visit during my stay. This inviting establishment was filled with locals who were all laughing and talking and savoring life. They all seemed so peaceful and joyful and present. I wanted to sit down and settle in with them and to learn about their lives and their families. When I tried to pay for my coffee, the kind hearted woman who took my order refused to let me pay. She told me that she just wanted me to have a “happy Monday.” Indeed, I did. I suspect every Monday in Mountainair is happy one. Hope you may find out for yourself. Now, Go Travel Dog!

pet-friendly accommodations in New Mexico


Dog Tags