From the Grand Canyon, point your wheels southeast to Silver City, N.M., home to a vibrant arts scene and natural beauty.
Tucked in a rugged corner of New Mexico, you'll discover the vibrant historic town of Silver City. Once a booming silver mining town, it was here Billy the Kid was first arrested in 1875 for theft. While he didn't stay long, his family did, and his mom is buried in the town's Memory Lane Cemetery.
Today, Silver City is home to about 10,000 residents, including dozens of artists and musicians. Stroll the lively downtown where colorful storefronts, restaurants and boutiques line the street.
To find out where to stay, eat and what to do based on your schedule, stop by the Silver City Visitors Center at 201 North Hudson St. 575-538-5555; silvercitytourism.org.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
44 miles north of Silver City, N.M.
Enjoy a sense of solititude as you explore these ancient ruins from the 1200s. You can view them on your own or with a National Park Service ranger. Daily tours start at ruins, a .5-mile walk from the Gila Cliff Dwellings trailhead. Get details at 575-536-9461; nps.gov/gicl
Santa Rita Open Pit Copper Mine
Santa Rita, N.M.
Fifteen miles from Silver City lies the Santa Rita open pit copper mine, also known as the Chino Mine. Stand at the overlook and take in the view of the mine that is 1,500 feet deep and 1.5 miles across. It's the world's third oldest and second largest open pit copper mine.
Catwalk National Recreation Trail
Drive 1.5 hours from Silver City to hike 20 feet above a streambed on steel-supported walkways in the Catwalk narrows. At 1.1 miles, you'll reach a waterfall. www.newmexico.org/regions/southwest/catwalk/