A winter sojourn to the Southwest doesn't have to mean just golf courses and exhibition baseball. Albuquerque presents an eclectic dance card to visitors: The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is a hotspot for hot-air balloon enthusiasts—and also for those content to just watch those gentle giants take flight. The Pueblo Cultural Center presents one of the world's most impressive collections of Southwestern Native American art, including changing exhibits by contemporary artists.
If, after soaking up New Mexico's distinctive desert landscape, you want to find out more about how the land took the shape it did, head to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
Get There: Round-trip flights from Chicago to Albuquerque on United start at $408.
Stay: Nativo Lodge features an indoor and an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and spa (6000 Pan American Freeway North East, Albuquerque, N.M., nativolodge.com, doubles from $59).