When red earth meets a crystal sky, something magical happens. When the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains and the Rio Grande; when three cultures intersect and burst with art, atomic bombs and possibly even extraterrestrials, New Mexico happens. In the heart of the American Southwest, New Mexico is at once home to Native American pueblos, Hispanic haciendas, modern skyscrapers and rustic artist colonies. Capital Sante Fe is small only in size—its expansive art scene and cultural vibrancy lends a low-key worldliness. Students add to the diverse offerings of laid-back Albuquerque, and artists reign in rural Taos. Delve into older cultures in the Navajo Nation; make your base in Farmington, and visit the Native American ruins in Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the craft markets of Shiprock. Crawl deep into the earth—about 2 miles deep—in Carlsbad Caverns, where the swoop and squeaks of resident bats may spook you. If that’s not other-worldly enough, head to Roswell and learn about the alleged UFO landing that made the town legendary at the International UFO Museum. Toss in a couple mining towns and, oh yeah, the site of atomic bomb testing, and you’ve got a place like no other. It might be magic, or it might just be New Mexico.