Winter Escapes

Winter weekends are short and dark—which means you need to be fast and smart. Beat the blues with one of these surprisingly affordable escapes.

Downtown Bisbee     Photo: Photograph by John Annesley

In 1902, this Sonoran Desert town was the copper-mining king of the West. Today, Bisbee (pop. 6,300) is more like a sun-baked Telluride on acid, where cycling is the sport of choice. Sitting eight miles north of Mexico and just east of the Mule Mountains, Bisbee attracts writers, artists, and world-class chefs who live in renovated mining shacks and ride their fixed-gears to the St. Elmo bar on Brewery Avenue. (According to local legend, the dive was once a hangout for the Monkey Wrench Gang.) From January through April, temps hover in the fifties, meaning you can cycle on quiet, mesquite-lined roads in comfort. Rent a bike on the way down from Tucson in Sierra Vista, at Sun 'N' Spokes ($40 per day for expert-level bikes;, and crash in Bisbee at the 126-year-old Letson Loft Hotel (doubles from $115; Then set out for daylong forays like the 23-mile Lavender Pit ride. Ask for directions at the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel, a mini-museum of vintage and modern rides ( NEAREST AIRPORT: Tucson, two hours.

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