Silver City is a gem in Southwest New Mexico with forest recreation, a vibrant historic downtown, art community, and dozens of festivals and events. Nestled against the 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest, Silver City is a quirky cultural town of just over 10,000 people.
Silver City is a hidden gem. It is, on the one hand, the Wild West and on the other one big hippie commune filled with artists and those exploring the metaphysical. If I had a third hand, I would also mention that it is home to Western New Mexico University so it also has a youthful spirit in the mix. It is an amazing collection of people. It is worth a visit to see Silver City to see Silver City, but it is really worth a visit if you are interested in exploring the Gila Forest or the Gila Cliff dwellings. It makes for a perfect jumping off point.
Silver City is a small town, with just 10,000 people, but packs a punch with a dozen or so restaurants, thirty plus art galleries, and coffee shops and a co-op grocery store all along a few downtown streets.
We stayed in the historic, centrally located, Palace Hotel. The hotel was built in the 1880s and restored in the 1990s. In some ways, it needs another update just to freshen it up a bit. But, for what it lacked in modernity, it compensated for charm and location. We love being able to park our car and rely on our own two feet to get around. Staying there allowed us to do just that. A few things to note–they offer on-street parking and there is not an elevator, so if you have issues climbing stairs, this might not be the best spot for you. It is also an old building, so some quirks are to be expected. For example, you’ll hear creaking of floorboards and the bathroom was comically tight. But, the period art, the location, and history made up for those quirks.
We got in on a Friday evening and after checking into the Palace, we headed over to Little Toad Creek for a beer and some food. Honestly, neither are really worth writing home about. But, what was so lovely was the live music and the neighborhood feel. Amazingly, they have live music just about every night of the week!
Another lovely attraction–the Faywood Hotsprings! This is totally a 60-year-old-hippie hangout and I loved it. They have clothing-required public pools, nudist pools, and private pools, choose your own comfort level, although there are more temperature offerings in the nudist section than in the other sections. The springs are in the middle of nowhere, so you really do feel relaxation waving over you from the calming mineral waters to the sounds of silence. I went during the day, but was tempted to go back once it was dark to enjoy what must be a very dark sky.
Silver City is a very small town, so you can spend a day or two and feel like you’ve seen it all. Wander down the main streets, enjoy the arts, grab dinner at Revel, and enjoy some hikes in nearby Gila!