With the threat of frost gone by April and the high-country soil prime for planting, the window for finding just the right tree is small. Tree shopping ― okay, and a little gallery hopping ― is reason enough for a scenic family outing into the hill country north of Santa Fe. Snow still caps the Truchas Mountains, but in the villages below, the trees are in full bloom.
Hit the road early on a weekend, stopping in Española for huevos rancheros at Matilda's Restaurant ($; closed Mon; 424 Corlett Rd.; 505/753-3200). Across the street, you can also pick up a dozen piping-hot fresh corn or flour tortilla rounds at Tortilleria Temosachi (closed Thu; 419 Corlett Rd.; 505/747-3667) before heading east on State 76. About 7 miles past Chimayo, turn into Tooley's Trees.