Ask three Placitans what they like best about living in Placitas and you may get six different answers. One will appreciate being so far from everything, while another loves being close to everything — and both will be right! The peacefulness of Placitas draws some residents but for others, it’s the proximity to hiking trails. Of course, most people will mention the perfect weather, the four distinct seasons and the incredible views.
Much of Placitas, NM real estate for sale in this small, 12-square-mile town looks north toward the hills and mesas, to the Jemez range and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains north of Santa Fe. Other dwellings face the mountain, that stunning spine of the Sandias which in winter wears a glorious covering of snow, and in every season beckons lovers of the outdoors. Some fortunate homes get both views.
In yet another pleasant paradox of Placitas life, the breathtaking views are consistent, but they consistently change owing to the angle of the sun and the seasonal bloom of high desert flora. Every season holds its own drama.
Placitas, NM real estate for sale offers convenient proximity to both the Albuquerque metro area and the growing city of Rio Rancho; Santa Fe is only about 50 miles distant. Picturesque Placitas is a uniquely situated bedroom community for the Albuquerque area, or for outings in Santa Fe. Since 2000, Placitas’s population has grown by 37.90 percent.
Shopping and Dining
Placitas is a small town with limited in-town dining options but a short drive provides shopping and dining choices aplenty. In Placitas itself, the popular Blades’ Bistro serves a fusion of American and European cuisine along with a selection of seasonally-changing comfort food. Blades’ Bistro has a complete bar and robust wine list with an elegant, but still comfortable, atmosphere. Live performances, frequently jazz music, are common at Blades’ Bistro.
Albuquerque, a 30-minute drive away, offers a wealth of dining options for every palate and price point. Locally, some other restaurants just a short drive from Placitas include:
- Placitas Café (actually in neighboring Bernalillo)
- The Range Cafe – great for its Southwestern-inspired comfort food and famous for its breakfasts
- Flying Star Café
- Prairie Star
- Corn Maiden
- Abuelita’s New Mexican Restaurant
Placitas residents head to nearby larger towns and cities for shopping trips. In-town stores include Water Prisms which makes an amazing array of 3D glass prisms that turn sunshine into indoor rainbows. A Furry Tail sells organic pet food, pet accessories and dog grooming services. Merc proffers groceries. The Cottonwood Mall is the closest major shopping center to Placitas, and neighboring Bernalillo has a Walmart Supercenter. Albuquerque, the 38th-largest city in the U.S., offers a huge and diverse selection of shops and restaurants.
Parks and Recreation
One of the great things about Placitas, is that it is situated in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains which provides year-round recreational opportunities. Closer to town, bicycling and mountain biking are popular and the options are plentiful. While huge jumps and drops are hard to find in town, the undulating terrain here in the foothills of the Sandias is great for fun and fitness. The Gibson Boulevard Trail near Placitas is a popular 10K Loop (it is formally Forest Road 445). The length of the Gibson Blvd. Trail is exactly 6.2 miles, the length of a 10K, so it’s also a convenient running loop for fun or serious training.
For pools and general purpose parks, Placitans need only go a short distance to the neighboring communities.
Placitas, NM real estate for sale typically features larger lots – those less than an acre are unusual, and 1.5 acres is more common – and the median home cost in Placitas as of 2012 is $359,000. Residents place a high value on their privacy and beautiful natural surroundings, and having metropolitan Albuquerque only about 30 miles away means not having to forsake the advantages of a major urban area. Santa Fe, famous for its art, architecture, history and cuisine is about an hour north.
The Anasazi Fields Winery is a favorite place for both Placitas residents and visitors. Its orchards and vineyards are watered by a spring-fed irrigation system that dates back over a thousand years to a time when the Anasazi people farmed the Placitas Valley. The Winery’s labels are inspired by the nearby petroglyphs. Their wines are hand-crafted dry table wines made from fruits and berries other than grapes. They are well known for their dry plum, apricot, peach and blackberry wines.
Schools, Health, Transportation
Placitas Elementary School is administered by the Bernalillo Public Schools, and students attend middle school and high school in Bernalillo itself. After high school, students can attend Central New Mexico Community College or the University of New Mexico. Albuquerque is also home to the National American University, Southwest University of Visual Arts, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Trinity Southwest University, and the University of St. Francis College of Nursing and Allied Health Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
Medical and dental offices are found in Placitas, Bernalillo and of course throughout the greater Albuquerque area. For acute care, University of New Mexico Hospital, Lovelace Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, and the Heart Hospital of New Mexico are all accessible from Placitas.
Placitas is about 9 miles from Interstate 25 and also a short drive from Interstate 40 (the two intersect in Albuquerque). For air travel, the Albuquerque International Sunport is 28 miles, or about 35 minutes, away.