I was writing a description for a home I had listed in Placitas recently and was struggling to find a way to describe the setting. It finally came to me... it looks like a Georgia O'Keeffe painting. Yea, I know... but it really fit. Of course Georgia O'Keeffe painted mainly in northern New Mexico but the terrain and scenery is very similar. Speaking of, there are many fine artists living and working in Placitas and there are a few days each year where they open up their home studios for a studio tour. Quite fun!
The exit to Placitas is only about 10 minutes north of the Albuquerque City limit towards Santa Fe, this community has some nice art galleries and shops in addition to the things mentioned in the description from the Chamber Website. If you continue on the main road East through the village you will end up on an dirt road up (the back way) to the crest of the Sandia Mountains, it's adventurous to drive. We like to go here for a short hike up to the Sandia Man Cave and then have a picnic at one of the Picnic areas along the way.
Houses in Placitas traditionally were artistic and it used to be known as the place where Hippies lived. Well, I haven't seen a "hippie" for a while, and especially not when I've been in Placitas. The homes are beautiful, usually Southwestern and blending in with the colors and hills of the area. Most are on an acre or more and oriented to take advantage of the great view. Placitas covers quite a bit of area so from Albuquerque it can be 15 minutes or 30 minutes to home, depending upon where in Placitas you are.
One thing that always strikes me about Placitas is how big and clear the skies are, and how the vistas seem to go on forever. The nights are clear and dark as well, a great location for star gazing. The Diamond Tail neighborhood even has a neighborhood park set aside as their star gazing hill.