Valentine’s Day in Santa Fe

Gourmet Girl | - January 25, 2013

One of the most romantic cities in the world,Santa Fe is the perfect place to celebrate Valentine's Day...

Santa Fe is one of the world's most romantic cities, with vivid sunsets, moon-drenched nights and gorgeous mountain vistas. We've also got amazing chocolate artisans, talented jewelers and award-winning chefs, all of whom offer an array of creative ways to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Spend the day on the slopes of Ski Santa Fe or cross-country skiing in the mountains, then spend the evening soaking in an outdoor hot tub. Or take in a museum or two then shop the city's unique boutiques , galleries and stores full of Southwestern apparel, jewelry, pottery, Native American art, custom cowboy boots, Western wear, contemporary art, books, antiques and more.

You could explore the region's canyons, meadows and mesas of the region on horseback. Snowshoes provide another great way to explore Santa Fe's great outdoors on the Aspen Vista Trail, the Dale Ball trails or in the pristine wilderness of the Valle Caldera, a volcanic crater in the Jemez Mountains.

How well do you know Santa Fe? Take your love on one of the many driving or walking tours of Santa Fe that cover art and architecture, history, ghost legends and more. You'll be surprised by how much you'll learn about the City Different.

Or spend the day visiting Santa Fe's world-famous art galleries, where you'll find paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, textiles, ceramics, hand-crafted furniture, wearable art and more. You can also visit artist studios, where you can meet the artists and often watch them at work.

If high-class elegance fits your style, take in afternoon tea with delicious traditional finger food and a range of teas. Several places in the city offer this treat, including the Hotel St. Francis and The Chocolate Maven.

Another option is a drive down to Albuquerque, where you'll take the tram high up into the mountains then share a romantic dinner overlooking the nighttime cityscape of Albuquerque. (Just be sure neither of you have a fear of heights.)

If you do spend the day in Albuquerque, consider taking a balloon flight, complete with champagne, high into the sky. The views are astonishing and it's a great way to travel as you soar above the city.

Valentine's Day in Santa Fe brings special offers and package deals from the city's boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts and resorts. You'll also find special menus at many of Santa Fe's acclaimed restaurants. You could begin the evening in a wine or tapas bar, move on to an award-winning restaurant then continue the celebration at  a Santa Fe nightclub for some after-dinner dancing to live music.  Or, you could simply unwind by a kiva fireplace listening to Native American flute music or classic Spanish guitar. Santa Fe also offers flamenco music and dance performances at some of the local restaurants and bars.

This year, Valentine's Day brings some unique events, including a lecture on The History of Chocolate by chocolatier Mark Siscenti on Sunday, February 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Museum of  International Folk Art.  Learn all about this sweet treat, just in time to present your Valentine with a box of chocolates and some fascinating info about this beloved ingredient.

Share a romantic dinner At The Artist Table, hosted by the Santa Fe School of Cooking starting at 7 p.m. Artist Ron Pokrasso and Tracy Ritter, the school's culinary director and executive chef and also the former owner of the much-missed Whistling Moon (remember those cumin fries?)  have designed a menu to win your hearts. Guests will receive an original print by Pokrasso to take home. Proceeds benefit Partners in Education and the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission.

End your Valentine's Day celebration with the classic 1987  romantic comedy, "Moonstruck,"  which won three Oscars including Best Actress for Cher, Best Supporting Actress Olympia Dukakis and Best Screenplay. It screens at The Lensic at 7 p.m.

Or take in an ecstatic dance performance by Sultanah at Cleopatra Café on the Southside. Dine on Middle Eastern food as you watch a performance of Egyptian-style belly dance by soloists and groups.

However you choose to romance Santa Fe this Valentine's Day, you're guaranteed to have a romantic time in the heart of the old Southwest.