It’s easy to spend a lot of time in Santa Fe, New Mexico. But sometimes you may only be able to spend a day, maybe two. And if you’re lucky, a whole week is on the agenda. Here’s what we recommend for your time in the City Different
One Day in Santa Fe
- Stroll around the historic Plaza, stopping to admire the artwork and jewelry created by the Native Americans sitting under the portal of the Palace of the Governors. The Palace is the oldest continually operated building in the U.S. and home to the New Mexico Museum of History, where you’ll find everything you want to know about the state’s past.
- Take a docent guided tour of the New Mexico Museum of Art and its outstanding collection of art by southwestern artists. Or, make your way over to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The well-known painter is synonymous with New Mexico, having lived here the last forty years of her life. The museum is dedicated to her life and artistic legacy, as well as to American Modernism.
- Time out for lunch at Tomasita’s, Santa Fe’s iconic restaurant serving an assortment of tasty New Mexican food. Do as the locals do and ask for “Christmas” when it comes to the chiles in your dish. You’ll get a mix of red and green for an extra flavor boost!
- Pay a visit to the historic Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, a Santa Fe landmark, and a beautiful example of Romanesque Revival architecture.
- Stop at the Loretto Chapel and marvel at its mysterious spiral staircase. The identity of its builder and the physics of its construction still puzzle experts today.
- Walk up picturesque Canyon Road, Santa Fe’s most famous street with over eighty galleries, restaurants and shops.
- End your evening with dinner at one of the city’s finest restaurants such as Joseph’s Culinary Pub, Coyote Café, or 315 Wine Bar.
If you have two days in Santa Fe, add any of the following:
- Take a cooking class at the renowned Santa Fe Cooking School and learn how to make your own southwestern-inspired dishes.
- Walk around the Farmers’ Market (Tuesday and Saturday mornings) and see what New Mexico farmers are growing. Pick up some supplies for a picnic in Railyard Park.
- Visit Museum Hill and take your pick of four world-class museums presenting folk traditions from around the world (Museum of International Folk Art), the history of the Spanish colonial past (Spanish Colonial Arts Museum), and the art, history and culture of the Native American Southwest (Wheelwright Museum and Museum of Indian Arts and Culture). For an added bonus, there’s a Botanical Garden and a cafe.
- Opt for a casual, relaxed ambiance when it comes to dinner tonight at Santa Fe Bar & Grill or Tune Up Café.
- Catch a free evening concert at the Bandstand on the Plaza.
If you have a week in Santa Fe, choose any of the following to add to the above:
- Ride the rapids on a half or full-day raft trip with Los Rios River Runners for some wild or mild adventure on the Rio Grande.
- New Mexico is the oldest wine-producing region in the United States – tour the Camino Vino with New Mexico Wine Tours. Enthusiasts will see stunning landscapes, hear diverse tales from the winemakers, and be impressed by the varieties flavored in a way that can only happen in New Mexico.
- Hike through the slot canyons of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, while marveling at the uniquely-shaped rock formations. These badlands are so bad, they’re amazing, and will take your breath away.
- Take a trip to O’Keeffe country and tour the artist’s home and studio in Abiquiu. Then, further down the road, explore Ghost Ranch, the site of O’Keeffe’s other house, with a landscape or horseback riding tour of the scenery that served as the artist’s inspiration.
- Visit El Santuario de Chimayo, the destination of thousands of pilgrims each year. Then take time to meander through the historic village of Chimayo with its weaving traditions, art galleries and studios. The Ortega family has been creating iconic Southwestern vests and blankets for over two hundred years and their looming studios are open to the public at Ortega’s Weaving Shop.
- Spend a day in Taos and tour the ancient Taos Pueblo, stroll around the Taos Plaza and Kit Carson Road, or time it for the Taos Solar Music Festival. You can’t miss the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge experience: At 565 feet above the Rio Grande, it’s the seventh highest bridge in the United States.
If you liked this article, you should also see “Santa Fe: The First 25 Things To Do.”This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead