Last week marked my second time visiting Santa Fe (I was in high school the first time I went). Since I had such a lovely time (filled with delicious meals!), I decided I should share my trip with y’all by creating a guide to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Santa Fe is one of those cities that you can totally do in a long weekend. If you stay for longer, I highly recommend checking out the local spas and nearby hiking trails.
– HOW TO GET THERE –
While Santa Fe does have a small airport, it may be easier to fly into Albuquerque (and then just rent a car and drive to Santa Fe). On this most recent trip, we actually drove down from Vail, Colorado via CO-17 and US-285. The drive was absolutely gorgeous and I would highly recommend doing it if you’re looking to go on a road trip during the summer or fall.
– WHERE TO STAY –
I’ve stayed at La Posada during both of my trips to Santa Fe. As any guide to Santa Fe will tell you, everything in Santa Fe is adobe (this hotel included). The hotel is almost bungalow-style, with the rooms spaced throughout the property. Almost all of the rooms come with a fireplace (perfect since summer nights in Santa Fe get very chilly. I’ve also heard great things about the Inn at the Anasazi; the Inn at the Anasazi is just off of the plaza, so it’s a great way to feel like you’re in the middle of everything. Also the Inn at the Anasazi has a great bar on the first floor (get the Paloma… and skip the Jalisco Mule – trust me). At either hotel, you’re walking distance from the plaza as well as a ton of shops, galleries, and restaurants.
– WHERE TO EAT –
The Compound – this restaurant is absolutely delicious (albeit a bit on the fancier side). We went for dinner on our first night in Santa Fe. I highly recommend getting the tuna tartare and the chicken dish was spectacular (comes with gnocchi!).
Cafe Pasqual’s – a token Santa Fe spot, located right by the main plaza. No guide to Santa Fe would be complete without it, in my opinion. We went for brunch and I definitely recommend getting the avocado toast – it’s very unique due to the sprinkling of dukkah on top (a mixture of Egyptian spices). The huevos rancheros is awesome, as is the chorizo burrito (not too spicy but very large). Cafe Pasqual’s will do half-size portions of anything on the menu (definitely recommended for that burrito!).
Café des Artistes – this hole-in-the-wall spot is right on Canyon Road… it is the perfect spot to pop in and have a drink (or ice cream!) while looking through all of the galleries. They have a great selection of sandwiches and salads. They even have an ice cream bar and a small selection of wines.
Geronimo – we went to Geronimo for dinner before the opera… it’s a bit fancy, but so good. The caesar salad has the most unique (in a good way!) wasabi dressing and the freshly-baked bread choices are oh-so yum. I got the mesquite-grilled lobster tails and they were delicious but very spicy (it’s served in a garlic chile sauce). I would recommend getting the dish with a different sauce if you’re not into spicy. The mesquite-grilled salmon and the green miso sea bass were both great.
Harry’s Roadhouse – this restaurant is a bit of a drive but I adore it since it kind of reminds me of Magnolia Cafe in Austin. I got the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and it was outstanding. I literally ate every bite. The omelettes are also quite good and both the oatmeal and the migas looked amazing.
– WHAT TO DO –
Santa Fe Opera Festival – Even if you’re not an opera fan (or have never been to an opera), I highly recommend checking out the Santa Fe Opera Festival if you decide to visit Santa Fe during the summer. The amphitheater is gorgeous (it has a roof but it open on both sides and behind the stage) and the productions are always amazing. Additionally, as was the case on this most recent trip while we were seeing Romeo & Juliet, occasionally, you’ll have storms in the area. Seeing the lightning in the distance behind the production is seriously the coolest thing.
Indian Market – the Indian Market happens one weekend every year in mid-August. It’s the largest Native American arts show in the world and you can find everything from pottery, paintings, and baskets to jewelry and drums. The turquoise work is absolutely incredible, so take note if jewelry is your thing!
Art Galleries – Santa Fe is really known for its incredible art galleries… so obviously no guide to Santa Fe would be complete without mentioning a few! My absolute favorite galleries are Monroe Gallery (tell Michelle I sent you!) and Nüart Gallery. Monroe Gallery has the most incredible photographs, while Nüart has absolutely gorgeous paintings. Pretty much all of Canyon Road is filled with galleries, so just go wander!