Santa Fe is a magical town. The history of its indigenous communities, its proximity to places like Taos and Chimayo, and its natural beauty, combine to create the jewel of the southwest. Santa Fe is best seen on foot, where you can view the old adobe architecture, browse the various artisan markets, and, later, find your personal favorite margarita or enchilada. I could have read in various corners of this town for months just to see the seasons change or to watch the visitors making their way from Dallas or Malibu. Like many of my favorites cities, its critical to make time to explore nearby areas to recognize what truly makes it special.
- Bandelier National Monument (1 hr drive) – Incredible petroglyphs on an easy to walk trail.
- Petroglyph National Monument (Albuquerque) – This massive collection of petroglyphs is right against the suburbs of Albuquerque (which is slightly off-putting) but definitely worth the trip!
- Sun Mountain – A local mountain that provides a great view of Santa Fe. Walk here from town and you can see the amazing views of Museum Hill as well at the botanical gardens.
- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (Drive) (3 Miles)
- White Sands National Park (3.5 hr drive)
- Meow Wolf
- Loretto Chapel
- San Miguel MIssion: Oldest House in the US
- Georgia O-Keefe Museum
- Canyon Road Art Galleries
- Railyard Farmers Market – Saturdays 8am – 1pm
- Kit Carson Museum
- Rio Grande Gorge Bridge – incredible views. Worth the detour from 285 to 64 if you’re headed north from Santa Fe.
- Taos Pueblo – the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark.
- The Historic Taos Inn – get the margaritas (obviously)
- All the galleries but I have a soft spot for Jones Walker of Taos
- The Grove for Brunch – this feels like it has to be the hippest place in town but an absolute killer breakfast sandwich.
- La Cumbre Brewery – the best Hazies!
- Red River Mercantile – Filson, Shetland Sweaters, and the like owned by the nicest Santa Fe resident, Steve.
- Standard & Strange – A menswear outlet carrying hard to find japanese goods, Gitman Bros, and some smaller labels. The other location is in Oakland.
- The Rainbow Man – the best collection of Edward S. Curtis Photogravures outside of Seattle as well as Chimayo woven hangings, jewelry, pottery, and folk art.
- Railyard Artisan Market – This market runs every Sunday and is a collection of somewhat touristy Santa Fe goods and
- The Shed – Amazing margaritas and the best Christmas Enchiladas in town!
- Cowgirl BBQ – a personal favorite of mine this place has a great beer list (Upslope anyone?), the best nachos in town, and some killer brisket.
- Tomasita: New Mexican
- Paper Dhosa
- Cafe Pasquals – go for breakfast and get the trout hash or breakfast burritos, you will not be disappointed.
- Rowley Farmhouse Ales – Awesome Saisons and sours and pretty good food.
- Coyote Cafe & Rooftop Cantina – Great rooftop margs just outside of the main plaza.