travel guide: santa fe, new mexico
so it has been a few months since my trip to Santa Fe, but I figured I would put together a little travel guide with all of the information in one place for anyone who plans on visiting :) if you are interested in checking out the individual blog posts they are linked at the end of this post, but also available here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
santa fe travel guide
where we stayed
we stayed at Fort Marcy in a little condo, and the main plus to this was that we had a kitchen. The weather was gloomy and cloudy so we made a big vegetable soup our first night and ate that at least once every day. my main suggestion to anyone booking hotel arrangements is to keep elevation in mind - that sounds so silly but I live at about 600ft. above sea level, and Santa Fe is closer to 7000ft. mostly everything in Santa Fe is central to the downtown plaza, so you are good to walk, but if your hotel is up the hill it might be less fun for you to do that, and you may want to stay lower in the downtown area.
we road tripped there and stayed for a week, but you could get away with staying for around 3-4 days, depending on how much you get done in a day (also if you are art museum obsessed you may want to add an extra day for that).
places to eat
I don't drink so I am no help with that :) BUT! We loved..
- Old House Restaurant Santa Fe - right in the heart of the downtown plaza and their balcony has a good view. You have to try the green chile stew! Green chiles are a staple and unique to Santa Fe so anything green chile is a must!
- Second Street Brewery - located at the Railyard (see more on that below) and their chile fries were so good, we went back and had them a second day. they also have a great mix of American and simple bar food so if you are picky like me, you will have no problem here :)
- Sweet Lily Bakery - located right next door to the Georgia o’Keefe Museum. they have really yummy pastries, and I imagine their coffee is just as good, too.
- Modern General - cutesy little coffee shop that was really popular. it’s located a few blocks from downtown (I would suggest driving) and there are also items to purchase within the store. what I love most about this place is not the food, but that they’ve centered the items they sell around the idea that everything is purposeful - no buying random things you’ll never use again.
things to see + do
Santa Fe is full of rich culture and I think my favorite part of the whole trip was admiring all of the architecture. A few places you can’t miss are:
- The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi - stunning architecture! from the doors to the little turquoise accents throughout, it was so gorgeous and pictures don’t do it justice. even the surrounding courtyard was pretty - photos are <here>
- Loretto Chapel - home of “the staircase,” a spiral staircase that was built way before the technology was around to do it, so it’s special. this is in the picture above. this church also had the rosary cherry blossom tree that was featured in <this post>. religious or not, seeing the tree in person was unreal.
- San Miguel Mission: the oldest mission, and you get to ring a bell which was fun if you are 5 years old like me.
- Georgia O’Keefe Museum: let's be real here.. Santa Fe is not Santa Fe without her!
- Arts District - located in the Railyard, so you can hit this the same day you go to the farmer’s market (more info below). This is where I found the murals featured in <this> post.
where to shop
truth be told we did not do too much shopping while we were here but these are can’t miss stops:
- Palace of the Governors - located on Palace Avenue, it’s a row of local vendors lined up! You truly can’t skip it.
- East Palace Avenue also has tons of little stores you can pop into. my favorite stop was Chocolate + Cashmere.
like a local
traveling is just not the same if you don't try to find the local haunts and see how they live. For this trip, we headed to the farmer’s market at the Railyard on a Saturday morning. there were tons of vendors - not just local produce, but jewelry, handmade goods, art, everything. It was great to interact with the people who live there and ask them about some of their favorite places to go and things to do.
final thoughts + my next visit
so we didn't get to do everything on this trip (although we covered a lot!).. but next trip I want to visit Taos, a smaller town up north, and see the culture there. i also want to go to Georgia O’ Keefe’s house! they offer quite a few tours and after going to the museum, I want to see the inspiration behind some of her pieces!
and that's it! hope you enjoyed this travel guide + i hope you all have a good day :) x
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