Santa Fe is home to a style all its own: adult flower children and a melting pot of artists, young and old. In an atmosphere of mountains and adobe, Santa Fe’s Native American history is preserved in today’s culture. Here, you will find miles of art and land, as well as a wealth of foodies and adventurers. Santa Fe is “The City Different.”
Stay at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, located within walking distance to Santa Fe’s downtown plaza. Loretto will catch your eye because it looks like several stacked adobe homes. The rooms are spacious and incorporate Santa Fe cultural aesthetics. I stayed in a junior suite with double bathroom sinks for couples, a poster king bed, and balcony. Loretto offers one room with a kitchenette if needed. Try Loretto’s fine dining restaurant, Luminaria. A blue corn duck crepe appetizer, paella, and vanilla flan satisfied me.
Eat at the Teahouse on Canyon Road, a stretch of galleries and all-things-art. Order from a variety of teas. Get the breakfast burrito with green chili and Norwegian eggs benedict. In Santa Fe, you will quickly learn that every meal comes with green chili.
Go to BODY of Santa Fe. Natives rejoice over this gem and you too will wish it were available in your neighborhood. BODY is everything healing and good for the soul in one stop: spa, yoga, dance studio, childcare, cooking classes, chocolatier, full dining café, and sustainable fair trade boutique. I did a Vinyasa flow yoga class. Instructor Emily chanted beautifully in Sanskrit and my body felt rejuvenated! Go to the spa for a facial or massage. Receive BODY’s espresso body glow. A mixture of tapioca, sugar, and ground espresso is rubbed onto your skin for the first half hour. Hop into a shower and then lay back down for another half hour massage.
Eat at BODY’s raw, vegan, gluten-free cafe. My friends and I shared a wealth of food: whole coconut, sparkling cleanse, master cleanse, raw chip sampler, raw Thai soup, Buddha salad, collard green burrito, and bison burger. The salad has unique sunflower croutons. Dehydrated onions coated in cashews and paprika substitute for onion rings on the chip sampler and are delicious. Sit on floor cushions yogi style.
Eat at Café Fina for a hearty New Mexican breakfast. I ended up eating here every morning but one during my trip! Eat the migas, breakfast burrito with green chili, huevos motulenos, ricotta cheese cloud cake pancakes, and el dorado omelet. Any breakfast item Café Fina offers, I recommend!
Hike Bandelier National Monument. Do the Main loop trail, which exhibits ancestral pueblo homes. I highly suggest doing the optional last stretch where you climb a few ladders, reaching a cave. Here is the most rewarding, breathtaking view. Afterwards, make it to the Falls trail. Less paved, you will encounter narrow and rocky paths leading to a waterfall that empties into the Rio Grande River. Exhausted from the 400 feet descent, the round trip hike is worth it. As you hike, listen to the water running through the canyon below, foreshadowing to the romantic finale.
Relax at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. Fall in love with the natural, healing spring waters and extend your stay with Ojo’s lodging. Day passes are very reasonable and cheaper on weekdays or after 6pm. You will have access to all springs, sauna, and steam room. The springs: a covered soda pool, hot arsenic pool, iron pool, cliffside pools, and mud pool. Benefits of soaking are believed to include: relieving digestive issues, arthritis, stomach ulcers, skin conditions, fatigue, and the blood and immune system. Historically, people joined at Ojo to prevent illness – give it a try! Enclosed by three walls, soak in a private pool with kiva fireplace. Where the fourth wall would be faces the scenic canyon. This is a must for another breathtaking mountain view. Make the drive to Ojo, a place full of spirit and energy.
Eat at Ojo’s Artesian restaurant where the chef mixes unique flavors and textures. Sip on prickly pear lemonade made with cactus flowers. Nosh green chile “fries:” Poblano chilies fried in potato crusting with a sweet Asian dipping sauce. For the main course, try a salad with prickly pear vinaigrette and tortilla soup. My favorite: fish tacos with mango salsa, an almost-barbeque-tasting sauce, and jicama peanut slaw.
Visit Museum Hill boasting museums as well as Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. Bring the kids to the Museum of international folk art for interactive activities and appreciate history at the Museum of Indian arts and culture. Stop for a drink with a view at Museum Hill Café.
Explore Santa Fe Hillside. Hillside’s motto is “experience the elemental.” Everything is locally made here, making it the best place to purchase true Santa Fe memorabilia. I came home with handmade soaps, mugs, and local artwork.
Eat at Epazote, also at Hillside. In an old greenhouse converted into a restaurant, sit along the snake-like path lined with tables and artwork. Nothing compares to the atmosphere here. I got the green chili beef stew – delightful.
Go to Bishop’s Lodge Ranch and Resort. A five-minute drive from downtown Santa Fe, you are immediately transported to hundreds of acres of scenery. Horseback ride through the mountains with a guide. Choose to trot and canter! When you make it to the top of the winding mountains, witness a spectacular panoramic of New Mexico reaching all the way to Colorado.
Stay at Bishop’s Lodge, a tucked away jewel, for at least a night of your stay. In summer, guests and non-guests can use Camp Appaloosa morning, day, or night programs to leave the kids and venture off alone. Have access to historical sites like Bishop Lamy’s church, horseback riding, fitness center, yoga classes, tennis, a pool, spa, mountain bikes, drum circle, and hiking grounds. Couples, try the Equus experience, a therapy led by horses! Companies like Netflix, HP, and Samuel Adams have held leadership retreats here using Equus.
By Jessica Newman