I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days exploring Santa Fe, New Mexico with the tourism board and some fellow bloggers, and together we hit up some of the most unique places that the city had to offer. Below I've detailed 10 activities that you just can't miss during your own visit to Santa Fe. Thanks to My Closet Journey, Keri Fay, and Lonestar Southern for being my awesome models during this trip!
1. Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return
Ever wondered what it'd be like to jump down the rabbit hole like in Alice in Wonderland? Well, wonder no more. Meow Wolf, an arts collective of more than 100 artists based out of Santa Fe, created this immersive art experience for you to descend into chaos. I don't want to spoil too much about it, but the House of Eternal Return is a journey into the multiverse - the story of a family gone missing from their house, but where did they go? It's a choose-your-own-adventure art piece if there ever was one. And by the way, it's also a music venue, so make sure to check their concert calendar to see what's on!
2. Shopping in Santa Fe Plaza
For high quality traditional jewelry, rugs, pottery, and more, there's no better place to shop than the historic plaza area. The Plaza has been the heart of downtown Santa Fe for more than 400 years, and it shows. Two shops I highly recommend visiting include Shiprock Santa Fe and Malouf on the Plaza. Shiprock Santa Fe features a curated collection of Navajo rugs and blankets, Native American jewelry, Pueblo pottery, and more. Their rug room is the stuff of Instagram dreams. Malouf on the Plaza represents several top Native American jewelry artists and is a great place to pick up a lovely turquoise piece. They also have a rug gallery and high-end contemporary fashion boutique featuring major clothing lines as well as local apparel.
3. El Rancho de Las Golondrinas
This historic rancho is a museum featuring the culture of 18th/19th century New Mexico. The rancho was located on the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe called the Camino Real, and its historical importance made it the perfect place to teach visitors about the Hispano heritage of Northern New Mexico and preserve it. Its buildings were restored and new structures built to create a historically accurate site and living history museum. With all of its lovely historically-accurate adobe buildings, it is also frequently used for fashion shoots and filming, so it's the perfect place to snap an Instagram during your time in Santa Fe. Some movies filmed here include The Missing, MacGruber, and Jane Got a Gun, just to name a few.
I'd be the first to admit that I'm not much of a cook, but it was quite fun to spend an afternoon with the Santa Fe School of Cooking learning all about how to craft the perfect New Mexico style tamales. If you've ever wanted to learn a bit more about Southwestern cooking and up your skills, they offer plenty of one-off Demonstrations and Hands-On classes that you could fit in during your visit to Santa Fe. Their workshops include everything from tamales, green chiles, salsas, rellenos, and more.
5. Museum of International Folk Art
While Meow Wolf is a complete visual overload, the Museum of International Folk Art is much the same in its own way, largely in part to their Alexander Girard collection. The Girard Wing of the museum opened in 1982 and is home to just 10% of his collection, featuring a whopping 10,000 pieces of folk art, toys, miniatures, textiles, and beyond. It's pretty difficult to explain everything displayed in the exhibit, so really, you just have to visit it and see it for yourself!
6. Canyon Road
Canyon Road is Santa Fe's historic art district - a half-mile that features over 100 galleries, art studios, jewelers, and boutique stores. If you've come to Santa Fe to buy some fine art, this is the place to go. Even if you're not looking to buy anything though, the galleries are still wonderful to stroll through, explore, and snap some pictures.
7. Flamenco Show at El Farol
After you've finished strolling down Canyon Road, make your way over to the most historic and iconic restaurant in Santa Fe, El Farol. If you're there the right night of the week and have made a reservation in advance, you can take in a flamenco show with your dinner. They also frequently feature live music, so make sure to check out their calendar to see who's on.
8. Santa Fe Margarita Trail
Now we get to the really important stuff - booze. And Santa Fe is definitely famous for their margaritas. Be an adventurer and explore Santa Fe's Margarita Trail, featuring 31 spectacular margaritas to astound you (and every one is made with 100% agave tequila).
First things first, make sure to purchase your official Santa Fe Margarita Trail Passport for $3 at any participating restaurant or the Tourism Santa Fe Visitor Center. With your passport in hand, you get a $1 discount on the margarita on special at any participating restaurant. You can collect stamps along your journey, up to two a day, and earn rewards along the way!
9. Santa Fe National Forest
If you'd like to get out of the city a bit and onto the trail, the Santa Fe National Forest is only a short drive away. It was established in 1915 and covers 1,558,452 acres overall. Pretty much every outdoor activity is on offer in the National Forest, such as biking, camping, hiking, rafting, horseback riding, and more.
10. Find a Sunset Spot
I'm not sure if there's anything better than a New Mexico sunset. They have a tendency to set fire to the sky in hues of pink and orange. So, if the conditions are right, don't miss your opportunity to find a good viewpoint and take in those Santa Fe skies.
I was hosted on behalf of Tourism Santa Fe. As always, all opinions are my own. For more info on the city of Santa Fe, be sure to visit https://santafe.org/
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