Weekend Getaway Santa Fe Things to Do
New Mexico is one of those under the radar states in the US and Santa Fe has long been thought of as a getaway for those of a retirement age ready to lay some serious cash for one of a kind art pieces. A weekend getaway to Santa Fe promises to be filled with it’s charming adobe buildings, its own style of Southwestern cuisine (oh wow is it spicy) it’s bursting art scene, and easy access to outdoor activities.
Old Santa Fe Alley Shop Santa Fe New Mexico
If you want to experience the city before it explodes as a top popular destination to explore and photograph, you better hurry.  Santa Fe will soon be connected to Colorado via a mountain bike trail that is sure to put it on the list of every outdoor adventurer’s bucket list.

When to Go

Historic Santa Fe New Mexico
At an elevation of 7,500 feet, Santa Fe experiences all four seasons.  Fall brings pleasant temperatures and beautiful foliage. The winters can see some chilly days  and snow, but the temperature rarely gets into the teens (Fahrenheit) and it’s unusual to reach the negatives. Spring has mild temperatures and plants start to bloom. Or you can plan you trip around one of their famous festivals.

How to Get to Santa Fe

Serviced by a small regional airport, it’s unlikely you’ll get a direct flight from your originating city.  You can either fly into Albuquerque Airport then transfer to a regional flight.  Or you can disembark in Albuquerque, pick up a car and drive an hour to the city.

Where to Stay in Santa Fe

Outside if Adobe Casita in Santa Fe New Mexico
With a small footprint, you are never too far from the historical areas or must-see sites. For those that would like to ditch their car, look for an AirBnb in the Eastside.  We found the most charming casita complete with traditional kiva (fireplace). We were within walking distance to everything we wanted to see other than Meow Wolf and Bandelier National Monument.  If you’re more comfortable with staying at a hotel, there are several more expensive options within blocks of the famous plaza, other chain hotels are a little further out of town and you’ll have to rely on a car to get around.

Things to Do

From outdoor activities, walking charming streets, eating traditional food and enjoying the local art scene, Santa Fe has plenty to offer visitors’ diverse tastes.

Devour the Cuisine

Northern New Mexican Cuisine with Sopapilla

Northern New Mexico cuisine can best be described as a blend of Pueblo and Hispanic. Stop by Maria’s for a taste of the region’s offerings. Be prepared to have some sweaty eyebrows and runny nose from the spice and definitely get the sopapilla, a quick bread that is reminiscent of beignet. If you want to steer clear of the spices, fear not, there are plenty of places that offer fare other than Northern New Mexican. Railyard’s Farmers Market is a great place to start the day with a delicious kimchi pancake and breakfast burrito and taste a variety of other local fare. Stop by the jam table to test out flavors like raspberry ginger red pepper.

Walk through the charming neighborhoods

Walking around Santa Fe New Mexico

One of my favorite ways to explore a city is to walk around the neighborhoods. Santa Fe is a super walkable city if you stay in the right place and it allows you to see so much more than if you were to drive everywhere. The historical downtown and plaza is filled with picturesque streets and shops selling New Mexican trinkets. If you get tired of looking around the streets, step into one of the many museums in the area or grab a margarita on one of the many rooftop bars.

Get your art fix

Did you know that Santa Fe is the third largest art sales city in the country behind New York and Los Angeles? I was surprised too. If you have some cash burning in your pockets, head to Canyon Road and visit galleries showcasing art ranging from paintings to outdoor sculptures.  Not only can you buy art, but there are plenty of art museums to spend an hour or two, including the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.

Wolf Sculpture in front of Meow Wolf Santa Fe New Mexico

If interactive art is more your thing, then a trip to Santa Fe is not complete without a visit to Meow Wolf.  Actually, no trip is complete without a visit to Meow Wolf.  The best way I can describe this 20,000 interactive art collective is that it unleashes the most pure child-like wonder I have ever felt as an adult all while maintaining a certain level of creepiness. If that makes any sense at all.  The possibilities are endless and your imagination is free to unleash.

Peruse a Street Market

Native Americans Vendors Market Santa Fe New Mexico

Take time to appreciate the Native American Vendors Program of the Palace of the Governors. You can find handmade goods ranging from jewelry clothes, blankets, leather goods, magnets, and toys.  We bought a couple hand-painted magnets with traditional symbols from the Pueblo Indians in Northern New Mexico.  There are a handful of other street markets throughout the historic downtown to find a range of goods.

Enjoy a Sunset

Santa Fe New Mexico Sunset with large tree and adobe building

Being at such a high elevation has a beautiful effect on the light so sunset and sunrise are especially beautiful in Santa Fe.  For a nice view of the city go to Fort Marcy Park about 45 min-1 hour before sunset. While you are perched above the city, the buildings are seemingly lost in the forest of trees below. As the sun settles below the horizon, the mountains in the distance turn into ink blot silhouettes.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Climbing ladder into cliff dwelling in Bandelier National Monument

Santa Fe is close to a multitude of hiking and biking trails as well as a handful of National Monuments at its doorstep. No trip would be complete without visiting the great outdoors and seeing what natural beauty the area has to offer.  Bandelier National Monument, famous for its cliff dwellings, and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, known for its tent rocks are within an hour of the city. Spend the morning exploring the trails and the afternoon enjoying some local food and beer.

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