Such an unexpected surprise. People had said Santa Fe was beautiful but no one had prepared me for just how beautiful. I cannot recommend enough making Santa Fe a stopover or simply a destination. Steeped in Navajo tradition it has a mystical pull that you can feel from the earth around you. I really felt connected to this place. Like I had found a little of myself here. My next trip here I am going to take the kids, stay longer and make sure we visit Taos.
Santa Fe ticked all boxes for me. It was quaint, rustic and not overly touristy. It still had a small village vibe but with great food and hotels. I am a devotee to all things American Indian and this town had not over commercialised this while still making it today the best place I have seen to buy Navajo art and jewellery.
So the short version on the BEST places to stay and eat here?
Stay at the Eldorado Hotel hands down as it is really rare for me to find a hotel that is pretty and affordable at the same time. I am not saying this is a luxury resort, but in Santa Fe you want to spend your time out in the town and this place has such a friendly helpful staff, a great location ( across from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and a block away from the Plaza ) and is also built in the typical New Mexico style. Hunting for turquoise and eating has been a major part of my Santa Fe trips so here you go, my favorite places to go list :
- Breakfast : Oxygen and Healing bar. An Acai bowl with Bulletproof Coffee while breathing in recreational oxygen for altitude adjustment gets you ready for a perfect day. Also loved having a yummy cappuccino at The Good Stuff while looking through their books and thousands of vinyl records.
- Lunch at La Casa Sena is a must with its beautiful patio and healthy food. I had the Salmon and salad and it was deliciousness. If you are up for a more traditional Santa Fe experience go to La Fonda (the oldest hotel on the Plaza) with its beautiful indoor restaurant and also a rooftop bar.
- Dinner's atmosphere was great at Coyote Rooftop Cantina. Yum cocktails and typical Mexican cuisine.
If you are ready to venture and want dinner closer to Albuquerque, Farm & Table is definitely WORTH THE DETOUR. It is located in the middle of the fields but it has its own little concept store going on with local pottery for sale next to the restaurant.
As far as the hunt for turquoise
You will find it in every store, boutique in town. I have found that The Santa Fe Trading Post had a great selection and Margo who works there most days has amazing knowledge and a profound passion for turquoise. Buying from the Navajo Indians under the Gallery on the Plaza is also a must.
Along with your turquoise treasures you gotta take a bulls head home with you in your hand luggage. I found one that I love at a very reasonable price at a little side street of the Plaza. The name of the souvenir shop is De Colores Imports. If you don't feel like traveling with a bulls head on your lap, this place is also a good photo back drop.
To the team at Eldorado Hotel and all the staff who made our stay so wonderful.
To Lauri Anderson and Tammy Dalrymple for jumping on a plane with me last minute to discover one of the loveliest cities on earth.
To Margo who took the time to guide me on my Turquoise hunt with such passion and kindness.
Shoot me an email if you have specific questions about what to do in Santa Fe : firstname.lastname@example.org