The Santa Fe Guide
Santa Fe has been on my bucket list since I fell in love with Devendra Banhart in high school and became obsessed with the Zuni tribe and their jewelry. I love rich cultural heritage, arts and crafts and New Mexico is a place where this heritage of the American southwest still breathes. The state's history is rich and complicated, having been colonized by Spain and then being a part of Mexico, New Mexico even has Spanish listed as an official language.
New Mexico was so unique to me, I keep wanting to call it a country rather than a state. Having visited both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, I found it charming that both cities have an old town square, surrounded by Spanish architecture and churches - unlike anything else I have seen outside of Spain or South American countries like Argentina and Peru.
Below is a list of my recommendations of things to do, see and where to eat on your travels to the land of enchantment.
One of the most beautiful and unexpectedly luxurious hotels I have ever stayed at - the unique design of this boutique Relais and Chateaux hotel creates art in the most unassuming places. From the immaculately tiled bathrooms and hand embroidered bed covers, to the complimentary mini bar and kitchen in your room, the sea salt placed next to you bathtub for evening soaks and the handmade fires the staff will burn for you in your personal fire place to the complimentary breakfast served in bed and the freshly printed New York Times delivered to your door every morning, this was one of my favorite places to stay - ever! I would go back to Santa Fe just to stay at this hotel.
Possibly the trendiest local brunch spot with lines out the door, this tiny cafe serves delicious farm to table food made from scratch for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their notable popularity has resulted in published cookbooks and doesn't shy away hoards of people even though they only seat 50 people at a time.
A nice break from the Tex Mex theme of the southwest was this concept store and cafe serving your Cali favorite acai bowls, smoothies and bone broths. You can also shop for cookbooks, gardening supplies and beautiful dishware while you wait for your food to be prepared.
A delicious and healthy spot to grab lunch after gallery hopping around town. Their tea selection is of note, as every single wall and nook is loaded with options from matcha and darjeeling to white, green, rosehip and earl grey- all in varieties of their own.
One of my favorite artists who created beautiful works of flowers and desert landscapes of the state to which she retired, the museum is a must stop on your trip to Santa Fe if only to get a glimpse into O'Keefe's vision and craft.
i love learning about the culture of a city by visiting local homes more so than museums. For an authentic representation of the culture of New Mexico and to learn a little bit about the history of the town, visit this house in Corrales and get a private tour of a traditional New Mexican home while taking some great photos. Corrales is a charming town loaded with culture, art, pottery workshops and unique architecture where you can spend a few hours shopping and driving along the vineyard.
My favorite gallery in Santa Fe ended up not having to do with Native American art but this well curated space featured notable works from artists like Tom Sachs, Doug Aitken and many more. Be sure to check out the gallery's coffee shop and stop by Modern General for a bite to eat.
A beautiful gallery meets store where historic and contemporary Native American art is merged with modern mid-century furnishings in an eclectic aesthetic. Art dealer Jed Foutz has curated a collection of historic and contemporary Navajo rugs and blankets, Native American jewelry, Pueblo pottery, sculpture, basketry, folk art and fine art by leading Native American artists. Collectible furniture by iconic designers adds an unexpectedly modern touch to Shiprock's classic Native American selection.
Founded by Ira Seret and wife Sylvia, owners of the Inn of Five Graces, this colorful interior shop will definitely inspire you to redecorate your whole home. From luxurious Persian rugs to hand made Indian vases, to sofas upholstered in one of a kind hand embroidered fabrics, the store is a continuation of the beauty that is the hotel.
Established in 1981 as a co-op for Zuni arts and crafts, Keshi has maintained personal relationships with individual carvers, jewelers, and potters from the New Mexican Zuni tribe. As generations grow older, the people of the Zuni tribe are working less on creating their beautiful handmade jewelry and spending more time in modern jobs in bigger cities, making their work even harder to find. All of the items sold at Keshi are authenticated and the artisans are treated with respect and integrity.
This organic inn and farm in Albuquerque is surrounded by vineyards, herbal gardens, a bee farm, and even its own alpacas! Enjoy delicious farm to table food at the inn's restaurant, cozy up by the fire and shop the organic market for lavender infused balms, delicious coffee and herb infused sea salt.
One of the best spa experiences I have ever had was at this Japanese ryokan in the Santa Fe mountains. A complete retreat from the busier city life in downtown Santa Fe, explore plunge pools, saunas, a heated meditation room complete with your own set of headphones and enjoy incredible treatments ranging from food grade sea salt scrubs to traditional Ayurvedic shirodhara abayanga and lymphatic massages. Be sure to reserve Izanami for dinner following your treatments for a traditional Japanese teppanyaki meal.