A Quick Guide to Santa Fe, NM

September 26, 2020Two Plane Girls

I was hesitant to share this guide since Santa Fe has recently shut down most of the city due to COVID, but thought it might be useful for future travel as cities reopen in the coming year (hopefully!). This is a quick, condensed guide best used for a weekend trip, road trip stop or a 24-hour visit. I visited for the first time last summer on our way to a wedding in Albuquerque and decided to make a mini-vacation out of it. After visiting, I understand why New Mexico prides itself as the Land of Enchantment. With its cool mountain air, cozy smell of burning piñon and the rich southwestern culture, this city is pure magic. It is a great trip for all ages, couples, families or a relaxing solo trip away from the hustle and bustle.

Where to Stay?

We stayed at Hotel St. Francis and fell in love. It is a small boutique hotel decorated in the style of the Catholic Church filled with gorgeous pieces from different churches and cathedrals. The staff were incredible and even gave us a tour of their most prestigious cardinal suite (highly recommend this room if you are doing an anniversary weekend!) with its own private balcony and with view of the town. It is in a perfect central location and is walking distance to many shops, restaurants, and the Santa Fe plaza. Did I mention they are dog friendly?!

What to do?

Meow Wolf: Unfortunately, they are closed due to COVID, but this is a must-do if you are going with a more lively group! It’s a highly interactive experience and you’ll be in total sensory overload. If you aren’t familiar, it’s almost like a funhouse for adults. It is a fun way to kick off the weekend before heading into downtown Santa Fe.

Shopping: Most indoor/outdoor shops are within walking distance of the hotel, especially if you head toward the main plaza. You’ll find plenty of turquoise, southwestern art, leather goods and eclectic finds made by local artisans lining the streets. Turquoise House has some of the most beautiful jewelry pieces and is owned by the sweetest man.

The Loretto Chapel: This chapel is home to the famous spiral staircase built without nails and is believed to have been a miraculous construction by St. Joseph. The church is mostly a museum now, so there is no mass to attend, but there are candles to light and a kneeler for prayer at the altar. It’s a fascinating story and a beautiful church to visit!

Jemez Springs: A good friend of mine from NM recommended this option if you are road tripping through New Mexico or if you want to get away from the town scene for a day. This isn’t in Santa Fe (about 70 miles west), but a great getaway for those who want a day spent outdoors and a gorgeous scenic drive. You can spend time in the hot springs, hike, and take jaw-dropping photos!

Where to eat:

Coyote Café and Cantina– This was a nice spot for a trendier upscale dinner. They were swamped the night we came, so the service was a bit slower, but the food was delicious.

The Shed– This is a great lunch spot or for a casual dinner. They serve true New Mexican style food and authentic as it gets. Heavy on the hatch green chile and SUPER spicy!

35 North– An adorable coffee bar we stumbled upon. It has a great rooftop to enjoy pastries and coffee on. They had a delicious breakfast menu, but due to changes from COVID, they temporarily switched to pastries only.

The Bell Tower Bar-Strong margs and a great view 😊  

There are so many other spots to visit in this area, but this is a great start covering highlights from our trip. Let us know if you have been to Santa Fe and your best recommendations!

Happy Travels!


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