The shining turquoise and silver jewel of Santa Fe is the perfect place to end a road trip to New Mexico. Splurge on fabulous food, jangling jewelry, spiffy spas, amazing museums, up-scale resale, and acres of art. It is a veritable feast for every sense, a compilation to suit every style.
Canyon Road, the center of the historical district, is half a mile of magic, packed with over 100 art galleries, with every medium know to man on display. The traditional adobe brick buildings add architectural charm to the galleries. Despite its diminutive distance, it is entirely possible to while away an entire day, stopping for victuals and vino, glimpsing, gazing and gawking at things of beauty and those that aspire to be. Every thing is for sale but looking is free and encouraged. On a brisk winter day, popping in and out of galleries is sure to warm your toes.
For art you can’t purchase, visit one of Santa Fe’s many museums. I particularly enjoyed the Museum of International Folk Art, perched on Museum Hill. An amazing amalgamation of folk art from every corner of the globe will delight the child in every one. Alexander Girard, a prodigious architect, furniture, textile, interior and industrial designer, traveled the world with his wife Susan, collecting whimsical native art, toys, artifacts and textiles, eventually amassing a 100,000-piece collection.
He personally oversaw the construction and styling of the Girard Wing, that is chock-a-block full of his legacy in a permanent collection called Multiple Visions: A Common Bond. They must have had a lot of dusting to do before they donated it all!
Lusting after some designer cowboy boots, silver Concho belts, or western wear but worried about blowing the budget? There is a thriving consignment/resale trade where your dollars will get you double. It might take some hunting but you never know what treasure you may discover. And a bargain ‘new-to-you” item is sure to make you smile.
I only have one dining recommendation: The Pantry. We ate there three times. I am still trying to replicate a pork dish with flour, cumin, red peppers and chilies! I suspect there are myriad other options but, nuff said. Once you have had your fill of all things Santa Fean, put the car on cruise control and you will be back in Salt Lake City in 10 hours.
Photos by Pippa Keene