Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   First time to Santa Fe! What shouldn't we miss and other recommendations or comments ? (

Ann Aug 1st, 2001 02:32 PM

First time to Santa Fe! What shouldn't we miss and other recommendations or comments ?
My husband and I are going to Santa Fe on October 8 for one week. Can you give us suggestions for a hotel or B&B that is well located? We ordered the entertainment book for that area as an opportunity for a deal on a nice hotel. What should we absolutely not miss? We'll rent a car and plan to drive to Albuquerque and Taos to get a little flavor of each. I know about the O'Keeffe museum and it is on my list. Any restaurants that you particularly enjoyed? Thanks for any info you can share with me. How chilly will it get in the evening at that time of year? <BR> <BR>Ann

leigh Aug 1st, 2001 02:55 PM

Here is something that is off the beaten path and extremely interesting. There is a small mission in Chamayo, not far from Taos, that apparently was built on land made sacred by the death of a missionary some two hundred years ago. The soil has healing powers and people come from all over to rub it on their afflictions. <BR> <BR>Also, be sure to visit the International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe. <BR> <BR>Have fun. You'll love the area. <BR>

G. Kremer Aug 1st, 2001 03:07 PM

Hi Ann: We were in that area in late April of this year. If I could do it over again, I would leave Albuquerque & go up to Taos for 2 days, then down to Santa Fe for 3 Days, then back to Albuquerque for 3 Days. Visit Taos Pueblo, Taos Plaza, along with about 7-8 museums, especially the Kit Carson Home & Museum. There is a wonderful encircled drive you can take around the Taos area. In Santa Fe you can arrange to take a ride on the Santa Fe Southern Railroad to Lamy (ghost town) & back again to Santa Fe. There's an endless amount of shops, galleries & museums in the Santa Fe Plaza. We stayed at the Four Kachinas B&B which was a short walk away from the plaza. We ate at the Gaudalupe Cafe, the Plaza restaurant, & Coyote Cafe (a little pricy but worth it). No such thing as bad food. You can find basic American food but you have to look around a bit to find it. From Santa Fe, go visit Bandelier National Park & Los Alamos. When you leave Santa Fe to go to Albuquerque, travel down Rt. 14 (Turquoise Trail) & stop at Cerillos, Madrid, Golden, & Sandia Park. Near Sandia Park is Tinkertown Toy Museum & the road that goes up to Sandia Crest. In Cedar Crest, we stayed at Elaine's B&B (excellent). While in Albuquerque we visited Petroglyth National Monument, Old Albuquerque, & Acoma Pueblo (52 miles west of Alb.). There are also a lot of indian reservations & some casinos around. Also check out the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Sorry if I was a bit vague on things. Just coming up with things off the top of my head.

Jen Ratta Aug 1st, 2001 03:41 PM

Tomasita's Restaurant is a must. The address is 500 Guadalupe which is not near the historic plaza so you'll need a rental car. It's well worth the trip - they have the best sopapillas I've ever had! While we were in Santa Fe we stayed at the Inn of the Governors and loved it. Enjoy!!

paul Aug 1st, 2001 03:46 PM

We like the Hotel Santa Fe as it is owned and operated by Native Americans and is located just outside of the plaza area. It has a website. Our two favorite places to eat are Atomic Cafe for fish tacos and french toast and India Palace, the best Indian food we have had anywhere.

Sal Aug 1st, 2001 04:03 PM

We like the La Posada, esp. the spa. Favorite restaurants are Pasqual's for breakfast, The Shed for lunch, Casa Sena, Julian's and Geranimo. Canyon Road has many interesting shops and galleries. Don't buy anything until you look for it at the flea market (near the Opera). although they call it a flea market, it is more of an open air market with art, jewelry, pewter, pottery, leather etc. The mission in Chamaya, as mentioned, is very interesting. There is a room full of shrines which is both eery and beautiful. Ghost Ranch, Georgia O'Keefe's home, is interesting. <BR> <BR>Have a great trip.

cindy Aug 1st, 2001 04:38 PM

We stayed at the St. Francis a couple of times and absolutely loved it, although I've heard other comments on this board from people who thought it wasn't anything special. We found it delightful. It's well-located near the plaza and the staff are extremely helpful and pleasant. Julians' restaurant is around the corner from there and FABULOUS. It's smallish and you might need a reservation if you're going at a busy time. Have a wonderful trip.

Kevin Aug 1st, 2001 06:10 PM

Best location and best hotel in town is the Inn of the Anasazi, at the middle of the Plaza. Expensive, but well done. Very good restaurant. Many good restaurants in SF....for a town its size maybe the best per capita choice of good restaurants in the US. <BR>Santa Cafe, eating on the patio at night (if it's warm enough in early Oct, which will be very iffy) is a wonderful way to pass an evening. <BR>We haven't been overly impressed with ABQ, but lots of things to see and do in the area.

Larry Aug 2nd, 2001 05:18 AM

You shoud check the schedule to see if the Balloon Fiesta is that week in Albuquerque and plan to visit for some of the events. It will be crowded but the sight of a thousand hot air balloons filling the sky is one that will remain with you forever!

J T Kirk Aug 2nd, 2001 06:04 AM

If you like ancient Indian sites, check out Bandelier and Puye Clifs. Both are an easy, and pretty, drive from Santa Fe.If you want to see an Indian site that you'll never forget, drive to Chaco Canyon. This would be a LONG day trip from Santa Fe, but well worth it. <BR>My favorite restaurant in Santa Fe is the Cowgirl Hall of Fame (yes, despite it's name, it is a restaurant.) <BR>To me though, the true beauty of the High Desert is the scenery. Yes, there are some great museums, shops, etc but the SCENERY -- it's gorgeous. Get out and drive in it.

rl Aug 2nd, 2001 07:17 AM

My suggestion is to eat as much authentic new mexican food as you can. The food in New Mexico is the best. Make sure that you try green chile.

Ann Aug 2nd, 2001 05:53 PM

Thanks for your many good suggestions. I printed them out and will make some calls. I very much appreciate your help--thanks! <BR> <BR>Ann

Paul Aug 3rd, 2001 04:45 AM

One very nice hotel with superb location is the Inn of the Anasazi. <BR> <BR>One enjoyable all-day trip we took was to leave Santa Fe in the a.m., drive the High Road to Taos - making stops at various points of interest along the route, then visting the Pueblo and having a meal in Taos. You can take the highway back for a much quicker return trip to Santa Fe. <BR> <BR>I wasn't there in October, but I believe that you'll get a fairly big temperature drop at sunset. <BR> <BR>

Howard Aug 3rd, 2001 05:35 AM

Here's another vote for Bandelier and the folk art museum. <BR>For dining, don't miss Santacafe in Santa Fe. It's the best!

Ruth Aug 3rd, 2001 07:39 AM

We stayed at the Hotel Santa Fe also and really enjoyed it. It has a van that will take you and pick you up just about wherever you want to go in the downtown area (plaza, Canyon Road, restaurants, etc.) The only bad spot was the one dinner we ate there--bad kitchen service and so-so food. Ate at Julian's, Santacafe and the Zuni Diner--each very different and each very good for its style. I was very disappointed in the O'Keefe museum. It's very small and didn't really have much. Much more enjoyed the museum in the Governor's Palace and the Museum of Fine Arts. Eat carne adovada--it's fabulous!

larry Aug 3rd, 2001 06:02 PM

Hi, Ann <BR> <BR>You WILL be there for balloon fiesta! You HAVE to go to a mass ascension. Check it out and if they are having transportation from shopping centers, do that. But EARLY - two years ago one shopping center had no more parking - at 4:30 AM. You will be done by 10:am and can then tour. Don't miss it - it is awesome. <BR> <BR>One of our favorite spots in Santa Fe is Maria's. Famous for Tequila (they wrote the book) and we think some of the best food in Santa Fe. <BR> <BR>Cafe Pasqual is eclectic New Mexican but good - if you can get to the Shed for lunch, do it. <BR> <BR>Rancho Chimayo is, IMO, for tourists but their sopapillas are good - take the old road to Taos - pretty. The sanctuary in Chimayo is worth visiting. <BR> <BR>There is striking metal cookware/decor called Nambe' - outlet store north of Santa Fe - Check it out. <BR>You did not say where you are from but NM really is the Land of Enchantment. If you like to cook, check out the schedule at the SF School of Cooking - they have regular classes - 1/2 day and such - I enjoyed it - check it out before you go. <BR>For a breakfast with the locals, try Tecolate Cafe and order a breakfast burrito. Or, if you like green chile, a green chile omelet. <BR> <BR>Obviously, we love New Mexico - am considering moving there from west central Florida - after 30 years in S. Calif. <BR> <BR>Have a great time and e-mail me if you have more questions.

michelle/nyc Aug 12th, 2001 12:52 PM

Taos: Taos Pueblo, Rio Grande Gorge Bridge... restaurants: Joseph's Table (south of town), Apple Tree, Doc Martin's. <BR>If you head up to Taos, there is a very scenic ride besides the High Road that we discovered... head north toward the Pueblo... check a map, but I think it's Route 64... make sure you have a full tank of gas b/c we were on this road for about an hours without any sign of civilization! it crosses over and then brings you to Carson National Forest where you can stop at Echo Ampitheater and Ghost Ranch on your way back to Santa Fe! <BR>In Santa Fe area: I personally liked Bandelier better than Puye Cliff Dwellings (the most interesting site at Puye can only be reached by climbing a series of steep latters... I unfortunately gave up before I reached the top)... Restaurants: Coyote Cafe (as a foodie, I was a bit underwhelmed... not worth the price... enjoy appetizers and drinks on their rooftop patio instead!), Geronimo on Canyon Road (pricey but loved it), La Casa Sena (excellent... great outdoor courtyard seating too), the Shed, Cantina Cafe... Ten Thousand Waves which is a fabulous asian influenced day spa... Georgia O'Keeffe museum... the Loretto Chapel to see its spiral staircase... my favorite gallery was hidden near the Chapel on a side alley called Gallery Different! bought my favorite watercolor there! Enjoy!

c Oct 7th, 2002 10:27 PM

In Santa Fe I stayed at a beautiful B&B called the Madeleine- wonderful location and comfortable(you can't beat the beds and B&B's), hospitable people, nice breakfast and afternoon treats, as well as a jacuzzi. Santa Fe is nice and its possible to get really good and not too expensive food- just keep looking- ask the locals too. Hispanic Heritage Museum in Alb is nice.

Kat Oct 13th, 2002 02:38 PM

In Sant Fe, I would recommend breakfast at Pasqual's and Mexican at Maria's. Both were yummy. I stayed in Inn on the Alameda which was incredible--rooms were very comfy and well appointed, beautiful decor, and staff was friendly and helpful. They also include a great breakfast buffet and a nice "happy hour" in the afternoon. The HOtel St. Francis is also very nice--historic and recently remodeled. It is less pricey than Inn on the Alameda, but still very nice.Both are within easy walking distance to the Plaza. Other must sees: the Rio Grande and Bandalier National Monument. In Taos, I would recommend the Taos Pueblo--it's a little touristy but very interesting and worthwhile. I stayed at a nice B/B in Taos--Casa Encantada, which was great! Rooms were unique and food was good.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:54 AM.