Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Need help planning 3 full days in Albuquerque, Santa Fe &/or Taos

Need help planning 3 full days in Albuquerque, Santa Fe &/or Taos

Aug 11th, 2009, 11:36 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 11
Need help planning 3 full days in Albuquerque, Santa Fe &/or Taos

Does anyone have advice for planning a trip to New Mexico in late September? We will likely fly into Albuquerque and envision focusing the visit on Santa Fe and possibly Taos. We will likely arrive on a Wed (or Thu) and leave on Sun (or Mon). We hear the State Fair (in Albuquerque) will be in full swing while we are there and thought it might be a good chance to see a real rodeo. We are particularly interested in Native American culture, art galleries, museums (but not the "all day" variety) and taking in the natural beauty of NM.
happypatraveler is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 12:37 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
With only 3 days, I would skip Taos this trip. There is so much to do in ABQ and SF, it would easily take all your time. Driving to and from Taos would really eat into your time.

Have you been to NM before? Do you want to do outdoor activities in addition to the ones listed in your post? Will you have a rental car?

Museum Hill in Santa Fe is a great place to see lots of different museums and get a feel for the heritage and culture.

The O'Keefe Museum in the Plaza is small, but very nice. For art, stroll Canyon Road.

For ABQ, check this out:
http://itsatrip.org/albuquerque/cult...e/default.aspx

I also suggest you look at the ABQ and Santa Fe Destination links on Fodors. They are very informative.

I would also suggest that you stay in ABQ [more choices and more affordable] and drive or take the railrunner light rail up to Santa Fe for day trip.

There are lots of outdoor activities too, for all levels of ability. September is the best month in NM!

Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 01:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I would recommend driving the high road from Santa Fe to Taos Pueblo - the pueblo is amazing and the drive is scenic. On this daytrip, you can also visit Sanctuario de Chimayo and Bandelier Natl. Monument.

In Santa Fe, the museums are breathtaking. My personal favourites are the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, the Wheelwright Museum and the Museum of Indian Arts (in this order). Also the galleries around the Plaza and along Canyon Roads are museum-like - Santa Fe is one of the few places in this world where I enjoy window-shopping.
traveller1959 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 04:53 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 11
Thanks Deb,
We'll be renting a car to provide flexibility. As for outdoor activities, we enjoy hiking, but are a little fearful that we won't adjust quickly enough to the elevation to enjoy it (we live near Philly and my wife is prone to asthma attacks when she hikes at higher altitudes).
happypatraveler is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 04:54 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 11
Hi Traveller1959,
Thanks for the tips on the SF museums and the daytrip suggestions around Taos. So much to choose from! Guess we'll have to come back again!
happypatraveler is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 05:00 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
Ask away if you have questions, happy. I'd be happy to help!

Don't get me wrong - traveller1959 is right about the trip to Taos;it is a excellent ride and Taos [peublo et al] is a moving experience. It's just with such a limited time frame, you don't want to spend a lot of it in a car. I think it is better to try and condense this visit to just ABQ and SF.

Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:20 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,495
I agree with Deb - take the RailRunner up to Santa Fe for a day trip. They have shuttles once you get there which will take you to the Plaza, Museum Hill, etc.

I don't know that we really have any "all day" museums here. A couple of hours or half a day at most works for our family.

We love the State Fair. If you don't want to spend the whole day there, come around noon, see the exhibits, maybe spend some time in the Indian Village watching the dancers, then go to the rodeo in the evening.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 07:26 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,776
Give my regards to the Horseman's Haven Cafe. It's been years since I was there but the memory of the HOT chili still burns sooooo good!

http://local.yahoo.com/info-20215762...e?viewtype=map
sheri_lp is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 06:20 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
You've received lots of great suggestions. I'll chime in, too, that Taos, while worthwhile, would take too much time from this trip you have planned.

What are your dates? The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival is Sept 23-27. It gets bigger and bigger each year and brings in people from all around to sample wines and the local chefs' fare. Hopefully, you can be in SF for it. Or, hopefully, you won't be here for the crowd.

The State Fair is interesting and fun for a short time. We drove down from Santa Fe and had plenty of time to visit Madrid - fun, quirky artist community -- on the way.

You should be able to find all price ranges of lodging in Santa Fe. Tourist traffic is down and many places are offering low rates even during peak season. Over 4th of July, I was amazed how low the tourist numbers were and how easy it was to get dinner reservations.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 06:41 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 11
Thanks BeachGirl!
Our dates are not absolutely firmed up yet, but likely will be sometime between Sept 23 and Sept 28 - exactly when the Wine & Chile festival will be going on! Between the fair, the festival and all of the other cool stuff, I'm expecting to have a great time!
happypatraveler is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 08:00 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
That's a wonderful time to visit. Check into lodging now as it will be busy. It's a popular time to visit as the weather is beautiful. Cool, crisp air and the cottonwoods and aspens turning their golden yellow for fall.

Restaurants will have guest wine maker dinners so check that out if you are interested.

www.opentable.com is a great resource for making dinner reservations.

There are several threads on dining in Santa Fe so check it out.

You will have a great time!
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 06:23 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 11
OK, making reservations and I have a quick question: Is the Hotel Santa Fe worth the extra $? Actually, we located a "deal" that will charge $206 per night. Is that a good deal? Any opinions you have on Santa Fe hotels would be appreciated. We're not picky (doesn't have to be high end), but we don't want to spend all of our time driving and looking for parking either.
THANKS!
happypatraveler is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 07:07 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
Well, it's a nice hotel. There are others just as nice that are closer to the plaza. That one is down the street a few minutes walk.

Have you looked at Hotel Plaza Real? Excellent location, southwest decor, and they have underground parking for less than Hotel Santa Fe.

Or, you might check The Eldorado to see if it is running specials. I don't know what they charge for parking each day. Plaza Real charges around $14 which is on the low end in Santa Fe.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 07:08 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,911
Bookmarking.
volcanogirl is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:07 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
I don't know if you are comfortable with using name your own price on Priceline, but I have seen people getting rooms at the Inn of the Governors for $60. It is a 3.5* star hotel per Priceline, is well located too. They have free breakfast and free parking.

$206 seems like a lot to me, in my way of thinking.

Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:16 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
Agree. It seems high but I know it the festival weekend so rates aren't cheap.

Free parking at Governors? That's good. Most all of them charge for parking now.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:30 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
They also have free wifi and free sherry & tea [with biscochittos] every afternoon.

http://innofthegovernors.com/amenities/

I just saw that someone got Inn of Gov during Balloon Fiesta for $85 a night! Since OP is looking for end of Sept, I'd say that they can certainly get a price that is way better than $206. I could use the saving to have a really good time in SF!!!
Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:35 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
Sorry, missed that is was Wine Festival weekend. I would still try and bid, nothing to lose.

I think things are still tough as far as tourism is concerned. The hotel has it's own specials,

http://innofthegovernors.com/rooms-r.../specials.aspx

Like I said, I would give it a try if it were me.

Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 09:31 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 14
I love Taos, but on a first trip, ABQ and Santa Fe can fill up an itinerary quickly. I'm not a big shopping/art gallery buff, so Santa Fe got old quickly for me, although I loved the restaurants and enjoyed driving up to the ski resort in the area. Albuquerque has a number of neat things to do. You can hike at the base of the mountains if you are worried about elevation - it's especially beautiful around sunset (see the Elena Gallegos trail/park area). Taking the Tram up to the top of the mountains is also a beautiful venture. There's a restaurant at the top that I've heard is a bit pricey, but you could pack a picnic if you'd like. For a fun experience, albeit slightly touristy, El Pinto has traditional New Mexican food. Other restaurants I like - Pars for Middle Eastern, Olympia Cafe for Greek, Rudys for BBQ (a small Austin-TX chain), Ragin Shrimp, and Flying Star if you want quick and easy.

That said, come back and devote a trip just to Taos, it's my favorite spot in New Mexico. It's a bit less developed than Santa Fe, but still has the neat Indian influence. The Taos Pueblo is nearby. The river gorge is amazing. Plus, some of the dive restaurants are fantastic. Oh, and the skiing is awesome if you get good snow conditions and are at least intermediate skill.
bevoblake is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 10:45 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,455
Bookmarking, too!!
MichelleY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:11 AM.