one week too long for Santa Fe

Old Apr 25th, 2010, 02:57 PM
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one week too long for Santa Fe

We're planning a our first trip to Santa Fe for our 30th wedding anniversary end of May/beginning of June. We like to eat at good restaurants but shopping is not high on our list (would like to do some, though). Want to do some hiking and my husband is an amateur photographer. We are currently booked for the seven nights in Santa Fe, figuring we would do some day trips. But I'm wondering if maybe we should spend a couple nights elsewhere as well. I was thinking maybe near/in Taos since that sounds a bit far for a day trip. Any suggestions?
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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Meant to put a question mark in my title! To clarify, I'm thinking we probably could amuse ourselves for the entire week staying in the same hotel in Santa Fe, but wondered if there were some other sights we might want to check out that would be a bit too far for a day trip, like Taos, in which case we would book a couple nights elsewhere...

We fly into Albuquerque on a Saturday afternoon and leave around 1 pm from Albuquerque the following Saturday, so we really have six full days to tour.
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 04:01 PM
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Haven't been to this area, but there appear to be attractions to see in both Taos and Albuquerque as well as Santa Fe. The little research I've done on Santa Fe suggests that ca. 4 days would likely be a good amount of time to spend here. If it were me, I'd research some possibilities in these other two cities, as it appears one could profitably spend ca. 2 days in Taos and ca. 3 days or so in Albuquerque.
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 04:26 PM
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You can easily drive from Santa Fe to Taos for the day, it will be about 1.5 hours each way. That is not to say that you should not spend a night or 2 there, it is lovely and very different than either Santa Fe or Taos.

I would also suggest spending some time in ABQ, there are lots of nice things to do here too. The zoo and botanical gardens are great, especially at that time of year.
http://www.cabq.gov/visiting.html

http://www.cabq.gov/biopark/garden/

Tent Rocks, between Santa Fe and Bernalillo is great.

There is lots to see and do beside shop here.

Do a search using the box above or click on destinations tab on top of page; there are lots of threads with ideas for fun things to see and do.

I'll come back with some favorites later....
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 04:28 PM
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Hello, buckminister. I have not been to either SantaFe or Taos (although I had relatives there) but have been to Albuquerque and if it was my trip I would want to spend a day or two there. People that I have known that have visited Taos have loved it.

Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary!
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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Buckminister, I just wanted to mention about 50 Fodorite's will be congregating in Santa Fe in September for a GTG. This is the restaurant that they will be going to and it sounds wonderful to me. Not sure if you enjoy Italian restaurants or not, I do, no surpise with my screen name is it?

http://www.lastazionesantafe.com/
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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Activities:
http://tamaya.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels...site/index.jsp

Santa Fe activities:
http://tamaya.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels...fsiteActId=738

and
http://santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/index.html

http://innofthegovernors.com/about-s...e/attractions/

http://santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe...urs/index.html

http://santafeschoolofcooking.com/

ABQ activities
http://tamaya.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels...eActId=8237823
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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I would spend a nite or 2 in ABQ and then the rest of the time staying in SF. As suggested u can easily do a nice day trip up to Taos. Tent Rocks has great hiking. Bandelier National Monument, west of Santa Fe, has ruins of ancient cliff dwellings. Another day trip could be to Ghost Ranch and Abiqui, Georgia O'Keefe's home. The scenery is spectacular up that way.
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Old Apr 25th, 2010, 06:14 PM
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not a big fan of Santa Fe and think you need to break up your time with Taos and ABQ too.
Can you spend 2 nights in Taos and ABQ and 3 in SF?
I think that would be the ultimate..New Mexico is one hell of a gorgeous, spiritual state!
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 03:11 AM
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I'll second the suggestion for Bandelier, and if you like an easy, interesting hike, go to the separate part of the park called Tsankawi for a hike. It is about 5 miles closer to SF.
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 05:13 AM
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Thank you all for your helpful, wonderful advice! I think we will spend 4-5 nights in Santa Fe, probably at the front end, then spend 1-2 nights in Taos, and our last night in ABQ. Although Taos is feasible as a day trip, when you're trying to combine a hike that takes several hours (we stop a lot so my husband can take photos) with other sites or maybe a raft trip, I think it would be more relaxing to not have to drive back to Santa Fe that night.

We rented a full size car but I'm wondering if we would be better off with a four wheel drive? I read there are a lot of dirt roads or maybe snow up in the mountains? We're going 5/29-6/5.
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 05:41 AM
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A 4 WD vehicle wouldn't be a bad idea [but it will cost you $$ - rental prices seem to have gone crazy].

Keep in mind, that going "off road" or on "unimproved" roads- will invalidate your rental agreement and that in spring some of the dirt roads here get pretty rutted. I think dirt roads are considered unimproved for most car rental places.
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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If you're intererested in art, I have a good friend who has an art gallery in Rancho de San Juan, between Santa Fe and Taos. mcdanielcollection.com
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 06:52 AM
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I think the way you are splitting up your time is perfect. Is a week too long? Not for us!

Here is restaurant info I posted on another thread that may help you:

BeachGirl247 on Oct 1, 09 at 8:34pm
My favorites are:
Tia Sophia
Cafe Pasqual for lunch or dinner. Breakfast, especially on weekends, will have a wait.
Anasazi on the patio or inside. We enjoy their patio on a nice day or evening.
La Boca -- one of my favorite Santa Fe restaurants
Rio Chama or Del Charro for a steak burger or bar experience
The Shed - I like the ambiance better than La Choza
Bistro 315
Upper Crust Pizza
Amaya - Italian
Geronimo - this used to be a favorite for fine dining. Much has changed and now it's hit or miss so I'm hesitant to recommend.

Tia Sophia's for New Mexican breakfast and lunch. I can't imagine a trip to SF without eating here.
Tomasita's - not a great ambiance but the food delivers my much needed red and green chile cravings. It has been a winner of best green and best red chile in past years.
Cafe Pasqual's - love their lunches and dinners more than breakfasts
Blue Corn Cafe - still a reliable spot for lunch and dinner
Coyote Cantina - a good spot for drinks and appetizers. Service is still slow and spotty.
Coyote Cafe -- chef Eric DiStefano from Geronimo has brought this back to life. It isn't the best but should give you a very nice dinner spot
Geronimo -- Chef Eric is back in the picture but I don't think it's as good as it was even last year. Maybe they just stumbled this summer, I don't know.
Andiamo! - always a good idea for casual Italian
Amavi - nice Italian in the spot where Julian's used to be on Shelby Street. Romantic atmosphere.
SantaCafe - hit or miss for us every single time. It has a great courtyard for outdoor dining.
The Compound - haven't been in over a year but I hear it is still good.
*La Boca -- LOVE this restaurant! The chefs love this restaurant. Wonderful Spanish menu. He used to be the chef at El Farol for many years.
El Farol - still a favorite for evening entertainment or cocktails. I just love the ambiance of it. It's loud and crowded when the bands are there.
*Bistro 315 - This French bistro always delivers for us. A favorite of ours. He just opened the Italian restaurant LoveItaly mentioned above, La Stazione.
Ore House - margaritas and chips kind of place for us. Sit on the balcony for people-watching in the plaza.
The Shed - love the ambiance and shed red! Traditional New Mexican.
La Choza - sister restaurant to The Shed is still good as well
The Bar at Rio Chama - great burgers and steaks. Good spot if you want to watch a game, too.
Pink Adobe -- well, the Dragon Room bar definitely lost its charm when it sold to the group that owns Five Graces behind it. Food is ok and it has a lovely outdoor dining area now.
Cowgirl Cafe - always consistently good and fun atmosphere
Del Charro Saloon - fun bar that serves great burgers and great atmosphere
Tesuque Village Market - was really good then it's fallen off. Hit and miss. I don't know what to say about a place that allows their kitchen to run out of red sauce. In New Mexico!
Fuego's at La Posada - if you want a multi-course gourmet meal this is the spot. Excellent service and a delicious meal
Harry's Roadhouse - I love this quirky spot that serves a little of everything.
Il Piatto - another good Italian restaurant.
Maria's -- the margaritas are still the strongest in town. Food is good but not great.
La Casa Sena - we don't go as often but it is still a wonderful setting with a great wine list and menu. Their courtyard is wonderful dining spot if the weather permits.
Ristra - has been good for us but a friend just returned and said it wasn't good all around the table.
Sleeping Dog Tavern - another spot that gives us a great meal without a lot of fluff.
Upper Crust Pizza - still serving up the best pizza Santa Fe style. I never thought I would have pizza in Santa Fe but boy am I glad I did. Green chile, chorizo and red onion on wheat.

Restaurant Martin is new and all the talk in the restaurant community. We missed it last trip but won't this next one.

Santa Fe Reporter online is a good source for restaurants and other Santa Fe information.

www.sfreporter.com
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Galisteo Bistro is also new. We ate there last month and thought it was very good. It is now one of our Santa Fe favorites.
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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If you have Netflix, rent "The Milagro Beanfield War." It was mostly filmed along and around the high road to Taos, if I recall correctly, and will add a new dimension to the way you see the land.

I would also recommend a visit to Los Alamos, just over the hill from Bandelier, and to at least one other pueblo than Taos, maybe San Ildefonso.
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Thank you thank you!

Wow that's a great restaurant list--so many to choose from. Getting really excited (and hungry)!
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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OK, here's the itinerary I've come up with. Land in ABQ midday on Saturday, get rental care and head out of town on Turquoise Trail, stopping for lunch, etc, on the way.

Spend Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues nights in Santa Fe, with day trips to Bandolier, Tent Rocks, G.O'Keefe Country...

On Wednesday, drive to Taos and spend two nights there @ El Monte Sagrado (anyone stayed there?)

On Friday, head back to Albuquerque. Should we take the high road back? I've read it's best to take the high road heading south to appreciate the views.

Friday night stay in ABQ. Not sure where to stay. We considered staying outside town at Hyatt Tamaya, but wondered if we'd be there long enough to appreciate it. I guess it depends how long it takes us to drive back from Taos. We probably couldn't check in before 3 or 4 anyway. Or we could stay by airport. We won't really have time to explore ABQ but we were there many years ago and it seems pretty big and sprawling. Since we live in a huge city (Chicago), we're more interested in spending our time outdoors or in small quaint towns.

Our flight on Sat leaves at 1:30, so we'll have a little time in the morning but not much since we'll have to return our car and check in by about noon.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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We were just in Taos and stopped by the El Monte Sagrado; it is beautiful and I think you will be very happy there - I would be

We took the high road back and it was a nice ride, pretty views. It isn't that much longer a ride [extra 30 minutes maybe] and we stopped in Chimayo for about 15 minutes.

I live 5 minutes from Tamaya and it is also very nice. I would stay there vs the airport area. You could see Coranado Monument in the afternoon or next morning. Some good local places to eat in Bernalillo.

I might suggest a night less in Santa Fe and an extra night at Tamaya as Tent Rocks is much closer to Tamaya than to Santa Fe. I would then use the extra day to head over to Chaco Canyon, about a 2 hour drive from Tamaya. Amazing sites.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 07:19 AM
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Here are some pics from Chaco:
http://picasaweb.google.com/DebitNM/ChacoCanyon
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