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Santa Fe & Taos for Christmas week: feedback on itinerary?


Dec 3rd, 2016, 02:28 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 112
Santa Fe & Taos for Christmas week: feedback on itinerary?

(re-posting to include New Mexico tag)

Hi folks,

My mom (65) and I (35) are taking a special mother-daughter trip to Santa Fe for the holidays. It's our first time in New Mexico, and we are amazed by the riches that NM has to offer in this winter season. We'd love to get your expert feedback on our draft (6-day) itinerary.

One wondering I have is whether to cut Taos and just focus on Santa Fe for this trip, but I am drawn to the Christmas Eve procession at Taos Pueblo, as well as the ceremonial dances on Christmas day.

I'm particularly worried about the drive to Taos if it snows. We are coming from California so have not driven in icy conditions in a long time. (Should we just stay in Santa Fe for Christmas Eve and see the Canyon Road farolitos? Or is the Taos Pueblo procession a can't miss?)

Our priorities: beautiful outdoor scenery, Christmas festivities, art (museums & local artisans)

Friday 12/23
10:55 am: Land. Grab luggage, and rent car.
12:00: Depart airport. Drive 1 hour, 10 minutes to Santa Fe.
1:15 Lunch in Santa Fe.
2:15 Drive 40 minutes to Chimayo to visit local weavers.
3:00 Visit Ortega Gallery, Trujillo Weavers (open til 5:00)
5:00 Dinner at Rancho de Chimayo
7:00 Attend posada at Santuario de Chimayo or just check out the lights.
8:00 Drive 40 minutes back to Santa Fe to see the city lit up OR stay overnight in Chimayo?

Saturday 12/24
7:30 Drive the High Road to Taos. Drop off luggage at lodging.
10:00 Visit Millicent Rogers Museum
12:30 Lunch
3:00 Depart for Taos Pueblo.
~4:00 Attend Pueblo Christmas Eve procession (approx. 4:00 - 6:30)
7:00 Dinner
Fireworks and torch procession at ski resort? (recommendations about which one?)
Overnight in Taos (Casa Benavides)

Sunday 12/25
Breakfast at Casa Benavides
Explore Taos by foot.
2:00 Attend native dances at the Pueblo.
Overnight in Taos

Monday 12/26
9:30 Vist Rancho de Taos for Chimayo Trading Post & Taos Drums
11:00 Drive to Santa Fe
12:15 Lunch
1:30 Visit Georgia O'Keefe Museum
Overnight in Santa Fe

Tuesday 12/27
9:00 Drive to Ghost Ranch.
10:00 Trail ride
11:30 Lunch at Ghost Ranch
12:30 Drive back to Santa Fe
2:00 Leisurely afternoon exploring Canyon Road

Wednesday 12/28
Spend the day at Bandelier, including Tsankawi

Thursday 12/29
10:00 Museum of International Folk Art
12:30 Lunch
2:00 Leave for airport
3:30 Arrive at airport for 4:50 flight

Thanks in advance for your insights!
Lil1210 is offline  
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Dec 3rd, 2016, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,273
Sounds like you have a nice trip planned, IF the weather cooperates and you don't get a lot of snow when you are planning to move from place to place.

That said, you are spending more time in Taos than I would unless you know you can attend all the things that you want to see.
emalloy is online now  
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Dec 3rd, 2016, 01:14 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,850
You have a lot planned; hopefully the weather here will cooperate. We've already had snow.

I have a few thoughts but this is the most important one - if you do go to the pueblos, please be aware of the etiquette at the dances or any other ceremonies:


On your first day, you say rent a car. I assume you have reservations in place? I wouldn't presume that you can just walk up and rent. Even if there are cars available, walk ups will be $$$

As for staying overnight in Chimayo - there really aren't hotels. Inns, yes. They may be full already or may want 2 night minimum for holiday weekend. I'd stay in Santa Fe

Taos ski resort is quite a distance from town and if there's been snow, the road is a mountain road even if cleared. Keep that in mind since you aren't used to winter driving. Lots of traffic going up and back, so leave enough time to get up.

A whole day at Bandelier in winter would be a bit much for me (I'm close to your moms age)

I would leave SF earlier for airport, especially if weather isn't good. Returning the car and then taking the shuttle to terminal will take a bit of time. Interstate Traffic seems to be starting earlier and earlier here.
DebitNM is offline  
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Dec 3rd, 2016, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,415
Mr. Pickle and I have stayed at Ghost Ranch a couple of times. Their food is cafeteria style and is OK, but nothing special. I would consider eating at Bode's General Store in Abiquiu instead, or perhaps waiting until you reach Espanola. We've had good New Mexican food in Espanola, but the name of the restaurant escapes me at the moment.

Lee Ann
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