Santa Fe and Taos Itinerary Help

Jun 14th, 2007, 08:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Santa Fe and Taos Itinerary Help

I need help filling in the gaps with the very rough itinerary outlined below! There is so much to do and I don't want to miss the highlights and I also don't want to overdo it! If anyone has thoughts on specifics for the days below, I would appreciate it! Thanks so much!

Arrive Alb - Drive I-25 to Santa Fe for the evening. Staying at the Inn of the Five Graces

Day 1: Santa Fe - Spend the day in town, See Museum Hill and ?

Day 2: Bandolier Nat. Mon and ? (is this a full day trip?)

Day 3: Drive The High Road to Taos - what are the must see's along this route?

Day 4: Taos - spend the day in town, maybe drive to the Gorge Bridge, do the Enchanted Circle Drive???

Day 5: Take the River Road back to Santa Fe and then the Turquoise Trail back to Albuquerque. Need must see highlights for this drive back!
Spend night in Alb, leave in the AM
CharleysGirl is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 09:09 AM
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I would suggest filling in the blank where it says "Search the Forum"

There are several NM trip reports you could read.

Jun 14th, 2007, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
There are several threads that may offer something for you.

Yes, there is so much to do but I really feel like you are overdoing it.

Just MHO and a longtime visitor to Santa Fe, I don't feel like you are spending hardly anytime in Santa Fe. One day isn't enough. Two really isn't either but it looks like you're going to Taos on Day 3.

After looking at this part of your itinerary I would skip Bandalier ONLY because you have a very limited amount of time in Santa Fe Walking Canyon Road, visiting a museum or two, walking the plaza, just being still to soak in the ambiance of the place. I think once you get to Santa Fe you will regret not spending more time there. But if Bandalier is a necessity for your trip then go. If you get up early and head out you might be able to get back to Santa Fe by the afternoon if you keep to the short trails. Otherwise, yes, its a full day.

Driving the high road to Taos is beautiful and recommend that for your trip to Taos. A favorite stop is Sancuario de Chimayo. Its beautiful and you can grab a snack on the premises at Leona's (?) And make a stop at Rancho de Chimayo. A beautiful setting and nice restaurant with traditional New Mexican fare. Take a look at this website so you can decide what interests you. They all are very small villages but that is the charm.

In Taos, make time for the Taos Pueblo and if you have time drive up a couple of miles to the Gorge Bridge.
If you take the Enchanted Circle you will be in a car most of the day. I would rather spend the time in Taos. If you had more days then I would add that on to the trip but not with the short amount of time you have.

Albuquerque deserves some attention as well but I know there are only so many vacation days!

Search for trips as Valerie suggested. There are a lot of threads that we have commented on which could help on your decisions.

Also, if you want restaurant suggestions here is an exerp from a recent posting:
Author: BeachGirl247 ([email protected])
Date: 05/29/2007, 10:37 am
You can make reservations for the patio at most places. Here is a thread with Santa Fe patios:

Author: BeachGirl247 ([email protected])
Date: 04/12/2007, 02:52 pm

Bistro 315, as mentioned above - maybe 6 tables. quaint.

Santacafe - courtyard

La Casa Sena - beautiful courtyard!

Geronimo - has a portal (inside is my favorite dining)

Compound - fine dining and patio

Staab House at La Posada - beautiful patio with water feature and fireplace

Julian's - has outside tables - very romantic

Inn at Loretto - restaurant name escapes me right now! But nice outside area;service & food are not tops.

Those listed above require a reservation and very enjoyable for dinner. Geronimo isn't a great "patio" as its a portal but the food & service is top notch. Make your reservations now and specify outdoor dining.

Listed below are more casual dining options:

Cafe San Estephan - 4 table patio
Cowgirl - very casual
Coyote Cafe - casual
El Farol - few tables on patio
Guadalupe Cafe - traditional NM; no reserv.
The Shed - few tables.
La Choza-sister rest. to The Shed
O'Keefe Cafe
Pink Adobe - not sure what it is called now as it was sold to the owners of Five Graces
Harry's Roadhouse - nice outdoor area
The Railyard (owner of 315)
Tomasita's - casual;excellent red & green sauce
Tesuque Village Market - covered patio. a personal favorite

To add to that:
La Boca on Marcy St. -- EXCELLENT Tapas and dishes. A++ Very few tables so a reservation is necessary for dinners and sometimes for lunch.

El Meson - excellent Spanish-style dishes including a wonderful seafood paella and wine list to match.

Hope that helps a little and post back with more questions if you have them.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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I would do 2 days for sure in Santa Fe and just 1 day in Taos.

The Enchanted circle drive is 100 miles and is pretty, but it is car drive. You can stop along the way to walk/hike but no real "attractions along the way.

I would skip Bandalier for this trip. Instead I would hike Tent Rocks which is between ABQ and Santa Fe. Do it early, it gets hot but is well worth the hike.

There isn't much along the drive to Taos either in the way of attractions.

What time of day are you getting into ABQ? That would influence my itinerary suggestions.

Also, when [dates] of this trip. Time of year matters too.

Suggestions for Taos Restaurants:

Author: DebitNM ([email protected])
Date: 03/02/2007, 11:15 pm

I've eaten at all of these and give them thumbs up!

In town:
casual: Michaels, Apple Tree, Bent Street Deli, DragonFly

fancier: Doc Martin's, Joseph's Table, Lambert's

On the mountain:
Tim's Stray Dog Cantina[southwest]

In Between:
casual: Old Blinking Light [new mexican], sheva Cafe[middle eastern], Orlando's [new mexican with great outdoor area]

fancier: Villa Fontana

Hope this helps...

DebitNM is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Posts: 717
I'd hit the Lost Mine Tavern in Madrid on your way back along the Turquoise Trail. Get the blue cheese burger.
If you're more into outdoorsy things versus indoorsy things (art gallerys and the like) then definately do Bandelier. It can be done in less than a full day, but that's pushing it. An alternative it to drive to Pecos, which is a great ancient Indian site out in the middle of some sweeping plains. It's about a 45 minutes drive from Santa Fe.
I also love the drive to Ghost Ranch.
Have breakfast at the Tesuque market. Spledid.
Cowgirl Hall of Fame is one of favorite (casual) resturants.
JackOneill is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 11:43 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,868
Jack - you pose a good question: CharleysGirl - what kind of activities are you seeking? Museums, galleries, drives or outdoor activities like hike/raft/bike etc? That will also impact suggestions.

I agree about Cowgirl Hall of Fame in SF and for sure - a must stop on Turquoise Trail is the Mine Shaft Tavern
and have elk burger! Delish!

DebitNM is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Wow! What great help already!
No, I don't have to go to Bandalier, it just seems to be on everyone's list! I love fabulous restaurants and great site seeing. Hiking really isn't our thing, but we love national parks and nature. We are from Florida, so seeing this part of the US will be so different. We are going in mid July. I wish I had longer, but 5 days is it!
CharleysGirl is offline  
Jun 14th, 2007, 05:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 215
Bandelier can be done as long as you want to spend, a few hours to a few days ... The main loop is only about 1.5 miles long, where you can see the ruins and cliff-dwellings of the Anasazi (a must see) ... some requiring climbing ladders to enter ..

I would also recommend the Falls Trail .. which is about a 5 mile hike .... down into the canyon, passing two beautiful waterfalls on the way to the Rio Grande.

I'd say as long as you are physically fit, both can be done in 4-5 hours ..

and if hiking of any length, proper shoes must be worn and food/water must be carried .. the trails are narrow with steep ledges ..
DonnieD is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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Some of my pics from Bandelier
DonnieD is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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I have to chime in to say that going to Bandalier--I think we spent about 1/2 day--was the highlight of our six days in Taos, closely following by Taos Pueblo.
Ruff is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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" Hiking really isn't our thing"
Don't feel like you have to do something just because it is on everyone's list.

If the OP isn't a hiker, trying to hike in the heat of July -- in the altitude of NM -- it is not going to be much fun and could even be a problem.

You should do what you like to do and enjoy on vacation. There is lots to do in NM without going hiking or seeing Bandalier. IMHO, of course.
DebitNM is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
So, CharleysGirl, what are you leaning towards??
BeachGirl247 is offline  

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