Santa Fe in April - advice!

Old Mar 12th, 2011, 03:00 PM
  #1  
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Santa Fe in April - advice!

We are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary in a few weeks. It is our first visit to Santa Fe.

We like to hike, x-country ski/snowshoe, take photographs (especially at places like farmer's markets), window shop, eat & drink, meet locals and try to become immersed in the culture. My husband is a mountain biker, runner and woodworker. Occasionally we will visit a museum but it's not the focus of our trip although he enjoys history (mostly World War I & II) and I am a genealogist. In the past we have enjoyed cooking classes, dance lessons, jazz concerts, wandering through cemeteries, wine tasting, wandering through neighborhoods, fishing, tandem biking & people watching while sipping a good latte or glass of wine (or beer/margarita) and driving from small town to small town checking out scenery, eating appetizers & window shopping.... My husband gets "crowd anxiety" (places like NYC or Vegas) and hates casinos.... We like to be active but also like a good massage!

We are arriving late night Saturday, April 2nd in Albuquerque. We are staying at an airport hotel and plan to leave early the next morning for Santa Fe (hopefully for some sunrise photos) - we have Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, then fly home early Wednesday morning. We are staying in a B&B near the plaza, with breakfast included.

So we will have 1 breakfast, 3 lunches & dinners. We both love Mexican Food (and can't get it where we live unless we drive 3 hours). My restaurant choices are:

Breakfast: Tia Sophia's
Lunch: The Shed, Cafe Pasqual & Upper Crust Pizza
Dinner: La Boca, Geronimo (anniversary night) & Del Charro Saloon

Are these good choices? We love good food but not necessarily upscale restaurants, we most enjoy a local pub or when at a nice place sitting at the bar.

Potential activities:
- visit Shidoni Foundry in Tesuque to see bronze pour & glass blowing (do they only do this on Saturday?)
- visit Railroad, Canyon Road & Plaza areas
- Artisans Market
Every Sunday
10am-4pm

- Santa Fe Farmers Market 
1607 Paseo de Peralta
10am-4pm
- LNSF Dance Space, learn the fundamental techniques of traditional and modern movements, footwork and the history of other ethnic influences that has defined folkloric dance of Mexico.
- Argentina Tango Milonga – El Meson
- Historic/Cultural Tours Eldorado Tours - www.historicwalksofsantafe.com
- Ghostwalkers#8232;Led by professional guide/reenactor 
Allan "Tex" Wheeler portraying William Becknell
- hike the 5.5-mile ascent of Atalaya Mountain, with vigorous uphill stretches and panoramic views
-class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking (one available Tues morning)
-Georigia O'Keefe museum
- Folk Art Museum
- Ten Thousand Waves (Japanese Spa)
- 2 walking tours listed on Frommer's website
- Taos day trip - take High Road and stop at village of Cordova, noted for its woodcarving

Obviously we won't be able to fit all of these in to our schedule. I am just trying to collect a general list. I would be interested to know which activities I have listed are a "must", which should be crossed off the list and if I have missed anything!

Any other hikes to recommend? markets? photo ops? small nearby towns? coffee shops?

Thanks in advance for your help!
adnil1962 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2011, 04:10 PM
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Phew! I am tired just reading yor post, I hope you take vitamins

I will try to answer some of your questions.

Shidoni only pours on Saturdays.

It's Railyard, not railroad - if you mean the terminus of the Railrunner. There is nothing really worthwhile there, aside from the markets on weekends. And I am not sure I would want to spend my time in a market when there are so many other things to see and do that are much more unique to New Mexico.

re: Hiking anywhere - in April hiking could be iffy due to snow and or mud. Where are you coming from? If someplace at or near sea level, hiking here is a challenge even if you are in TOP condition due to altitude. You need some time to adjust and with such a short time here, might be difficult.

Museums: I would skip Folk Art; it's nice but it isn't anything unique to southwest/NM. I would do the following as time permits:

Palace of the Governors, NM History Museum, O'Keefe Museum in the Plaza and on Musuem Hill - I would do Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. None of the museums are huge, but if you are the type that reads every single placard, it would take some time. If you do a faster skim of info, you can get through them pretty quickly.

For your 1 breakfast, I assume you are talking about Sunday. I would have breakfast in ABQ at Frontier - it is quintessential NM and they have the best tortillas in the state. The sunrise photos of the Sandias is pretty spectacular. You can do Santa Fe shots on Mon or Tues. I would eat, shoot and then head up to Santa Fe via the Turquoise Trail. There are some great photo ops.
http://www.turquoisetrail.org/

I am going to post this, because I don't want to lose info. {I already did that once!}
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Old Mar 12th, 2011, 04:22 PM
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Dinner - I would skip La Boca. Again, it's tapas and you can get them most places and I personally don't care for LB. Tables are on top of each other, service can be less than great. I have never eaten at Del Charro, so can offer any input. For your special dinner, I would recommend Bistro 315 or Max's or Restaurant Martin.

http://www.maxssantafe.com/

http://www.315santafe.com/

http://www.restaurantmartinsantafe.com/

Lunch - Upper crust; it's just pizza, {hyped because of Food Network} skip it.

La Choza is much more local oriented [we go there] than The Shed [same owners].

For a lighter lunch, Vinaigrette is really nice.

Ore House should be a stop for drinks on the balcony or lunch.

Restaurants in Santa Fe can be casual, even the higher end ones. However there are a few that are really formal i.e. the ones on Canyon Road

http://www.canyonroadarts.com/restaurants/index.html
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Old Mar 12th, 2011, 04:25 PM
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Santa Fe cooking school has good rep, so if you can do it, go for it.
I don't know anything about these:

--LNSF Dance Space, learn the fundamental techniques of traditional and modern movements, footwork and the history of other ethnic influences that has defined folkloric dance of Mexico.
- Argentina Tango Milonga – El Meson
- Historic/Cultural Tours Eldorado Tours - www.historicwalksofsantafe.com
- Ghostwalkers#8232;Led by professional guide/reenactor 
Allan "Tex" Wheeler portraying William Becknell

I would not pay anyone for a walking tour, it is easy enough to do on your own.

Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 12th, 2011, 07:56 PM
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Glad to read your notes, Deb -- we are hoping to visit the lad this spring!
annw is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2011, 08:27 PM
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ask away Ann, anytime
DebitNM is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2011, 05:29 PM
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The glass blowing place is next door to Shidoni; they don't have a website, but it's worth a look even if the artist isn't working.

I've never eaten at Cafe Pasqual's, but they got a pretty poor review recently in the Albuquerque Journal.

Lee Ann
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Tomasita's over The Shed every day and twice over on weekends. Same applies to La Choza.

Consider Tent Rocks Park (title?) -- that'd be a useful hike for you if a bit short.

Given your lack of time in the area, you can skip Taos without a hitch.

Personally, we like the Chuck Jones Gallery downtown better than a lot of the Canyon Road stuff, but if you go to Taos see if you can stop by Studio De Colores (Ed Sandoval and his wife Ann Huston are the artists).

PS, how late is the flight into ABQ? You know it's only about 75 minutes from the ABQ Sunport to Santa Fe, right?
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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DebitNM is our resident expert on NM and Santa Fe. Her advice is as good as gold.

I love to visit and always include Shidoni on my list of things to do. It's a great spot for photographs, shopping and watching bronze pours and glass blowing. We usually take a picnic lunch along. Re hiking: If you are sensitive to heights at all, do take Deb's advice. I always get a nosebleed in Santa Fe and hiking is always a little slower because of the altitude.

Have a great visit and happy anniversary!
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Thanks so much!! I am very glad that I posted!! This information is really great!

BigRuss - we get into ABQ at 10:00PM so by the time we get our luggage and car it will be 10:30/11 PM. I am a terrible night driver (poor eyesight) and my husband's driving scares me when he is tired Not to mention that we are morning people, so I think the drive will be more enjoyable at 6AM when we are not cranky!!

I was able to get the Sheridan ABQ Airport Hotel for $35.00 ($46.87 with taxes) on Priceline for the night we arrive. And it sounds like we have to try Frontier for breakfast in ABQ for the best tortillas in the state!!
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Old Mar 15th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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We have used the Sheraton for some early morning flights, it is an ok hotel for a short stay.

Tent Rocks should be ok for hiking in a few weeks. The biggest issue for folks is that it a pretty far from Santa Fe [about an hour] and you don't really want to do it on the way back to airport. The rock formations [hoo-doos] are pretty spectacular.

http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/rec...ent_rocks.html
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Old Mar 18th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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Happy anniversary! You've chosen a great town to celebrate.

I highly recommend Ten Thousand Waves for an outdoor tub and massage. It's a great way to end the day!

Also, Geronimo was spot on the last visit. It's back up to par but the other's mentioned would be good as well. Also, Bistro 315 is a go-to for us every visit and ditto that recommendation.

The Shed is a favorite of ours and guess we've had better meals than others. It can be very crowded as it's on the plaza but it's always been a good stop for us and we've been fans for 20 years.

Tomasita's is a good stop as well and love their sopapillas. It can be busy at lunch as well but the line goes quickly.

Tia Sophia's is another favorite of ours as it's good New Mexican, reasonably priced and quick. Unless, it's a busy weekend there may be a wait but unless you're a large party you should get in pretty quickly.

Have a great visit.
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Old Mar 18th, 2011, 11:41 AM
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We were in Santa Fe at Christmas. Check out my posting for information on our meals at Max's and Restaurant Martin--would recommend either. http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...n-santa-fe.cfm
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 02:02 PM
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Thanks again everyone!! One week to go, we are getting excited!!
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 02:30 PM
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We did Tent Rocks this past Sunday - it's good to go, no snow or ice. If you go, after you get back in your car, turn right and go to the end of the road [about 3 miles] and see the new area, very pretty and a nice level walking loop with pretty spectacular views.
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 06:22 PM
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Thanks Deb!!!
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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There are picnic tables in the new section that would be a nice place for lunch. When we were there, there was only 1 other couple there, everyone else was at Tent Rocks. The name of the area is Veterans Memorial:
"The Veterans Memorial Trail is a 1-mile long loop trail, rated as very easy and is wheel chair accessible. The Veterans Memorial is located at the end of a 3 mile long gravel surfaced road overlooking picturesque Peralta Canyon and Jemez Mountain peaks. Picnic tables, shelters and toilets area available at both sights."
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