Sante Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque in October

Aug 27th, 2019, 06:01 PM
  #1  
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Sante Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque in October

Hi, My wife and I (early 60's) need some help in planning a trip to New Mexico in October.. We are hoping for 5 nights. We love hiking, nice long brisk walks, great scenery , local food, craft beers, and nice places to stay with an outdoor pool to relax by the sun. Based on what I read, it looks like Sante Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque would be a great introduction to New Mexico. We would be flying into and out of Albuquerque. Would love advice on how many nights and in what order and where. For example, does it make sense to first drive to Sante Fe and stay there 2 nights and then back to Alb for 3 nights? Also, any nice resorts and favorite places to eat (we love great food and atmosphere)?
Thanks, Warren.
WarrenWST is offline  
Aug 27th, 2019, 10:19 PM
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Both Albuquerque & Santa Fe are high, 5300' & over 7000'. So October will be cool for lounging by a pool. I know some like Albuquerque, I find it very dull compared to Santa Fe. I'd go directly to Santa Fe on arrival for 3 nights, spend a night in Taos then return for a night in Albuquerque if you need to be there for your flight out. If not, then add another night to either of the others.

With 3 nights in Santa Fe you'll have only a bit more than 2 full days, not nearly enough in my opinion. You'll be glad to have as much time there as you can manage.
MmePerdu is offline  
Aug 28th, 2019, 07:27 AM
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I second MmePerdu's suggestion. Although Albuquerque does have a lot to offer, it really doesn't have the unique atmosphere, history, and charm of Santa Fe. You'll find plenty of good restaurants and upscale lodging. Taos could be just a day trip, but it is also well worth a night on its own. Our preference is to keep Albuquerque for a final afternoon/evening when we visit, although we have stayed longer in some prior visits.
sludick is offline  
Aug 29th, 2019, 09:12 AM
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It’s better to just spend the extra $$$ to fly in/out of Santa Fe.
The Hotel La Fonda there is special.
MoBro is offline  
Aug 29th, 2019, 10:20 AM
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La Fonda is fun. I'd check on the cost (if any) of parking in their garage when comparing rates. There are some nice properties slightly out of the center, still very much walking distance, that would provide free parking, like La Posada de Santa Fe about 3 blocks away where I stayed 1 time. Last visit I stayed in a nice Airbnb room just outside the center. There are loads of options for every budget.
MmePerdu is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2019, 05:29 PM
  #6  
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Thanks everybody. Based on the advice we are thinking 3 nights in Sante Fe=, 1 in Taos and final night in Albuquerque.

Searching for places to stay as I type. La Fonda looks great. Checking some others as well. Any thoughts on where to stay in Taos and Alb? Any must places to eat at? Love local atmosphere and great local food. Thanks again, Warren.
WarrenWST is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2019, 06:17 PM
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Take NM from Ranchos de Taos to Chimayo for a scenic drive.

Michael is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2019, 09:36 PM
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In Santa Fe, a restaurant we liked is called Cafe Pasqual’s
https://pasquals.com

Its specials are creative:
https://pasquals.com/The_Menus/Dinne...als/index.html

Last edited by MoBro; Sep 3rd, 2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Sep 5th, 2019, 10:13 AM
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We stayed at the Old Santa Fe Inn - quiet, just a short walk to the center. Nice place. And free parking, too!
SB25 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 10:28 AM
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WarrenWST, try going to the search option near the top of this page. Your first option is a regular search. If that doesn't help you, go to the 'Advanced Search' option to further refine what you want.

Here's my 2018 TR for Sante Fe. The altitude bothered me and I missed Taos because of it.

Santa Fe Getaway 2018

It's a wonderful, interesting area. Please let everyone know what you did!
TDudette is offline  
Sep 18th, 2019, 05:19 PM
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Hi everybody. Sorry for the delay in responding. Had to confirm some plans. Turns out one of our children had the opportunity to go to Sante Fe for work for several days so we changed plans to go during the last week of October, We will be flying into/out of Alb. We will fly in on a Tuesday and based on the advice will stay one night in Alb to become acclimated somewhat to the elevation, although I have never had any issues when flying into Denver or other high elevations. We will then head to Sante Fe for 3 nights and have booked the La Posada. The heated pool caught our attention amongst other things, We are hoping it is a nice walk to the plaza from there. I have actually booked for 4 nights but the flight out is at 6am so we are having second thoughts and may want to stay in Alb the night before the flight. It is unfortunate but the only flights that work all leave around that time. Now we need to find a place in Alb to stay. Any ideas?
We will most likely, if at all, take a day trip to Taos. Other than that we want to enjoy Sante Fe as much as possible. The more advice the better.
TDudette, it looks like you had quite an experience. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks again.
WarrenWST is offline  
Sep 18th, 2019, 05:50 PM
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It's a very nice walk from La Posada to the plaza. Historic Santa Fe is compact and unless you plan to visit places farther afield (the Railyard area is fun, or a drive along Canyon Rd. for the galleries) you'll find a great deal to see, do, eat within walking distance. Santa Fe is just a fun place!
MmePerdu is offline  
Sep 18th, 2019, 06:21 PM
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If you want to enjoy some hiking, I’d recommend Bandelier National Monument. You would have the opportunity to walk around some of the historical Pueblo sites and even see some cliff dwellings. Tent Rocks is also another option which is a scenic area with some pretty neat rock formations.

One restaurant we enjoyed in Santa Fe was El Farol. We went on a night they had live flamenco dancing, which was fun and different. It’s a tapas restaurant and we really enjoyed the food as well. Our favorite restaurant during our trip though was Orlando’s in Taos. We just liked the atmosphere of it and the food was great as well. We ate there for a late lunch on the day we visited Taos.
Virginia1990 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2019, 12:36 PM
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I more a fan of the Santa Fe area than the central square (which can be a bit too much the geriatric set) so prefer an AirBnB https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2800663...Csg3CwNWTl0DUj or a themed spa https://tenthousandwaves.com/lodging/property-map

Other attractions: https://santafe.meowwolf.com/

I would definitely stay near the ABQ airport the last night. The Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel hotel is adjacent and lighted sidewalk the whole way.
tom_mn is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2019, 04:32 AM
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As I have been reading more, I have learned about the high and low roads. Current high level plan now that flights are booked and reservations are made are as follows:

Arrive Alb 3:45pm on a Tuesday. Travel directly to SF via I25. Stay 4 nights at La Posada and hope that we have sunny days regardless of the temperature and sit by their heated outdoor pool on at least one day. If not, that's okay. Meet up with one of our children on Wednesday night who is there for a conference. My wife and I have not decided what day trips we will take yet from SF other than Taos being one of them where we will probably take the low ride to and the high road back. On the 5th day we will head back to Alb for one night (taking the Turquoise Trail) with our child and stay at the Parq Central. It looked very interesting and close to both old town and the airport. We were fortunate to book a flight closer to 8am as opposed to 6am.

We are hoping 4 nights in SF is not too much. Now have to plan some finer details with our explorations which must include some hiking. Thanks again, W
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Sep 23rd, 2019, 05:43 AM
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Consider going to Bandelier National Monument, about an hour west of Santa Fe. Here is a picture of the ancient dwellings there.

You can climb up into the dwelling if you want the view the original folks had.
emalloy is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2019, 06:47 AM
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I can't imagine four days being too many; you should have a wonderful trip. Enjoy!
sludick is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2019, 06:47 AM
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Others can confirm, but I don't believe Albuquerque's elevation will provide any transition for you.

Also, transportation to/from airport is good. You can stay in SF and avoid changing hotels.

Last edited by TDudette; Sep 23rd, 2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Sep 24th, 2019, 12:34 AM
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We also took the low road there, and the high road beck. I recommend doing it that way. Because I was tired of driving on the way back, and the high road seemed like an easier drive.
MoBro is offline  
Nov 4th, 2019, 04:16 PM
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Hi everybody. I want to share our experience since you were all so helpful. We had a wonderfull time Had some bumps in the road which I will mention but everything worked out overall. My wife and I never imagined going to New Mexico only because we did not know much about it. This all started when our daughter who lives in the Pacific Northwest mentioned that she always wanted to visit Santa Fe. My wife and I Iove to travel and have plenty on our bucket list. I starting searching best places to visit in the fall and Santa Fe came up. So, I started looking into it. It looked great. But then my wife and I thought we should save some money and just plan to do something local. But then my daughter called and asked if we were still going to Santa Fe because she was just asked to go to a conference there in late October. That’s all we needed for the incentive!
So, we flew from Boston to Atlanta and then to Albuquerque on Tuesday. Our plan was to drive the Turquoise trail which we did. The young man at the car rental suggested we stop at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid. We did. It was fantastic. Great service. The locals were friendly and that set the mood. From there we drove to the La Posada. We chose this resort based on the location and the fact that they had a year-round heated pool. We did experience one issue our first night in our room but the staff took care of everything. The staff were outstanding and we were very happy. The concierge Lisa was fantastic. She was so helpful! We stayed there a total of 4 nights. Our daughter was flying in on Wednesday to the Santa Fe airport which is tiny. I think they have a total of 2 runways. Our concierge Lisa had provided us recommended restaurants and things to do in advance over the phone before we left Boston. She told us which places were her favorite and which ones that we would need to make reservations for. On the night we arrived (Tuesday) we took a walk and saw the famous plaza which was wonderful. The adobe style of all the buildings including our resort was remarkable. We went to La Fonda on the Plaza (5 min walk) with the intention to eat at La Plazuela. However, although the restaurant was absolutely beautiful, we chose to eat at the adjacent La Fiesta lounge (also inside La Fonda) where they had a live 3 person band and dancing. We had some great craft local beers and nachos. It was so inexpensive and so good! The next day we dressed for the cold since the temperatures would range from 70 as a high to 20’s as a low throughout our stay. My wife had warned me that since we are at a high elevation that the sun would make it feel much warmer.
We started the day walking to the lobby, enjoying their complimentary coffee (it was delicious) and then decided to lie on the lounge chairs by the pool. After about 5 minutes we took off the first layer (coat), then after another 10 minutes the second layer (the sweater) and then after another 10 minutes we were in the room changing into our bathing suits. It is amazing. It can be in the 50’s but you could burn very quickly. We then went for a walk around Santa Fe near the plaza. There are plenty of shops and if you are into art or museums this is the place. Canyon Drive is a must for galleries. My wife and I enjoy art and museums but that was not the focus of this trip. Regardless, just walking and enjoying the style of the city was great. We had lunch at one of Lisa’s favorite, Plaza Café. We were warned about the chili in terms of the red vs green and to ask how hot each were. Again, the staff were so friendly. We only wanted a small meal because we are not big breakfast or lunch eaters. But I was so looking for enjoying Mexican and Southwestern flavored food that I couldn’t resist. I ordered the green chili and my wife ordered the Chicken Tortilla soup. The green chili was hot. You never know as we learned that the degree of hotness for both the red and green chili’s differ from place to place. But we loved our meals! They had served a roll of bread. The waiter stopped by and noticing that I had broken a piece of the bread off said, “tell me you didn’t eat it that way” and went on to explain how we are supposed to pour the provided honey onto the roll and eat it. Well, we did from that point on. It was delicious. Again, another example of how friendly the locals were. We then picked up our daughter at the airport and drove her directly to her conference at The Four Seasons Resort which was about a 20 minute drive. What a beautiful place. We had made reservations for dinner that night at another of Lisa’s favorite, Café Pasquales. This is definitely one of the best and only had 14 tables so you must make reservations. We were not disappointed. We all had a different version of their enchilada’s. I had the red chili ones! We were all pleased!
The next day, our daughter was going to be tied up at her conference so we had planned to go to Taos. But shockingly, but I guess we should not have been, the weather changed and snow was in the forecast! We couldn’t believe it. We did not expect that. When we woke up the sun was out and people were saying that it looks like we would escape the snow although we did witness a few flurries. I checked the weather for Taos and it likewise appeared that the chance of snow was only 20%. What I didn’t check and would learn that I should have was what the weather would be on the drive to Taos. Well, we decided to take the High road to Taos and got caught in a semi blizzard. We had an SUV so we were okay but we saw several trucks off the road. Unfortunately, we did not get to enjoy the beautiful scenery everybody talks about on the High road because of the snow but that was okay. The snow finally died down and completely stopped by the time we got to Taos. We stopped at the visitor’s center and asked what they recommended since we only had a few hours. They highly recommended the Pueblo and the Santa Fe Gorge bridge which both were on our hope to do lists. We stopped at Michaels Restaurant and had a late breakfast and then went to the Pueblo. We chose to take the tour and I would highly recommend this for anybody. They live with no electricity or running water but the most important impression was how devoted and proud they are of their heritage. We then took a drive to the Rio Grande Gorge bridge. This was very deceiving. The short drive from the Pueblo (about 20 minutes) appeared that you were on flat land amidst beautiful mountain scenery. Then all of a sudden you come across the bridge, pull over in the visiting center and walk out. Amazing! It is so high above the gorge with mountains in the background. I never knew how many mountains NM had. We then decided we would take the High road back to Santa Fe since we believed the snow would have melted. We were successful for most of the way and understood why everybody says to take this road even though it is longer. But then we somehow took the wrong turn (not unlike me) and ended up on the low road. Oh well, at least we got to see some of it. After arriving back to our resort, we decided to go for a nice brisk walk, short run. We then picked up our daughter and went out for Pizza at the Rooftop Pizzeria for great pizza and craft beers.
On our last day in Santa Fe, we sat by the pool in 50 odd degree weather and like the other days soon were down to very light clothing. We took another walk and had a light lunch at the Thunderbird bar and grill overlooking the plaza. At night we went to the Santa Fe Inn to listen to a local artist play guitar (Spanish music). We had our margarita’s and then walked to The Shed which we had reservations. Fantastic Mexican food. I changed things a little and split the red chili burritos and skewers of shrimp with my daughter. Fantastic!
On Friday, the three of us went to Tent Rocks on our way to Albuquerque based on the recommendation by Lisa. What a beautiful hike. I encourage all to check this out.
Upon arrival to our hotel, the Hotel Parq Central, (this is where things get bad) upon check in we were told that there was a wedding about to take place and that they have the outside deck reserved between 5:30 – 6:30pm but we could use it; they just wanted us to be prepared that it would be crowded. They also said that they put us into a room that was far away from the wedding party and guests so that we would not be disturbed. All lies. The place is actually a converted hospital of which they did a great job. The location isn’t ideal but again, the décor was nice. Well, after we all showered we hurried up to the deck to enjoy the sunset. That was our plan. I brought a ˝ bottle of wine that I thought we could enjoy while watching the sunset. This is where everything went wrong. A young man who turned out to be the food and beverage director refused to allow us on the deck stating wedding guests only! I told him the front desk said we could go out there but he would not have anything to do with that and was I thought quite arrogant. He simply pointed his hands to the inside bar and that was that as far as he was concerned. He also wouldn’t let me open my bottle of wine since he said that was against company policies. I could accept that although I was never made aware of these policies. So, after the wedding party left the deck, we went out there although we had indeed missed the sunset. We went to the best location, the rear of the deck, and were soon told that we would have to leave that section since another party would be using that area. We were directed to the front section near the entrance to the bar. We couldn’t believe it! When I told the front desk they simply said, sorry for the misunderstanding. You could tell there was no sincerity there. It was all scripted talk. We ended our night with dinner at the Seasons Rotisserie and Grill which was very good.

All our wishes of great Mexican food and drinks as well as scenery came true from this trip.
I would highly recommend all of the restaurants we ate and drank at but most of all would highly recommend a trip to Santa Fe and a drive to Taos. I would use Albuquerque only as a stopover if you have an early flight. But if you do, stay at one of the hotels right outside the airport (less than .2 miles away). Whatever you do, do not stay at the Hotel Parq Central unless they guarantee in writing that no amenities are off limits, e.g., the outside deck overlooking the city! I would be more forgiving if they actually showed any sense of remorse when I contacted them. I sent them two emails describing what happened and asked them to call my cell to discuss. I felt a conversation would be more meaningful than emails where as we all know, emails don’t set the tones. After no reply, I called and asked for the manager. They transferred me to his voice mail. The next day I received an email from a different person who didn’t address 99% of my concerns. In fact, they said they spoke to the food and beverage director and he said he had suggested we grab a table on the area that wasn’t reserved. Never addressed the fact that they falsely advertise their deck but wouldn’t let us on it. Never addressed the placement of our room right next to the wedding party that kept us up all night. The lack of their response would hopefully have you all thinking before you ever decide to stay there.
In short, ha ha, I know what you are thinking, there was nothing short about my summary but you deserved it and I was on a roll,
Santa Fe was magnificent. I would say 4 days is plenty with one of those days taking the drive to Taos. Albuquerque, as mentioned is good just for a night if you have an early flight out.
La Posada was great! Hotel Parq Central was not.
All the restaurants we went to in Santa Fe were fabulous. The people all so friendly, the food so delicious, plenty of drinks to choose from, and beautiful scenery.

Thank you all once again, W.
WarrenWST is offline  

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