Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Suggestions for Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, etc...

Suggestions for Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, etc...

Old Sep 29th, 2015, 10:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggestions for Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, etc...

We are planning to arrive in Albuquerque on October 17 and will leave it on October 27. Not very interested in the caves. Would love suggestions on how to break the trip between Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos... How many days in different places? Should we visit Taos from Santa Fe or should we stay there? We will have have a car for the trip. We like architecture, nature and not too steep hiking trails.
Also, would appreciate recommendations on places to stay.

Thank you very much and looking forward to hear suggestions!!
MichaelYelena is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2015, 11:59 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not quite sure which caves you are talking about, but I may be ignorant.

This is one of my favorite areas of the country. It has a unique combination of scenery, culture, and history. These three are layered over each other in very interesting combinations.

Scenery: cable car to top of Sandia Peak, high road to Taos, main road to Taos, canyon on the Rio Grande outside Taos

History: Madrid, Santa Fe (real and ersatz) architecture, Los Alamos (Manhattan Project), Bandelier, Taos Pueblo, Las Truchas, Kit Carson's Taos and Mabel Dodge Luhan's Taos,

Culture: four important cultures intersect in this area -- Indian, Spanish, Anglo, and Mexican. There are big differences between these cultures, and it is very interesting to explore these differences, particularly because people may be indistinguishable in appearance.

Arts: museums galore, Georgia O'Keefe's house up north.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 05:21 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ackislander gave you very good advice.

Hiking: Tent rocks

I thought the Taos Pueblo was overrated, but apparently I'm in the minority.

There are plenty of nice places to stay in SF. We last stayed at the La Fonda, though that's been a few years. Great location, though.

Curious about the caves, too.
Bitter is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 05:50 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,991
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Caves? Do you mean Carlsbad Caverns which are 4 hours from Santa Fe?
wtm003 is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 06:57 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,940
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What a beautiful time of year to visit this area! You are so lucky.

For a lovely, leisurely drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, you can take "The Turquoise Trail" (Highway 14), which passes through some interesting old mining towns where you can stop for lunch and do a little artsy shopping, if you want. www.turquoisetrail.org

Santa Fe lodging-- La Fonda is a really neat historic hotel in a perfect location on the Santa Fe Plaza. Inn of the Governors is another good one in that area. Lodging near the plaza is all very pricey, except for Garrett's Desert Inn, which has a more "50s" motor lodge vibe. Sage Inn, a little further from the plaza but still well located, is another less expensive option. El Rey, considerably further from the plaza on Cerrillos, is also really nice and less expensive than plaza hotels.

Hiking-- Bandelier would offer a great combination of seeing some cliff dwellings and taking a hike.

Taos could be done as a day trip from Santa Fe, depending on what you want to do. As others have said, everything depends on what interests you.
jayne1973 is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 07:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Architecture. We visited an architectural salvage company near the square in SF. Kind of fun to walk through.
Bitter is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 08:06 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Question: who's we? If "we" includes small people who look like you, then you may want more time in Albuquerque because it has a very good zoo, the Explora! museum and other attractions for hobbits. Santa Fe does not have equivalents, and Taos is a village. If you're not traveling with miniatures and want to stay in Taos, stay at La Posada de Taos B&B. (Recommendations will be better targeted for you if you state a budget in actual dollars).

Do not underestimate how small Santa Fe really is - it's one of the smallest state capitals and by contrast Albuquerque is in the top 10 for cities with the largest proportions of their state populations (like NYC has 43% of NY's population, Anchorage has 41% of Alaska's, etc.).

Bandelier and Tent Rocks are both good. For Tent Rocks, don't try to climb the trail that goes above the tent rocks. Bandelier is near Los Alamos, which is another place to stop and visit.

Look up beachgirl247 on this site, she has various resto recs for Santa Fe and debitNM has some for Albuquerque (and they both may have suggested for the other city too).

And when you're in Santa Fe, don't disturb George Martin - that dude needs to finish his bloody opus so Game of Thrones fans will be sated.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 08:27 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And whether you have "miniatures" or not, the NM Capitol building has some neat art and design.
Bitter is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 10:04 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for your recommendations. Yes, by caves I meant Carlsbad Caverns and though very interesting, we have seen enough caverns and do not want to drive too far. We travel without children. Unfortunately they are all grown ups..

Still not sure how to split time between Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Los Alamos, etc. How many days in different locations? Does it make sense to stay 2 nights in Albuquerque and 8 nights in Santa Fe and make day trips from Santa Fe or stay after Santa Fe somewhere else? Thank you in advance.
MichaelYelena is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 12:33 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,940
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eight nights in Santa Fe would be too many for me. With that much time, spend a couple in Taos, and/or, if you are interested in a mineral hot springs resort, a night or two at Ojo Caliente, which is not far from Taos. Last time we went, we splurged on a room with a private outdoor tub that you fill with the hot mineral water. It was pretty awesome.

There are several different pools as well as a spa, rooms and restaurant.

www.ojospa.com
jayne1973 is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 02:26 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eight nights in Santa Fe is a bit much. It's really a small town - it'd be a college town if it had a college of note (instead, UNM is in Albuquerque and NMSU is in Las Cruces).

If you have that much time to bounce around, you could visit Roswell and get caught up in alien culture (the green dudes from outer space) and see a bit more of the state.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 03:08 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,503
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could spend a couple of your nights in Taos. Drive the high road up, visit the pueblo and maybe a couple of the museums, and drive the Enchanted Circle through Red River, Angel Fire, and Eagle Nest.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2015, 07:45 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For the Albuquerque portion of your trip you could visit the Acoma Pueblo, a little over an hour west of Albuquerque. The history and tour are very interesting and the scenery is incredible. Very memorable.

In Santa Fe, we enjoyed our stay at The Old Santa Fe Inn. It's reasonably priced and in a walkable location.
KismetHappens is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2015, 01:07 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am posting from Africa with sketchy wifi - such a problem!

I have lots of threads here, click on my name or Google debitnm fodors Albuquerque to see my previous input.

8 nights in Santa Fe is too many IMHO. Perhaps an overnight in Taos? 10,000 waves is nice for an overnight. I would pass on Roswell unless you're going to The Caverns, which I think IS worth the drive.

Perhaps as overnight to Bosque del Apache to see the sand hill cranes fly in at sunset or out at day break. Google for more info, it is an amazing site to behold.

I would definitely add nights to ABQ, there's lots to see and do there. Don't miss the museum, the zoo and drive the the Turquoise Trail to or from Santa Fe.

Tent Rocks, Bandelier too. Acoma a must (you need a tour, so go early in day)

Hope this helps.
DebitNM is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2015, 03:06 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, Acoma.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2015, 05:56 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just got back from a long weekend, one night Taos, two Santa Fe, one Ojo Calente. We enjoyed the museums in Santa Fe & would have done a walking tour but the fiesta of Santa Fe was going on so we watched the parade, what fun! I would do one night Taos, 2-3 Santa Fe, one Ojo Caliente & the rest Albuquerque. We stayed at the Hotel Santa Fe Which had a special going on, it's in walking distance to the plaza but not right there. Also, walking distance to La Choza, our favorite restaurant there. Ojo Caliente was special, stayed in a cottage there. They have a big garden on the property & use the produce in their restaurant. You can arrive early & use the pools & stay late the next day & use the pools. Don't miss the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe, we happened to get in a docent tour there & it was excellent. If you are into wine, there are several wineries in the area. We visited a few between Taos & Santa Fe.
BetsyG is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2015, 07:00 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might check with the Inn on the Alameda in Santa Fe. We really loved it and right now they are having some specials, one of which includes a cultural pass to many places in NM, not just Santa Fe. You have 30 days to use the pass.

It is a lovely place with great customer service, and an easy walk to the plaza.
Toucan2 is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2015, 07:02 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's the link: http://www.innonthealameda.com/rooms-rates/packages/
Toucan2 is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 12:16 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,503
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Abiquiu would make another nice day trip from Santa Fe, especially if you like Georgia O'Keeffe's art. You can go to Ghost Ranch and take an O'Keeffe landscape tour. https://www.ghostranch.org Even if you're not a fan, the scenery is lovely.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Oct 30th, 2015, 11:47 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi to everybody!
I am so grateful for all the suggestions and wanted to share the experiences from the trip. We decided to split the 10 days that we had with being 2 nights in Albuquerque, 2 nights in Carlsbad, 4 nights in Santa Fe and 2 nights in Taos.

Albuquerque. The old town was ok and we stayed a block away from it. We were not prepared that a lot of restaurants close at 8pm and only some stay open till 9pm. We were explained that most shops and galleries are run by owners and they prefer to have life, and since stores close at 5 or 6pm restaurants follow at 8 or 9. Acoma Pueblo is a must and tour was wonderful and informative. It is also an opportunity to buy pottery. Acoma Pueblo is around an hour drive. We also took a cable car to Sandia Peak and it was a good decision. Nice walking trails and beautiful views. Since it was October, we packed a jacket and it was the right thing to do.

Carlsbad. It takes over 4 hours of driving to get there. We stopped at Roswell just because it was on the way. We were surprised that Roswell is a pretty big place. Since we were there we stopped at the museum. The road to Carlsbad is flat and boring. Carlsbad is not worth the trip but the Carlsbad Caverns National Park which is 20-30 minutes drive from town is definitely a gem. Make sure that you get there early since part of the Cavern is accessible only with a guide and the last walk is at 1:30pm. Caverns were extremely interesting and the area around is totally beautiful and the views are spectacular. It is definitely better to start the trip in El Paso so that to avoid a return trip and save driving time (around 280 miles).

Santa Fe. We stayed in Four Kachinas Inn. It is a beautiful 6-room B&B a block away from the Capitol Building. Four Kachinas is a wonderful B&B which is run by Wayne and Walt and they are the best owners! They also know everything about Santa Fe and surrounding areas, all their recommendations were right on the money, they are very knowledgeable about art, galleries, events, food, activities, places to go, etc... Everything was walking distance from this B&B. Santa Fe is lot of fun. We did not realize that Santa Fe with population of less than 70,000 is home to so many galleries which will rank it as number 3 after New York and LA. Food there was good and your recommendations were right on the money. We visited Los Alamos (Bradbury Science Museum - very interesting), Jemez Caldera (what a beautiful place and drive), Bandelier (only the area above), Tent Rocks (highly recommend to take a longer hike to Slot Canyon) and Tsankawi (also highly recommend and was surprised that nobody mentioned this place) - the site of former Indian Pueblo which is located off the road from Santa Fe just before the fork on the road to Bandelier and Los Alamos.

Taos. We took as was recommended the high road to Taos and main (lower) road back. Beautiful views from both roads. We stayed in La Fonda on the Plaza. A very nice historic hotel and they also have inside an exposition of paintings by D. H. Lawrence. The highlight of Taos for us was a visit to Taos Museum of Art which is located in the Nikolai Fechin house where we loves his 5 paintings and wood carvings. This place is not to be missed! Keep in mind that it is closed on Mondays and as many other places closes at 5pm. Love Apple and El Meze were very good choices for dinner. We also drove the Enchanted Circle - beautiful! and to the Rio Grande Gorge (bridge over Rio Grande and nice west rim trail).On the main road back to Albuquerque we stopped in a small town of Madrid - art galleries galore.

I hope at least some of the info will be helpful to future travelers! Thank you again for your kind help!
MichaelYelena is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:14 AM.