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Santa Fe Travel Guide

Author: Terri Feder
Issue: January, 2014, Page 30
Greeting visitors to the Santuario de Guadalupe in Santa Fe is this statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Mexican artist Dona Georgina Farias.

A Guide to Shopping, Supping, Staying and Sightseeing in the City Different

Famous for its rich, colorful history and unique melding of three cultures—Native American, Hispanic and Anglo—Santa Fe is said to cast a spell over those who step upon her narrow, quaint streets. And it’s easy to see why. Brimming with an array of architectural styles, including Pueblo, Adobe, Greek Revival, Territorial and more; verdant gardens bursting with a plethora of flora; and acclaimed restaurants, Santa Fe is a veritable feast for the senses. At 7,199 feet above sea level, the city boasts a mild continental climate, which translates into chilly winters with some snow and warm summer days that melt into deliciously cool evenings.

Following are our recommendations for enjoying a stay in this remarkable city.

ACC—620 Cerrillos Road; This highly-trafficked design store and showroom boasts fine furnishings, an array of accessories, and an in-house design team.

House of Ancestors—307 Pino Road; If you are looking for antique furnishings, folk art, ceramics or devotional art, House of Ancestors has it all.

La Puerta Originals—4523 State Highway 14; This extraordinary design center and showroom specializes in custom, handcrafted wood designs for the home, including solid wood cabinets, bathroom vanities, fireplace mantels, interior and exterior doors, and more. 

LewAllen Galleries—125 W. Palace Ave., and a second location at 1613 Paseo de Peralta; This gallery offers an array of Contemporary and Modern art and represents both established and emerging artists working in nearly every medium.

Mediterránia—222 Galisteo St.; Filled with decorative accessories, antiques and architectural elements from Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, along with Spanish Colonial reproductions and accent pieces from Peru, Mediterránia is a treasure trove of furnishings from southern Europe. Whether you are looking to buy or just browse, this store is well worth a visit.

Michael Smith Gallery—526 Canyon Road; Located in a large 275-year-old adobe home and overseen by owner Michael Leroy Smith, who is an expert on both American Indian textiles and baskets, the gallery specializes in fine American Indian art and antiquities, including historic Navajo and Pueblo weavings and rugs, California, Northwest Coast and Southwestern Indian baskets, and more.

Medicine Man Gallery—602A Canyon Road; Run by founder Dr. Mark Sublette, a former physician, this gallery is known for antique and Native American art as well as Early American and Western paintings.

Morning Star Gallery—513 Canyon Road; Located in a historic building, this gallery specializes in the traditional arts of New Mexico, including pottery, beadwork, textiles, baskets, retablos, bultos, furniture and tinwork.

Peyton Wright Gallery—237 E. Palace Ave.; One of Santa Fe’s long-established galleries, Peyton Wright Gallery specializes in 19th- and 20th-century American art, with particular expertise in American Modernism. It is located in the 19th-century Spiegelberg House—a National Register architectural treasure.

Nathalie—503 Canyon Road; Nathalie offers a wide range of western goods for men and women alike, as well as the home. Whether you are looking for custom-made cowboy boots, handcrafted turquoise jewelry, hand-painted milagros or one-of-a-kind haute couture, you most likely will find it at this très chic boutique.

The Historic Railyard—740 Cerrillos Road; An active rail hub, as the northern terminus for the Rail Runner commuter train from Albuquerque and points south, and home to many fine-art galleries, shops and dining venues, Santa Fe’s Railyard District is a vibrant center of activity for folks of all ages and is definitely worth a visit. 

Violante & Rochford Interiors—405 Paseo de Peralta; A design studio, retail store and showroom overseen by designers Michael Violante and Paul Rochford, Violante & Rochford Interiors provides full-service interior design in styles ranging from Traditional to Contemporary. Located in a quaint 1915 Arts & Crafts bungalow in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, with convenient nearby shopping, they feature antiques and other unique home furnishings.

Clafoutis—402 N. Guadalupe St.; (505) 988-1809. Locals and visitors alike frequent this French bakery and restaurant, which features freshly baked pastries, including croissants, raspberry clafoutis, pear tarts and more, along with sandwiches, crêpes, hand-cut fries and generously portioned salads.

Coyote Cafe and Coyote Rooftop Cantina—132 W. Water St.; This legendary landmark is a favorite for both fine and casual dining. If you’re looking for low-key Mexican fare in an alfresco setting, head upstairs to the Cantina, where you’ll find diners enjoying tacos, enchiladas, margaritas and the like. If a gourmet meal in a quiet, intimate setting is what you desire, check out the elegant and long-established Coyote Cafe, featuring Modern Southwest cooking.

Geronimo Restaurant
Geronimo Restaurant—724 Canyon Road; One of Santa Fe’s celebrated restaurants, Geronimo is now in its 22nd year. With quiet, understated interiors, an intimate front patio for dining alfresco, and a menu worthy of the most demanding foodies, it features both traditional and innovative cuisine. The culinary offerings include such exotic choices as elk tenderloin, along with more standard fare, not to mention Scottish salmon and a vegetarian tasting menu.

Restaurant Martin—526 Galisteo St.; A relative newcomer to Santa Fe’s culinary scene, the family-owned Restaurant Martin offers the perfect balance of refined dining in a relaxed setting. Chef Martin Rios and his wife, Jennifer, serve up progressive American cuisine. Notable dishes include roasted monk fish and Maple Leaf Farm duck breast. Indoor and alfresco dining are available.

The Anasazi Restaurant—113 Washington Ave.; Located inside the charming Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, this restaurant offers a fine dining atmosphere in an inviting, yet casual setting. The restaurant boasts a frequently changing menu that focuses on American cuisine infused with fresh seasonal and regional ingredients, a well-stocked wine cellar, and a hospitable and well-informed staff.

The Compound
The Compound Restaurant—653 Canyon Road; This Santa Fe landmark, which has been in this location since the 1960s, enjoys a well-deserved reputation for refined food and impeccable service. The eatery features elegant interiors, including a well-lit back patio, upstairs wine bar, and menu highlighting fresh seasonal ingredients. Also available are Compound classics—including organic Scottish salmon and grilled natural reserve angus beef tenderloin with foie gras Hollandaise. It’s one culinary experience you don’t want to miss.

Vinaigrette—709 Don Cubero Alley; If it’s salad you crave, this is the place. Vinaigrette has been a hot spot since it opened in 2008. Featuring innovative flavor combinations with the option to add tasty protein accompaniments—including diver scallops, lemon-herb chicken or grilled hanger steak—Vinaigrette’s salads are hearty and healthy. Much of the restaurant’s organic produce is grown on owner Erin Wade’s 10-acre Nambé farm and harvested within hours of being served here.

Inn and Spa at Loretto
Inn and Spa at Loretto—211 Old Santa Fe Trail; A luxury hotel that reflects the culture and sophistication of its historic setting, the Inn and Spa at the Loretto is located in the epicenter of Santa Fe. It is an architectural recreation of the Taos Pueblo, a national historic landmark. Boasting traditional beamed ceilings with vigas and latillas, large kiva fireplaces in the main public areas, indigenous rugs, handwoven fabrics and white-washed adobe walls ornamented with regional art, its spaces reflect warmth and radiance. Creature comforts include 134 guestrooms and two restaurants, a full-service spa, art galleries and walking gardens.

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado—198 State Road 592; Nestled on 57 acres in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, this hotel offers the luxury you would expect from a Four Seasons resort. Each of the 65 casita guest rooms is outfitted with its own indoor fireplace and private patio or terrace. A mere 10 minutes from Santa Fe’s galleries and restaurants, it combines quiet tranquility with convenience.

La Fonda on the Plaza—100 E. San Francisco St.; Recently renovated by the award-winning Santa Fe-based firm Barbara Felix Architecture + Design, this historic downtown hotel, which also is known as The Inn at the End of the Santa Fe Trail, offers 179 rooms, two restaurants, a rooftop bar, spa services, 15 shops and more.

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi—113 Washington Ave.; Among Santa Fe’s premiere vacation retreats, Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi celebrates the creative spirit of the region’s Native Americans. Located in the heart of historic downtown Santa Fe, this charming 58-room boutique hotel features hand-carved doors, sculptured stairways and sandstone walls that speak to prehistoric Pueblo living.

Ravens Ridge Bed and Breakfast—22B Ravens Ridge Road; Bordering the Santa Fe Trail and less than two minutes away from Santa Fe’s galleries and shops, this bed and breakfast boasts rooms decorated with regional antiques, luxurious bedding and extra-thick towels and robes. In addition, the grounds are a hummingbird haven by day and a star-viewing site by night as the innkeepers bring out their telescope and astronomical laser pointer and provide guests with a tour of the planets, stars and occasional passing satellite.

Canyon Road—East of Paseo de Peralta and just south of the Santa Fe River. Among the most famous and historic streets in Santa Fe, Canyon Road—the hub of Santa Fe’s art colony—should be on every visitor’s bucket list. With more than 100 art galleries, shops and restaurants, this half-mile jaunt is chock-full of sights, sounds, delicious food, and intriguing wares to admire or purchase. During the winter holidays, the picturesque street becomes an enchanting scene as holiday revelers gather in the evening to sing carols and drink in the warm, flickering glow of hundreds of farolitos, or luminarias.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi—131 Cathedral Place; More commonly known as St. Francis Cathedral, this lovely church features Romanesque Revival architecture. It was constructed by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886. In a side chapel of the cathedral is a statue of Santa Fe’s patroness, La Conquistadora, which was brought to the site in 1625, when an earlier church stood in the same location.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum—217 Johnson St.; Opened in 1997 and dedicated to the life and artistic works of American painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) and American Modernism, the museum is home to more than 3,000 works of art, of which 1,149 comprise O’Keeffe paintings, drawings and sculptures.

Loretto Chapel
Loretto Chapel—207 Old Santa Fe Trail; It is within this historic chapel, completed in 1878, that the legendary spiral staircase of Santa Fe can be admired. With nary a nail or sign of support, the curving staircase is an artistic wonder and, for many, a miracle.

New Mexico Museum of Art (formerly the Museum of Fine Arts)—107 W. Palace Ave.; One of four museums that comprise the Museum of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Art resides in a Pueblo Spanish Revival-style building that was constructed in 1917. Its permanent collection includes more than 20,000 works by Southwestern artists and examples of Contemporary art from around the region and the world.

Santa Fe Botantical Garden—715 Camino Lejo; Designed by landscape architect W. Gary Smith, Santa Fe’s newly opened Botanical Garden at Museum Hill covers more than 12 acres and includes an orchard, meadow area, art trail and a dry garden, as well as a unique water catchment system and a 100-year-old bridge painted red. Throughout the gardens, native plants are mixed with appropriate non-natives, all selected to demonstrate the variety and richness that is possible in a region where water is scarce.

Santa Fe Plaza—San Francisco Street, just south of the Palace of the Governors. Santa Fe’s plaza mayor, or main plaza, represents the beating heart of the city and has been so since its formal founding in 1610. Today, it is populated by myriad shops offering apparel, jewelry, home decor and more. Under its covered walkways, local Native American artisans also sell jewelry—mostly silver and turquoise—along with other handcrafted goods.
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