This is the second in the Wanderful City Guide series. As I've spent the last few weeks traveling, I see such potential in these little guides. Most recently, I spent time out west. 4 states in 8 days... Colorado to Montana — spending the night in 2 different hotels, 2 Airbnbs, and on Ben's tour bus a few nights too — I was made so aware of the power of having a go-to list when arriving in each new place.
I'll certainly be sharing my travel diaries from those places too, but in the meantime, I'm so thrilled to share this Santa Fe guide. The guide for this particular adventure is Andie Jane Fuller. I met Andie the way so many of us meet these days: via Instagram. I swear, in the last two years the number of 'friends' I've met this way is higher than the new friends I've met through face to face introductions. Really, think about it - you see so much of what someone is about through what they share digitally, and you can get a pretty good idea of whether or not you'll click IRL. So in this case Andie and I have only exchanged emails (new school pen pals maybe) however, I immediately fell in love with her version of her hometown of Santa Fe through her images. A few of my best girlfriends recently took off for a week in Santa Fe, and their photos were just stunning, so you better bet this one is on my must visit very soon list.
So without further ado, here it is, Wanderful City Guide #2! Santa Fe!
Our Wanderful Guide: Andie Jane Fuller
Santa Fe, the city different, stays true to its nickname. With an average of 300 days of sunshine, there is no escaping the Southwestern sun and that blue, blue sky. Santa Fe is one of the oldest state capitals and was founded in 1610. Translated, Santa Fe means “Holy Faith,” and is a city where you can find people from all over the world enchanted by the spirit of the Southwest. With its rich cultural and indigenous history, spending a weekend here will only spur your love for all things New Mexican. Today, Santa Fe is a top tourist destination and is full of art and good food.
Some of the finest artists have studios here and you could spend days wandering in and out of galleries. You also can’t visit without at least trying our staple chile. It comes green, red, or Christmas (a combo of both) and we eat it on everything from eggs to enchiladas.
Plus, don’t miss the margaritas, we make them with real lime juice (no sweet and sour) and lots of tequila!
The Historic Plaza, located in downtown Santa Fe, has been a meeting place for locals and tourists alike for over a hundred years. The Plaza is technically the square park right in the heart of downtown and has blocks and blocks of shops, galleries and restaurants surrounding it. You’ll find a great photography gallery called Monroe Gallery. A quick walk from The Plaza is the ever famous Canyon Road which is a half mile stretch of over 100 art galleries with the stunning Sangre De Christo mountains as your backdrop.
Todos Santos ( 125 E Palace Ave #31) was started by New Orleans native Hayward Simoneaux. This chocolate shop cannot be missed and is one of the most uniquely decorated stores in Santa Fe. Think Mardi Gras mixed with Spanish superstition and lots of milagros. When you stop in be sure to try some of their fun flavors like red chile tangerine or burnt caramel with black pepper!
Santa Maria Provisions ( 125 E Palace Ave) has quickly become my personal favorite stop for shopping in the city. They have everything from specialty salt to French candles and Piñon incense. Their slogan is “Eclectic provisions for a well lived life” and it really is just that, I promise you can’t go in without finding a beautiful piece to add to your home and life.
Native American jewelry is a staple of Santa Fe and the Southwest. Picking out the right sterling silver bracelet or turquoise earrings can be a daunting task here because there are store after store of great options. I’d have to recommend that you take a walk through the portal of The Palace of the Governors (105 W Palace Ave) (also a great museum). Everyday Monday / Sunday from 9am to 5pm Native American artists set up shop under this historic portal to sell their wares. It’s a joy to walk through and see their jewelry and art, it’s the perfect spot to pick up a something special to remember your time in Santa Fe.
The La Fonda Hotel has a rich history (over four centuries) in the city and was the site of Santa Fe’s first inn. The current building was built in 1922 is now a Historic Hotel of America and a 4 Diamond Award Winner.
Stepping inside is truly like taking a step back in time. With its impeccable Southwestern architecture and decor it's easily one of tourists and locals favorites. They also have a great bar, La Fiesta Lounge with great live music and a stellar New Mexican inspired restaurant called La Plazuela. In the summertime, they open their rooftop bar, The Bell Tower and it’s a perfect way to see the sunset over the city and mountains.
La Choza is some of the best New Mexican food in town and very popular with the locals, so be sure to make a reservation, but honestly it’s always worth the wait. La Choza opened in 1983 and has award winning red and green chile. The restaurant is still located in it’s old adobe building and is the perfect spot for authentic dishes like enchiladas or chile rellenos. Plus, they have one of my favorite margaritas in town, the Silver Coin.
Erin Wade who is behind a Santa Fe favorite, Vinaigrette which is a superb salad bistro (try the La Pepita or Asian Chop), has opened a new place called Modern General. Think a 2016 design inspired take on the old general store. It’s a restaurant, community gathering place and a store where you can find items like shovels, flour gourmet coffee, mustards, handmade ceramics and more. It’s the perfect spot to take a break from exploring the city. Their menu has breakfast all day and has things like avocado toast, homemade granola and homemade peanut butter and jam, sandwiches, a full list of smoothies (try the Cherry Vanilla) and juices. Whether you are looking for a cup of coffee or a full picnic lunch, stop by this place and I promise it won’t disappoint!
10,000 Waves is situated 3 1⁄2 miles up Ski Basin Road and is one of Santa Fe’s hidden gems. A Japanese inspired hotel, spa and restaurant. Whether you're looking to take a soak in one of their public or private hot baths, get a massage, or have a great meal, this place will help you calm your mind, enjoy the mountains and truly relax. It’s a favorite for girls weekends or a romantic spot with your special someone.
Violet Crown is Santa Fe’s newest movie theater and it’s a great place to have a beer or cider, people watch or see a movie! They have a full menu for food and tons of local beers on tap (my favorite is the Santa Sidra Cider).
If you are looking to catch a more avant garde movie stop by the Jean Cocteau. This theater is owned by George RR Martin (of "Game of Thrones") yep, it’s true - and also hosts lots of events like live music, book signings as well as authors readings. It has a full bar with great prices, and if you're lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the owner as he's around a lot! It’s truly Santa Fe’s hometown theater.
A little more about Andie: I'm a twenty-eight year old friend, storyteller and traveler. Currently living in Santa Fe, I spend my spare time trying to curate beautiful things for my blog, 'Jane The Philosopher' and creating with my husband. Apart from that, you'll find me obsessing about cats and daydreaming about living abroad.
So voila! Guide # 2 is a wrap! Can't wait to go experience it all for myself! And btw guys - let me know if there's a place you want to know about or a place I should explore! I'm on a serious research mission so let's help each other out!
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