Chop up one history lesson — one part Mexican, one part American — pour in a large cup of artistic talent, then stir in some spicy chile peppers and whisk it all together in a mixing bowl, and let your creation bake for 400 years. What have you just made? Most likely, something similar to the delectable city of Santa Fe. With a culture based on a variety of unusual ingredients, including Gothic cathedrals, a love for the great outdoors, chile-infused cuisine and a profound emphasis on the arts, this truly is the “City Different.” This town also preserves a historic feel — with Spanish-influenced architecture and buildings that date back to the 16th century — still, the main reason people visit is for its art. The works artists like Georgia O’ Keeffe, Peter Hurd and Miro Kenarov fill the galleries, works that were largely inspired by the city’s dramatic, evolving landscape.
Santa Fe’s restaurant scene is incredibly competitive and you’re likely guaranteed a great meal no matter where you eat. The city offers a wide variety of international cuisine, but traditional Santa Fe fare is not to be missed. Always ask your local concierge or even better, your river guide and you will be steered toward the best restaurants in town. Special emphasis should always be placed on good Chile, both red and green. Try Maria’s, La Choza or Tecalote for starters but trust me, the list is much longer!
After lunch, many people focus on seeing as much of the amazing art galleries, museums and exhibits of which Santa Fe is famous. On the long list and not to be missed is the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art and a long stroll up Canyon Road which is famous for its wide array of galleries. For the kiddos, a trip to the Santa Fe Children’s Museum is a nice break from the galleries and a fun few hours of interactive exhibits sure to entertain.
Head north from Santa Fe to the Taos area and you travel along the mighty Rio Grande River. Within the Rio Grande del Norte Monument and Taos Gorge not only will you find incredible views, but also abundant wildlife, and white water rafting. To experience the very best view of this majestic landscape and array of wildlife make it an adventure for your family and go rafting. New Mexico River Adventures is New Mexico’s top rated rafting outfitter and the headquarters is conveniently located between Santa Fe and Taos. With competitive rates, a retail shop that stocks all the little things you may have missed, like sun screen, and safety as a top priority, Santa Fe white water rafting is appropriate for all skill levels and fun for the whole family.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Ski Santa Fe is a world class ski area just minutes from downtown with the best months for good conditions being Dec. through March. The hiking at Bandelier National Monument is superb as well as a trip to Tent Rocks National Monument. But, of course, from April though September, the most exciting and interesting outdoor pursuits are found on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama with your good friends at New Mexico River Adventures. ENJOY!!