One month after my 29th birthday, decided to share 29 things I recommend doing in Santa Fe (or nearby) - my favorite place in all the land…
I often have folks reach out and ask what they should plan to do during their time in the City Different and thought that having a go-to list to reference would make things so much simpler (and would allow me to actually get back to people in a decent amount of time - YIKES)
So….. this might not be everyone’s list, and you can absolutely pick and choose what feels fun to you, but this is most def the things that are top-of-the-list in my lil world ❤️
ps fall is GORG in Santa Fe and would be my recommended time to visit. The aspens are changing colors and it’s simply the most picturesque place I’ve ever experienced.
Lemme also mention that they’re in no particular order (because that would take another level of perfectionism that I’m just not up to this morning - I have a yoga class to get to lol)
Ten Thousand Waves - Love me some hot springs and this place never gets old. Soak in the community tub or book a private tub - either way, satisfaction is headed your way. Couples massage is also not a bad idea 🙂 and, honestly, Izanami is off the chain YUM
Ojo Caliente - Ojo Spa will rock your world. Sacred land, legendary waters. Mm-hmmm. It’s like an hour away from Santa Fe but so worth the drive. Relaxation at its finest and a true southwest experience.
Jemez Mountains - Hike to San Antonio hot springs (I’m pretty sure this is the right name) it’s not the one that’s right off the road. My friend Lauren and I hiked about 10 miles roundtrip during a blizzard and it was EPIC. I would do it over and over and over again. I plan to.
Purple Adobe Lavender Farm - In Abiquiu, NM is about an hour drive from Santa Fe. I took my grandpa there for his birthday and we picked lavender together - so special! Beautiful landscape and a quaint little gift shop. There’s also a tea house on the property. It was closed by the time we arrived but the menu looks scrumptious (lots of lavender delectables).
Santa Fe Farmers Market - Make sure to make time for this - it’s a MUST - regularly voted among the top 10 markets in the country.
Santa Fe National Forest - Just stunning, especially in the fall. I mean - those aspen trees. Hiking in the midst of these gargantuan beauties will change your life.
Bandelier National Monument - Honestly, I’ve never experienced anything quite like the incredible cliff dwellings and petroglyphs in this beautiful place. You can almost feel the Ancestral Pueblo people that once occupied this land…
El Santuario de Chimayo - Holy dirt + healing power. This National Historic Landmark is truly one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever experienced. Read about it here.
Hotel Luna Mystica - If your travels allow you the time and freedom to spend a night or two in Taos, NM, this is where you want to stay. This vintage trailer hotel + starlight campground is top notch. The views aren’t bad either 😉
Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen - Is mine and Steven’s all-time favorite spot. Delicious fresh, natural foods and an atmosphere to match. It’s also a great spot if you have food allergies - between the two of us we might be allergic to everything 🤪
Paloma - MMMMMM my mouth is watering just thinking about this place and their enchiladas suizas. Holy mother of pearl, they’re so. dang. good. Also, we went on a Sunday evening a couple months ago and there was live music by Tito Rios - his music is heavenly
Opuntia - Avocado toast with a poached egg.
The Compound - Everything is delicious.
Geronimo - This place is exceptional, y’all. I mean mouth-watering, amazing. I love grabbing a glass of wine and some snacks in the lounge too.
Radish & Rye - You just wanna go here for a hot toddy in the winter, no questions.
Inn & Spa at Loretto - Enjoy the happiest of hours and get the chips, salsa + guac just for fun.
Shake Foundation - I’m not kidding, the lavender ice cream is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Ever.
La Choza - Come on, you can’t go to Santa Fe and not eat at La Choza. I’m not a marg person but they’re kinda known for ‘em and I would highly recommend the chicken taquitos. Funny story - when I moved to Santa Fe and didn’t know anyone, I decided to go to dinner by myself (for the first time ever 🙈) and take a book with me. Thought I would check out a little hole in the wall spot and mind my own business. So, I decided to go to La Choza. Wrong idea. It’s not “little” and it’s not a “hole in the wall” either LOL I still get uncomfortable even thinking about that experience, ha.
La Boca - I can’t even browse the menus online. I feel ravished and am suddenly craving patatas bravas and paella. The best Spanish tapas around town.
Tune-Up Cafe - I used to go here by myself before I knew anyone in Santa Fe - once I got comfortable doing things on my own (that in itself can be somewhat of a humbling, growth experience, ya know?) I grew to love the brown rice nut burger (and french fries, of course). Simple, laid back spot.
Coyote Cantina - Is my favorite spot on a summer night. Overlooking downtown Santa Fe + a festive kind of vibe. You’re not losing weight on your trip to the southwest, so might as well dig in 🥳
Temple + Tribe & Thrive - Two studios I thoroughly enjoyed. I would pop into Temple + Tribe any chance I got - unfortunately the class schedule didn’t work well with my work schedule BUT when I had a little freedom in the afternoons or could convince myself to crawl out of bed early, I was there. Shane Brill is my favorite instructor, just sayin. I love hot yoga, soooo Thrive was my regular spot. There are lots of classes offered throughout the day on weekdays and some good weekend classes too. Power Flow with Julie Reynolds was my jam (especially when I was at the top of my strength game).
Art.i.fact - Just my favorite upscale consignment store * OF * ALL * TIME * Cannot walk out of that store without a fashionably chic piece in-hand. Jennifer and Michael are the owners and were truly meant to do this for a living. Jennifer has impeccable taste and carefully selects pieces that are drool-worthy. Get Santa Fe styled while you’re in this festive, sacred place.
better together - Daisy is awesome, y’all. Her cute little store is filled with trendy, comfy clothes you need in your closet. From hats to sweatshirts to denim overall rompers - you won’t be disappointed.
Buffalo Gypsy Art & Jewelry - Get some swag from my girl Lily and snag some of her artwork too. Her pieces are unique and have true southwest flare. Take that back home with ya 🤗
Chrome Salon - Get your hair did (might I suggest balayage?) by the incredibly talented Jessica Crockett. She legit rocked my world - I’m not sure I’ve ever been more satisfied with the way my hair has turned out (with color) and - at her recommendation - framed my face with some highlights that ended up being my favorite part of the new look. She books up FAST so, if you know you’re going to be in Santa Fe months in advance, give her a holla: 505-982-0035
El Rey Court - read all about it here!
You could have a family photoshoot with the talented Chelsea Call, hit up Meow Wolf (an insanely unique experience) and go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (also pretty freakin cool) if you time the trip just right. I never made it to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks BUT it’s first on my list for when I return. Also, Restaurant Week is a great time to visit - check out my post on some of the places I enjoyed last year - usually takes place in late February through early March.
If you wanna go out on the town, check out Tonic or The Palace Restaurant and Saloon. Tonic has live jazz music, cool cocktails and tasty snacks. The Palace often has live music and karaoke on Thursdays - vibey place and always an interesting crowd.
Okay, so this took wayyyy longer than I thought it would (3 days of writing when I had spare time!) but I wanted the list to be comprehensive and provide additional information where possible. There ya have it - my guide to the ultimate experience in the southwest.
Let me know if you check out any of these places and if this list proved to be useful!
xo - Courtney