The romantic old Pueblo Revival style of architecture that characterizes the Museum of Fine Arts on the plaza is one of Santa Fe’s greatest attractions.
By Manya Winsted
You can feel the excitement everywhere. And it makes even the simplest pleasure of window shopping along the small, crooked streets take on an air of expectancy. Even the great old hotels, like historic La Fonda, Inn of the Anasazi, and newly redone La Posada usually have special events or exhibitions during Indian Market. All of this means that at this time of year the streets are definitely for strolling, not driving. As it has grown over the years, Indian Market has taken over not only the heart of the Plaza but also stretches of the main arteries and side streets. Those streets around the Plaza that aren’t closed to traffic are clogged, and parking is … well, forget parking. Just get out your walking shoes and enjoy the sights and the velvety summer weather.
Antique Native American pottery and textiles are a highlight of Dewey Galleries.
You can spend long hours—days, in fact—just enjoying the creative treasures in the dozens upon dozens of art galleries all around the historic Plaza and the length of Canyon Road, which showcase everything from rare tribal art and Russian icons to cutting-edge contemporary art. Santa Fe has long held one of the top rankings among the country’s art centers, which is certainly understandable when you consider that it is home to more than 300 galleries and countless artists. The visual-art scene, as well as the multicolored tapestry of performing arts venues—whether you’re a fan of opera, Shakespeare, modern theater productions, or dance—makes for a culturally rich environment.
Numerous shops can be found on Palace Avenue.
Then there are the endless pleasures of shopping in Santa Fe. You’ll find countless small shops offering myriad goods, from handmade western hats to haute couture fashions and jewelry, from tourist souvenirs to designer creations in chocolate. Santa Fe, after all, is called “the city of boutiques,” one that has become famous all over the world for its wealth of unusual and certainly unique treasures.
In cuisine, Santa Fe has made a name for itself internationally, thanks to the early innovations of such culinary greats as Mark Miller of the Coyote Café, along with the touches of Pacific Rim southwestern inspired cuisine made famous at Santacafe and the nouveau/southwestern fare at Geronimo.
Colorful ristras adorn many Santa Fe buildings.
But don’t think for a moment that these three have the corner on the market for fine dining. Martin Rios has made Eldorado Hotel’s The Old House equally famous. There are innumerable dining delights in Santa Fe whether you’re hungry for green chile enchiladas, roasted corn from a street vendor, the best chocolate malted on earth, piñon pancakes, lobster bisque, or wild game.
To work off a little of the excess fun, wonderful spas are available along with thousands of pristine acres of wilderness to explore—on foot, bicycle, horse, or even llama. All in all, Santa Fe is one of the most unique destinations in the world, and your visit will make you discover why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment.
Featured in August 2000