I'll be going to New Mexico for a quick visit--will be my first time to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, & Taos. In addition to reading up, it's always interesting to get fellow travelers' takes--what do you recommend? In each place, what is the ONE thing to eat? Where's the best place to go for a run/hike? What's touristy-but-still-worth-it? And your 'hidden' (soon not to be) favorite? Thanks in advance...
Posted on Jul 17, 2012
New Mexico is wonderful, and you’re definitely in for a treat! The 3 cities you’re visiting are so different from one another with unique culture and atmosphere.
Albuquerque is definitely a big city, not as quaint or charming as Santa Fe, but definitely more local. Of course, seeing the Old Town is a must, but for dining, I recommend the area near the univ. Central Ave SE is a great street to find local cuisine & hangouts as well as a good selection of ethnic restaurants. My fav is El Patio, which not only serves tasty New Mex-Mex but also has a lovely outdoor sitting area where you can sit and soak up the local culture.
Really great place to stop or hike between Albuquerque & Santa Fe is Kasha-Katuwe and Bandelier National Monument; however, I was there in May, and the heat was intense! I’m sure the climate is pretty similar to Arizona, but I had difficulties hiking in that climate. Nevertheless, the scenery is amazing, and it’s definitely worth a visit.
Santa Fe is a beautiful city, and there are so many things I can recommend there.
- If you can, stay at a B&B instead of a hotel, as it will make your trip more memorable. My fav: Grant Corner Inn & Alexanders Inn
- You should definitely see all the sites mentioned in the guidebooks; however, my favorite area is the Railyard District. There’s a wonderful farmer’s/artist market, and art galleries there tends to be less crowded.
- See a performance at the Santa Fe Opera. It’s in a gorgeous outdoor/open air setting against the backdrop of the mountains, and you can actually see the sunset in the background. It’s one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had.
Taos, I love this area and could spend a week just driving around it. Michael’s Kitchen is a wonderful little dive near the Pueblo that serves a great selection of local cuisine, and be sure leave room for desserts, as they have the most delicious selection of pastries.
I really can’t say enough good things about New Mexico. Have a great trip, and I look forward to seeing your photos.
Posted Jul 18, 2012Add a comment
In addition to what Sharon has mentioned, which are great tips, I suggest that if you have the time, go horseback riding in Santa Fe and then hit up Ten Thousand Waves spa and treat yourself to something special. Also, I absolutely adored the food at Cafe Pascals in the middle of Santa Fe - Absolutely delicious fare. If you like outdoor flea markets, there was one on the outskirts of town with things from far and near - I still have my purchases from there and wish I could've carted a Pakistani rug back to Austin, but wasn't able to.
The lighting in New Mexico is absolutely gorgeous and unique. Be sure to catch the sunrises and sunsets whenever possible. You will not regret having to wake a little early for the sunrise.
Posted on Jul 22, 2012
The two things to eat in NM are green chile and sopapillas. You'll not find either of those anywhere else in the world. In ABQ, Los Cuates on Lomas and Monroe is best for both. In Taos, the Guadalajara Grill is popular, good food, but is Mexican, not New Mexican. In Santa Fe Gabriel's is also excellent, good margaritas and great chile rellenos. As for sites to see, Rancho de Taos church, all the museums in Santa Fe and Taos are wonderful as is the Taos Pueblo. The Natural History Museum in ABQ is very good. For vistas see the Rio Grande Gorge in Taos, hike to the top of the Santa Fe ski area and ride the tram in ABQ.
Posted Jul 17, 2012Add a comment
I second Michael’s Kitchen in Taos and my favorite place to stay in that town is Hacienda del Sol. The owners are so wonderful, trained chefs and the rooms are so cozy. Plus, the hot tub and view of the mountains from the lawn make it a great place to just relax.
Great choice! New Mexico is a really enjoyable state to explore.
Posted Jul 20, 2012Add a comment
Yes--Michael's Kitchen was awesome! A local couple recommended it to me as well--thanks for the heads-up!
Posted on Jul 27, 2012
Unexpected in New Mexico: Vinyards. We found a wine trail map online and spent a lovely afternoon weaving through the countryside between Santa Fe and Alb. Gruet has a pleasant tasting room right on the highway, but my favorite was way off the beaten path at Ponderosa Valley. The drive was stunning; then my kids climbed trees and played with the dogs and geese while my husband and I chatted with the owner and sampled their terrific wines.
Posted Jul 21, 2012Add a comment
When I was a kid we used to come out to New Mexico quite a lot because my grandparents lived up in the Four Corners area. To me there are 3 flavors that take me back...Chile Verde (green chile with pork), Posole (a stew made with hominy) and sopapillas (fried triangle of bread dough that puff up into a deliciously light pillow of hot bread - I prefer mine with just a drizzle of honey). My mouth is watering just writing about these three dishes! If you have time I would definitely recommend a side trip over to Chaco Canyon. There are some amazing ruins of the pueblos of the Chacoan people. This was a big economic and spiritual center starting around 800 and was at its peak for 300-500 years. As with so many ancient cultures they were amazing astronomical observers. http://www.nps.gov/chcu/index.htm
Posted Jul 22, 2012Add a comment