Tag Archives: Living in Santa Fe New Mexico

What Other People Are Saying About Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a world class destination market.  With a rich culture history, fanstastic art museums and galleries, abundant natural beauty, an internationally renowned opera and some of the best and most unique dining available anywhere, there’s something for everyone to experience and enjoy.  Read more about what makes Santa Fe, the City Different, so special and start planning your next visit today. Maybe like so many other visitors, you’ll also fall in love with this unique city and decide to make it your next home!

What other people are saying about Santa Fe:

 

 

 

Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Las Campanas

Las Campanas

Las Campanas

Located 10 miles northwest of the Plaza on a high plateau overlooking the Santa Fe Valley, Las Campanas  is a master-planned residential community containing 1,717 home sites spread over approximately 4,730 acres.  Las Campanas was developed by Lyle Anderson in the 1980s as a luxury, amenity laden development and was a part of his golf course resort empire, which included Desert Highlands and Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, AZ, Superstition Mountain near Phoenix, AZ,  Hokuli’a in Hawaii and Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.

Golf course at Las Campanas

Golf course at Las Campanas

Las Campanas has two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, the Sunrise Course built in 1993 and the Sunset Course built in 2000, an Equestrian Center, a full service Spa and Tennis Center and the Hacienda Clubhouse.  Enjoying magnificent views of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Ortiz and Sandia mountains, this gated community is a favorite destination for golfers, tennis players, horseback riders and owners that want to enjoy a peaceful and serene southwestern lifestyle.  Bright sunshine, dry, cool mountain air and spectacular sunrises and sunsets are features of daily life here.

There are 17 distinctive neighborhoods in Las Campanas, which are generally divided up into various areas termed “Estates”.  The lower number Estates generally tend to be closer to downtown, while the higher numbered Estates tend to be further away.  Depending on where you are in Las Campanas, it is about a 15 to 25 minute drive to downtown Santa Fe.

Las Campanas homes are built in a variety of architectural styles, including Spanish pueblo, territorial, contemporary, ranch, log cabin and northern New Mexico pitched roof.   Homes range from approximately 1,600 square feet to over 12,000 square feet in size and are generally one level.  The majority of homes are between 3,000 square feet and 5,000 square fett in size.  Lot sizes range from approximately ¼ acre sites to over 5 acres and prices range from the low $400,000s to over $10 million.

The Design Review Board at Las Campanas helps to maintain consistency in the aesthetic character of the neighborhoods. Courtyards, gates, beamed ceilings, hand troweled plaster, portal covered outdoor spaces and beautifully landscaped gardens are traditional features of Las Campanas homes

LAS CAMPANAS HOMES

If you would like to know more about any of the homes for sale in the Las Campanas Area or for a free market analysis of how much your home is worth, contact me, Karen Meredith, Keller Williams, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.

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Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Tesuque

Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Tesuque

Tesuque is a neighborhood located 5 miles north of Santa Fe, east of Highway 285 on Bishops Lodge Road.  Tesuque is known for its beauty, verdant landscape and traditional adobe structures.  Tesuque owes its grassy fields and leafy orchards to Tesuque Creek which runs the length of the village. Many acequias nourish the yards of the houses that line the creek, creating a green oasis in the middle of a high country desert.  Abundant trees such as cottonwoods along the banks of the creek provide residents with soothing cool shade in the summer.

At the 2010 Census, Tesuque had a population of 925 with 718 housing units in a land area of 6.96 sq. miles giving it a population density of 162.63 people per square mile. The median household income as of the 2010 census was $104,487 and the average age was 56.3. Tesuque has its own post office and an elementary school.  

 
Local Amenities and Attractions
Tesuque Village Market

Tesuque Village Market

The popular Tesuque Village Market sits in the center of the village.  Built to resemble a trading post and stocked with grocery items, it serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week.    Outdoor dinning on the porch (weather permitting) provides diners with entertaining people watching.  The breakfast burritos and green chile are particularly noteworthy at Tesuque Village Market and the pasteries are delicious.

Fresh pasteries at Tesuque Village Market

Fresh pasteries at Tesuque Village Market

Tesuque’s other restaurant El Nido is currently closed. El Nido, built in the 1920s, has a colorful history.  It first started out as a roadhouse and dance hall and was reputed to have been a brothel at one point.  In the past El Nido was popular with opera goers due to its proximity to the Santa Fe Opera.

Tesuque is also home to one of the top bronze art foundries in the United States, Shidoni Foundry, which was established in 1971.  Shidoni pours 3,500 pounds of bronze per week to make their bronze sculptures.  Shidoni holds weekly public demonstrations on sculpture making. Call (505) 988-8001 for the pouring schedule and plan to arrive a little early.  The pouring starts when the bronze is heated to 2000 degrees and ready to be poured into ceramic shells, which can be up to half an hour before the scheduled time.

Glass Flowers

Glass Flowers

The foundry has an 8 acre outdoor sculpture gallery showcasing sculptures in styles ranging from contemporary to traditional as well as two indoor galleries. Also on site is the Shidoni Arts Gallery which features works in glass and wood and Tesuque Glassworks where visitors can watch daily glassblowing demonstrations.

Tesuque Pueblo lies north and west of Tesuque, just 9 miles north of Santa Fe.  Archeologists believe that this pueblo has existed since at least 1,200 A.D.  Comprised of just 424 residents, this tiny pueblo is one of the most traditional Tewa speaking pueblos, with a great reverence for its traditional religious ceremonies.  Their dances are known for their authenticity and costumes.  Public dances include the Kings Dance held in January, the Corn Dance held in June, Harvest Dance held in November and the Deer and Buffalo Dances held in December.  The pueblo is closed to the public during certain days of the year, so call the pueblo before planning to visit. (505) 983-2667.

Tesuque Pueblo also operates the Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market, 6.5 miles north of Santa Fe, just off U.S. 84/285 at Exit 171, next to the Santa Fe Opera every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from March to December.  Call (505) 670-2599 for more information

HOMES FOR SALE IN TESUQUE

If you would like to know more about homes for sale in the Tesuque neighborhood or for a free market analysis of what your Tesuque neighborhood home is worth, contact me, Karen Meredith, Keller Williams, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.    

Prices for homes in Tesuque currently range from the mid $400,000s to several million dollars.

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Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Bishops Lodge Road

 

Bishops Lodge Road
Bishops Lodge Road

Make a left on Paseo de Peralta onto Washington Avenue near the massive, pink, iconic Scottish Rite Temple and you find yourself heading north from the Santa Fe Plaza along the old stagecoach road to the Village of Tesuque.  Soon Washington Avenue turns into Bishops Lodge Road.  This 5 mile drive to Tesuque is one of the prettiest and most relaxing drives in Santa Fe. You’ll pass scenic hillsides and enter a cottonwood shaded lush valley filled with orchards and horse farms.  Along the way you will see some of the most expensive luxury homes in the Santa Fe style peppering the hillsides.

The Bishops Lodge Road neighborhood is one of Santa Fe’s older neighborhoods.  Well established, many of these homes enjoy beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Ortiz and Sandia mountain ranges as well as city light views.  Tucked away on dirt roads and nestled in the hillsides, these homes have privacy, yet are only minutes away from the Plaza.

Residents of Bishops Lodge Road have easy access to hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest, which has 1,500 contiguous square miles of territory nearby.

Bishop's Lodge Resort & Spa

Bishop’s Lodge Resort & Spa

Along the way to Tesuque you’ll pass the Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa, which was originally the home of Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy.  Bishop Lamy was the first bishop appointed by the Vatican in 1850 for its newly created American southwest diocese, Vicariate of New Mexico.  He oversaw the creation of St. Francis Cathedral, at the end of East San Francisco Street, just off the Plaza, which he commissioned in 1869, and was very influencial in the development of Santa Fe and its surrounding areas in the mid 1800s.  The town of Lamy is named after Bishop Lamy for his work in bringing the railroad to that town and donating Church property for the railroad junction there.  Eventually becoming an Archbishop in 1875, Archbishop Lamy was the inspiration for the lead character in Willa Cather’s masterpiece, Death Comes for the Archbishop.

Horseback riding at Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa

Horseback riding at Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa

Bishop’s Lodge Resort’s website states:  “Lamy enjoyed having visitors out to his lodge and his many guests were invited to partake in the pleasure of his gardens, orchard, fish-pond and the natural serenity of his country estate. In time, the path out to the ranch became a road and led the city’s newspaper to remark, “Good work has been done on the Bishop’s ranch road. It forms one of the best rides out of the city. This is the work, we presume, of Bishop Lamy.”

The New Mexico Governor’s Mansion also resides just off Bishop’s Lodge Road on 1 Mansion Way.  It was built in 1954 and is 7,949 square feet.

The Hills at Bishop’s Lodge is a new 45 acre residential luxury home and condominium development with amenities that include swimming, tennis and riding trails.

If you would like to know more about any of the homes for sale along Bishops Lodge Road neighborhood, or you would like a free market analysis of how much your home is worth, contact me, Karen MeredithKeller Williams Realty, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.

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Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Museum Hill

View from the Wheelwright Museum front terrace

View from the Wheelwright Museum front terrace

Santa Fe New Mexico Living– Focus on Museum Hill 

Santa Fe has four world class museums located on Camino Lejo on the southeast side of town in an area called Museum Hill.  If you limit your museum touring in Santa Fe to the cultural riches around the Plaza, you’ll be depriving yourself of a chance to view some wonderful art as well as magnificent views of the mountains.  Travel between Museum Hill and the Plaza is simple and convenient. Take the “M” line operated by Santa Fe Trails, which runs 7 seven days a week and costs adults $1 each way.  Departures start from the Downtown Transit Center on Sheridan Street (one block off the Plaza) for a short 18-minute ride.  Click here to see a map of the route.  Call 505 955-2001 for the most current information about schedules and fares.  You can spend endless hours exploring the wide variety of art in these collections.

Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer by Craig Dan Goseyun in front of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer by Craig Dan Goseyun in front of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (710 Camino Lejo) covers 12,000 years of southwestern Native American culture and history in the long-term exhibit “Here, Now and Always”.  This groundbreaking exhibit, which opened in August, 1997, was developed over an eight year period by a curatorial team composed of Native American consultants and museum professionals.  It incorporates the voices of more than 50 Native Americans speakers and has over 1,000 artifacts and objects on display to help illustrate the rich, complex and diverse Native American stories of creation and survival in the Southwest.  Also on long-term display is the Buchsbaum Southwest Pottery Gallery which features 500 ceramic pieces from ancient times to today from each of the Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona.  Call 505 476-1269 or click here for more information.

The Museum of International Folk Art (708 Camino Lejo) houses the largest collection of traditional folk art in the world.   With over 135,000 objects, the collection is displayed in four distinct wings and covers such diverse topics as folk art from Latin American mountain villages, metalwork from West Africa, intricate textiles from Southwest China and shadow-puppet traditions of Java.  Call 505 476-1200 or click here for more information.

Retablos

Retablos

The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art (750 Camino Lejo), whose purpose is to preserve and perpetuate the Hispano art forms that have been produced in New Mexico and Southern Colorado since the region was colonized by Spain in 1598, has 3,000 objects, making their collection the most comprehensive compilation of Spanish Colonial art of its kind.  Call 505 982-2226 or click here for more information.

 

 

Finally, there is the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (704 Camino Lejo) which opened in 1937 and came into being as a result of the special friendship between Mary Cabot Wheelwright, an East Coast heiress, and Hastiin Klah, a Navajo medicine man. To read more about the fascinating story of the Wheelwright Museum and what happened to its original collection, click here.

Toadalena Navajo rug from the Two Grey Hills area

Toadalena Navajo rug from the Two Grey Hills area

If you go to the Wheelwright Museum, do not forget to stop by The Case Trading Post, Santa Fe’s oldest Indian art gallery, which was built to resemble a turn-of-the-century Navajo Reservation trading post.  It is a wonderful shop where you can buy genuine works of art from contemporary Indian artists in the form of pottery, jewelry, textiles, storytellers, katsina dolls, and more. You’ll find pieces by recognized masters as well as new and emerging talent.

Homes for Sale in the Museum Hill Neighborhood

If you would like to explore homes for sale in the Museum Hill neighborhood or receive a free market analysis of how much your Museum Hill neighborhood home is worth, contact me, Karen Meredith, Keller Williams Realty, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.  

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Winter Salad

Winter Salad

Santa Fe New Mexico Living – Winter Recipes 

It is apple season at the Farmers Market!  Here is an easy and delicious winter salad recipe using apples, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds:

Apple, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Salad (adapted from the New York Times)

½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Finely grated zest of half an orange
1 large apple or 2 small apples
Mesclun salad mix
1 6 ounce log of goat cheese (preferably on the drier side to facilitate crumbling – the house brand at Whole Foods works well)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss pumpkin seeds with the ½ teaspoon olive oil and salt in a bowl.  Spread on baking sheet and toast in oven until golden brown and popped, 8 to 10 minutes (set a timer so you don’t forget about them!).  Set aside to cool.  Once cool, place the pumpkin seeds and cranberries together in a large salad bowl.
  1. In a second bowl, combine the ¼ cup extra virgin oil olive, vinegar and zest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
  1. Just before serving, cut apples in half, scoop out core using a melon baller if you have one, slice apples thinly and add to large salad bowl.  Add the lettuce and dressing and toss to mix.  Plate the salad and then crumble the goat cheese onto the plates.

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Santa Fe Neighborhoods – Focus on Villa de la Paz

Villa de la Paz

Villa de la Paz

Villa de la Paz means “Peaceful Village”  in Spanish. This tranquil little haven tucked into the southwest side of Santa Fe certainly lives up to its name.

 

 

 

 

Development began in 1999 – 2000, for this well-established condominium subdivision, which was designed to provide the local community with affordable, quality, urban village housing.

The development contains 89 plotted lots on nearly 10 acres.  76 lots have already been built.  There are eight different floor plans to choose from, three single story and five two story, and all are two or three bedroom units.  The units start at 1,000 square feet and go up to approximately 1,800 square feet.  The housing is FHA approved, which gives buyers the opportunity to purchase these units with a low downpayment.

The gazebo and benches in the park

The gazebo and benches in the park

Villa de la Paz contains a beautifully landscaped park that is approximately 1 acre in size with a gazebo and benches, perfect for walking, contemplating nature or visiting with neighbors.

Peaceful walking trails weave through the subdivision, which also has two landscaped park-like retention ponds. The outdoor areas were planted with a beautiful selection of botanical plants that are drought resistiant and low maintenance.

One of the Villa de la Paz walking trails

One of the Villa de la Paz walking trails

The existing units in the subdivision are designed for maximum light and privacy with vaulted ceilings in the single story units and decks with mountain views in the two story units. Quality construction details include radiant heating, Pella Windows, tile floors, Kohler plumbing fixtures, and solid wood interior doors.  Protective covenants were created  to ensure that residents enjoy uniformity and consistency of style and design in their surrounding environment.

Street scene in Villa de la Paz

Street scene in Villa de la Paz

The subdivision is self contained, with one entrance and one exit and contains ample public parking. Most units have garages.  Villa de la Paz has convenient shopping and enjoys many city services such as water, sewer, electricity and trash pickup.

Contact me, Karen Meredith, Keller Williams, (505) 603-3036 for more information about homes in this neighborhood or for a free market analysis of how much your home is worth.

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American Lung Association Reports Santa Fe Air Ranks Among the Country’s Cleanest

By Staci Matlock | The New Mexican
Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012  To read the original article in its entirety.

Breathe deeply, Santa Feans.

The City Different and Santa Fe County has some of the cleanest air in America, according to the American Lung Association.

That’s excellent news for children, elderly and people with asthma, cardiovascular disease and emphysema who are most at risk of health problems when they breath polluted air. An estimated third of Santa Fe County’s population falls into one of those categories.

The association analyzed data from 2007 to 2010 related to ozone and particles emitted from vehicle tailpipes, power generating stations, mining, manufacturing and more. The association has analyzed air quality in U.S. cities for the last dozen years and published the results in annual State of the Air reports.

The reports rank cities based on levels of ozone, short-term particle pollution and long-term particle pollution. Santa Fe joined Honolulu as the only cities who were on the association’s “cleanest air” list in all three categories from 2007-2010, the period for which data was analyzed.

Santa Fe earned an A for low ozone and 24-hour particle pollution, and it passed the annual particle pollution category.

Particles are mixtures of chemicals and materials floating around in air. Some are so tiny they can’t be seen without an electron microscope. Some are thinner than a strand of hair.

Smoke, dust, pollen and gas fumes are just a few of the particles launched into the air by wind, plants, power generation and wildfires. People inhale the particles with air. People cough out the larger particles, but smaller particles can get trapped in lung tissue, causing illness.

Ozone, another dangerous lung irritant analyzed by the American Lung Association, also comes from a mixture of gases produced by cars, smokestacks and burning coal. The gases — nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds — when combined with sunlight and warmth, produce harmful ozone in the lower atmosphere.

Children, people older than 65, those who like to exercise outdoors and people who have existing lung problems such as asthma are more susceptible to the ill effects of elevated ozone levels. People exposed to high levels of ozone can suffer wheezing, chest pain, asthma attacks and respiratory infections.

The American Lung Association report notes that while air quality has improved overall around the country, 1 in 17 Americans (18.5 million total) live around unhealthy levels of ozone and particles.

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Jewelry by Ousmane Macina from Mali

Jewelry by Ousmane Macina from Mali

The largest international folk art festival in the world, in 2012 150 artists from 54 countries participated and over 20,000 people attended the Market.

The Market showcases master craftsmanship passed down through families, generations, and cultures: colorful beaded jewelry from Kenya; gorgeous silk scarves from Kyrgyzstan; exquisite ceramics from France.

Many of the artists come from developing countries, where the average income is less than $3 a day and where political, social, and environmental hardships can make everyday life-not to mention the creation of art-challenging.  In the past nine years, artists at the Market have earned more than $14 million dollars.  In 2011, 90 percent of the Market’s $2.3 million in sales went directly to the artists, or an average of $17,300 per booth.

Indonesian beaded basket

Indonesian beaded basket

The proceeds earned at previous Markets have helped to build schools, wells, and health clinics in a number of Third World countries. They have, for example, brought food, clothing, and medical care to Sudanese refugee camps, AIDS support to South Africa, and financial independence for Afghan women.

That’s a powerful bottom line: One weekend in Santa Fe provides artists the financial ability to radically improve their lives and their communities. Actor Ali MacGraw-a longtime Santa Fe resident and supporter of the arts-calls it “monumental money.”

One young Afghan weaver who sells intricately hand embroidered scarves and shawls is now able to afford to send her sisters to school. A 38-year old grandmother from a remote village in Madagascar was able to provide basic electricity and water to her village. A Rwandan basket weaver supplied women with a home garden and mosquito nets; and Maasai beaders from Kenya were able to buy chickens to feed villagers during a terrible drought. A Niger silversmith made enough money at last year’s market to buy three months’ worth of food for over 500 people in nearby villages. The money a Haitian artist earned from her dream-inspired sequin flags helped support her extended family that was left homeless after the devastating earthquake of 2010.

Rebecca Lolosoli, Kenyan artist, photo by David Evans

Rebecca Lolosoli, Kenyan artist, photo by David Evans

More than 97 percent of participating Market artists come from developing countries, where per capita annual incomes range from $250 to $1,500. “Many of these artists grapple daily with political, social, and environmental challenges in their home countries,” points out Judith Espinar, Creative Director and Co-Founder of the Market. “Yes, the Market makes a real difference in their lives, and at the same time they touch our lives in so many important ways.”

It is this sharing, the cultural interchange, that makes the Market such a unique event. The benefits of the Market flow both to the artists and to visitors, who not only discover wonderful (and often very affordable) artwork at the Market but also remarkable stories. Browsing at the Market often leads to encounters with the artists and a clearer understanding of world conditions.

In addition, visitors can enjoy exotic food as well as live, free world music on several stages, ranging from Latin rock to Japanese Shigin chanting. The Market represents, in other words, a readily affordable weekend of global experiences and connections, an overseas trip without the overseas plane fare.

The Market is held at Milner Plaza, next to the world-famous Museum of International Folk Art. Please see the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market website for the 2014 Market’s ticket prices and details.  It will be held from July 11-13, 2014.

This article is a compliation of past press releases from the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.

Biscochitos – New Mexico State Cookie is Seasonal Favorite

SANTA FE, N.M.  –  In a town known for upscale New Mexican cuisine, the best holiday dishes might be the simplest.

Biscochitos served at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM by Ashley Parrish, Tulsa World

Biscochitos served at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, NM by Ashley Parrish, Tulsa World

By:  Ashley Parrish, World Scene Editor, Tulsa World, published 12/18/11.  This article was syndicated from the Tulsa World, click here for the original article.

Tamales are traditional. Cover them in red and green chile and they’re even called “Christmas-style,” although the term is used year-round.

And then there are Biscochitos.

Home cooks and bakers alike make batches of the thin shortbread cookies at Christmas. Diamonds, rounds, they come in all shapes. But they’re always mildly flavored with anise seeds and liquor and are finished in cinnamon sugar.

The state cookie of New Mexico is traditionally made with lard, and many natives won’t stand for substitutes. But this recipe from the Santa Fe Cooking School allows for vegetable shortening. It won’t be quite as traditional but is still delicious.

Holiday Biscochitos

Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies

1 pound (2 cups) lard or vegetable shortening
1  1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons toasted anise seeds
6 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brandy

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream the lard, or shortening. Add sugar, eggs and anise seeds and cream again. Mix dry ingredients separately and combine with the shortening mixture. Add the brandy and mix thoroughly.

3. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle the cookie shapes with the sugar-cinnamon mixture and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.

–  Courtesy Santa Fe School of Cooking

The City Different, Houston Chronicle, October 2, 2011

By MELISSA WARD AGUILAR, Houston Chronicle, published 12:01 a.m., Sunday, October 2, 2011

I spent my childhood summer vacations in Colorado. The long, hot drive to get there through Texas and New Mexico was utter chaos, with nine of us packed into an old Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon. We fought over who got the very back seat, where you could look out at where you had been instead of where you were going. We’d dangle our feet out the rear window. Did I mention there was no air conditioning?

Back then, I thought the scenery was pretty boring — until you got past Albuquerque. Somewhere along the highway to Santa Fe, or ”The City Different” as it’s known to visitors, the desert took on a magical glow. Silvery sagebrush dotted the pink landscape. Purple mountains rose in the background. Lonely abandoned adobe structures looked like props from a movie set.

Dad never wanted to stop along the way. It was a pretty expensive proposition to let seven kids loose in a Running Indian roadside store. He hated driving through Santa Fe; the highway routed you right through town. We would watch the shops and restaurants pass by, beckoning. The town looked like something from the past. It begged to be explored.   I vowed that when I grew up, I’d stop at every one of those spots.

I’ve been working on it. With nearly 300 galleries and 200 restaurants, it’s hard to distill the perfect itinerary. But if I were showing you around the Santa Fe area, here’s where we’d go:

Galleries

Leroy Garcia has assembled a vibrant collection of contemporary American Indian artwork at Blue Rain, including work by his wife.  Tammy Garcia’s clay pots are amazing for their stature and beauty.  Schooled by her mother and grandmother at Santa Clara Pueblo, Garcia has forged a contemporary style in clay and bronze that honors her Indian heritage and challenges tradition, too.  The gallery also shows the intricate works of glass artist Preston Singletary, who has collaborated with bead and glass artist Marcus Amerman, both of whom are American Indians.

Nedra Matteucci Galleries is a beautiful place.  The rooms are filled with important historical and regional works from artists like E. Irving Crouse, Henry Balink and Gustave Baumann.  The sculpture garden, with pieces by Glenda Goodacre and Dan Ostermiller, includes a koi pond and waterfall.

Gerald Peters Gallery’s expansive pueblo houses a museum-quality collection of American masters. For the best of Southwest pottery, check out Andrea Fisher Gallery, which has works by the legendary Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo and Nancy Youngblood, who carries on the Tafoya tradition.

Museums

I always try to visit my favorite flower painting, “Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur” (1930) at the graceful Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, devoted to the artist whose studio is in Abiquiu, north of Santa Fe.

Gustave Baumann’s woodcut prints, on display through December, at the New Mexico Museum of Art aren’t to be missed either.  His landscapes include yellow aspens, lilac trees and mountain scenes in vivid colors.  The museum shop sells affordable posters of his very expensive prints.

The Poeh Museum at Pojaque Pueblo north of Santa Fe is devoted to the works of the Pueblo people, including artist Roxanne Swentzell.  Her expressive, whimsical sculptures illustrate the pueblo way of life. Swentzell’s work is for sale next door at the Tower Gallery.

Shops

Sure, the historical plaza is filled with tourists, but, face it:  That’s what we are.  It’s fun to window-shop at the upscale Packard’s on the Plaza.  But if I’m buying jewelry, I head to the Rainbow Man, which sells vintage and pawn turquoise as well as contemporary pieces. Be sure to ask what mine the stones are from. This is also the place to buy historical Edward S. Curtis photos.

Keshi, a co-op for arts and crafts from the Zuni Pueblo, has a vast menagerie of collectible carved animal fetishes, as well as artist Effie Calavaza’s snake pendants and rings.

It’s a mighty big brag, but Back at the Ranch boasts the world’s largest collection of handmade boots, made in El Paso.

Hikes

The 3-mile trail at Kasha-Katwe Tent Rocks National Monument is home to fanciful volcanic rock formations and ribbons of narrow canyons. Climb to the top of the Canyon Trail for a view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez and Sandia mountain ranges.  It’s on the Pueblo de Cochiti, 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe.

Back in Santa Fe, the half-mile hike up Canyon Road is enough exercise for some.  (Going in and out of the 100-plus galleries adds mileage.)  You’ll see everything from historical works and American Indian pieces to contemporary paintings and sculpture, folk art, jewelry and, of course, junk. Lots of restaurants line the stretch.  A favorite is the Garden at El Zaguan.  The Victorian cottage garden, tended by the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, is shady and inviting.

Bandelier National Monument is one of my favorite hiking spots. (Fire damage has temporarily closed most of the trails.)

Restaurants

For breakfast, Tia Sophia is delicious and reasonably priced.  Order your ”huevos rancheros” “Christmas” so you can try both red and green chiles.

For lunch, there’s El Ferol, Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant and saloon.  Sitting on the patio overlooking Canyon Road with a glass of Chilean wine and a crispy avocado, bacon and tomato ”bocadillo” is a pleasant respite from a day of gallery hopping.  Make reservations for the restaurant’s flamenco evening.

Another lunch favorite is Cafe Pasqual‘s, with its signature turquoise screen door facing the corner of Don Gaspar and Water streets.  Try the grilled chicken breast sandwich with manchego cheese on toasted chile bread. It’s Santa Fe comfort food.

For dinner, splurge at the Compound, Santa Fe’s most elegant restaurant.  James Beard Award-winning chef/owner Churches

The exquisite Loretto Chapel at the end of the Santa Fe trail is famous for its miraculous staircase, which makes two 360-degree turns and has no nails. Built in 1878, the chapel is now a private museum and concert venue.

Santuario de Guadalupe, built in 1781, houses the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s collection of ”santos” — painted and carved images of saints — as well as a large oil painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Jose de Alzibar, one of Mexico’s 18th-century master painters, and the iconic 12-foot sculpture “La Virgen” by Mexican artist Georgina “Gogy” Farias.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi towers over the historic district. Its Romanesque Revival style contrasts with this adobe city.

San Miguel Chapel, built between 1610 and 1626, is said to be the oldest church in the United States. It is currently undergoing restoration.

If you go

Andrea Fisher Gallery: 100 W. San Francisco, (505) 986-1234

Back at the Ranch: 209 E. Marcy, (888) 962-6687

The Compound: 653 Canyon Road, (505) 982-4353

El Farol: 808 Canyon Road, (505) 983-9912

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: 217 Johnson St., (505) 946-1000

Gerald Peters Gallery: 1011 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 954-5700

Kasha-Katwe
Tent Rocks National Monument: 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe off
Interstate 25. Open year-round. No camping. Admission: $5 per car; (505)
761-8700

Loretto Chapel: 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 982-0092

Nedra Matteucci Galleries: 1075 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 982-4631

New Mexico Museum of Art: 107 W. Palace, (505) 476-5041

Poeh Museum and Tower Gallery: 78 Cities of Gold Road, Pojaque, (505) 455-3334

Rainbow Man: 107 E. Palace, (505) 982-8706

St. Francis Cathedral: 131 Cathedral Place, (505) 982-5619

San Miguel Chapel: 401 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 983-3974

Santuario de Guadalupe: 100 N. Guadalupe, (505) 955-6200

Tia Sophia: 210 W. San Francisco, (505) 983-9880