First time on an E-bike and believe me, I was grateful for that booster lever when I saw some of the hills! The tour company, Heritage Inspirations Tours, was easy to book my tour with and the other couple, Nick and Jane from Houston, Texas were lots of fun to ride with. But it was our guide, Meryl, who was the star of the show. An arts major originally from Vermont, she’d clearly done her homework in terms of learning the history and other details about her adopted state. She also did a fantastic job of teaching me how to operate the bike without falling off! Plus, she was cheerful and friendly, even when the weather became frigid and blustery (to say the least).
Some of my favorite stops included the view at the top of Cross of the Martyrs Park, the Santa Fe railroad area (including where a weekly Farmer’s Market is held), George R.R. Martin’s theater and book store, Canyon Road, and the Plaza, where you’ll find juried artist, music, and festivals. It was well worth the cost and the perfect way to orient myself to the city without having to deal with traffic and parking.
La Vida Spa
Marla is your go-to esthetician, for both her facials and conversation! Though I wasn’t sure I completely believed her when she promised me my skin would look like new and that the facial would make a real difference in how I looked and felt, but it was amazing. Not going to tell you what makes it so special but believe me it was worthwhile and I’d go back in a heartbeat. To top it all off, her family actually knew Georgia O’Keefe (her father was a power lineman and frequently restored the artist’s electricity) and they’d been gifted several original O’Keefe’s. Wow! The spa itself is on the smaller side and no frills but there’s a pretty lounge with hot tea and cucumber water and an outside courtyard with a fire pit and (what else?) s’mores!
Tourists go to The Shed, locals prefer La Choza and that piece of advice was spot-on! The Frito pie (yes, you read that right and yes, I’ve always wanted to try it) was delicious and my local Elevated IPA, La Cumbre, complemented it perfectly. Carla was most excited about the sopapillas which she had fond memories of. The restaurant itself has plenty of seating, a vibrant color scheme, and rumor has it that the Choza Silver margaritas-with Tepozan Blanco and Triple Sec-are the best in the city.
No visit would be complete without a stop at this restaurant’s rooftop bar to watch the sunset. And there’s almost always a sunset and often a moonrise as well. Happy hour, followed by an inside dinner was a fabulous way to spend our final night in Santa Fe, especially with the Halloween and Dia de los Muertos decorations out in full force.
Shop at the Candy Lady
Breaking Bad fans will love the blue crystal rock candy, t-shirts, and other BB souvenirs. I myself was drawn to the exotic peanut brittles and purchased stocking stuffers like pinyon brittle and pinyon brittle with red chiles. Won’t find that in upstate New York!
Grab breakfast or lunch at The Grove
Sandwiches come on the most amazing homemade English muffins and are served in a bright, high-ceilinged room or a cozy café space. Free parking, quick service, and really good coffee are bonuses.
My trip to New Mexico turned out even better than I’d expected and I’ll definitely be returning to explore more of the Land of Enchantment in the not-too-distant future!