The June issue of Conde Nast Traveler has a small feature on ‘shopping cities’ that are really good values, and one of them is Santa Fe. Av and I went to Santa Fe in 2001 – we were going to Denver and decided to drive rather than fly so we could see and do more things along the way (and out-of-the-way). Some of the highlights were: being touristy and having lunch at The Big Texan in Amarillo (although Av didn’t try to eat the 72 oz. steak); ‘catching’ a giant tumbleweed in Dumas and putting it in the back of the car so that when we arrived at our hotel in Denver, the bellmen just looked at each other like we were crazy (we still have it – it hangs high above in the set of stairs that leads from the first to second floor of our house); driving on Route 66; Av finding the best country fried steak in the universe in Tucumcari, New Mexico; spending a few days in Denver; the day we spent in Cheyenne, Wyoming; and the couple of days we spent in Santa Fe.
In Santa Fe, we stayed at the Hotel St. Francis, which Conde Nast recommends in this month’s issue. We had wanted to stay at the Eldorado Hotel, which is a 4-diamond hotel with kivas in the rooms, but if I remember correctly, they were booked and we hadn’t tried to make reservations in advance. Anyway, the St. Francis was great – it was right at the Plaza, and the room was just fine. We did eat supper one night at the Eldorado’s The Old House restaurant (which on their website mentions that Zagat rated them ‘best in NM’ and is also 4-diamond) – it was *soooo amazing*…we loved it. We also spent lots of time at the Plaza, and also did some gallery shopping, which was really, really fun.
One of things we didn’t do last time but was mentioned in the article is the Friday-Sunday Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market where it says that “nearly 500 artisans offer their handcrafted pieces tax-free.” That sounds wonderful! I’d also like to see the Museum of International Folk Art there the next time we go. Fun!