Travel Journal: Santa Fe, NM

We were so excited when we arrived in Santa Fe, NM. The architecture was gorgeous—a beautiful blend between Indian pueblos, modern architecture, and Spanish influences. Santa Fe exudes such tranquility and it's easy to relax and enjoy yourself. We camped at the most lovely campsite and lit fires every night before bed. I ate s’mores and read by the fire for hours. To be honest, my favorite part about all of the more primitive camping experience was the ability to light a fire just sit and be and read and meditate and not think about anything stressful. I felt peace like I’ve never felt before. 

The mountains surrounding the entire city are astounding, and the sunsets are simply unbeatable, outlining the beautiful sand-colored dwellings.

Highlights in Santa Fe:

The cathedral and plaza. The plaza with its Spanish and Native American architecture has a plethora of upscale shops featuring Native American quilts, furniture, jewelry, food, and other goods. At the end of the plaza sits a beautiful Basilica open to the public for exploration. Right around that area we found FANTASTIC Mexican food. To be honest, I’m a bad blogger and didn’t remember the name of the place we went, but essentially it’s an unassuming hole-in-the-wall with the best Mexican food ever. 

One of the best things to do in Santa Fe is to visit Ojo Caliente. Ojo Caliente is a hot springs spa with healing waters. You can buy a day pass (very inexpensively) and sit in the healing waters to relax, mediate, and unwind. Seriously, do it.

There are many great museums in Santa Fe, but we only had time to visit one.. We were directed to the Museum of New Mexico History, which went in depth on the Native American/American struggle, all the wars and strife surrounding New Mexico's independence, land disputes, and peace treaties. It was utterly fascinating.When I go back again someday, I want to visit the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

We visited an artist colony where every single dwelling featured a different artist-in-residence and some of the most beautiful artwork and antiques  I’ve ever seen. 

Finally, if you go to NM there are Indian reservations surrounding the Santa Fe city limits, which can give you a taste of more Native American culture and architecture. It's a must-do!

The only downside was that Asher and I were incredibly unprepared for the weather. We ignorantly assumed we’d be hot since it was summer. We. were. wrong. It was COLD. This was the beginning of our struggle to stay warm for the remainder of the trip, and it ended up costing us a lot of extra money (more on that another time).

Go to Santa Fe if you want good food, beautifully curated artwork, gorgeous scenery and sunsets, and an invitation to sit back and relax.

Things I loved most:

  • Ojo Caliente
  • The artist colonies near the Plaza
  • The Plaza
  • Any Mexican food you can find
  • the decision to camp in Santa Fe: perfect location, perfect atmosphere, and an adorable little shop for any necessities, firewood, etc.

What I didn’t love:

  • It was colder than I thought it would be in August.
  • Shopping was expensive, so I couldn’t buy much—but that’s fine!

What I learned for next time:

  • Bring layers. Prepare for cold weather at night.