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Santa Fe

talkamotta

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We want to go to Santa Fe next year. I've been there before but only for a day. How many days would be a good amount to stay and what are your favorite things to do. Is September or may better? Or what is the best month to go.
 

chellej

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We went last October, flew into ABQ and explored there a couple of days and then went north to Santa Fe and it was very pleasant.

Really enjoyed the tram at Sandia Peak in ABQ. Also made a trip up to Rancho de Chimayo...Dinner at the restaurant there had the best green chili. Love the galleries. Took a side trip up to Madrid ( where they filmed Wild Hogg) Its a fun little town and lots of craftsmen.

We didn't get a chance to go but the flea market on the north side of Santa Fe used to be a lot of fun, not sure current status.

Also check out the singing highway near Tijeras, New Mexico

If you can stand crowds, Indian Market in August each year is worth the trip
 
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DaveNV

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Ask @Luanne. She lives there.

If you go the first week in October, you can see the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, about 50 miles from Santa Fe. It was extraordinary when we went several years ago.

Dave
 

northwoodsgal

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Several years ago, we went the last week of September. We caught the Balloon Fiesta on our last day, which was very cool to see, but I wish we would have read up more on where to view it ahead of time. You won't run out of things to do in Santa Fe and the area with a week's stay. We went up to Taos one day to see the World Heritage site of the Taos Pueblo, Kit Carson home and Earthship houses.
 

Luanne

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September and May are both nice. It can still be a little cool in May but that is kind of the beginning of the season. There is always something to do.

Things to do:

· Museums:

o International Folk Art Museum (on Museum Hill). This would be the one I would suggest if you don’t want to do a lot of museums.

o Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (also on Museum Hill)

o Georgia O’Keefe – Plaza area

o New Mexico History Museum – Plaza area

o Palace of the Governors – on the Plaza

· Meow Wolf: https://meowwolf.com/

· Canyon Rd. This is fun to walk, pretty much all galleries and some other shops.

· Ghost Ranch. This is where Georgia O’Keefe spent much of her time. There are walking trails.

· Tent Rocks. Requires some walking/hiking.

· Day trip to Taos (about 1 ½ hours each way)

· There are several walking tours, and trolley tours, of Santa Fe. You can check the tourism website for information. https://santafe.org/

· Be sure to see the La Fonda Hotel. It was a Harvey House hotel and is lovely. You can take a free docent led tour. Tours are at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can reserve with the concierge as the tours are capped at 12 (but my friend who is a docent said they usually don’t have that many). They have a restaurant/bar called the Bell Tower, which is on the top floor, with a nice view of the Plaza. They start serving at lunch time, and it’s a wonderful place to have a drink in the afternoon, or watch the sunset. It does get very busy during nice weather.

· The State Capitol Building, known as the Roundhouse (because it’s round). Open Monday through Friday. It’s an interesting architecture, and houses an extensive art collection. All of the art has some connection to New Mexico.

· Bandelier National Monument https://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm

· Pecos National Historical Park https://www.nps.gov/peco/index.htm
 
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Passepartout

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Nice list Luanne. We were there in March. It was a little cool (OK- chilly) at night and early mornings, but quite pleasant in the mid-day. We found plenty to do to fill a week, and enough left over to think about planning another trip there.

Jim
 

clifffaith

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We go every year for 4-5 days, and even considered moving there. Lots of things to do, see, and EAT! The altitude bothers me every single time, which I find bizarre since I have no breathing issues otherwise. We've been in May once, July twice (Folk Art market), and otherwise seem to end up there in September or early- mid October.
 

Luanne

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We went last October, flew into ABQ and explored there a couple of days and then went north to Santa Fe and it was very pleasant.

Really enjoyed the tram at Sandia Peak in ABQ. Also made a trip up to Rancho de Chimayo...Dinner at the restaurant there had the best green chili. Love the galleries. Took a side trip up to Madras ( where they filmed Wild Hogg) Its a fun little town and lots of craftsmen.

We didn't get a chance to go but the flea market on the north side of Santa Fe used to be a lot of fun, not sure current status.

Also check out the singing highway near Tijeras, New Mexico

If you can stand crowds, Indian Market in August each year is worth the trip
Just a slight correction. The town you went to was Madrid, not Madras. :) Used to be a mining town, then it died. Then the hippies moved in and now it's a very interesting little place. They really do the town up for the holidays. We haven't gone down to see it, but I hear it's pretty spectacular.

Also, the flea market on the north side of Santa Fe is gone. It was replaced by the Tesuque Casino.
 

PamMo

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Luanne, thank you for the wonderful post on things to do in Santa Fe! We've been to Taos in the fall, but wanted save Santa Fe for the lights of Christmas. Your post has me really excited about exploring Sante Fe now! Do you have any tips for a holiday visit?
 

Luanne

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Luanne, thank you for the wonderful post on things to do in Santa Fe! We've been to Taos in the fall, but wanted save Santa Fe for the lights of Christmas. Your post has me really excited about exploring Sante Fe now! Do you have any tips for a holiday visit?
Some of the highlights for the holiday are:
- The Plaza all lit up for the holidays
- Canyon Rd farolito walk on Christmas Eve (we've done it once, it gets very, very crowded). Even if you opt not to do the walk, take a walk, or drive, down Canyon Rd. some evening. https://www.farolitowalk.com/
- Glow at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden: https://santafebotanicalgarden.org/events/glow/

I can't remember off the top of my head if there are any markets or special events going on. I know there are several musical events, both through the Lensic and also ProMusica does a holiday performance.
https://lensic.org/events/christmas-eve-concert/
https://www.sfpromusica.org/
 

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AWESOME! Thanks, Luanne!
 

sfwilshire

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We caught the Balloon Fiesta on our last day, which was very cool to see, but I wish we would have read up more on where to view it ahead of time.
Curious about what you mean about "where to view it". The best place is, of course, Balloon Fiesta Park. If you mean outside the park, that would depend on which way the wind was blowing and would be almost impossible to determine ahead of time. We just got back from our 8th consecutive year at Fiesta. Always a good time, though the winds were not our friends this year. Our pilot only flew 4 of the 9 days. He could have also flown on the final day, but he was going for an early start home.

Sheila
 

Luanne

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Curious about what you mean about "where to view it". The best place is, of course, Balloon Fiesta Park. If you mean outside the park, that would depend on which way the wind was blowing and would be almost impossible to determine ahead of time. We just got back from our 8th consecutive year at Fiesta. Always a good time, though the winds were not our friends this year. Our pilot only flew 4 of the 9 days. He could have also flown on the final day, but he was going for an early start home.

Sheila
We flew back into ABQ during balloon fiesta. We didn't get up early enough to see the balloons launch, but thought we would certainly see them up in the air once we were up and about. Found out later that was one of the mornings they didn't go up due to weather.
 

pianodinosaur

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We went to Santa Fe at the end of August 2019 for the Labor Day Holiday. We stayed at The Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort, which is a first class facility. We explored Santa Fe and Taos using a rental van. Lots of fun. You may wish to read up on Billy the Kid. We purchased some rings fro a store that was formerly a place where he stayed and another where he succeeded in a jail escape. If you are interested in Native American jewelry, this is the place to visit as well as Taos. The Buffalo Thunder Resort has both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a golf course, and a casino. Have a great vacation.
 

northwoodsgal

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Sheila,

We had an early afternoon flight to catch and were worried about being caught in traffic - having no idea what the event was like. We drove to a side road on the outskirts of town. We could see the balloons but weren't close enough to take any decent photos. We didn't know that the balloons lifted up, did a partial circle and then landed again in different parts of town. I'm sure we could have driven in closer but didn't know the area at all and where we could park.
 

sfwilshire

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Sheila,

We had an early afternoon flight to catch and were worried about being caught in traffic - having no idea what the event was like. We drove to a side road on the outskirts of town. We could see the balloons but weren't close enough to take any decent photos. We didn't know that the balloons lifted up, did a partial circle and then landed again in different parts of town. I'm sure we could have driven in closer but didn't know the area at all and where we could park.
Unfortunately, you never know which way the balloons will fly. Even if you'd logged into the best weather apps, things can change after launch. One year we were probably 20 miles north and had great views and balloons landing all around. They quite often fly toward Rio Rancho and put on a terrific show, but they might fly in the opposite direction toward downtown. A southern flight path usually results in a shorter flight due to available landing spots. Figuring all of that out is part of the fun for the pilots and chase crews.

Traffic leaving the event tends to be pretty spread out and probably wouldn't have delayed your trip to the airport by much. Arriving in the morning, traffic is pretty bad. The local authorities seemed to have a better plan this year, but I can't say for sure. As crew members with a car pass, we get to travel on closed streets and avoid most of the traffic.

I highly recommend the event to everyone who'll listen. Stay as long as you can and volunteer to crew if you really want to get a taste of the fun. I've been crewing for more than 40 years in Tennessee and nearby states and have made lifelong friends in the ballooning community.

Sheila
 

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Sheila, I'm really glad you explained how the balloon route works. I just assumed it was the same, planned route each year. I suppose it depends on the wind direction. We still enjoyed see the wide variety of balloons - it was a fun morning for us.
 

JudyH

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In 2015 we drove our trailer from FL to Albuquerque and camped at the Festival grounds. We were on a bluff overlooking the balloon ascension area and we went up once. Definitely a bucket list item. I would love to go back.
 
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