Santa Fe: A Spring Rainbow of Color

Santa Fe Baldy still has its white cap, inviting Ski Santa Fe lovers to take those last few runs, but winter is officially over – today is the first day of spring! Santa Fe is #3 on Travel + Leisure’s list for best U.S. weather, thanks in part to more than 320 annual days of sunshine. Right now, that friendly sun is painting Santa Fe with swaths of color. There’s more than one way to explore the City Different through the eyes of an artist.

Santa Fe Is Right Before Your Eyes

Santa Fe is embarking on a Summer of Color, but maybe you just can’t wait that long. There’s nothing quite like spring color and I know just where to find it. A hike along the Dale Ball Trails in search of wildflowers is on my itinerary. This 22-mile trail network is perfect for those who simply want a stroll in the fresh mountain air, as well as avid hikers and bikers who crave the stunning view of downtown Santa Fe these trails offer. Two trailheads, one where Canyon Road intersects with Cerro Gordo Road and one in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on Hyde Park Road offer choice scenic greenery. Of course, a sunset hike promises a dazzling display of the mountains aglow with reds and purples!

Santa Fe has unforgettable sunsets – nightly!

Santa Fe has unforgettable sunsets – nightly!

After an invigorating hike, you might be ready to catch some color at a different pace. Fortunately for your inner artist, that’s easy to find – simply make tracks for the New Mexico Museum of Art, getting a jump on the Summer of Color with the Colors of the Southwest exhibition. Iconic works by renowned New Mexico artists past to present offer an education in the Land of Enchantment’s magic. A variety of media is on display with watercolors, ceramics, oils and more showcasing the signature blend of light and color that consistently draws a rich pool of talent to New Mexico.

In their time, modernists like Dorothy Morang made the Santa Fe landscape look new.  (Photo courtesy of the New Mexico Museum of Art | Dorothy Morang, Sunrise, 1940, watercolor on paper, Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Photo: Blair Clark)

In their time, modernists like Dorothy Morang made the Santa Fe landscape look new.
(Photo courtesy of the New Mexico Museum of Art | Dorothy Morang, Sunrise, 1940,
watercolor on paper, Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Photo: Blair Clark)

Put That Color on My Plate Please

Spring equals eating green in my recipe book. The stewpot has moved to the back of the shelf in favor of the season’s first greens from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find locals snapping up garden-fresh goodies. Baby spinach is on my shopping list, but anything green might end up in my market basket nestled next to a bar of handmade Milk and Honey soap or a hank of handspun yarn. The Farmers’ Market is great for breakfast too – the Café’s fresh Aroma coffee is the perfect companion for people watching. I’ll even share my secret – bring that traveling mug and a cuppa joe is only a buck fifty!

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is a must-do destination for locals and visitors alike.

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is a must-do destination for locals and visitors alike.

If coffee has been banned from your beverage lexicon, you’re in luck! Santa Fe has the cold-press juice craze covered. Verde Juice’s bounty runs from the refreshing Apple Cleanse, a cucumber blend rich in iron, to my personal favorite, the Piña Verde, with just enough sweetness to sweeten my morning. Low-calorie and delicious, that’s my wake-up motto! BODY of Santa Fe offers up their Alchemy in a glass – a spicy garden cleanse with a hit of jalapeño. The newbie on the block, Modern General, has a turmeric health shot blended with orange, honey and cayenne that is the anti-inflammatory answer to whatever ails you.

Santa Fe Makes You Hungry For More

I get by early with small bites but when lunch or dinner rolls around, my appetite becomes huge in a hurry. I appreciate Vinaigrette’s heap of seasonal greens, which are mighty without being loaded with calories. The self-titled “salad bistro” lives up to its appellation with a creative collection, from All Kale Caesar to Omega and everything in-between. I love the colorful names, but I love the greenery even more. And my honey, who actually needs the calories (color me jealous), has a choice of fish or meat options for his higher fuel requirements.

Applewood-smoked bacon is a special surprise on Santacafe’s Maine Lobster Salad.

Applewood-smoked bacon is a special surprise on Santacafe’s Maine Lobster Salad.

When I crave casual elegant dining, I choose Santacafé. I can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed with anything I order, but give me a Spring Citrus Salad with avocado and jicama for lunch or the Maine Lobster on iceberg lettuce for dinner, and I am one happy camper. I will, however, admit to the Santacafé burger when my need for green can only be satisfied by green chile!

Make Santa Fe Your Fresh Adventure

Still making plans for a spring escape? Look no further than Santa Fe for the new, the old, the modern and the ancient because we’ve got it all. Grab a getaway special for a fresh take on the City Different, and along with one-of-a-kind souvenirs and tales of artistic adventures, you’ll go home with a rainbow of rich memories about spring.

Bridge the time between winter and summer with a spring getaway in Santa Fe!

Bridge the time between winter and summer with a spring getaway in Santa Fe!

 

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No Passport Needed To Visit Santa Fe!

Confusion about New Mexico and how it relates to Old Mexico is a much-anticipated monthly highlight of “One of Our Fifty is Missing,” a long-standing, tongue-in-cheek feature in New Mexico Magazine. Santa Feans always have a good chuckle about this, such as when “The Bachelor” recently aired its Santa Fe episode and one lovely lady committed this classic gaffe. So too did the esteemed New York Times Magazine with a cover map of the U.S. identifying the Land of Enchantment as “Mexico”! While our neighbor to the south is indeed enchanting, New Mexico is a perennial award winner on its own for authentic experiences in history, culture, the outdoors, and unforgettably satisfying cuisine

While many people find The City Different as new and adventurous as a trip to another country, the only borders you need to cross are state lines!

Feed On New Mexico’s Heritage

There’s no doubt that Santa Fe’s regional cuisine has Old World roots. After all, our historic hamlet, founded by Don Pedro de Peralta in 1607, is the country’s oldest capital city. Four centuries have given us plenty of time to refine the recipes!

An 1883 engraving from Harper’s Weekly shows off Santa Fe’s mountain setting.

An 1883 engraving from Harper’s Weekly shows off Santa Fe’s mountain setting.

Delicious Mexican-style tacos and tamales can be discovered all over town, but the Santa Fe lifestyle continually draws talented chefs here to experiment with ingredients from the Old and New World alike. Green chile tempura? Shohko Café can do that. Oaxacan Black Bean Mole? Martin Rios—2015 James Beard nominee for Best Southwest Chef—regularly revisits his Mexican roots at Restaurant Martin. Francophiles note that L’Olivier Chef Xavier Grenet is one of only 1,300 chefs chosen for the March 19th Gout de France, an international celebration of French cuisine. Ahmed Obo tantalizes diners with a whole new hemisphere of African flavors at Jambo Café. You can even enjoy a bit of Santa Fe spice with your TGIF margarita thanks to the Inn and Spa at Loretto Living Room and their killer Serrano margarita built around chile-infused Herradura tequila.

Serrano chiles heat up a bottle of Herradura at the Inn of Loretto Living Room.

Serrano chiles heat up a bottle of Herradura at the Inn of Loretto Living Room.

Those who like it hands-on can take a round-the-world journey with cooking classes at Las Cosas. March offers a culinary trip to Ireland with a St. Paddy’s Day cooking adventure led by Irish chef Audel Cayce. Spring brings the taste of tagines at an April 7th Moroccan feast. On April 10, students can weigh in on a signature Italian dish when Chef Christine Hickman presents recipes from her upcoming gnocchi cookbook.

Santa Fe Sounds Are Global

Locals love to celebrate the rich sonic traditions brought north from Mexico. The fall Fiesta de Santa Fe Mariachi concert is an annual must, and a guitar case parked next to a Santa Fe Plaza park bench is a common sight, but those who take time to tune into the musical landscape of Santa Fe will enjoy year-round no-visa access to our global bounty.

This month, Les Violons du Roy, a Canadian chamber orchestra renowned for virtuosic flare, performs a concert of European Baroque classics on Sunday, March 22 at the historic and gorgeous Lensic, followed a week later by laid-back contemporary Hawaiian music from HAPA on Sunday, March 29. El Farol offers musical transportation to Spain via riveting Friday Flamenco Dinners created by Chef Giovanni.

Friday Flamenco at El Farol is a fiery affair! (Photo Credit: El Farol Santa Fe)

Friday Flamenco at El Farol is a fiery affair! (Photo Credit: El Farol Santa Fe)

The Anasazi Restaurant and Bar offers its own sexy Saturday scene with Madrileño singer-songwriter Jesus Bas, my Tango partner and I save Tuesday nights for Argentine Tango Milonga at El Meson, and a live drum circle makes everyone in the vicinity beat feet to the Railyard Performance Center for Elise Gent’s Saturday African dance class.

Style Me Santa Fe

Old-world mantillas worn by wives of the conquistadors make a yearly appearance at La Merienda, the Fiesta de Santa Fe fashion show of vintage and traditional dresses preserved by La Sociedad de Folklorica. Santa Fe style knows no boundaries, however, and the Museum of International Folk Art gift shop satisfies a yen for the unusual while I await the arrival of fanciful garb from around the world at July’s International Folk Art Market.

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Exquisite color meets ethnic design at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe.

 

Origins on West San Francisco Street has successfully intrigued the style-conscious for more than 35 years with a mind-boggling display of fashion from the far corners of the globe. Likewise, my home décor has become a whole rainbow more colorful since I discovered Le Bon Marche in the Santa Fe Railyard. Then don’t even get me started on jewelry—although I will share my favorite window-shopping: Charlotte on the Plaza, where drool-worthy German engineering meets Euro-style gorgeous!

Santa Fe Has A Colorful International Palette

Summer is around the corner, and the City Different will burst into a kaleidoscope of hues for the 2015 Summer of Color, starting with May’s Passport to the Arts. Spring offers superb weather and plenty of deals for globe-trotting visitors to take a Santa Fe spring break. In case you missed it, there’s still time to win a five-day getaway to our universe of colorful culture—and, don’t forget, you can leave the passport at home!

Picture yourself in Santa Fe!

Picture yourself in Santa Fe!

 

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Santa Fe + Women = A Legacy Of Great Ladies

March Madness may be on everyone’s mind right now but I’d be even crazier not to mention that March is also Women’s History Month! Santa Fe’s past, present and—no doubt—future are peopled with more than just conquistadors and cowboys. There’s a rich history of notable women who made significant contributions to the lore and legacy of The City Different. Let me introduce you to a few of these colorful ladies.

The Art Of Santa Fe Is A Historic Fact

The foremost female name that pops into people’s minds when they think Santa Fe is undoubtedly Georgia O’Keeffe. No wonder, as not only is O’Keeffe one of few women to have a museum named for her, that museum is chock full with rarely-seen artwork from her body of work and her contemporaries. The collection is ever-expanding, as the museum staff is incredibly diligent about seeking new acquisitions. Annual themed exhibits feature signature paintings on loan from private collections that provide a rare opportunity to view these works. O’Keeffe possessed a phenomenal attunement to color and form, something that helped her translate her love for the New Mexican landscape into the work that helped make Santa Fe a legend in the art world.

 

Georgia O’Keeffe made tracks to New Mexico in more than one way as this historic photograph by Maria Chabot proves. (Photo courtesy of Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)

Georgia O’Keeffe made tracks to New Mexico in more than one way as this historic photograph by Maria Chabot proves. (Photo courtesy of Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)

On the subject of love for the Land of Enchantment, one need only look at the work of Laura Gilpin for an education in black and white on all things New Mexico. This noted photographer had a firm command of the shutter and found her vision in the people and the landscape of the Southwest. Gilpin is known as a master of platinum printing and her evocative prints have found a home in museums around the world. Her legendary photographs of the Native American residents of the Southwest resulted from an unparalleled access to her subjects and created an enduring portrait of their lives.

 

This 1979 photograph is witness to the fact that a large format camera was Laura Gilpin’s life companion.

This 1979 photograph is witness to the fact that a large format camera was Laura Gilpin’s life companion.

The indigenous residents of New Mexico attract devoted patrons of the arts and Mary Cabot Wheelwright’s name is indelibly attached to Santa Fe. A Boston heiress, Wheelwright spent her early years in the lap of East Coast luxury. No doubt her metropolitan crowd was mightily astonished when she fell for the New Mexico lifestyle and made Santa Fe her home. Her passion resulted in one of the city’s most memorable institutions, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian on Museum Hill, which stands as a testament to her mission of preserving the artifacts of the Southwest’s Native American culture–and it’s also home to my favorite trading post.

The Southwest Comes To Life In Words

Some of Santa Fe’s notable ladies followed a passion of another sort: they simply followed their husbands! Susan Shelby Magoffin, who left a fascinating diary detailing her experiences on the Old Santa Fe Trail, was the wife of a 19th century trader. She was born into a privileged Kentucky family and ended up on the Santa Fe Trail with “fourteen big wagons with six yoke each, one baggage wagon, one dearborn with two mules, our own carriage with two more mules, and two men on mules driving the loose stock.” While the Magoffins eventually returned to set up housekeeping in Missouri, Susan’s diary remains an invaluable record of the conditions of the era, its people and events, and all from a distinctly female perspective.

When Susan Magoffin reached the end of the Santa Fe Trail on the Plaza, it looked mighty different than it does today. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)

When Susan Magoffin reached the end of the Santa Fe Trail on the Plaza, it looked mighty different than it does today. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)

Mrs. Magoffin was not the only female writer to be taken with New Mexico. Although Willa Cather never lived in Santa Fe, she wrote an intriguing tale about one of Santa Fe’s most compelling figures, Bishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy. Bishop Lamy is responsible for the magnificent Cathedral that towers (figuratively) over all the other downtown buildings. In fact, city codes stipulate that no downtown building can exceed the height of the Cathedral. Cather was a skilled author and brought this historical figure and Santa Fe legend to life in her novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop.

Santa Fe Ladies Love Leisure Time Entertainment

Thoughts of compelling Santa Fe characters bring Doña Tules to mind. Talk about a unique individual! Maria Gertrudis Barceló held court at her Burro Alley saloon (near today’s Palace Restaurant) and “La Tules” was renowned as a canny card player, separating her male customers from their gold on a regular basis. Susan Magoffin wrote that Doña Tules “made her living by running a house where open gambling, drinking, and smoking were enjoyed by all.” Saloon-keeping certainly has its darker side, but I imagine enjoyment did ensue!

Santa Fe Celebrates Women Year-Round

There’s so much more to learn about these and the other remarkable women who enriched our lives with their art, scholarship and pioneering energy. If you have a budding scholar in your midst, consider the Women’s International Study Center: residency programs include a stay in a gorgeous eastside Santa Fe adobe. After all, a woman’s work is never done, whether it takes place in a low-slung adobe or a high-rise tower.

Santa Fe knows a little something about this—we were just declared The #1 Best Place In America For Women-Owned Businesses. The study by NerdWallet noted, “New Mexico’s capital city tops our list for its high percentage of businesses owned by women and its affordable cost of living. The city’s tourism industry attracts at least 1 million visitors each year who come to enjoy the city’s rich arts culture, adobe-style architecture and breathtaking views of the southern Rocky Mountains. Over 80% of the city’s restaurants are locally owned, including Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café.”

Think you want to relocate or launch your business here? Try the National Association Of Women Business Owners, Northern New Mexico Chapter to get started.

No matter what you do or where you do it, just be sure your work includes a Santa Fe getaway to be inspired as you celebrate this month for, by and about YOU.

Start adding color and history to your bucket list by visiting the end of the Santa Fe Trail in the heart of the Santa Fe.

Start adding color and history to your bucket list by visiting the end of the Santa Fe Trail in the heart of the Santa Fe.

 

 

 

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Spring Into Santa Fe With Style

The first crocus has popped a yellow blossom up through the earth and fruit trees are covered with buds. Santa Fe is warming up daily as days grow longer and the sun moves higher in the sky. I’m high on the promise of spring adventures. The season is the ideal time to visit, offering a host of events to tempt the enterprising traveler.

Style Yourself Creative
March may sometimes come in like a lion, but around here you take less notice because it’s DIY Santa Fe month! Thanks to Santa Fe Creative Tourism, “Do It Yourself” takes on meaning way beyond home repair projects.

A visit to Santa Fe is the ideal way to heat up your creativity! (Photo Credit: Santa Fe Creative Tourism)

A visit to Santa Fe is the ideal way to heat up your creativity! (Photo Credit: Santa Fe Creative Tourism)

Have an urge to play with clay? Magpie Pottery teaches you to transfer images onto clay and a class at Heidi Loewen Porcelain Gallery means you’ll watch the clay dance on the wheel. Prefer to dance with your feet? African Dance with Elise Gent at the Railyard Performance Center and Monday Night Swing Dance at the Odd Fellows Hall tap you into a creative rhythm. You can craft a photographic book from start to finish, master construction of an art book or make an archivist’s relic from found objects. Painting and drawing classes abound and photo junkies will wax enthusiastically about choices that include encaustic for photographers. Those whose creativity runs to food are not ignored. A pop-up paleo dinner at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy delves into the diet of the ancestors and chef Paddy Rawal of Raaga brings the flavors of India to the Academy through his Native Harvest meal. No matter what ingredients are essential in your recipe for creativity, there’s something for every taste.

There’s no charge for the view at a Santa Fe Culinary Academy pop-up dinner. (Photo Credit: Santa Fe Culinary Academy)

There’s no charge for the view at a Santa Fe Culinary Academy pop-up dinner. (Photo Credit: Santa Fe Culinary Academy)

Sing A Song Of Spring
Music has echoed throughout Santa Fe’s historic adobe downtown for centuries. Our history is tuned to the sounds of flamenco guitar, old time bluegrass, chamber music and everything in between. Spring is no exception to Santa Fe’s repertoire, with renowned mezzo-soprano (and New Mexico native) Susan Graham visiting the Lensic Performing Arts Center with Performance Santa Fe on March 12 and Arlo Guthrie closing out a month of Lensic events on March 31. The Santa Fe Symphony celebrates spring at the Lensic with a March 15 Beethoven Festival and ends its season with Verdi’s Requiem in May. Santa Fe Pro Musica puts music-lovers into an Easter mood with the annual Baroque Holy Week concerts on April 2-4 in the evocative Loretto Chapel, home of the mesmerizing staircase that draws Instagrammers and photo fanatics by the tens of thousands.

Enjoying an evening of glorious music at the Loretto Chapel is the way to capture all the beauty of Santa Fe. (Photo Credit: Loretto Chapel)

Enjoying an evening of glorious music at the Loretto Chapel is the way to capture all the beauty of Santa Fe. (Photo Credit: Loretto Chapel)

Santa Fe’s musical landscape is truly global. Case in point: The March performance of contemporary Hawaiian music by HAPA on March 29 at the Lensic. The Taiko drums set the scene for the annual Japanese Cultural Festival at the Convention Center on March 28. This year’s theme is Cherry Blossoms and it will be just about impossible to resist the flowery kimonos and unusual curios on sale.

Santa Fe’s Great Outdoors Is Calling
Temperatures are already hitting the 60s and that means outdoor weather! For those who enjoy ambling under azure skies, Passport to the Arts is an invitation to spring pleasures. From May 8-10, the Canyon Road gallery scene comes alive with Friday night openings where work by 100-plus artists is on display. The Saturday Quick Draw has talent on parade up and down the street as artists work en plein air (working onsite to fully capture the ambiance) and the Live Auction does a brisk business.

The sightseeing is utterly artistic when you have a Passport to the Arts. (Photo Credit: Visit Canyon Road)

The sightseeing is utterly artistic when you have a Passport to the Arts. (Photo Credit: Visit Canyon Road)

If you’re the outdoorsy type who prefers a more brisk experience in nature, the Outside Bike & Brew Festival offers five days of exceptional road and mountain biking with beer chasers at signature Santa Fe beer festivals. There’s no better way to earn a cold pint than burning up calories as you burn up the road on your two-wheeled steed. 2015 is the 30th anniversary of the Santa Fe Century, New Mexico’s longest-running bike event, so strong legs can make the 100-mile ride on May 17 their Bike & Brew capstone.

When the biking’s done, it’s time to have fun at Bike & Brew! (Photo Credit: Outside Bike & Brew festival)

When the biking’s done, it’s time to have fun at Bike & Brew! (Photo Credit: Outside Bike & Brew festival)

Spring Into Action For A Southwestern Adventure
Whether you’re taking a contented stroll through the flowered courtyard of the Bishop’s Garden or blazing full-throttle down the mountainside on your bike, Santa Fe has everything you need to capture the spirit of the season—and you still have time to win that five-day Santa Fe Getaway! Roundtrip airfare and car rental, signature Santa Fe hotel stays, dining and spa treatments, ballooning and river rafting… what are you waiting for?

 

 

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February Foodie Fest In Santa Fe

I have an appetite for adventure: a dining adventure that is! Locals and foodie tourists alike are wowed annually when Santa Fe Restaurant Week makes its appearance. The City Different is justly renowned for its delicious panoply of dining options, and I’ve got my list made for all eight days from February 22 – March 1. The plan? Delve into old favorites and add new discoveries to my dining routine. If you’ve got a craving to satisfy, prix fixes dinners from $20 to $40 per person are the tastiest dining deals around.

Santa Fe Specializes In The Art Of Dining
Sunday is my museum-hopping day. With a new exhibition to savor at the O’Keeffe Museum, I’m going to follow an afternoon at the museum with a digestif and dinner right next door at Georgia. I confess to feeling envious every time someone I know raves about a meal there, so my eight-day week begins with discovering the delectable secrets hidden in this historic building.

Reviewers rave about Georgia’s flare with fish. (Photo Credit: R.B. on Yelp)

Reviewers rave about Georgia’s flare with fish. (Photo Credit: R.B. on Yelp)

When I leave my desk on Monday, I’m not in the mood for cooking, but my other half is definitely in the mood for a meal. Dinner for Two to the rescue! This cozy spot is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient for ten years running and a Santa Fe favorite year-round. Their specials for Restaurant Week include El Rito, NM lamb chops–perfect for pairing with a glass of wine and a happy hubby.

Take A Trip Around Santa Fe’s Culinary World
T stands for Tuesday and for tapas. Taberna or La Boca, take your choice—one chef with two great spots equals terrific small plates and a signature wine list that includes memorable Spanish sherries. Both restaurants have an intimate yet lively atmosphere and each features a four-course Restaurant Week special. When I see jamón serrano and blood orange aioli on the menu, I know the meal will be muy sabroso.

Take a table at Taberna and your dining future is rosy.

Take a table at Taberna and your dining future is rosy.

I’ve had my eye on Bouche Bistro for longer than I care to admit. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to satisfy my desire to share a bon appetit with my BFF and start a midweek dinner sipping French Onion soup or scarfing down escargot. She has celebrated her anniversary at Bouche ever since it opened, so I know she’ll steer me to the right choice of entrée. And she’s generous about sharing dessert!

What could be more a delicious finale than Profiteroles au Chocolat? (Photo Credit: Bouche Bistro)

What could be more a delicious finale than Profiteroles au Chocolat?
(Photo Credit: Bouche Bistro)

As long as I’m taking a culinary tour, following Spain and France with a visit to Italy is a must. Every family has its comfort food and when we’re not in the mood for New Mexican, we often opt for pasta. By Thursday, I look forward to the comfort of a well-sauced plate at Pranzo Italian Grill to make it through to Friday. I will concede, however, that the pork schnitzel sounds awfully tempting.

When 5:00 rolls around on Friday, find me heading east—the Far East—to Shohko. I was raised in a fish-on-Friday household and old habits are hard to break, but Mom never made sashimi! Shohko has set the standard for authentic Japanese dining since 1975 and I’ve made many a pilgrimage to this temple of subtle tastes. I never, never tire of Shohko’s seaweed salad and green tea ice cream tempura. Well, Mom never made that either!

There is plenty to love about the food artistry at Shohko. (Photo Credit: Shohko Café)

There is plenty to love about the food artistry at Shohko. (Photo Credit: Shohko Café)

Weekends Mean Dining Wonderfully
A woman’s work is never done, and Saturdays are always full of errands and shopping. Not that I mind, since I Santa Fe boasts plenty of fascinating shopping beyond groceries. I’m ending brown bag duties on the southside of town, so I told my honey to meet me at The Ranch House. We’ve been looking for an excuse to park our buggy there and the prix fixe has five hearty entrees to entice a hungry man.

Our Restaurant Week is ending with elegance when we celebrate Sunday dinner at The Compound. This beloved restaurant is housed in what is arguably the loveliest historic dining room in Santa Fe—and the cuisine matches the ambiance to perfection. I’ll wrap up the evening with a memorably sweet finish: maybe the bittersweet chocolate torte or a prickly pear mousse.

A taste of chocolate torte at the Compound is a sweet finish to Santa Fe Restaurant Week. (Photo Credit: The Compound)

A taste of chocolate torte at the Compound is a sweet finish to Santa Fe Restaurant Week. (Photo Credit: The Compound)

Speaking of sweet treats, I’ll toss in a pitch for weekend lunch at Sweet Lily Bakery. Even if you just stop in for cookies, rest assured that your gluten-free pals can have dessert too!

Santa Fe Restaurant Week Is Rich In Flavor—And Savings
By all means, don’t limit yourself to my suggestions. Your menu meanderings can include any of the 52 dining establishments on the list. That’s up to you, but no matter how you slice it, I promise you’ll be eating the best of Santa Fe at the best prices of the year.

 

 

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Bring Your Bachelor To Santa Fe

The wine was flowing and red roses adorned every table when Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino held a screening party for ABC’s The Bachelor. The romantic allure of Santa Fe was a featured player in the first two episodes that aired this month. Members of The Bachelor Nation fell under the sway of our beautiful city as it cast its spell on Chris Soules and his coterie of hopefuls. Are you hoping for a dose of romance in your own life? Enter to win, and you’ll be following in the footsteps of the show! Maybe your bachelor will be handing you a red rose in Santa Fe!

The Bachelor, Chris Soules, had a Santa Fe backdrop for romance. (Photo Credit: ABC)

The Bachelor, Chris Soules, had a Santa Fe backdrop for romance. (Photo Credit: ABC)

Romance And History Go Hand-in-Hand In Santa Fe

Those who tuned in got a glimpse of the iconic Santa Fe Plaza, the heart of The City Different—and there’s no better jumping off point for a Santa Fe experience than a stay at La Fonda de Santa Fe. This historic hotel, tucked between the Plaza and the magnificent Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, is a Santa Fe icon. The hotel’s property-wide renovation, completed in 2014, wisely kept emblematic designs like the Mary Jane Colter ballroom chandeliers and the whimsical painted windows that enchant locals and tourists alike. Your guy can easily sneak across the street and pick out a turquoise engagement ring from the Native American vendors under the portal at the Palace of the Governors. Unless he books La Fonda’s La Rosa Romance Package that is, because that one includes the ring!

thebach-girls

A bevy of bachelorette beauties competes with the beauty of a Santa Fe sunset on the deck at La Fonda. (Photo Credit: ABC)

Both Art And The Art Of Intimacy Are Found In Santa Fe

Producers of The Bachelor captured Santa Fe’s alternative culture with a twist that the show has likely never seen – a session with a shamanic guide. Tziporah Kingsbury led an intimate transformational session for two that sent the show’s Twitter feed sky-high. If that “OMMMM” moment grabbed your attention, schedule your romantic Santa Fe getaway for March to begin your visit with her Shamanic Ceremony. Your chakras will be opened and your creativity flowing, making you perfectly attuned to diving into a fabulous Santa Fe Creative Tourism experience.

Get creative together at Santa Fe Creative Tourism to win the heart of your bachelor. (Photo Credit: Elena Paschinger)

Get creative together at Santa Fe Creative Tourism to win the heart of your bachelor. (Photo Credit: Elena Paschinger)

March is Creative Tourism DIY month in Santa Fe and the possibilities for imaginative adventure are endless: craft a photographic book together, make a stained glass mosaic in southwestern colors, discover the alchemy of mixed media, or invent a new form altogether. You can create your own memories – literally – then take them home and hang them on the wall!

Go Rafting To Ride On A River Of Love

If your bachelor is a sporty type, maybe the only part of The Bachelor that caught his eye was the Los Rios River Runners white water rafting trip on the Rio Grande. Yes, one of the girls got dunked, but that’s why the professionalism and safety of river guides like Los Rios matters. Taking a full-day ride through the Taos Box or a sunset dinner float is an adventure for two you’ll never forget. The snow has been great this winter, and the rafters will be out as soon as spring allows. If you just can’t wait that long to come to Santa Fe, snow is the operative word. 96 percent of the mountain is open at Ski Santa Fe and the snow bunnies and daredevils have been in snow heaven!

The Bachelor and his boat crew are ready to ride the rapids on the Rio Grande. (Photo Credit: ABC)

The Bachelor and his boat crew are ready to ride the rapids on the Rio Grande. (Photo Credit: ABC)

Up, Up And Away To Santa Fe

You have to wait until balloon season starts in May to experience the ballooning adventure you saw in Britt’s one-on-one date with The Bachelor, since that scene was filmed at October’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Once May rolls around, pilot Johnny Lewis of Santa Fe Balloons will be glad to take you for a ride over the pristine northern New Mexico countryside. Ballooning is early morning excitement – always ending with a champagne toast – so that means your appetite will be fully whetted for a dose of great Santa Fe home cooking. There’s no better place for a Christmas-style breakfast burrito—that’s both red AND green chile—than The Pantry, recently designated by Thrillist as one of America’s best diners!

 

Chris and Britt’s chemistry took flight on an early morning balloon adventure. (Photo Credit: ABC)

Chris and Britt’s chemistry took flight on an early morning balloon adventure. (Photo Credit: ABC)

Be Romanced By Santa Fe

Chris Soules, The Bachelor himself tweeted, his loyal 125,000 Twitter followers with these words of advice: “Santa Fe should be on everyone’s bucket list, and it should be the first to be crossed off!” Whether you copy the trip step by step or do it City Different style with your own choice of romance packages, you’ll share unforgettable memories that will be the envy of your social media communities and have you both craving an annual getaway sequel.

After all, even The Bachelor couldn’t complete a Santa Fe adventure in just one episode! Launch your own romantic getaway now, by entering our sweepstakes to win a five-day vacation in beautiful Santa Fe.

 

 

 

 

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5 Romantic Spa Retreats in Santa Fe

Expedia Viewfinder teamed up with SantaFe.org to discover couples spa retreats in The City Different.

Expedia Viewfinder teamed up with SantaFe.org to discover couples spa retreats in The City Different.

With spas that offer tantalizing treatments and perfect panoramas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a prime spot for couples looking to rekindle their spark. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our team at Expedia Viewfinder wanted the inside scoop on ways to spend a romantic spa vacation for two in Santa Fe. We teamed up with the experts over at SantaFe.org to reveal the best spots for everything from hot-stone massages to water treatments that send couples into blissful relaxation:

La Posada de Santa Fe

With views of the impressive mountains and lush gardens, La Posada de Santa Fe offers a striking landscape. Indulge with the Ayurvedic Herbal Rejuvenation, or entice the senses with an aromatherapy massage. The lavender steam room and relaxation lounge encourage guests relax and unwind. Couples can savor delectable daily breakfasts, massages, and champagne and strawberries in their rooms after plunges in the salt-water pool and strolls around the charming grounds.

The Spa at Loretto

With its focus on holistic healing, the Spa at Loretto offers a spiritual retreat. The spa brings couples together with services such as astrology, reiki, cranial sacral therapy, chakra balancing, and intuitive readings. Earth tones and natural elements decorate the suites where twosomes can revel in hot-stone massages, water treatments, and other therapeutic spa services. Many of these therapies even blend traditional rituals from different cultures with natural products for a one-of-kind experience.

SháNah Spa at the Bishop’s Lodge

Incorporating Native American traditions into its services, the SháNah Spa rejuvenates every aspect of the mind and body for the ultimate state of rest and relaxation. Duos can reflect and meditate in the Native American Teepee, or blissfully soak together in the Watsu pool. A visit to this spa is an escape from modern hustle toward ancient wisdom, as it offers out-of-this-world massages in teepees, Tesuque clay wraps, and indulgent caviar facials.

The Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado

Known for its luxurious amenities, the Four Seasons Resort beckons couples to surrender to the sensations of indulgence and nature. The private retreats for couples invite partners to melt their stress away with adobe clay body masks and juniper-sage massages or open-air soaks and sessions in the sauna. With names like Art of Surrender and Mountain Spirit Initiation, the couples packages at this spa welcome pairs to do nothing but enjoy the sumptuousness of being together.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

With four natural springs that bubble with legendary water that is said to relieve a variety of conditions, Ojo Caliente is an escape from the traditional spa. Reconnect with your partner while basking in the restorative waters of the private outdoor pools, with temperatures ranging between 80 and 190 F. Get down and dirty with a mud treatment or experience the Ancient Echoes, an East Indian Head Massage.

From the ancient holistic practices to the peaceful ambiances, couples flock to Santa Fe for a romantic and relaxing sojourn. Whether it’s a Valentine’s Day getaway or a pampering vacation simply because, you and your honey are in for a heavenly experience at the spas in Santa Fe.

Expedia Staff Writer

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Santa Fe: The Sure Cure for Cabin Fever

There’s no hiding from the fact that Old Man Winter has the northern hemisphere firmly in his frosty grip. Santa Fe’s 320-plus days of sunshine help mitigate winter’s icy hold and even the season’s short days still seem long – especially now that I’ve read all the books I got for Christmas. There’s only one cure: get up and go! Care to leave the cabin and come along?

Mountain Medicine is a Cure-all

Ninety five percent of Ski Santa Fe’s 77 trails are open, groomed and ready to tackle on skis or boards. Schussing down the hillside beneath a cloudless blue sky or catching some air on a mogul makes you feel totally alive. An easy 16-mile drive leads to the 10,350-foot base and 660 pristine acres. Unless you’re wedded to your gear, forget schlepping and rent what you need (or forgot) at the Ski Shop. After that, it’s up to you!

Skis or boards, simply Ski Santa Fe and you do either! (Photo Credit: Ski Santa Fe)

Skis or boards, simply Ski Santa Fe and you do either! (Photo Credit: Ski Santa Fe)

The runs (20 percent easy, 40 percent intermediate and 40 percent expert) and colorfully named trails (Burro Alley, Desperado, Muerte) are unmistakably New Mexico.  The winter event schedule mixes weekend races with Beats on the Basin monthly afternoon concerts. And that cute guy serving Irish coffee at Totemoff’s Bar midway up the mountain? Call that an added bonus!

If slow immersion into snow-white alpine surroundings is your thing, choose snowshoes. Outspire Hiking & Snowshoeing’s tours are an irresistible temptation to bundle up and venture out into the forest. If you’re a novice like me, Outspire’s great guides really help you get the rhythm right. The plop of snow dropping from a Ponderosa pine, the screech of a hawk circling overhead, a gust of wind dropping the last dead leaves from an aspen grove – Santa Fe’s unique winter beauties quietly await your audience.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland is the tune you’ll be singing when you take a snowshoe hike with Outspire. (Photo Credit: Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing)

Walking in a Winter Wonderland is the tune you’ll be singing when you take a snowshoe hike with Outspire. (Photo Credit: Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing)

Santa Fe Loves Stars on Ice

Those 320-plus days of sunshine I mentioned mean no outdoor ice skating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t skate to your heart’s content. The Genoveva Chavez Center, home to basketball and racquetball courts, an indoor running track, full-on fitness facilities, lap pool and warm-water therapy pool, also boasts Santa Fe’s open-daily ice rink. And with a climate-controlled environment, instead of layering up into immobility, you can glide with comfort and ease.

Holiday on Ice? A Hanukkah party at the Genoveva Chavez Rink made that happen and private parties are welcome! (Photo Credit: Genoveva Chavez Community Center)

Holiday on Ice? A Hanukkah party at the Genoveva Chavez Rink made that happen and private parties are welcome! (Photo Credit: Genoveva Chavez Community Center)

The variety of available activities makes the Chavez Center a family-friendly destination. Skates are an easy rental, and there’s ample seating for spectators to take a picture of your precise pirouetting or watch a battle on hockey skates.

Warm Up Your New Mexico Visit the Meso-American Way

A cup of hot cocoa is the classic winter companion. But Santa Fe’s hot chocolate has City Different style. If you’ve never tasted the nectar that ancient Meso-Americans created from cacao, you’re in for a surprise. Kakawa Chocolate House takes tastebuds on a chocolate adventure you won’t soon forget.

Picturing – and partaking of - a perfect potion at Kakawa is a sweet Santa Fe sensation.

Picturing – and partaking of – a perfect potion at Kakawa is a sweet Santa Fe sensation.

Kakawa’s chocolate elixirs are a revelation that changed the way I think about the cup of comfort Mom served after the mittens came off. Deep, rich, not overly sweet or bitter, these beverages deserve to be sipped and savored slowly. Spiked with native herbs or flowers (and of course, there’s a chile iteration), these concoctions are lovingly hand-crafted into an alternative universe of chocolate flavor. The Pre-Columbian era receives its due, as do 16th and 17th century Europe. American versions run the gamut from Jeffersonian to contemporary, along with original recipes like Modern Mexican and Chai. No wonder the New York Times called Kakawa a 36-Hours must! And with artisanal 80 percent dark chocolate creations made in-house, I guarantee you’ll be back!

You’ve Earned a Cuddle-Up by the Fireplace

Once you’ve gotten your ya-ya’s out, cabin fever is history. That’s when it’s time to toast your toes and challenge your nose over a wine glass. When day is done, grab a seat at El Cañon Cafe & Bar inside the Hilton Santa Fe and you’ve got it made.

Light up the night with a visit to the Hilton Santa Fe for a glass of vino at El Cañon! (Photo Credit: Hilton Santa Fe)

Light up the night with a visit to the Hilton Santa Fe for a glass of vino at El Cañon! (Photo Credit: Hilton Santa Fe)

Part of El Cañon’s coziness comes from the 300-year-old hacienda it calls home. The location is ideal for friendly coffee meet-ups but nighttime is the right time to warm up by the kiva fireplace and compare vintages from the extensive wine list. Light dinner fare lets you create your own pairings in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that just says “ahhh, Santa Fe.” Be sure to check out the Hilton’s Winter Getaway Package, which thoughtfully includes two adult beverages nightly!

Escape for the Cure

Share a toast to Santa Fe and beat those winter’s blues.

Share a toast to Santa Fe and beat those winter’s blues.

Don’t let winter keep you home on the range and stuck in the house. A Santa Fe getaway is the perfect prescription for curing winter weariness. Plus, there’s no better time to catch the year’s best specials. And what could be more special than fresh snow, azure skies, and a memorable spot for sharing a glass of wine by a warm piñon fire? 

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The End Zone for Fun is Santa Fe

It’s that time of year. Monday morning quarterbacks are calling buddies, stocking the fridge with beer and filling the pantry with calorie-laden snacks. If your Monday nights mean anything but football and you’re really excited about the Super Bowl, but only because it means the season will be over, then I suggest you make your own play and head to Santa Fe as if you’ve got the ball and 11 burly NFL defensive players chasing you.

winter, outdoors, national preserve, santa fe, new mexico

Get your giddy-up going on a winter-white sleigh ride at Valles Caldera National Preserve. (Photo Credit: vallescaldera.gov)

You Can Be the Star Player in Santa Fe

I like sports as much as the next gal, but I like to be the one doing, not the one watching. The urge to move is irresistible when everyone on the screen is running around, so I’m leaving him in charge of the remote and strapping on the gear for an outdoor adventure. Now that winter is holding court, Santa Fe’s frosty mountains extend a standing invitation to head for the hills.

Although Christmas is over, sleigh bells still jing-a-ling when you take a sleigh ride through the gorgeous Valles Caldera National Preserve. The 89,000-acre landscape is unforgettable any time of year, but it’s especially memorable when the dark green pines command attention in the snowy white bowl of the caldera created by a one-million-year-old volcanic explosion. And yes, there is a sleigh ride scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday!

Santa Fe, New Mexico, art, outdoor

There’s no skullduggery on the field at Shidoni’s Sculpture Garden, just hand-crafted beauty.

Go All Out for Art

Combining art with the outdoors is something at which Santa Fe excels. I love strolling through Shidoni sculpture when winter’s low sun pairs the artworks with wild shadow patterns. If you hit the foundry on the right Saturday, you’ll catch a bronze pour to expand your understanding of the sculptural process. I might add that this is the place to make creative artwork of your selfies!

 

Touch down at Museum Hill Café for a winter lunch on Museum Hill.

Touch down at Museum Hill Café for a winter lunch on Museum Hill.

 

Touch Down Inside Santa Fe for a Bounty of Beauty

Santa Fe boasts several world-class museums all less than long-pass away from each other at Musuem Hill. The hill features four museums—perfect for dividing your afternoon into quarters of a different sort. No worries about lunch – Museum Hill Café referees that call.

The Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts is a great starting point for enriching your understanding of New Mexico’s deep artistic past. The Museum of International Folk Art is a cornucopia of hand-crafted creativity in four loving-curated wings, with rotating special exhibitions. Museum Hill also boasts not one, but two Native American showcases, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian; each is a rich treasure trove worth visiting. End at the Case Trading Post on the lowest floor of the Wheelwright; whoever does the buying has an impeccable eye and oh, the beauties I have scored there!

Santa Fe, New Mexico, museums

The Case Trading Post at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is the spot to score big with an only-in-Santa-Fe treasure. (Photo Credit: Eddie Moore for the Albuquerque Journal)

Speaking of scoring beauties, our city is a shopper’s paradise! Condé Nast Traveler just ranked Santa Fe as one of the world’s best shopping destinations, a place for discovering City Different pieces no one else will have. From authentic Native American jewelry vendors under the portal of the Palace of the Governors to custom-designed wedding dresses at Laura Sheppherd to vintage delights at a variety of consignment stores and souvenir postcards at the Five & Dime, Santa Fe goes long!

Santa Fe, New Mexico, Dining, Plaza, Classic

A Frito Pie! That’s the ticket!

Santa Fe Dining: No Concessions Required

I can’t mention the Five & Dime without mentioning their Frito Pie, a legendary (yes, I’m using that word) concoction of Fritos bathed in red chile, beans and cheese. There is something so special about carrying that warm bag across the street to enjoy your spicy treat on a sunny Plaza bench.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, Dining

Your stay-at-home hombre will miss out on catching the flavors of Paella La Valencianna at El Meson. (Photo Credit: El Meson Santa Fe)

Of course, dining in Santa Fe is legendary in and of itself. Don’t feel guilty if your honey is home with a bag of Cheetos and a brewski; that’s his choice. Your choice is unlimited! Want to parlez-vous Francais? Bouche Bistro, L’Olivier and 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar each answer Mais Oui with a signature iteration of duck confit. Hungry to practice your Italian? Andiamo (translation: let’s go) to that plate of pasta via Il Piatto, Pranzo Italian Grill, and of course, Andiamo! Santa Fe’s Spanish ancestors would tip their sombreros to tapas at El Meson or La Boca. Sushi and sake take pride of place downtown at Shohko Café and up on the mountain at Izanami. No wonder Condé Nast named Santa Fe the #1 Best Small City in America – being a winner at dinner is a snap!

Santa Fe Lets You Call the Plays

A trip to Santa Fe offers plenty of reasons to cheer! While they’re rooting for the team, we’ll root for bargains, eat roasted root vegetables, and root our hearts in age-old traditions. Sounds like an enchanting plan, no? With so much to see and do in Santa Fe, you’ll never be on the sidelines.

 

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Visiting Santa Fe: A Resolution Worth Keeping

An old Spanish proverb says this: “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” Since the holiday time-crunch is past, it’s high time to tinker with the chassis so I’m sharpening my utensils to carve a healthy approach to 2015. And I’ve sketched a blueprint for reaping the benefits of a delicious and nutritious new year in Santa Fe.

Healthy, Dining, Gluten Free, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Take a taste at Revolution Bakery and be amazed how good gluten-free can be!

Santa Fe Has a Revolution in G(F)oodness

Gluten-free eating makes all sorts of people feel a whole lot better. Even those of us who don’t experience true intolerance see gluten-free results (witness my sister’s enviable weight loss). I’m a die-hard toast-lover but I never feel like I’m sacrificing or skimping at Revolution Bakery. Their tagline –100% gluten-free paradise – is apt considering the amazing selection. I appreciate the sample baskets for turning tastebuds into appetite. And that gluten-free brioche? Vive la revolution! 

Lunch time is also munch time at Rev Bakery. Pair any of four varieties of 8-inch pizzas (plus one daily special) with a crisp salad to achieve yummy gluten-free liberation. Veggie activists receive their due; of four sandwiches, two are vegetarian and one is vegan. The price point is incredibly reasonable given the unique culinary niche. And that niche is ably filled thanks to owner Dionne Christian and her skillful, early-rising bakers!

Healthy, Dining, Gluten Free, Santa Fe, New Mexico

An apple a day keeps the doctor away and BODY’s apple crisp is good medicine!

Do Right by Your BODY

Holiday indulgences are behind us, but that mirror is not my friend yet! Thankfully, BODY of Santa Fe is on my tune-up menu. Chef Juan Carlos works wonders with a Café menu committed to organic ingredients, locally-procured whenever possible.

Founder Lorin Parrish made clean eating the Café’s goal from the get-go. Everything on the menu (plus a dedicated kids menu) is clearly identified as vegetarian, vegan, raw or gluten-free and select meat and fish offerings are cleanly sourced. Seasonal availability takes precedence so what’s on the plate is always centered on the best body fuel for the season. I never tire of the ginger stir-fry but winter enchiladas – a spot-on combo of spaghetti squash and green chile – satisfy that chile craving. And a bit of sweet goodness from an incredible warm apple crisp is a welcome finish.

Healthy, Dining, Gluten Free, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Health on a plate or in a glass? Rasa Juice bar does both.

Capture the Full Flavor of Health at Rasa

Ayurveda is intriguing; Deepak Chopra’s reach proves this 500-year-old tradition is thriving. A tip from a savvy 14-year-old vegan sent me to Rasa Juice Bar to get the skinny on this science of life (Ayu means life, Veda means knowledge or science) focused on optimum health via diet. It took Santa Fe little time to catch on; Edible Santa Fe has already featured Rasa twice, most recently with a vegan dessert in the seasonal cookbook issue.

Raw, vegan, organic – the words tell all. Confused? The lovelies who oversee this enterprise – Wendy, Pamela, Mariela and Andrea – explain everything (silky smoothies and cold-pressed juices, raw and dehydrated savories and sweets) in appetizing detail. The food is testimony that healthy equals flavor (rasa) in the hands of those inspired by wholesome eating. Thai Green Chili noodles hit my spicy spot perfectly and that raw oatmeal cookie? I’m glad to be in the know now!

Healthy, Dining, Gluten Free, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Verde Juice sports fresh green on the staff and in the bottle!

Juice Me Up, Scotty

Locals warmly welcomed brand-new Verde Juice, brainchild of Kelly Egolf whose calling grew from her own needs after surgery led to a two-month liquid diet. Canned nutritional supplements may have the right vitamin-mineral mix, but the flavor leaves much to be desired. Egolf’s creativity yielded tasty recipes with complementary nutritional value. When family and friends sampled the results, the home juicer was pressed into service in a bright, inviting space that instantly says “fresh.”

Healthy, Dining, Gluten Free, Santa Fe, New Mexico

In Spanish, verde means green; at Verde Juice Bar, it means happy, healthy sipping.

Ingredients are raw, unpasteurized and additive-free and the cold-press method means not made-to-order. Instead, juice blends are bottled for three days only, ensuring freshness and quality. I admit the three-day juice cleanse (comprised of six different juices) requires willpower given Santa Fe’s fabulous dining options, but it’s on my birthday wish list. And the good news? Lizz Redman, formerly in the kitchen at BODY, will be adding prepared foods!

Try Feeding on Santa Fe’s Finest

Hippocrates said that “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.” I say take the opportunity to grab a full dose of the best medicine going – delectable food – when you taste the pleasures of a Santa Fe getaway. There’s a bounty of beneficial blessings on a City Different plate so dig in and dig the healthy feeling of Santa Fe!

 

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