Romantic Guide to Santa Fe

Couple exploring Downtown Santa Fe

Santa Fe has been arousing spirits and stirring passions for over 400 years. Maybe it’s the city’s dramatic sunsets and picturesque mountain vistas. Or maybe it’s the charming adobe buildings, cozy kiva fireplaces, and tantalizing cuisine. Whatever it is, Santa Fe, like a Pablo Neruda poem, embodies true love, making it an ideal destination for a romantic getaway. Did you know that “Santa Fe” is the universal word for “love”? Ok, not really. However, The City Different does have the ability to inspire the heart, rekindle an old flame, or spark a new one. Don’t take my word for it. U.S. News Travel recognized Santa Fe as a top destination for romantic retreats and Livability dubbed it one of the Top 10 Romantic Cities in America. Below is my insider’s guide to a romantic stay in Santa Fe.

 

Chocolate elixir from Kakawa Chocolate House
Photo courtesy of Food Network TV

What better way to re-ignite a romance or proclaim your love than by spending a day indulging in fine art, breath-taking skies and mountains, and delectable cuisine? Start with a couple’s massage and a soak in one of Santa Fe’s calming spas. Then, make your way to Kakawa Chocolate House for some midday sweetness. Your senses will be invigorated after sharing a few cups of Kakawa’s “Tonantzin” chocolate elixir, an herbal aphrodisiac said to flame the passions within. While you’re there, purchase a box of Aphrodite Truffles, which were inspired by the Love Goddess herself.

Estrella del Norte Vineyard

Nothing is more sensual than a spicy encounter in the kitchen. Spend the day mastering  the flavors of the real Southwest with a cooking class taught by highly acclaimed local chefs. Try the “Green Chile Workshop” at Santa Fe School of Cooking, or the “Exploring España” class at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy to really heat things up. For you wine lovers, sample award-winning vino varietals with an intimate tour at Estrella Del Norte Vineyard, which offers a “Cupid’s Arrow Wine Lover’s Special” for the month of February.

If museums and world-class art stimulate your desires, head to Museum Hill to explore exhibits like “New World Cuisine, the Histories of Chocolate Mate y Mas” at the Museum of International Folk Art. Then make your way to the legendary Canyon Road where you’ll discover vibrant international art galleries. Stroll the intimate adobe walled streets as you treasure hunt for the perfect piece of original artwork to fall in love with.

Enjoying the serenity of the Santa Fe wilderness
Photo Courtesy of Homes.com

In the midst of all the affection, take some time to appreciate the scenery with the person you love. Just the two of you…explore Santa Fe’s crisp, pure mountain air and whispering pine forests with a hike or horseback ride through the peaceful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Stop by the Santa Fe Farmers Market before you head up and grab a few ingredients like local red chile raspberry jam and artisan cheese, the perfect compliment for your romantic adventure. Having Santa Fe’s pristine wilderness to yourselves will reinforce your appreciation for nature, as well as each other.

Spectacular sunset from La Fonda Bell Tower

As daylight turns to dusk, Santa Fe’s evening skies create a symphony of colors, transforming from turquoise blue to deep orange and red. Marvel at the sunset and enjoy a specialty silver coin margarita from La Fonda’s fifth-floor Bell Tower, the highest terrace in Santa Fe (open weather permitting). Or hop on the Pinzgauer Tour offered by Santa Fe Walkabouts for a ride up to Baldy Peak, offering a 12,000-foot panoramic sunset view.

Indulging in a romantic dinner

The City Different is home to an unrivaled collection of James Beard recognized culinary gourmands and local farm-to-table food artisans. Whether you’re looking for elegant sophistication or something a little more quaint, Santa Fe is teeming with romantic restaurant options. After a day of passion, have an intimate dinner next to a crackling piñon fire at Rio Chama Steakhouse. And at the end of the night, enjoy a night cap with your amor at Secreto Bar, located inside the sublime St. Francis Hotel. Here you’ll discover ancient wine-making traditions introduced by Santa Fe’s Franciscan monks, as well as a wide array of award-winning, hand-crafted cocktails.

Romance is found everywhere in Santa Fe. Wherever you go, you’ll be smitten by the city’s charm, sophistication, and ever-present beauty. And as your love for Santa Fe grows, so will your love for one another.

 

Valentine’s Day & Annual Romantic Events

At the Artist Table

WHEN: February 14, 2013 from 6 – 9 pm

Looking for a truly memorable way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? “At the Artist Table” presents an intimate evening of fine art and cuisine.

Moonstruck at the Lensic Performing Arts Center

WHEN: February 14, 2013 at 7 pm

Join us for a Valentine’s Day screening of this romantic comedy, released in 1987 starring Cher and Nicholas Cage.

ARTfeast

WHEN: February 22-24, 2013

Fine art meets fine dining in this one of a kind event. There are fashion shows, an auction, home tours, and the Edible Art Tour–an evening of gallery hopping with art-inspired nibbles prepared by the area’s finest chefs.

Santa Fe Restaurant Week

WHEN: February 24–March 3, 2013

Feast on delicious, three-course meals at a fraction of the cost. Dinners will be priced at $25 for two for casual-dining restaurants, or $20, $30 or $40 per person, depending on the restaurant.

 Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

WHEN: March 29-30, 2013

This innovative dance company returns home this March with a program featuring Kylián’s poignant Return to a Strange Land, Alejandro Cerrudo’s striking new ballet Last, and Trey McIntyre’s seductive Like a Samba.

First Friday Art Walks

WHEN: First Friday of the Month

Join the West Palace Arts District Galleries every month on the First Friday for a variety of openings and exhibitions. Hours for events are usually from 5 to 7:30 pm.

Last Friday Art Walk at the Railyard Galleries

WHEN: Last Friday of the Month

Held the last Friday of every month, this exciting world-class contemporary art experience opens up the hip Railyard Arts District at night. RAD (The Railyard Art District), a cooperative of 10 Railyard art galleries hosts its “Last Friday Art Walk” throughout the Railyard.

Santa Fe Opera Festival Season

WHEN: June 28 – August 24, 2013

The repertory includes a world premiere, the first Santa Fe performances of another brilliant opera by Rossini, the return of a comic opera by Jacques Offenbach, and two popular revivals.

By Gabe Trujillo 2/14/13

Santa Fe: A Bit of Old Mexico in the US

Santa Fe architecture

Fred Donnelly, Travel Writer for Bon Voyage gave us the rundown on his latest trip to The City Different.

“Santa Fe, New Mexico, population 69,000, has a strange almost other worldly aspect to it. Clearly it’s a city but it has no high-rise buildings to speak of and its civic architecture displays an eerie uniformity. For many decades its building codes have not only restricted heights of structures but also colours and styles.

To the visitor from away, it looks Spanish or Mexican or exotic. Perhaps this is its charm, to be foreign in appearance but still part of the American West.

The old central Plaza laid out by the Spanish all those centuries ago is still the hub of activity for the tourist. Running away from it in all directions are side streets, warrens of arcades, galerias and courtyards, along with many smaller “Plaza Mercados”. Santa Fe is a top destination for high-end shopping, with its many retail outlets. What’s on offer is fine art work, jewelry, native handcrafts, western apparel, rare books, antiques, china, leather goods and luxury imports of every type.”

Read the full article to find out why Santa Fe’s history makes it a fascinating and intriguing cultural destination.

What’s New in Santa Fe?

 

Santa Fe is a 400-year-old historic city that is ever changing. We want to make sure you are  in the know about all the latest happening in the City Different! Read on to find out What’s New in Santa Fe.

 Skiing

New Ski Area Base Lodge: Ski Santa Fe, located 16 miles from downtown Santa Fe, will open a 12,000 square foot expansion to La Casa Lodge base facility this winter. The new addition will increase the size of the rental shop, add new seating space in the food service area, expand menu options and add additional retail space. The area offers a dedicated children’s ski school and terrain for all abilities. Ski Santa Fe’s scheduled season for 2012-2013 is Thanksgiving through Easter.

 

Restaurants and Dining 

New Chef at Rancho Encantado.  Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe welcomes Andrew Cooper as its new executive chef. Cooper arrives from the Four Seasons Hualalai on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Chef of the Year Award.  Chef Carmen Rodriguez of La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa was named Chef of the Year by the New Mexico Restaurant Association. Rodriguez was chosen not only because of his fine cuisine, but also because of his many contributions to the Santa Fe community and his efforts to encourage more Hispanic chefs.

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen: First time restaurateur Fiona Wong and longtime culinary professional Soma Franks open their new health food café and wine bar. The restaurant will focus on using as much locally sourced farm to table food as possible, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.  1512 Pacheco in Pacheco Park.

Cave Wine Bistro: Opening soon, this intimate space will feature an eclectic menu and an extensive wine list with more than 125 wines by the glass alone. Plans call for keeping the kitchen open late every night at the bistro’s convenient location in the Plaza Galeria facing the Santa Fe Plaza.

Momo & Co. Bakery and Boba Tea Bar: An entirely gluten-free and mostly vegan bakery and teahouse that opened this fall. Baker Leslie Thompson, a native of New York, has met the many challenges of not only baking without flour, eggs and butter but doing so at Santa Fe’s 7,000 foot elevation. She joined with boba tea fan Carola Kieve, who created an all-natural version of boba tea, to open the Johnson Street storefront. The bakery also offers gluten-free and vegan entrees including pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads.

The Real Butcher Shop.  Pollo Real has been a popular staple at The Santa Fe Farmers market for years, providing customers with tasty, naturally raised poultry and eggs. Now the farmers are taking the next step, opening a butcher shop that will feature their own products and also naturally raised, grass finished and heritage meats and charcuterie from New Mexico and Colorado. The results promise to be delicious. The store opens around the first of the year.

Cooking Schools

Santa Fe School of Cooking Moves.  The Santa Fe School of Cooking is in its expansive new location at 125 North Guadalupe Street. The beautifully renovated building, a former Packard dealership, has a cool retro/modern/New Mexico vibe and houses two kitchens and a large outdoor patio. Santa Fe chef and restaurateur Tracy Ritter is Director of Cuisine.

Santa Fe Culinary Academy Opens.  The Santa Fe Culinary Academy, on the top floor of the downtown Plaza Mercado, is open and teaching classes. Fall classes include everything from basics classes for home cooks to continuing education for restaurant professionals. In January, the academy will welcome its first full-time class of aspiring professional chefs. A student restaurant will allow them to polish their craft. Santa Fe native Rocky Durham and Tanya Story are executive chefs and co-founders.

Museums & Openings

Santa Fe’s newest museum.  The Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts is a national museum honoring the work of Native women from North America. Named for the first female student in the first Santa Fe Indian School art class, Pablita became the first Native women to paint full time as a career. The museum features the work of Native painters, potters, sculptors, weavers, jewelers, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, poets and writers.

New World Cuisine. A major new exhibit titled New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate, y Mas, at the Museum of International Folk Art, explores our food’s many fascinating historic, cultural and geographic connections. The exhibit, which opens this December 9 and runs until January, 2014, will feature more than 300 objects related to the gathering, preparation, serving and storage of food. The histories of chocolate and mate are of particular interest and are illustrated by the many decorative cups, sippers, stirrers and pots used to make the popular beverages.

Hands on Santa Fe

DIY: A Creative Journey. In March, 2013 Santa Fe Creative Tourism and Santa Fe’s lodgers collaborate on a month of creative experiences combining workshops and classes taught by local artists with savings at participating accommodations. Discover Santa Fe through a hands-on class in painting, glasswork, writing, photography, folk art and more during this month of personal expression in Santa Fe.

In the News

Top Choice in Conde Nast Traveler. For the twenty-first year in a row, avid travelers who subscribe to Conde Nast Traveler magazine ranked Santa Fe as one of the top cities to visit in the United States. Santa Fe ranked fourth in the travelers pick, behind Charleston, South Carolina, San Francisco, California, and Chicago, Illinois. The popular survey, which is widely used by people planning vacation travel, polled more than 46,000 readers.

Additionally, five Santa Fe hotels were included in the Conde Nast survey’s Top 25 Hotels in the Southwest. Number one on that list is the Inn of the Five Graces. The Inn and Spa at Loretto was ranked fifth, Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi tenth, Hotel Saint Francis twentieth, and La Fonda on the Plaza twenty-first.

Travel + Leisure magazine also picked out Santa Fe for its many charms, ranking it the second best city in America overall during its annual American’s Favorite Cities 2012 poll. The results included voting Santa Fe a #1 Cultural Getaway in addition to praising the city’s shopping, romantic side, museums and galleries, food, cleanliness, environmental friendliness and historical sites.

For more information visit www.santafe.org

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Advice From PeterGreenberg.com: Skip the Strip For Santa Fe!

Not every girlfriend getaway begins or ends in Las Vegas.  Not that you can’t have a lot of fun there, but instead of the traditional shopping and cocktails, we sent Fit Globetrotter Dena Roché to New Mexico for a Southwestern alternative to the typical getaway. Think natural spas, galleries and outdoor opera in and around Santa Fe.

An ancient Native American proverb reads, “Don’t allow the grass to grow on the path of friendship.”

While girlfriend getaways are a dime a dozen, Santa Fe offers something different. The city weaves adventure, culinary treats, culture and the requisite pampering with a memorable landscape and unpretentious locals.

We couldn’t have said it better, Dena. Read the full article to see why experts are gushing about Santa Fe, and find everything you need to plan your getaway on Santa Fe’s Official Travel Website SantaFe.org

The City Different

There are arguably other cities as exotic as Santa Fe. Just not on this continent.

It strikes you the first time you see The City Different. When city officials came up with that name early last century, they got it exactly right. For rarely does a place speak to so many people on so many levels.The landscape conspires to take your breath away. The sunsets are so beautiful and the stars so clear that you can’t take your eyes off the skies. But you’ll quickly see that there’s much to admire in our historic city. The narrow, winding streets invite you to walk closer together. The 400-year-old adobe buildings say, Hey, what’s the hurry? Linger a little. And you’ll find that lingering is easy to do here.

visiting santa fe textThere’s certainly plenty to explore, from the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of town to the world-renowned galleries, museums, boutiques and restaurants just outside your door. The list is almost endless. This site can only whet your appetite and help you plan your perfect visit, whether you’re here for a shopping excursion, an outdoor adventure, a rejuvenation weekend or a food odyssey.

To truly understand why the readers of Conde Nast Traveler put Santa Fe near the top of their must-see list, you’ll just have to experience it first hand. And start a love affair of your own. It only takes one visit to see that this is one of the world’s extraordinary places. And you’ll want to return again and again.