Can’t-Miss Santa Fe Winter Experiences

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”  – John Steinbeck

While many towns lull into hibernation during the winter months, Santa Fe vibrates with life. Picturesque snowdrifts blanket adobe walls. Laughter and conversation surround crackling kiva fireplaces. The spicy aromas of piñon and cedar permeate the air. Deep relaxing pueblo drumming echoes northern New Mexico. And flavorful pots of posole and green chile stew transport you back to grandma’s cozy kitchen. Food & Wine proclaims, “Winter is the perfect time to explore Santa Fe and discover all of its wondrous offerings.” We locals couldn’t agree more!

Winter in The City Different is, well, different. In a city blessed with a gorgeous array of winter scenery, you’ll often find lunchtime temperatures 30 degrees warmer than our crisp mornings, and sunshine during a snowfall is not uncommon. Few things match the sublime sight of light rays dancing between giant snowflakes.

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Santa Fe Travelers: Search for the Perfect Santa Fe Breakfast Burrito

Green chile breakfast burrito from Tia Sophia’s; photo credit/Art Wolf

For blogger and local Santa Fean Billie Frank, choosing what to eat for breakfast is easy – a delicious breakfast burrito. The difficult, and often complicated task, is choosing where to get it. As a result, Billie took to the streets in search of the perfect Santa Fe breakfast burrito.

There’s nothing like a Northern New Mexico breakfast burrito. They are my Santa Fe breakfast of choice- a symphony of eggs, potatoes, cheese and for meat eaters, the decision between bacon and chorizo. Then comes the really big choice; red, green or Christmas. If you’re not from these parts, that’s the chile you want in or on top of your burrito. A request for Christmas gets you a mix of red and green. But it wasn’t always what I ate. When I first arrived here, I was a traditional American breakfast lover. I didn’t like it hot. It took a while before I took the plunge and I’m so glad I did. Here’s the story of my search for the perfect Santa Fe breakfast burrito.

Read Santa Fe Travelers’ full article and find out where you can find the best breakfast burritos in Santa Fe. To learn more about Santa Fe restaurants, visit http://www.santafe.org.

 

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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An Unforgettable Afternoon at the Spanish Colonial Museum

I have a confession. I’m not a “museum person.” Maybe it’s the thought of long lines, stern guards  and dry descriptions that turns me off. Or maybe it’s a therapist-worthy flashback from one tragically awkward middle school field trip (don’t ask). So it was with some trepidation that I finally decided to experience what friends have been raving about for years – the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art at Santa Fe’s famous Museum Hill.

Step one: Get museum-ready. In preparation I called upon the most powerful energy vortex in Santa Fe: a double Americano from Ohori’s (oh, sweet nectar of the gods.) Reusable cup in hand, I drove on, pumping a steady dose of Adele powerfully through the stereo. It was a particularly clear Santa Fe day, and I was briefly tempted to detour and stroll the Santa Fe Railyard. But, caffeinated and inspired, I stayed the course.

Museums of Spanish Colonial Art

Winding through the tranquil and scenic foothills, driving to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art didn’t feel like going to a museum at all. My short route took me just minutes from the Plaza through the lavender-dotted hills that evoked a Santa Fe watercolor. A quick glance at my GPS confirmed that the museum was in fact the charming adobe hacienda hidden behind piñon trees in the distance. This might not be so bad after all.

I bravely walked the rustic flagstone path to the museum’s entrance. It felt so much like approaching someone’s front door I nearly paused to knock. Once inside the museum, I immediately felt the unmistakable, warm Santa Fe vibe my friends had been talking about. Crooked halls connected a trove of charming rooms the likes of which you’d linger in with friends over a glass of wine (note to self: Dragon Room, it’s been too long.) No vaulted ceilings, pretentious architecture, grand staircases, marble pillars, or silver-haired “shush-ers” here. This was my kind of museum.

New Deal Art: CCC Tinworker Light

The featured exhibit was: CCC Furniture and Tinwork from the Great Depression. The CCC? My heart swelled. My grandfather had proudly served in the CCC–the Civilian Conservation Corps, and shared with great pride the stories and weathered photographs of the bridge he helped build near Bandelier National Monument.

At the museum I learned that in New Mexico FDR’s New Deal allowed local artists and craftsmen to create some of our state’s most exquisite artworks. Actually, some of the murals done for the program can still be viewed on walking tours through downtown Santa Fe. Yet as breathtaking as the artistry and skill of the CCC artists was, their work had never before been exhibited. I felt proud to be part of this inaugural exhibit. And to my surprise I felt right at home surround by the past.

CCC Tinworker Sconce

Completing the exhibit, I envisioned impressing the girls at wine club by unleashing my inner Martha Stewart. “The exquisite antique furniture was constructed using traditional European techniques handed down by early colonists, but CCC workers also incorporated designs and animal motifs from Pueblo Indian pottery,” I would tell them. Then, after an appropriate pause, “It’s impossible to know which CCC workers are responsible for each piece, but the traditions preserved by the CCC projects are some of the most recognizable in New Mexico.”

The story of how tin working became a tradition is told across the hall from the CCC exhibit. But that’s a whole other, equally enchanting, story I’ll save for another time.

The good news for longtime and temporary Santa Feans: The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art tells our story beyond just “museum-style” names and dates. In just minutes you can journey to Santa Fe’s artistic heritage. Take it from me, you’ll feel the true spirit of Santa Fe… even if you’re not a museum person.

Check out the exhibit at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

Want to discover more New Deal Art in Santa Fe? Experience the New Deal Art Legacy Walking Tour