My husband and I continued to see Santa Fe listed as one of the top destinations to visit in the United States. Although I had been once before when I was younger, I wanted to go back as an adult. Something about revisiting a place on your own as an adult just gives it a different perspective. This is the first year my husband had been able to take off during March to join me on my Spring Break (perks of working in a school) so when we started talking about destinations, we quickly settled on Santa Fe. My grandmother has a ranch outside of Lovington, New Mexico so we decided we wanted to fly to Lubbock, rent a car to drive and spend some time with her, then road trip up to Santa Fe for a few nights. Today, I’m sharing my Santa Fe travel guide with you all including where to stay, where to eat, and what to do when visiting this fun city.
After visiting my grandmother, we drove up to the bottomless lakes for a little pit stop after a recommendation from my Uncle. If you find yourself driving through New Mexico, this is such a cool stop. It only took about twenty minutes or so and was really pretty. From there, we continued on and when we drove through Roswell, we stopped at a souvenir store to grab a few funny things and kept at it until we reached Santa Fe. When we arrived it was raining and in the next hour or two we saw rain, sleet, hail, and snow.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Inn and Spa at Loretto and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone going to Santa Fe. The location is perfect and we easily walked almost everywhere we went. The hotel is exactly what I pictured when I thought of Santa Fe. The building is classic adobe style and is one of the most photographed buildings in Santa Fe.
Our room had an awesome balcony with a great view of the city surroundings. If it was warmer, I know we would have spent even more time out there. Our hotel room was spacious and so nice. It had everything we need and the staff on site was wonderful and so helpful during our stay! The Living Room bar downstairs was our go to spot for drinks before dinner each night. The Strawberry Jalepeño Margarita and the Chili Gimlet were our favorites. We tried several snacks before going out each night and loved them all! We didn’t get a chance to eat at Luminaria, which is the on site restaurant there. We did order room service one night for the dessert and the creme brûlée was delicious. I also heard the banana creme pie dessert there is insane, so we’ll definitely be having that when we go back. We also didn’t venture into the spa, but the on site spa is one of the top rated in the country and I’ve heard wonderful things about it.
WHERE TO EAT
- Mucho Gusto: this is a classic New Mexican style restaurant. It’s quaint and chill, with delicious food. We came here the first night in Santa Fe and loved our meals.
- Café Pasquals: a must visit! We went for breakfast, although they are open all day. There is usually a wait here, so make reservations for dinner or go early-ish for breakfast. It’s so cute inside and everything we had was delicious.
- Geronimo: hands down our best meal and the place recommended to us most frequently before visiting. This is upscale dining and is an awesome atmosphere with amazing food and service. You must, must eat here!
- The Shed: We continually heard we had to go here and we are so glad we did. It’s another classic New Mexican style restaurant with amazing chili sauces and awesome green stew. They also have over 100 different margarita options on the menu. This restaurant is a Santa Fe staple.
- La Boca: this is a fun tapas style restaurant. We absolutely loved some dishes and weren’t so impressed by others. It was good, but wasn’t a ‘must eat’ in my opinion despite it being recommended a ton of times to us.
- Santa Fe Bite: this is a cute littler diner style restaurant we went to for breakfast on our last day. It’s laid back and good! If you go for lunch, their green chili cheeseburger is supposed to be amazing.
- Burrito Company: we didn’t make it here, but heard it is a great place if you’re wanting a standard New Mexican style burrito.
- The Compound: another upscale restaurant that we did not make it to, but heard amazing things about. This is definitely on our list for next time.
- El Ferol: one of the most historic restaurants in Santa Fe that serves small plates and tapas.
- The Pantry: this is a local’s favorite breakfast stop that is always busy!
- Vanessi’s: critically acclaimed restaurant with live music seven days a week. They serve a little bit of everything!
- Pink Adobe: cute spot for dinner with a great atmosphere serving up New Mexican style food.
- Andiamo!: if you need a break from all the chili and New Mexican style food, this is an Italian restaurant with amazing reviews that was recommended to us a ton of times! Definitely will be going here next time we visit.
WHERE TO DRINK
- The Living Room: this is a cozy, laid back bar in the Inn and Spa at Loretto. They have live music on the weekend nights. The drinks are delicious and so is the food!
- Del Charro: this is is a locals bar we stumbled into so my husband could watch some March Madness. We had so much fun talking to a few locals who were greeted by name at the bar there. They had great margaritas and traditional bar food if you get hungry.
- La Fonda: this is the bar at the top of the hotel on the square called the Bell Tower Bar. It’s not always open due to the weather, but the view is awesome and its a perfect spot to relax and grab some cocktails.
- El Masón: this bar and restaurant has live jazz some nights and was recommended to us by locals in Santa Fe who love its fun, lively atmosphere. They serve tapas if you’re hungry!
- The Coyote: this is a rooftop restaurant and bar with great margaritas and a fun atmosphere. We stopped by here for a chili infused margarita.
WHAT TO DO
- Meow Wolf: this is a techno style interactive art installation/experience that is so unique and so cool. We spent close to two hours here going through all the different rooms and secret passage ways!
- Georgia O’Keeffe museum: I went here the last time I was in Santa Fe and it’s a cool drop in if you’re a fan of her work.
- Shiprock: located on the Santa Fe Plaza, this store sells beautiful, classic Aztec style rugs
- Nathalie: a Parisian eye meets Santa Fe Western
- Santa Fe Soap Factory: organic soaps in every scent
- Walk around the plaza: there are tons of cool shops, art galleries, and vendors
- See the floating stairs at the Loretto chapel: this has been on countless unsolved mystery shows and is a quick little five minute drop in to see.
- Canyon Road: walk up and down this street to see the art galleries and shops.
- Inn at Loretto: the spa at our hotel that is ranked one of the best in the nation for hotel spas
- Ten Thousand Waves Spa: book a private room with a hot tub for the ultimate relaxing + detoxifying day
I’ll be doing a roundup of everything I wore on our trip tomorrow, so be sure to check back to get all my outfit details! It was so fun to embrace the western trend while in Santa Fe. I hope my Santa Fe travel guide was helpful for all of you planning a trip or considering a trip there in the future! Save this to your Pinterest board for easy access if you have one planned or are thinking you may go, soon. XO
We worked in collaboration with The Inn and Spa at Loretto to provide media coverage and a review of our stay in exchange for our room. As always, all opinions are my own.
Such a great review! I’m heading to Santa Fe at the end of May with my mom and I’ve definitely bookmarked your post! I also love all the beautiful photos you took. The Inn & Spa at Loretto looks fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing!
I so love this! It looks so fun and I wish I could go visit!
Oh wow, everything sounds and looks incredible!! So much inspo here! Also, so nice that you could visit your grandma too. 🙂
You definitely caught fabulous images of the authenticity of New Mexico. I am from Taos, New Mexico (another staple travel destination) and live in Albuquerque, NM. Next time you come back for a visit, you need to go to Taos! Tiny town, but very traditional and beautiful. Glad you enjoyed your time here!
Excellent post with valuable information. I recall traveling around the Santa Fe area a few years back and had lunch there. I enjoyed the history, scenic views and the feel of life in this part of the U.S. I was in the area again about two years ago but didn’t get into Santa Fe. I need to plan another trip and stay a little longer. Thanks for the post. http://rontittle.com
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