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This list inclues the best sites in the city, plus one overnight trip to the north, including a balance of history, nature, art, architecture and culture, a balance of indoor and outdoor, overview and depth.
Day 1. Start here on your orientation day to get the flavor of the city's history and culture. From here you can walk to the adjacent art museum and sculpture garden. I recommend eating at the Church Street Cafe. Pick up brochures at the Visitor and Information Center closeby.
This is both art and history museum and sculpture garden.
After lunch, discover the area's Indian history and culture.
As you wind down your first day, finish your orientation by driving east on Central Ave, old Route 66, going from down town to Nob Hill. You may choose to eat in this area, but if you are not too tired, go back down town for dining and night life.
Day 2. Spend a day combining nature with history and shopping. Take I-40 east of town and turn north into the Sandia Mountains, driving toward the ski area for some short hiking options. Coming back to the Turquoise Trail, proceed north through several old mining towns and on near the southern edge of Santa Fe. If you have the energy, try to visit the site of the Santa Fe Trail where it came into Santa Fe.
Day 3. Bypass Santa Fe. (That is another trip out here in itself.) Go through Espanola, going northwest on the road to Chama. Arrange your tour ahead of time, so now you can visit the home of Georgia O'Keefe when you get to the village of Abiqui. You are in the heart of Northern New Mexico, an area unto itself in beauty and culture. After your tour, backtrack to the turnoff to Ojo Caliente to the healing waters of the hot springs pools and hotel there. Full spa services are available as is a restaurant. You may have time for a hike to an ancient pueblo ruins, as the pools are delightful under the stars.
Day 4. From Ojo Caliente, drive northeast to Taos. Take your choice of art and history museums, but do visit the Kit Carson home. Then head out to Taos Pueblo for a tour. When you are finished, you are only 2-3 hours from home. Choose to eat at Doc Martins in Taos or dine in Santa Fe and take a ghost tour in you have the energy, before you drive home.
Day 5. Your last day here. Start with a picnic breakfast at this archaeological site, as you sit under a ramada overlooking the Rio Grande River. (You can grab some fast food for this as you pass through Bernalillo.) After touring the site, you will have some down time for packing or relaxing if you need it, and still have time for one more afternoon attraction.
Relax and enjoy the beauty of the botanical gardens, before having a lovely dinner at one of the many great restaurants here. You have experienced a perfect vacation.