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2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

New York
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2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

Hi. I am taking a tour to Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly out of Albuquerque and would like to spend a few days in Santa Fe beforehand. I need recommendations for hotel/B&B (central location, priced in the $100-$125 range per night); restaurants; essential sights; best area for just walking and inhaling the vibe of the city. I can stay 2 or 3 nights, but will be arriving after a long flight, so that arrival day will probably be shot. That leaves me either 1 or 2 full days, plus my travel day back to Albuquerque by late afternoon. I am considering renting a car, but might take the train from Albuquerque instead. If I have 3 nights should I go to Taos too - is there a good day trip to hook up with or am I trying to cram too much into this brief trip? I don't want to feel like I am rushing all over.

For background on me - I am a 59 year old female traveling on my own for only the second time. I obviously want to feel safe. I usually have a preference for small hotels or B&Bs, but that is when I travel with my husband or daughter, maybe not so much when I am on my own. So for this trip anything well located and affordable is ok. I would like to try local cuisine, but need dinner places ($25-30 range for dinner without wine) where I can eat at the bar or otherwise feel comfortable eating on my own. (I recall eating at a table in a high end place in NOLA and feeling uncomfortable the whole time. Didn't help that I didn't like the food!) I'd like to see the Georgia O'Keefe museum - I'll pass on any others. I hate formal shopping, although I enjoy browsing at open air markets. I'd like to just enjoy whatever it is that makes Santa Fe special to so many people. Everyone tells me they liked it, but no one really says why.

Thanks for your help.

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Canyon
Canyon
7 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM
Albuquerque
Albuquerque
New Mexico
Edmond, OK
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480 posts
50 reviews
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1. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

It doesn't sound like you're totally sold on this idea after reading your post. Your tour company for the ruins trip may be able to advise you about Santa Fe. Maybe there are some folks on that trip who are also going to Santa Fe and you wouldn't have to go alone? Santa Fe is historic, artistic, romantic and cultural. There are plenty of open air markets and exhibitions, but the shopkeepers and gallery owners welcome browsers. It's not all just "Indian jewelry". Several art museums near the plaza, including the O'Keeffe, which is exceptional. Hope this info helps in your decision. The ruins trip sounds awesome.

New York
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2. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

Interesting insight. I'm definitely sold on doing this trip including going to Santa Fe. But it is true that I am looking for options where I will feel comfortable on my own. Beyond that one dinner out, my NOLA trip went well, and was structured similarly - a program with a tour company preceded by time on my own. I took a walking tour, went to a museum, rode the ferry, found great fried oysters - I want to do the same sort of thing in Santa Fe. I'm thinking a walking tour would really appeal to me on my first full day. And/or a bike tour. Do they have that? My tour company recommended a company that I could use for a Taos day trip, but I'm not sure I want to spend another day traveling.

I hope to hear from more of the New Mexico experts.

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New Mexico
New Mexico
United States
Santa Fe, NM
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3. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

One of the best online resources is the excellent http://www.santafe.org website operated by the city visitors bureau. You will find general information on Santa Fe of course, but links to all manner of things to see and do including the options for tours and tour companies, several good ones available.

When are you visiting?

New York
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4. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

I'll be in Albuquerque and Santa Fe in early May. After writing and re-reading my own post I have realized that I would prefer a more leisurely stay, so I am going to fly in one day early and aim for 3 nights in Santa Fe.

Thanks for the lead to santafe.org. I had looked briefly at the site - now I'll look again. I have found mention of a few companies that do walking tours. I'm going to do one of them on my first morning. Does anyone recommend a particular company? Bike tours of the city don't show up on my tripadvisor search unfortunately.

I'd love more suggestions. Hotels. Restaurants. Things to do. I read somewhere about a Saturday morning farmers market that sounded interesting. Is anyone familiar with that?

The Old Santa Fe Inn gets good tripadvisor reviews and their basic room is affordable, especially since it has a full breakfast included. I am thinking of staying there. Has anyone been there?

Thanks again for the help.

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Albuquerque
Albuquerque
New Mexico
Old Santa Fe Inn
Old Santa Fe Inn
1,714 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM
Aurora, Illinois
Destination Expert
for New Mexico, Santa Fe, Albuquerque
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5. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

Farmers markets aren't really my thing, but I did walk through it last summer and as far as I could tell, it seemed like a very good one.

http://www.santafefarmersmarket.com/

On the website you'll also find information about the Santa Fe Artisans Market which is held on Sundays at the same location as the Saturday Farmers Market.

On Saturday there is also a Santa Fe Artist Market across the street from the Farmers Market.

http://santafeartistsmarket.ipower.com/

And next to the Artist Market is SITE Santa Fe, a gallery of very contemporary art. Normally it costs $10 to visit but is free all day on Fridays and on Saturdays during the Farmers Market.

http://www.sitesantafe.org/

Keith

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Santa Fe Farmers Market
Santa Fe Farmers Market
268 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM
SITE Santa Fe
SITE Santa Fe
46 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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6. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

There are plenty of affordable and very good restaurants in Santa Fe. Bluel Corn Cafe, The Shed, San Francisco Street Bar and Grill, Del Charro, La Plazuela.

I don't know much about the Old SF Inn, but I also recommend Inn of the Governors, St Francis and Hotel Plaza Real, all are even closer to the Plaza area. Inn of the Governors has a great (and inexpensive) restaurant, Del Charro. You can sit in the bar, sit out on the patio. Meals from $5 and are huge portions. Great Green Chile Cheese Burger!

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The Plaza
The Plaza
2,408 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM
Aurora, Illinois
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for New Mexico, Santa Fe, Albuquerque
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7. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

I should mention that I also travelled solo to Santa Fe and I never felt uncomfortable eating out alone there. In fact I ate at (and enjoyed) every restaurant that CasaAzul mentions with the exception of Del Charro. I'll have to check that out next time. And of course I 'discovered' them because CasaAzul recommended them to ME when I had questions last year. :)

Keith

Edited: 05 March 2011, 03:24
Mississippi
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8. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

Bobcat Bite is a fun joint for good burgers. The Ore House is a fun place to have drinks overlooking the Plaza on their porch.

Bobcat Bite Restaurant @ 420 Old Las Vegas Highway, Santa Fe, NM 505 - 983 - 5319.

http://www.bobcatbite.com/

The Ore House @ 50 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 505 - 983 - 8687.

http://www.orehouseontheplaza.com/

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The Plaza
The Plaza
2,408 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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9. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

I hate to report this, but The Ore House on the Plaza will be moving to their other location, Milagro 39 sometime this spring. The building's owner wants to start their own restaurant.

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The Plaza
The Plaza
2,408 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM
New York
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10. Re: 2 or 3 nights in Santa Fe, need hotel, food, & sights

Thanks for all the responses. Right now my planning is very - shall we say - open. I'm planning 2 full days in Santa Fe and I have pretty much no idea what I am doing for those 2 days other than the Georgia O'Keefe museum and maybe a farmers and/or artisans market, and a few authentic meals. After reading Keith's thread before his trip, I feel totally unprepared. I loved reading his plans, but I definitely would not have the energy for that kind of trip. And I would need a tour guide to have that kind of vacation. For me, I'm looking for a few more leisurely days. Given that I will be spending 6 days in Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly afterward, I'm not sure how I should plan my 2 days in SF. Should I take a day to go to Taos? Bandolier? I really enjoy light hiking - is there one exceptional hike I should do? Will I need a car if I choose any of these side trips? Or should I just spend my 2 days leisurely absorbing the vibe of SF. And how exactly would I do that?

For the record, I have discovered a few things about myself on recent trips, and one of them is that I don't really enjoy big museums (and I have plenty of them here where I live anyway), but I do enjoy smaller more intimate ones. And I always feel very ignorant when I go into galleries, although I do like browsing. Keeping that in mind, can any of you make a few recommendations on the best way to spend my time? Since I will be in SF for a weekend, is there any great music hall, open air concert series, or anything like that around?

Thanks again.

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Canyon
Canyon
7 Reviews
Santa Fe, NM