An easy day trip after a business meeting in Albuquerque, Santa Fe—which was founded in 1610—is the oldest and highest (7,200 feet) capital city in America. A UNESCO Creative City since 2005, Santa Fe boasts some 250 galleries and is the third-largest art market in the United States. As more tech companies move into this moneyed little town, a year-round population of over 87,000 residents clings to a determined bohemianism, enjoying life in an American paradise. Here, five places in Santa Fe that embody its spirit.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Throughout 2022, this museum celebrates its 25th anniversary, with a collection of more than 3,000 O’Keeffe works and such exhibitions as “Georgia O’Keeffe, a Life Well Lived: Photographs by Malcolm Varon.” The museum also owns two O’Keeffe spreads that inspired her paintings, Ghost Ranch and her Abiquiú home, a National Historic Landmark open for tours.
La Fonda on the Plaza
This year, the comfortable property observes its 100th anniversary. Chile Rellenos have been a staple since 1926, along with sunset drinking in the rooftop bar. La Fonda was once a Fred Harvey hotel, a chain immortalized in The Harvey Girls, with Judy Garland belting out an ode to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
Chef Fernando Olea of Sazón, a 2022 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef of the Southwest, is known for subtle moles, a delicate crab-infused Sopa de Amor and oaxaqueños with dehydrated grasshoppers. Creative flavors abound at Santa Fe’s most innovative restaurant.
SITE Santa Fe
The art world of Santa Fe spans the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the open-air Santa Fe Opera, which works with talents such as former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. The contemporary art museum SITE Santa Fe, housed in an edgy SHoP Architects building, is known for its internationally acclaimed biennial and exhibitions. Throughout October, “Rebecca Ward: Distance to Venus” is on view.
Photo: Courtesy of Sky Railway
Sky Railway in Santa Fe
Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is responsible for the Jean Cocteau Cinema, the art installation Meow Wolf and Sky Railway, with restored 1920s railcars traveling the old Santa Fe Southern Railway line. The onboard experiences include live music while taking in the starkly beautiful New Mexico landscape.