During the fall, my husband, friends, and I decided to take a weekend trip to Santa Fe and it did not disappoint. We stayed there during the weekend of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta as we figured it wouldn’t be as expensive or crowded as staying in Albuquerque. It wasn’t too far from the hot air balloon grounds, roughly an hour.
Here are some recommendations of places to visit if you find yourself in Santa Fe for a weekend.
1) Visit Ojo Spa Resorts in Santa Fe: We arrived on a pretty cold, wet, and dreary day and decided to visit this spa. My friend mentioned that her cousin had stayed here before and it was so relaxing and magical. We got a day soaking pass. On Fridays-Sunday and holidays, it is $65 and Monday-Thursday the price is $45 dollars for a soak. With this pass, we had access to all the thermal pools, the saltwater swimming pool, changing rooms, shower, and steam rooms. The hours for the day pass are from 10 am-10 pm.
We went later in the day, which was less crowded so that we didn’t have to compete for space in the soaking pools. There is also a walking ground and restaurant. When walking, unless you have feet that aren’t sensitive, I would recommend wearing flip flops as some of the paths have tiny rocks everywhere.
There is also an option to rent out a private soaking tub (swimwear is optional) and go in a float tank. Reservations are needed for both of these options. The Ojo Spa also seems like an amazing place to have a girls weekend, a romantic get-a-way with a partner, or just spend some quality time alone. If you are a guest here, access to the thermal pools and saltwater pool are free. They also offer some packaged deals.
Check out their website: https://ojosparesorts.com/ojo-santa-fe/
2) Explore Canyon Road and all of its wonder: There are over 80 art galleries located on Canyon Road.
- Globe Fine Art: One of the galleries that we really enjoyed was Globe Fine Art. They have a sculpture garden outdoors that is so beautiful to walk through.
- ART MOZAIK: This was such a bright and vibrant gallery. We were able to speak with one of the owners when we entered and she was so welcoming.
- Visit the Teahouse: If you are a tea drinker, this place has an impressive array of teas and tea lattes. They also offer gluten-free pastry items. This teahouse is located on Canyon Road where you can walk and explore all the art that there is while sipping on some tea.
- Treat Yourself to Tapas at El Farol: We went for their Happy Hour, as who can go wrong with a margarita? They also offer a Flamenco Dinner Show every Thursday-Saturday night.
3) Walk through downtown Santa Fe and explore some of these beautiful places:
- The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi: This cathedral was built between 1869 and 1886 by Jean-Baptiste Lamy. The walking grounds outdoors are truly spectacular, especially in the fall. There is a labyrinth to the left of the entrance if you are looking to participate in a walking meditation.
- The Loretto Chapel: This chapel attracts people from all parts of the world. Many who come to visit the Chapel are in awe of the spiral staircase. According to the legends, the architecture who build the chapel passed away before there was access to a choir loft. The Sisters of Loretto prayed and on the 9th day of their prayer a carpenter entered with a hammer and a carpenter’s square.
Nobody knew who the carpenter was but he build this spiral staircase, also called the miraculous staircase using wood that wasn’t seen in the southwest. Once the staircase was finished, the carpenter left without asking for payment. There are no nails holding this staircase upright or a center pole. When it was initially built there were no banisters present. Many people believe that this carpenter may have been St. Joseph or someone sent by him.
The Loretto Chapel is open every day expect for Christmas. Admission to visit for adults is $5. There is also a gift store located at the chapel.
4) Eat until you can’t at these restaurants:
- Dolina Bakery and Café: We came here for brunch on a Sunday. I would recommend being prepared to wait to eat. This small and modern café and bakery has delicious breakfasts from ricotta pancakes to a pesto omelets. The bakery has gluten-free options in addition to cakes, pies, and pastries. The espresso drinks and tea lattes are so good. All the food is organic and local as they use a farm roughly an hour away from the restaurant to grow their produce.
- Upper Crust Pizza: Easy to order and a short wait time to get hot delicious pizza. All that is needed is to wait in line at the register. Once you order pizza, the servers will bring it out. There are gluten-free pizza options available.
- Los Magueyes: Affordable and fast Mexican food. When we entered, I couldn’t stop eating the chips and salsa. Just make sure to make room for the food. This is also located on el burro alley where there are plenty of photo opportunities with a donkey statue.
Where to stay:
- Airbnb it: For the 6 of us that went to Santa Fe, we stayed at this wonderful Airbnb that was walking distance to downtown Santa Fe. It was great because we didn’t have to worry about paying for parking for our cars since we had the Airbnb. There was also a hub of food trucks a block away.
- Bed and Breakfasts: If you are traveling to Santa Fe with your love, there are so many cute bed and breakfasts to stay at. My husband and I hope to come back to try one out!
This is just a small list of recommendations. I would love return to Santa Fe and explore even more that this city has to offer.