The campground is on Cerrillos Road (Rt14) with easy access to downtown. We had a decent site with full hookups and wifi (no CATV).
For scenery, culture, history, food, and proximity to other interesting places, this seems to be Sandy and my consensus favorite city to visit and will be the center point for our next visit to the southwest. Can't wait!
Santa Fe has more of a town feel than city. The urban shopping malls are outside the center area (close to our RV park), and there are no high rise businesses in town.
Chapels, museums and dining surround Santa Fe Plaza a small square that forms the heart of the city.
We could only scratch the surface of Santa Fe in a week. Luckily the Fiestas de Santa Fe festival was held in the plaza on our visit where music, artists and street food vendors made for an excellent day.
We parked at the Visitor Center within an easy walk of the Plaza. Between the two there are a few historically significant churches and houses.
Palace of the Governors on Santa Fe Plaza. Native Americans sit in the shade selling crafts (mostly jewelry).
street vendors at the Fiestas de Santa Fe - the Basilica is in the background.
The blogger getting a cool aqua fresca
Our view from the second floor of our lunch spot Draft Station
Lots of shops to visit in the neighborhood.
The Shed is probably the best known restaurant in town. Waits are up to two hours. We lucked out and got seated right away in the plaza listening to a guitarist. While there an artist put some of his prints nearby for sale and I told him how much I liked them. He gave us a couple post card size samples.
When in Santa Fe you can get the red (Sandy's preference) or the green (my preference) chili - or "the Christmas" - half and half.
Tomasitas is also a popular restaurant outside of the city center. Some people we've say it is their favorite. It is definitely different that The Shed. I really enjoyed trying the different chili from place to place. While overall I liked the shed better, the chili at Tomasitas was the best I had anywhere.
Tomasitas' green chili is chunky and fresh tasting.
Art galleries are door to door and make a pleasant walk along Canyon Road, which is a short drive east of the Plaza.
At an antique store.
This is a bed!
Must be a twin bed!
San Miguel Chapel is said to be the Oldest Church in USA.
It is small and quaint, and feels like you are stepping into the past. A feeling of reverence takes over as you enter. A volunteer will answer questions. A small voluntary fee is appreciated. This was well worth the stop.
Close by is the Loretta Chapel. This is famous for its spiral staircase. While interesting, I thought this church gave more of a souvenir shop touristy vibe than the spiritual feel of San Miguel or the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. Maybe because of the gaudy gift shop and required fee upon entering.
The Cathedral Basilica of St, Francis of Assisi
This is a majestic cathedral, a centerpiece seen from the Plaza de Santa Fe. Interesting and peculiar to me (never having seen one before), was the collection of religious relics. These are pieces of bone, hair, or teeth of saints placed within gold gilded memorial. Some of these were quite old and of very famous saints. One dated back to 100 AD. There were relics for St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony, and Mother Teresa.
A piece of bone from St Francis of Assisi and St Thomas Aquinas
Hair of Mother Teresa.
Oldest House in America
While there is some question on if this really is the oldest house because of the changes to the building over time, it is really a neat little place to see. While looking this up on the web, I found an interesting article on Wikipedia. We saw several of the sites mentioned in this area.
Among the sites we visited in the center of Santa Fe were the fabulous Georgia O'Keefe Museum and the Museum of Modern Art next door. I had minimal knowledge of Georgia O'Keefe before hand but her art and life became illuminating and fascinating.
I really consider the O'Keefe Museum a must see in Santa Fe because one of our very favorite and most interesting sights in the whole country is the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu (an hour northwest of Santa Fe). It was here that O'Keefe stayed seasonally (eventually moved permanently), and painted many of her most famous landscapes. The O'Keefe Museum gave us enough of an understanding of her life and work to fully appreciate our trip to the Ghost Ranch. I consider it almost a mandatory prerequisite to get the most out of the Ranch (see our net blog Santa Fe Part 2).
Reasons to go back to Santa Fe: The Santa Fe area is among our most desirable return-to areas. We would gladly revisit Taos, the Ghost Ranch, and explore Albuquerque to points south. Bandelier and Chaco in particular I would like to explore.
Bandelier National Monument -protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.
The Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves a major center of ancestral Puebloan culture dating between 850 and 1250 CE.
Meow Wolf, Santa Fehas been recommended to us - Meow Wolf creates immersive and interactive experiencesthat transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. This includes art installations, video and music production, and extended reality content.