JJ is a professional artist who has returned to Santa Fe, New Mexico, after residing in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 20 years. She and her husband share two daughters, one son and a very high-maintenance Australian Shepherd. JJ loves Santa Fe because it is a small community with world class art and culture. She enjoys the city’s hundreds of art galleries, gorgeous mountain views all year round and some of the best cuisine in the nation.
Stay: Santa Fe Hotels
After I moved to Charlotte, I would do my best to get out here to see my friends and family at least once a year. All of these hotels are unique in their own right.
Only three blocks from Canyon Road (gallery lane) and four blocks to downtown. Full spa and pool. The Staab House was just rated one of the best bars in the United States—you just might see a celebrity or two!
330 East Palace Avenue
The Inn of the Anasazi
I love this place for two reasons—the service and the proximity to downtown. Walk out of the hotel and you are one block from downtown Santa Fe.
113 Washington Avenue
By far my favorite—it is 20 minutes from town, but worth the drive. The views are vast. It is so quiet, and the service is exceptional. Super cozy and very romantic (they will build a fire in your room each night!).
198 State Road 592
Play: Things to Do in Santa Fe
An interactive permanent installation created by a group of artists that is a must-see for all ages. Meow Wolf was funded by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin.
1352 Rufina Circle
Hiking is my favorite outdoor activity in the spring and summer. There are four National Parks within 30 minutes of Santa Fe—Tent Rocks is my number one.
Ten Thousand Waves
A Japanese-themed spa (and now hotel). I have never had a bad massage there, and the hot tubs are a great way to relax after a day of hiking or skiing.
21 Ten Thousand Waves
Ski Santa Fe
A great place to ski and snowboard, but also beautiful in the spring and summer for hiking and hearing live music.
Santa Fe Opera
Even if you do not enjoy the opera, this is worth checking out during the summer months. They bring in the best talent from all over the world, and it is outdoors. Many people take food and wine and enjoy a picnic before the show.
301 Opera Drive
Santa Fe Botanical Garden
Quite charming and very well designed. We love to attend Shakespeare in the Garden in the summer. The actors are extraordinary, and how can you not love listening to Shakespeare under the Santa Fe night sky? The garden also offers dinners and classes all year. The garden is right next to Museum Hill, so you can go to all of them in one outing if you start early.
715 Camino Lejo
Blue Rain Gallery
544 South Guadalupe Street
550 South Guadalupe Street
Shop: Local Gifts + Specialty Shops
Malouf on the Plaza
This shop has everything, including some of the most unique jewelry, rugs and couture. So, if you forget your sweater, head there!
61 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Dry Goods
I have no words for the couture here other than wow.
53 Old Santa Fe Trail
Back at the Ranch
For gorgeous handcrafted boots that are literally walking works of art, don’t miss this spot!
209 East Marcy Street
Located in DeVargas Center, this shop has everything a woman needs. Quality clothing and more!
564 North Guadalupe Street
An upcycling store that sells both Western and non-Western clothing, boots, jewelry, art and home accessories. This shop is near Guadalupe which is another great walking area other than the square downtown.
320 Aztec Street
Eat: Restaurants + Bars in Santa Fe
This is very tough because there are so many amazing restaurants!
La Choza and The Shed
These sister restaurants have the best green and red chile in town. Year after year, I have never found a better place to get authentic New Mexican chile. There is always a wait, so grab a margarita and relax.
905 Alarid Street
113 1/2 East Palace Avenue
Coyote Cafe & Rooftop Cantina
Check this out for fun and great food in the downtown area. We love to take our friends there in the summer to watch the sunset. They have remodeled and improved the menu.
132 West Water Street
Radish and Rye
One of the newer restaurants. All produce is local, and the vibe is fun and low-key. I love it because the menu changes quite frequently, and they have an extensive bar menu.
505 Cerritos Road
Just walking into this restaurant makes me feel like I am stepping back in time. The chef takes traditional Mexican cuisine and creates contemporary dishes that are delicioso! Make sure to check out the art and the bar.
221 Shelby Street
By far, the finest dining in Santa Fe—I have never had a bad meal there. Get the elk! Worth every dollar. Be sure to make reservations well in advance.
724 Canyon Road
An everyday place where I love to grab an almond milk latte. They have organic coffee and make their own almond milk.
1600 Lena Street
They call themselves “a tea house in a glass house.” Love their salads and tasty beverages. Super friendly staff and a health-conscious menu with all items locally sourced. Plus, who doesn’t want to eat surrounded by plants in a glass house? (They sell beautiful plants as well.)
922 Shoofly Street