Lazy Days in Santa Fe
It's an adobe wonderland, a Southwestern town where the chile is hot and the art is cool. The best way to savor Santa Fe may be the slow and easy way, the better to soak in the colors and flavors of this splendid setting. Wanna eat? shop? be Zen? Some pointers are offered below.
Where to stay: The Spencer House bed and breakfast is a five-room adobe inn with the emphasis on breakfast. That's not to say that the rest of the place isn't great: look for homey with style here, comfortable beds and pine furnishings and a living room with a sink-in-it couch. As for the morning meal, owner Jan McConnell needs to commit her recipes to a cookbook, since her black bean quesadillas and caramelized onion tart are wonderful. You're close to the center of the action here as well. Spencer House, 222 McKenzie, Santa Fe (505) 988-3024. Double rooms begin at $105. At La Fonda, you're right on the plaza and in the middle of history. An inn has been at this location since 1610 and the revels haven't stopped yet. Look for Southwestern ease in the rooms and suites and plenty of amenities throughout (check out the pool and the Bell Tower Bar for an excellent view). Lunch or dinner are an enjoyable treat at the skylit (and colorful) La Plazuela restaurant. La Fonda, 100 E. San Francisco, Santa Fe (505) 982-5511 or (800) 523-5002. Double rooms start at $199 .
Where to eat: This is chile country, so be a sport and play along. Good choices for enchiladas or chile rellenos topped with red or green chile sauce (and it's likely to be hot!) are the Guadalupe Cafe, La Tertulia and Tomasita's. La Tertulia is housed in a former convent (check out the religious art in the back room) while Tomasita's boasts a room named after chile-lover Hillary Rodham Clinton. Santacafe is the place for Southwestern cuisine with Asian and Mediterranean influences while the Coyote Cafe is celebrity chef Mark Miller's homage to chile-based cuisine.
What to do: Walking is a great activity in Santa Fe -- the warm weather directs you toward a languid pace and there's much to see in every direction. Spend time strolling the Plaza and surrounding streets, as they're chock full of interesting shops and galleries. Museums are also a good deal here, since you can buy a $10 ticket which gives you admission to five of Santa Fe's best. Be sure to visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of International Folk Art. When it's time to totally unwind, go to Ten Thousand Waves, a Southwest-meets-Japanese spa on a hill high above town.
A little bit more: The Spanish Market, held in July, along with the Indian Market a month later, will give you the opportunity to ogle (and buy) some of the region's finest artwork. Plan a visit around these events if you can, and do plan well in advance.
There's a lot more going on in Santa Fe but you'll have to read the story to find out!
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