Come see what Singles Travel International, 50+ Single Travelers did in Santa Fe, NM during Labor Day Weekend. Spoiler alert….They had a BLAST!
La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís, or Santa Fe for short, is also called the City Different. It’s called that because In the 1920s, Santa Fe officials ordered that all buildings in the city be built with adobe in the Pueblo Indian style. The city also retains beautiful examples of Victorian, Italian, and Spanish architecture. It is this combination of cultures that helped give Santa Fe its most popular nickname, “the City Different”. Santa Fe is a wonderful place for the senses. It’s rich in both history, culture, architecture and FOOD. All set in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Let’s start with my favorite, the FOOD! There were so many choices to tantalize our taste buds, it was hard to choose. But choose we did. Our welcome dinner was at The Shed. This restaurant is very hard to get into, but Singles Travel International made sure to get a prime reservation spot. We ate outside in the repurposed parking lot that was made into outdoor seating. It was delightful. The service was great, and we all had exceptional meals. I ordered Chips/Salsa/Guacamole for the table. The Salsa was spicy and flavorful, while the Guac had big chunks of avocado and tomato. Yum. I had the Posole and dipped chips into it for a full meal. So good. And as a bonus, our server recommended the Mariachi Festival, which one of our members ended up going to and having a great time. The members also enjoyed the large margaritas. The next day we had a phenomenal brunch at Casa Culinaria – The Gourmet Inn with Chef Caroline. This was a hidden gem. It was the Singles Travel International VIP experience. Owners, Carolina & Manuel have a huge passion for International cuisine and cooking, and offered us an unique gourmet brunch. It had an intimate outdoor setting, we felt like royalty. It started with homemade breads, pastries and jams, then fresh fruit and homemade yogurt and granola. It didn’t stop there. Our main course was a bird’s nest made of herbs with an egg, hash and homemade toast. The picture doesn’t do it justice. We finished off with an almond cake. It was amazing. The rest of the trip was just as good. We had an evening on our own, so I made a reservation at Dinner for Two. A number of us ate there and had guacamole and Bananas Foster, both made tableside. Good thing none of us were flammable. The food was exceptional.
Another recommendation is Cowgirl Barbecue. Downhome BBQ in a casual setting. Live music every night. Finally, our farewell dinner was at the Pink Adobe. Even though we had a long wait, it was worth it. It is a charming restaurant in a historic Adobe (300 years old) with a great patio. Since it was a beautiful evening, we ate outside. Everything was delicious. I had the Seafood Enchiladas, a perfect combination of lobster, shrimp & crab in rolled blue corn tortillas covered with a green chile lobster bisque and cheese. YUM!!! All in all, the food in Santa Fe is not to be taken lightly. You definitely won’t starve!
We love art, and there are way more quality museums here than you could possibly conquer in a single visit. There are also countless art galleries and shops brimming with local hand-made goods like pottery, hand-woven baskets and rugs, turquoise and other precious stone jewelry. There are so many art galleries on one long road, Canyon Road that we had to hire a guide to show us around. We wanted to hit them all but Kristen with Santa Fe Canyon Road Art Tours showed us the error of our ways. She picked out the highlights, and saw and learned about some amazing art, but we barely hit the surface. Just an incentive to come back to Santa Fe.
We also had some history buffs in the group, and they were in luck, because Santa Fe happens to be the oldest capital city in North America. This means it’s seen everything from revolt to invasion to reconquest (and a whole lot more than that). And the surrounding area has some amazing scenery as well as history.
To buy a locally made item, we went to the historic plaza in the heart of Santa Fe to shop from the Native Americans. These vendors are here every day (they operate on a daily lottery system to secure a position at the plaza) and sell incredibly beautiful art, jewelry and other unique products. The locals will tell you purchasing items here from the Natives themselves is the best way to go.
Outside of Santa Fe is gorgeous, colorful and full of history.
Monique from SouthWest Adventures took us to Bandelier National Monument, one of the National Park Service’s oldest sites (1916). Bandelier protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country, with evidence of people having lived here for more than 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and masonry pueblos (villages) are evidence of the Ancestral Pueblo people whose descendants still live nearby.
We walked the main loop trail (1.2 mile loop) in Frijoles to the remains of these ancient homes. Like past inhabitants, we climbed ladders into several of the small carved rooms (caveats). A few had black ceilings. One reason was to depict the night sky and the other reason is from the fires that may have burned in the room.
The next day, we went to Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch. Georgia O’Keefe was a loner who spent summers at Ghost Ranch, about an hour outside of Santa Fe. She would capture the beauty of the area on canvas. Ghost Ranch gave her the freedom to paint what she saw and felt. Here work became very famous. Many of the members went to the Georgia O’Keefe museum in Santa Fe.
You can read more about Georgia’s story from her website: https://www.ghostranch.org/about/our-story/about-georgia-okeeffe/
I can’t forget to mention the Hot Air Balloon ride that some of our Premium members were able to enjoy for free, just for signing up early for this trip. They watched the Balloon fill with air and flew over Albuquerque, soaring well above the city. What a beautiful sunrise.
There is so much to do in and around Santa Fe. Some members went to visit the New Mexico State Capitol (free to all visitors) to view the artwork that is housed there. A few went to the interactive museum, Meow Wolf. One got a relaxing massage at Ten Thousand Waves spa and one lucky member went to see the Mariachi Festival that was recommended to us. A few went to see Zozobra burn. ZoZobra is an annual event where they burn an effigy of a monster which holds the townspeople woes and sorrows from the previous year to start fresh with a positive attitude to life for the next year.
Singles Travel International has “something” for everyone. Come take a trip with us to find out what special “something” you will enjoy as you travel with us, single, but never alone.