Every once in a while my husband and I will say “Where have we never been to that we want to go?” The last time we asked ourselves this question the answer was Santa Fe, New Mexico. So we packed our bags and headed off to what is known as the Land of Enchantment. I couldn’t wait to get my cowgirl on.
From the moment I stepped off the plane in Albuquerqe, I immediately felt the difference in the culture. New Mexico welcomes you with color and art, music and dance, and the Native American influence is still strongly prevalent in this area.
We chose to stay at the Auberge Encantado Resort in Santa Fe, about an hour’s drive from Albuqureque. The resort is located about ten minutes from downtown Santa Fe and is set against the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The 65 casitas were designed to blend into the landscape and the rooms tastefully reflect the Southwest flavor. They offer a renowned spa and fine dining on property and the entire resort is a tranquil setting for rest and relaxation.
With a gorgeous sunset offered from our room and an outdoor fireplace to enjoy on a brisk fall evening, there was no reason to have dinner anywhere other than our own casita.
On our first full day in Santa Fe, we got an early start and headed downtown. As silly as it may sound, the first thing we did was take a trolley tour of the city. I know what you’re thinking, how “senior citizen” of you. However, let me just say that we do this in almost each city we go to because it is a great way to get a quick overview for the area and we always discover places and information that we would not otherwise know….how else would I have learned that George Clooney and Johnny Depp were in town shooting a movie?!
There are a few cities in the U.S. that offer their own very unique style and Santa Fe is one of these areas with its very distinctive architectural style of Adobe homes and buildings. Santa Fe is also known to have what is considered to be the Oldest House in America, the De Vargas Street House.
Here are some examples of the beautiful Adobe style homes.
Santa Fe is also very well known for its artist community. The city is full of art galleries, jewelry shops, unique clothing stores and interesting cafes.
If we had we known how much Santa Fe had to offer, we would have definitely extended our trip to spend more than 1 day in town. We only had two full days on the trip and we also wanted to visit Taos. The hour drive (if you drive directly) to Taos was beautiful. We made many stops along the way for photo ops and to visit local shops.
Along the way, we stopped at El Santuario de Chimayo. This is the site that many believe to be a miracle associated with the crucifix of “Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas” (Our Lord of Esquipulas). El Santuario de Chimayo is also the site of “el pocito” the small pit of Holy Dirt which many people attribute as possessing remarkable curative powers.
While in Taos, we did some shopping, visited the Kit Carson house and had a bite to eat before making our way back to Santa Fe.
Along the drive back, we serendipitously came across the very unique Classic Gas Museum located right off the road in Embudo, NM. See my previous post on this site (here).
Overall, we found ourselves wanting to see more of this beautiful location. Between the unique landscape and architecture, the mystical powers of the land and the Native American influence, we truly discovered why they call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment. My only regret on this trip….never running into George Clooney and Johnny Depp.
For more beautiful photos, see the gallery below.