This is part two of a two-part article about a trip I took in March with my wife to Santa Fe, New Mexico. On our trip we were hosted by the Inn of the Five Graces. To read about the first half of the trip, click here.
Monday morning in Santa Fe was Karen’s birthday. We had a soothing couples massage at the Inn of the Five Graces’ tiny, quaint “spa.” They were great 90-minute massages, marred only by the noise of vacuum cleaners and cleaning in the guest rooms above. We had lunch at an iconic little place in town called Café Pasqual’s, and then wandered the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, which features 1,149 pieces of the master’s instantly recognizable art. Dinner was at Rio Chama Steakhouse.
Our last day in Santa Fe, Tuesday, started out with a wonderful cooked-to-order breakfast at the Inn of the Five Graces and a short walk before check out. We then drove up to Museum Hill, which has four culture and art museums and is a marvelous place well worth the trip. Once we arrived, we realized we’d need a full day to get the full benefit of what the collection of museums has to offer, so we focused our attention on the International Folk Art Museum and its fascinating New World Cusine: the Histories of Chocolate, Mate y Mas exhibit (which runs through January 5th, 2014).
Then it was off to Bandelier National Monument to see the ancient pueblos and for an amazing afternoon of hiking and sightseeing. Karen had long wanted to see and experience ancient cliff dwellings, and Bandelier was just the ticket.
Because this wilderness area offers so many opportunities for outdoor adventure (there are over 70 miles of hiking trails within the 33,000 acres), using the National Park Service website to plan your visit is highly recommended. The longer hikes can be a day or more. Opting for a shorter afternoon hike, Karen and I had a glorious time scampering up and down ladders, climbing into “cavates” (the actual cliff dwellings), walking along the nearby stream, viewing pueblo petrographs, and thoroughly enjoying the clean desert air.
The deep cultural roots of the Southwest are on full display in Santa Fe. With its mix of museums, restaurants, heritage sites and great desert locales, it is a highly recommended destination that everyone will find fascinating.
Read part one about my trip to Santa Fe here.