The high temperatures and the monsoonal thunderstorms are starting to subside in the Southwest. With bright, clear days and crisp evenings, New Mexico is beautiful this time of year. Now is when you should explore the historical sites, check out the art scene, and eat chili-infused food. Destination: Santa Fe.
As the highest U.S. state capital above sea level–nope, it’s not Denver–Santa Fe takes some acclimating. After checking in at The Inn of the Five Graces, walk through town. The lively plaza is only a few blocks away. Buy pottery, jewelry, or weavings. Stop at the Palace of the Governors, the oldest public building in the country. Hop between the galleries–full of Native American, Southwestern, and contemporary artwork–on Canyon Road. Visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the San Miguel Mission. Taste Mesoamerican chocolates at the Kakawa Chocolate House. And drink a garden-to-glass cocktail at Secreto. A Local Beet is the perfect cocktail for a warm afternoon.
As you walk back toward the inn, the adobe buildings and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are starting to glow as the sun begins its descent in the west. Relax in a chaise lounge in the shady courtyard. The softly flowing fountain and the chirping birds almost lull you to sleep. Mingle with other guests over chips, salsa, and a margarita. And then head to your suite to prepare for the evening. Each of the inn’s rooms are unique and filled with jewel-toned mosaics and textiles from around the world. Though all different, each room is comfortable, with a wood-burning kiva fireplace and a soaking tub. So comfortable in fact, that it will be difficult to leave to attend a concert at the Santa Fe Opera House. But with views of the Jemez Mountains, the open-air theater shouldn’t be missed.
The morning begins with a delicious breakfast. Return to the courtyard for eggs Benedict with green chili sauce. Go to the Tibetan-inspired spa for a High Mountain Hydration treatment. And since you’re finally used to the elevation, head outside of the city to take in the natural beauty of the area. Hike along the arroyos of the Dale Ball Trails for views of the mountains. Visit the 12th century cliff dwellings of the Anasazi at Bandelier National Monument. Follow the Turquoise Trail through old mining towns. Or spend the afternoon on the water. Go fly fishing for trout on the Rio Chama or whitewater rafting down the Rio Grande.
No wonder Santa Fe is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the United States.