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Santa Fe/Taos weekend

Santa Fe/Taos weekend

By
Trip Plan Tags: 
arts + culture,
romantic,
spa + wellness
Destinations: 
New Mexico,
North America,
Santa Fe,
Taos,
United States

Anniversary get-a-way.

ITEMS

See + Do

Hiking and Biking in Santa Fe + Taos

Outdoor types will find prime hiking and mountain biking 15 miles outside of Santa Fe in the Santa Fe National Forest. For some of the best hiking, take Hyde Park Road up to the base of Ski Santa Fe and park in the second lot (the one that's furthest from the ski area). From there, the intermediate-level Windsor Trail leads up through aspens and pines. For a full-day out-and-back, start Windsor early in the morning to reach the summit of 12,622-foot Santa Fe Baldy; it's approximately 14 miles round-trip. The entire area, including the connecting Pecos Wilderness, is threaded with trails (www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe). Note: Even in summer, the weather can be unpredictable. Bring water and warm gear, even on a short day hike. Only advanced outdoorspeople should attempt the trail in the off-season.

If you're a fat-tire aficionado, take the Windsor Trail going down toward town. It's 10 or so miles of challenging and fun singletrack. The trail will dump you out on County Road 72A, near the village of Tesuque. Arrange for somebody to drive you back up to the parking lot, unless you feel like riding back uphill.

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See + Do

High Road to Taos Scenic Byway, New Mexico

Sangre de Christo Mountains, New Mexico
Website: www.newmexico.org/place/loc/bymap/page/DB-place/category/158/place/639.html

Informally known as the High Road, this beautiful drive is 67 miles of interconnecting two-lane roads running along the crest of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos, passing through villages first colonized by the Spanish in the 17th century. One of these, Chimayó, is home to the church of El Santuario de Chimayó, pictured, where pilgrims scoop up the sacred earth in the hope of curing disease. (You might also stop for the stellar New Mexican food at the Restaurante Rancho de Chimayó). Another picturesque village is Truchas, where Robert Redford filmed his 1988 movie The Milagro Beanfield War. Allow three hours for the drive, if not longer, so you can take in the views of the desert valley far below. And drive safely: The roads are serpentine, and you'll see plenty of descansos, beautiful but sad roadside crosses that mark the sites where other motorists have met a bad end.

If you're looking for a quick route between Santa Fe and Taos, use US-285 and US-84, which take about half the time, and pass through the town of Espanola, famous for its low-rider cars.

See + Do

Harwood Museum of Art, New Mexico

238 Ledoux Street
Taos, New Mexico 87571
Tel: 505 758 9826
Website: www.harwoodmuseum.org

Taos has long attracted artists who fall in love with New Mexico's clear light and inspirational views of the Sangre de Christo Mountains. Founded by Elizabeth Harwood in 1923, this is the second oldest art museum in the state, and represents Taos artists from the 1700s to the present. It's a highly accessible collection, including some excellent works by the Taos Society of Artists who came in the early 1900s, such as Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips Colony. Victor Higgins's emotionally charged 1932 Winter Funeral depicts a gathering of black cars in the snow as angry clouds rage overhead. There are also a number of paintings by Agnes Martin as well as works in wood and tin in the Hispanic Tradition Gallery.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays noon to 5 pm.

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See + Do

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, New Mexico

217 Johnson Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tel: 505 946 1000
Website: www.okeeffemuseum.org

The 13,000-square-foot downtown museum houses the most extensive collection (1,148 paintings, drawings, and sculptures) anywhere of the former resident's works, with a rolling presentation of 50 on display at any one time. The museum also shows other American artists, such as Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

Open Saturdays through Thursdays 10 am to 5 pm, Fridays 10 am to 8 pm. Free Fridays 5 to 8 pm.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Hotel

La Posada de Santa Fe, New Mexico

330 E. Palace Avenue
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tel: 800 727 5276 (toll-free), Tel: 505 986 0000
Email: reservations@lpdsf.com
Website: laposada.rockresorts.com

This 157-room resort, two blocks off the Plaza, wants to be considered the best place to stay in Santa Fe—and in many regards, it succeeds. The former Staab Mansion, built in 1882, is now run by RockResorts, and its six acres of lushly landscaped grounds feel like a walled-in compound, with lots of room to amble around, especially in the large pool and hot tub area. A gorgeous wooden staircase, stained-glass windows, and the original Staab bedroom (which Mrs. Staab is rumored to still inhabit, in spectral form) survive from the original structure. Ask for one of the newer patio rooms; the oldest ones, once part of an artist colony, feel a bit cramped. The service is sometimes careless, such as when the bartender can't be bothered to offer a second round. Lastly, ask if there's a conference scheduled during your planned stay: It can dilute the otherwise perfect atmosphere.

Eating

Taos Diner, New Mexico

908 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos, New Mexico 87571
Tel: 505 758 2374

A dive—in a good way. It's filled with locals; nobody will bother you, and you'll get a better feel for Taos here than the tourists who opt to eat around Taos Plaza, 10 minutes away. Most important, Taos Diner serves up the tastiest—and hottest—red and green chiles in town. Breakfast is the best time to try them, in omelets, breakfast burritos, and huevos rancheros. In fact, we recommend ordering breakfast even if it's lunchtime.

Open daily 7 am to 2 pm.

Eating

La Boca, New Mexico

72 W. Marcy Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tel: 505 982 3433

Local chef James Campbell Caruso opened this new restaurant downtown to introduce Santa Fe to tapas, and the place is buzzing. Rather than familiar dishes like manchego cheese and Spanish tortilla, he's focusing on local ingredients in dishes such as garbanzo beans with pungent Spanish-style blood sausage, or sautéed spinach coated with pinion seeds and sweet peppers. A small wine list features Spanish and Latin American bottles. Though white tablecloths cover the tables, it's a tiny, informal space—seating up to 20 diners—with six seats at the bar, and a sense of communal fun. Reservations recommended.

Open daily 11:30 am to 9 pm

Restaurante Rancho de Chimayó

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Hotel

Inn of the Five Graces, New Mexico

150 East DeVargas Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tel: 505 992 0957
Email: info@fivegraces.com
Website: www.fivegraces.com

When you can't take another cheeky Kokopelli motif, this utterly incongruous Scheherazadian fantasy is your haven. Founded to showcase the wares of the local design import store Seret & Sons, today it's run by the Garrett group, which also owns the rustic-luxe Adirondack resorts The Point and Lake Placid Lodge. The 24 suites are set in a jumble of low adobe buildings near the downtown government buildings—a rather magical warren of small courtyards with lounge chairs and swinging benches. The interiors are a hodgepodge—heavy Native American Indian bedspreads, mirrors from Spain, wood furniture from Tibet, and lattice woodwork over windows. Many also have wood burning fireplaces and a few have gas stoves. Bathrooms are similarly whimsical, with hand-painted tiles and shards of pottery stuccoed into the walls of the separate tub and shower. Our only gripe is that while it's snuggly in winter, it feels a bit gloomy on sunny days. A full breakfast is included, the minibar items are free, and tips are included.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel

Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa, New Mexico

1297 Bishop's Lodge Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tel: 800 732 2240 (toll-free), Tel: 505 983 6377
Email: reservations@bishopslodge.com
Website: www.bishopslodge.com

Bishop Lamy, the first bishop of Santa Fe, acquired this land in the lee of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in 1851. After a spell as the vacation retreat of the Pulitzer family, the property expanded to 450 acres and in 1918 evolved into New Mexico's first resort. After various renovations, including the inevitable addition of a spa (called SháNah, the Navajo word for "vitality"), the 111-room lodge is worthy once again. It's some distance from downtown (three miles), but there's enough room out here for horseback riding, tennis courts, a pretty pool surrounded by cottonwoods, and hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. Rooms are Southwestern all the way, with the compulsory ocher-olive-terra-cotta palette, adobe walls, exposed beams, and kiva fires (though some burn gas rather than wood). Invest in a deluxe room or above; these have outdoor spaces, whereas some regular rooms are claustrophobically viewless.

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Article

In The Mood For Love

Routine is the death of desire. We're not sure who said that (fine, we'll take credit), but it was a truism in the Ozzie & Harriet generation, and it's doubly so today. As work blurs far beyond the 9-to-5 hours and into you and your mate's "alone" time, there might only be one answer: Get outta town. Contrary to popular belief, travel for the sake of spicing things up doesn't require fussy French food, whirlpool tubs, or overly precious B&Bs. Depending on your mood—and your marriage—a tango lesson in Buenos Aires (pictured), a ski trip to Quebec, or a night out in Prague might be what the doctor ordered. So, remember: Sometimes love hurts. Figure out what's ailing your relationship, and then take our cure—a Valentine's Day trip sure to put you back into the hot zone.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.