A Sizzling Summer Season

Summertime is a remarkable time to take a Santa Fe vacation. Enjoy a summer vacation filled with top art markets and unique cultural events.

Taking your Santa Fe vacation in July? Try these:
7/1-8/27 Santa Fe Opera Festival Season
7/2-7/3 Santa Fe Wine Festival
7/4 Pancakes on the Plaza
7/7-7/10 11th Annual ART Santa Fe
7/8-7/10 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
7/16-7/17 Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show
7/23-7/24 Lavender and Herb Fair
7/30-7/31 Traditional Spanish Market
7/30-7/31 Contemporary Hispanic Market

Does August fit your Santa Fe vacation better? Explore these options:
8/4-8/7 SOF A West: Santa Fe 2011
8/11-8/14 Mountain Man Trade Fair and Rendezvous
8/11-8/16 Whitehawk Antique Shows
8/20-8/21 Santa Fe Indian Market

Culture, Cuisine, and Chile: Living it up Santa Fe Style

If you’re working up an appetite for great food and art this summer, Santa Fe is the place to be...

I'd love to hear about YOUR favorite things to do in Santa Fe. Click here to jump to the bottom of this page to leave a review of your favorite things to do in Santa Fe.

Remarkably, this small city of 70,000 ranks as the third largest art market in the U.S. with nearly 300 galleries and dealers. There are also more than a dozen major museums showcasing the region’s art, culture, history and traditions — not to mention the world-class Santa Fe Opera. In recent years, the city has also earned a well-deserved reputation with food-lovers. All in all, it’s a heady recipe for a Santa Fe vacation.

Santa Fe has a Style All its Own

There’s no better place to appreciate the natural beauty of this high-desert town, nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos, than from WorldMark Santa Fe (ask about availability at this santa fe vacation rental). Your unit’s adobe-colored walls, log beams and traditional kiva fireplace will instantly put you in a Santa Fe state of mind. Predominant throughout the city, this distinctive Pueblo Revival architectural style is a visual expression of Santa Fe’s unique history: a fusion of Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures you’ll experience wherever you go. Best of all, nearly everything worth seeing (and eating) is within walking distance of the resort. You’re just 10 minutes from Santa Fe Plaza, the heart of historic downtown.

Santa Fe is a Visual Feast for Art Lovers

Galleries Galore – With hundreds of galleries to explore during your Santa Fe vacation, you’ll be astonished by the spectrum of art here, from traditional and contemporary painting to jewelry and textiles — reflective of Santa Fe’s Native American and Spanish Colonial roots. Most of the action is concentrated downtown and throughout the West Palace Arts District; in the developing historic Railyard District; and along a onemile stretch of legendary Canyon Road. And Native American art takes center stage under the portal at the Palace of the Governors on the Plaza’s north side, where you can buy directly from the creators.

Museums of Distinction – Renowned museums further enrich the Santa Fe art scene. View an impressive collection of work by early Santa Fe and Taos artists as well as contemporary artists at the New Mexico Museum of Art, housed in a magnificent Spanish Pueblo Revival building. No trip to “O’Keeffe Country” is complete without a visit to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, dedicated to the life and works of the great 20th-century modernist painter and her contemporaries.

World-Renowned Art Markets – Each year the largest art shows and sales of their kind are held in this city’s streets and plazas. Taking place during July and August: the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market (July 8-10), the world’s largest folk art market; the Traditional Spanish Market (July 30-31), celebrating handcrafted works by 250 Hispanic artists; and the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market (August 20-21), Santa Fe’s largest event with more than 1,200 artists from 100 tribes, and close to 100,000 visitors from around the globe. Attendance at these markets is a testament to Santa Fe’s status as the biggest little art city in the world.

Flavors of Santa Fe

The early melding of Native American and Spanish cultures has given Santa Fe a distinct food heritage, vastly different from Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex. The core of Northern New Mexican cuisine is the chile, an official state vegetable. You’ll find them everywhere — served as a stew or sauced over enchiladas, tamales and burritos; roasted and stuffed with cheese for chile relleno; even strung together in ristras to use as decorations. While dining out, don’t be surprised when you’re asked “Red or Green?” It’s the official state question, and refers to which color chile you want ladled over your New Mexican food. (Answer “Christmas” if you’d like both.)

Why not complement your meals with a glass of wine from a local vineyard? After all, New Mexico is the country’s oldest wine-producing region. Spanish settlers first brought wine grapes to New Mexico, and today more than three dozen wineries operate throughout the state. (Take the Northern New Mexico Wine Trail to visit 12 wineries and vineyards between Santa Fe and picturesque Taos.) Speaking of trails, you can follow the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail to discover the territory’s finest artisanal chocolate shops. Kakawa Chocolate House (1050 E. Pasco de Peralta, Santa Fe NM 87501 505-982-0388), near the base of Canyon Road, specializes in authentic Mesoamerican and historic European drinking chocolates. (Brace yourself for their popular chocolate-chile elixirs.)

Nu-Mex leads the way

The Santa Fe culinary arts scene is hot — in fact, the city was ranked ninth in the U.S. last year for “Great Food & Wine” in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. You have more than 200 restaurants to choose from during your Santa Fe vacation — ranging from basic New Mexican food and creative Southwestern fare to authentic Italian, French, Asian and other world cuisines. But you’ll definitely want to put these Nu-Mex establishments (all a short walk from the resort) at the top of your list. Locals love Tomasita’s (500 S Guadalupe St; Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-988-3614) at the Railyard, where you’ll find top-notch red and green chile and great margaritas. Get a warm downtown welcome and your chile fix at Tia Sophia’s (210 West San Francisco Street; Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-983-9880), open for breakfast and lunch (the breakfast burrito with Christmas is a real eye-opener). The Shed (113 1/2 E Palace Ave; Santa Fe, NM 87501-2010 505-982-9030), just northwest of the Plaza on Burro Alley, is considered a Santa Fe institution.

Here are some of our favorite “flavors” to sample during your Santa Fe vacation: Cowgirl BBQ & Western Grill (319 South Guadalupe Street; Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-982-2565) with nightly entertainment with a mixed menu that includes barbecue, New Mexican and more; La Casa Sena’s La Cantina (125 East Palace Avenue; Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-988-9232) with innovative American Southwestern creations where singing waiters serenade you with the best of Broadway; and Santa Fe’s oldest bar and restaurant, El Farol (808 Canyon Road; Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-983-9912) with tapas and Spanish food, dancing and a Flamenco dinner show on Saturday nights. Live it up in Santa Fe!

Artistry in the Kitchen

Feeling inspired?

If you’re inspired by Nancy and Ed’s experience and would like to prepare delicious meals using traditional ingredients of the Southwest during your Santa Fe vacation, contact the Santa Fe School of Cooking to learn about their events. You'll find everything from demonstration and hands-on cooking classes, restaurant walking tours, family and outdoor cooking adventures, and a market so that you can bring the flavors of Santa Fe home with you.

Vacationers Nancy and Ed Terpstra turned their 35th wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving and Ed’s retirement into an unforgettable Santa Fe vacation. They stayed at the WorldMark Santa Fe (ask about availability) last November while visiting their son Shane and his wife Sarah, who live just off the historic Plaza. They were excited about the tree-lighting ceremony in the square and looked forward to attending a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking (116 West San Francisco Street; Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-983-4511), which is frequently listed as one of the top things to do while visiting Santa Fe.

“I wasn’t as excited as Ed since I’ve always done the cooking, but went along to watch,” Nancy recalls. “After a great explanation of the variety of peppers, four salsa recipes were divided among the groups. Ed and Shane and their group began cutting, chopping, mixing and stirring. I watched and sipped wine. Ed was excited and I was, too, just to watch him enjoy the time with our son. “Best of all, Ed decided he loves to cook! I have never made the wonderful meals he now prepares and loves. Who knew a trip to Santa Fe and a chance at a salsa-making class would turn my cooking-challenged husband into a real chef, apron and all!”

This article is based on an article that appeared in our timeshare owners magazine.

Best Things to Do in Santa Fe

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My favorite thing to do in Santa Fe is to go to the plaza downtown.  Not rated yet
The whole family can spend a pleasant afternoon at the plaza in downtown Santa Fe. If you just look and window shop, it will not cost you a thing. However, …

My favorite thing to do in Santa Fe is to spend the day at Santa Fe Plaza. Not rated yet
The Santa Fe Plaza is filled with shops, merchants, and restaurants you cannot find anywhere else. I first like to walk around the Plaza and see what the …

We took a day trip from Albuquerque to Santa Fe Not rated yet
We took a day trip from Albuquerque to Santa Fe on Saturday. We rode the Rail Runner which is the 'new' commuter/tourist train that goes from Santa Fe …

I have been to Santa Fe at least seven times. Not rated yet
It is worth it to me to go see the historic sites, though I have to travel the long distance from New Jersey! There is so much to do at Santa Fe, such …

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