Family Life | Travel

Vacation Quick Stops I’d love to Return to: Santa Fe, NM

August 3, 2015

Today happens to by my son Andy's birthday.  He's been a blessing in our lives for the last 15 years. When he turned 10, we went on a crazy road trip to visit one of his good friends that had moved to Colorado.  On our way there, we stopped by Santa Fe, NM.  Even though we just spent the afternoon there, I'd love to go back and explore the curious artsy and historic town.

kids in downtown Santa Fe, NM
They were so little! Andy (10), Alyssa (6) and Audrey (4).

As the oldest capital city in North America, Santa Fe is rich in culture.  In 1926 an association was established to preserve the historic structures that date back to the 1680s.  When you visit this "downtown" you will be surprised to find that not a single sky scraper exists.  Every new building must keep the adobe and wood construction.  The result is a magical and quaint capital.

adobe buildings Santa Fe, NM
Adobe buildings line the streets of downtown Santa Fe.
streets of Santa Fe, NM
This city has maintained it's historical charm while staying up to date with modern amenities.
Small town feel in big city Santa Fe
Behind the beautiful churches, the mountains add depth and beauty to the skyline.

There is so much to see downtown.  Churches sharing their mysteries, artists selling their wares, and locals enjoying their festivals make this location unique and appealing.  One of the most beautiful places we visited was the Loretto Chapel.  Impressively, this chapel is home to a masterfully crafted spiral staircase.  With no obvious supports and being rumored to have been built without a single nail, this is one of the greatest works of art in the city.

Loretto Chapel spiral staricase
The spiral staircase and beautiful alter in the Loretto Chapel

That is not to discount the art exploding everywhere you turn.  I would love to explore the local artisans and their methods and techniques for making their beautiful pieces.

Art is everywhere in downtown Santa Fe
Bronze statues adorn the streets.
art in downton Santa Fe, NM
Mark White's wind art galleries were mesmerizing.
Wind downtown art Santa Fe, NM
We enjoyed the beautiful wind art that moves and dances in the wind.

We ate dinner overlooking an art festival on the town square.  The Santa Fe Plaza Cafe offered a diner feel with local flavors.  My mom and I shared the fajitas for her birthday dinner.  Oh so tasty!!

good eats in downtown Santa Fe
Chicken fajitas from the Santa Fe Plaza Cafe. We were stuffed!

My mom's favorite thing about walking around town was seeing all of the beautiful flowers, especially sunflowers, that decorated the streets.

sunflowers in downtown Santa Fe, NM

After dinner we walked around the town square and enjoyed live music and art vendors.

arts festival Santa Fe, NM
If you're a people watcher, this place had some wonderfully unique characters to observe.

Since artists had their wares on display all around, we enjoyed marveling at the artistry and unique applications of familiar materials.

Our favorites were the hide quilts. Beautiful.
Our favorites were the hide quilts. Beautiful.

After a long afternoon walking around we headed back to our hotel to rest up before heading to Colorado and the Garden of the Gods.  We stayed at the Hyatt Place and enjoyed our spacious accommodations.

Hyatt Place suite living room.
Hyatt Place suite living room.
When you travel with six, it's nice to find suites where everyone can rest comfortably.
When you travel with six, it's nice to find suites where everyone can rest comfortably.

Our view from the hotel was hindered by power lines, but I think the picture below captures the essence of this magical city.

view from hotel of Santa Fe, NM

For a city that is filled with artists, it is no wonder that the city has become a work of art itself.  I'd love to return to this beautiful destination and explore more.

Have you been to Santa Fe?  What were some of your favorite sites?

Santa Fe, NM is a historic and artsy travel destination

 

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