Santa Fe, which translates directly to “Santa Fe” in Spanish, is not only the oldest state capital in the United States, but also the highest altitude. But once you descend from the mountains and into the bustling downtown area, you’ll find art galleries, museums, and shops selling unique finds that will have everyone back home asking, “Where did you get that?” ?” (So it’s no surprise that Santa Fe is part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.) Known as much for its adobe-style architecture as it is for its incredible food and people, the city has all the makings of a fun getaway, not to mention effortless. provides the backdrop for highly coveted Instagram photos. We recently had the pleasure of cruising around Santa Fe in Lexus’ new ultra-luxury LX 600 SUV, equipped with Apple CarPlay, a heated steering wheel, 25(!) speakers, and massaging rear seats (yes, you read that right). This is what we saw and where to eat, drink and sleep.
Santa Fe Cooking School
Whether you’re a foodie or not, you’ll learn a thing or two at this culinary school, which offers a full schedule of cooking classes taught by some of the most experienced chefs in the city. Perfect your techniques for making tamales and tacos and inevitably make some Wear Kidding, just remember to stop by the market and pick up some (non-perishable) groceries on your way out.
If Instagram were a museum, it would look a lot like Meow Wolf. The immersive art installation exists in other cities, but the Santa Fe flagship includes the trademark large-scale light installations. Y a concert hall. Be sure to book your tickets early for this one.
Taos Ski Valley
An hour and a half drive outside of Santa Fe is Taos, a ski resort that boasts some of the steepest and most challenging slopes in the country. If you make it to the 12,450 foot summit on Kachina Peak, prepare for incredible views. Beginner and intermediate skiers: don’t worry, there’s stuff for you here too.
Geronimo is an award-winning restaurant for good reason. First, the food: an eclectic menu in the New American style, with the 72-hour Sous Vide Short Ribs definitely standing out. Second, its location in a 1700s-era adobe home. Third, is the celebrity clientele (Bob Odenkirk’s Best Caul Saulwhich is filmed locally, sat at the next table).
The pink adobe
One of the oldest restaurants in Santa Fe, and also housed in a historic 350-year-old adobe house, the aptly named Pink Adobe serves up classic New Mexican fare infused with the city’s signature green chile and packed with all the flavors correct.
Head to Cafe Pasqual’s in another adobe for a hearty and delicious breakfast (think: burritos, quesadillas, chorizo scramble) served until 3 pm or lunch (sandwiches on a skewer… no no). Expect the wait either way, but it’s worth it, especially a slice of home-baked Blum’s Coffee Crunch triple-layer cake.
Coyote Cafe & Cantina
There’s no shortage of alcoholic beverages in Santa Fe, but this rooftop bar serves up some of the best margaritas in the area. Don’t sleep on the happy hour specials.
It shouldn’t be a secret: Secreto, located in the historic St. Francis Hotel, is a classy place to sit back and enjoy a fancy cocktail after a day of sightseeing. The bar is known for using fresh fruits and vegetables in their drinks, so you won’t feel guilty about having more than one.
Second Street Brewery
For a selection of craft beers with chill vibes and an aerial view of downtown Santa Fe, head to Second Street Brewery. This is a good place to try something new, like the Skimboard Sour infused with passion fruit, orange, and guava.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe
Four Seasons never fails, but its Santa Fe property might just be the best in your portfolio. Listen to me: each room is its own little house with a heated indoor fireplace, it’s located right in the mountains, and spa guests get their own private patio with a hot tub and sauna after their treatment.
Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
Named for the Anasazi tribe, the Rosewood Inn nods to the region’s history as well as the present, with a collection of art from local artisans, hand-carved doors, sculptural staircases, and a prime downtown location. Santa Fe to explore all the city has to offer.
the king court
What’s better than staying in a renovated roadside adobe car park? Though perhaps not your typical lodging choice, El Rey Court sits on five acres of grounds with access to a heated pool and on-site mezcal bar.
Claire Stern is the deputy editor for ELLE.com. Previously, she served as an editor at Bergdorf Goodman. Her interests include fashion, food, travel, music, Peloton and The hills-Not in that order necessarily. She used to have a Harriet the Spy notebook and she’s not ashamed to admit it.
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