03/ 27/ 16

The Mystic Charm of Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico

There’s something about Santa Fe that has inspired artists and magnetized a creative mecca for centuries. Perhaps it’s the quality of the crisp Southwestern light, the city’s layered history rich in Spanish and Native American roots, or the earthy, Pueblo-style architecture that makes you long for simpler times — whichever the case, Santa Fe’s artistic magic is undeniable to anyone who explores it.

Downtown Santa Fe

Dan and I took a long weekend to see the city for ourselves. We stayed at Hotel Santa Fe, the town’s only Native American owned hotel. Not only was Hotel Santa Fe in a clutch location — in the heart of the vibrant railyard district and just steps away from historic downtown — but it also had drivers to shuttle you anywhere you wanted, within a reasonable distance (for free!). This came in super handy for exploring downtown, which has a ton of options for restaurants, shops, and galleries — but not so much for parking.

Railyard District Riding the shuttle

There are so many things I love about Santa Fe. It’s a town that seems like it has more art galleries than restaurants. And, each establishment is so unique that it feels like you’ve discovered a special, hole-in-the-wall secret — when in actuality, local shops and artisan boutiques are the norm.

Santa Fe Art Market

Browsing the Railyard Artisan Market

Dan at a western-wear shop

Best of all, Santa Fe is a place that makes you slow down. I found myself losing track of time, perusing exhibits and contemplating each piece with more appreciation than usual. I’d have to credit this to the kind and passionate people I met there, who seemed to value genuine human interaction and the beauty of the world, over technology and virtual humdrum. Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if more people had priorities like these.


Don, a pretty cool dude I met at Ohori’s, and living proof that you’re never too old to go back to school.

My absolute favorite gallery was the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, who, if you weren’t aware, was a complete and total badass. She was one of the very first American artists to practice pure abstraction, and is now recognized as the Mother of American Modernism. After her husband Alfred Stieglitz passed away in 1946, O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico and redefined herself on her own terms — triumphing over the sexualized, Freudian analysis that critics placed on her abstract work in New York. She was known as “the loner in the desert” and became an iconic, mythic figure. I am utterly inspired by the photographs of her dirt biking in the New Mexican desert and rafting down the Colorado River at the ripe old age of 74. #Goals.

Other highlights include exploring the exhibits at Museum Hill (which also houses the Botanical Gardens), finding a $29 steal of leather wedges at Art.i.fact (awesome consignment shops abound in Santa Fe!), and stopping along Canyon Road for a mid-day treat at The Teahouse.

Folk Art Museum

At the Folk Art gallery on Museum Hill

The Teahouse

The best matcha latte I’ve ever had!

I’d also recommend: Ohori’s (for great coffee), The Pantry (for the best Huevos Rancheros in town), The Shed (for an authentic, New Mexican lunch), and Tabla de Los Santos (for an incredible, farm-to-fork dinner).

The French Pastry Shop

at The French Pastry Shop

St. Francis Hotel

just after a delicious dinner at Table de Los Santos!

Until next time, Santa Fe!

Photo of Katerina Jeng, author at Scratch The List

Hello! I'm Katerina, and I'm on a quest to complete my bucket list. Follow along for travel stories, happiness tips, and inspiration to make your life worthy of your dreams.



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