We worked with NextTribe women who live in Santa Fe to open doors to places and people you could never see if you went to Santa Fe on your own or with any other group. It’s part of our Locally Sourced Travel series, where women just like us in destination cities help plan the trip, showing us the best attractions, giving us a true insider experience. (If you’d like to show us your city, we can pay you to help us come up with an itinerary.)
Itinerary subject to change:
Saturday Sept. 18th
Plunging into Native American history, right from the start.
Arrive at Drury Inn on the Plaza Square by 2 p.m.
3 p.m – 5 p.m. Walking tour. We’ll start off with an overview of the city and its history, so we can get our bearings and put what we experience in the next few days in perspective. But this is not just any walking tour. Elena Ortiz Junes is a member of the Ohkay Owingeh pueblo with 33 years of experience in education travel in the Southwest. She no longer gives walking tours, but is doing so because she is friends with NextTribe co-founder Jeannie Ralston, who years ago wrote a story about her business for Travel + Leisure. Junes, a Native American interpreting the Native American world, provides an authentic angle on the past and offers deep insight into the legends, mindset, and beliefs of those who have claimed this land since ancient times.
5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Reception at Obscura Gallery, where we will talk to owner/photographer Jennifer Schlesinger about her work and sip wine.
7:30 Dinner at one of Santa Fe’s best restaurants, Paloma, a vibrant, Mexican-inspired kitchen featuring regional takes on sea bass, lamb, and vegetarian fare. The restaurant has extensive tequila and mezcal selections.
(Included: Walking tour, reception, and dinner.)
Sunday, Sept. 19th
Inside the homes and hearts of Santa Fe women.
10-12 noon Hike in Arroyo Hondo. We’ll get our blood moving with a level walk on a trail through the aspen. We’ll be led by Amy Kawadler, a local jewelry artist and a fun-loving NextTriber.
12—1 p.m. Tour of Munson Hunt’s large-scale sculpture studio, in a former riding arena; Hunt will be on hand to talk about her work.
1-3 p.m. Lunch on the patio of Amy Kawadler’s home and jewelry studio.
5 p.m: 10,000 Waves. This famous, Japanese-inspired spa features beautiful outdoor hot tubs and spa suites set among piñons and junipers. We’ll have unlimited use of the Grand Bath (the closest thing to a true Japanese onsen in North America) and the Women’s Communal Bath. Each contain hot tubs, cold plunges, and saunas. The spa is open until 10:30 so you will have time to make the most of your visit, on your own time. You can reserve your own body treatments during this time and get food at the adjoining Izanami Restaurant when you’re ready–sitting at the bar if you want light fare.
(Included: Breakfast, lunch, entrance to 10,000 Waves.)
Monday, Sept. 20th
A day packed with art and shopping.
10 -12 p.m. Meow Wolf. You can’t go to Santa Fe without visiting this revolutionary art institution that almost defies description. But the founders have tried: “Meow Wolf creates immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. This includes art installations, video and music production, and extended reality content…Meow Wolf champions otherness, weirdness, challenging norms, radical inclusion, and the power of creativity to change the world.” Our creativity meters will be pegged out by the end of our visit, informing and enhancing the rest of our day.
Lunch. You can pick up a bite at the Float Cafe within Meow Wolf (known for its “Meow-garitas”) or at the food trucks parked outside. You’re free to bring food from the food trucks inside.
1 – 3 p.m. Free time for shopping on Main Plaza, with stores suggested by locals.
4-5 p.m. VIP Reception at Karina on Canyon. Enjoy bubbly and special discounts on the wide selection of clothes, jewelry, and art. The owner will be on hand to talk about her designers and her journey to opening the store.
5 – 7 p.m. Reception at Edition One Gallery on Canyon Road. Toward the end of our shopping tour, we’ll make our way to the famous Canyon Road, known for its prestigious art galleries. At Edition One, a unique concept gallery showcasing contemporary photography, we’ll be served wine and hors d’oeuvres. Owner Pilar Law will tell us about her photography and her work cultivating the photographic arts community in Santa Fe. As a bonus we’ll also hear from Pilar’s mother Lisa Law, a photographer and filmmaker best known for her chronicles of the counterculture era, including Woodstock.
7:30 p.m Dinner at The Shed (on your own). For more than 60 years, The Shed has been a Santa Fe institution, specializing in red chile enchiladas and other blue corn dishes. The bright, cheery restaurant, housed in a centuries-old adobe hacienda, is a family business, now operated by the third generation.
(Included: Breakfast, entrance to Meow Wolf, reception.)
Tuesday, Sept. 21st
We’re off for an all-day jaunt to magical locations north of Santa Fe.
8:30 a.m. Departure for Abiquiu.
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tour Ghost Ranch and Georgia O’Keefe’s home in Abiquiu. We get to see the places that inspired the legendary O’Keefe (talk about Aging Boldly!!). At her historic adobe home and studio in Abiquiu, we will see, for example, a door through the patio wall that she painted it more than twenty times and the cottonwood trees, growing in the Chama River Valley below her studio, that were the subject of more than two dozen paintings.
12:30 p.m. Lunch at Cafe Abiquiu at the Abiquiu Inn. Café Abiquiu offers casual dining in a charming atmosphere adorned with the work of local artists. We’ll choose from traditional Northern New Mexico dishes, plus specialty espresso drinks, local beers, and wines. (Depending on time constraints, we may get a box lunch instead of a sit-down meal.)
2:30 p.m. Visit to El Santuario de Chimayo, a national historic landmark. It is also often called the “Lourdes of America” for its magical healing soil.
3:30-7:30 p.m. Hands-on traditional cooking class and dinner. We will be welcomed into the home of Norma Naranjo at the Ohkay Owingeh pueblo. Naranjo and her husband are farmers, and we’ll be feasting on vegetables straight from their fields. Bonus: we’ll be there during green chili season. We’ll be making the meal on the horno, which is an outdoor oven that is central to traditional cooking in Northern New Mexico. The menu will include blue-corn muffins, horno bread with pico de gallo, vegetarian green chile stew, pinto beans with chicos (a delicacy), a salad, and empanadas for desert. Naranjo will talk about the culture and history of Northern New Mexico, the feast days in her pueblo, and her interesting life as a woman our age growing up on a pueblo. More info about Naranjo and her classes here.
(Included: Breakfast, transportation through out the day, entrance to Ghost Ranch and Georgia O’Keefe’s House, lunch, and cooking class and dinner.)
Wednesday, Sept. 22nd
Good karma goes with you.
Linger in Santa Fe, to go back to your favorite sites or stores, or catch early flights out of Albuquerque or Santa Fe airport.
The famous Santa Fe Wine and Chile Festival begins this day, so if you can lengthen your stay, you might want to catch that.
(Included: Breakfast and lots of well wishes as you travel home.)