Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

June 30, 2012 6:01 AM

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About six hours south of Denver, Santa Fe, N.M., affords visitors with rustic southwestern architecture, world-class art galleries and fine-dining experiences galore. Both scenic and artfully inspired, the road trip to Santa Fe promises breathtaking views and a great place to stretch out in Raton Pass along the states’ borders. Be sure to bring the camera both for the pass and for stunning Santa Fe itself.

Getting There

South on I-25, the fairly direct route is a favorite of Coloradans seeking a change of scenery. Following south-bound I-25 until it turns into US-160 and merging on to Old Pecos Trail, exit 284, will land visitors in the middle of Santa Fe proper. Once inside the city of Santa Fe, the best orientation point is Santa Fe Plaza, the cultural hub of the city. When traveling south to Santa Fe from Denver, gas stations become few and far between from Pueblo to Santa Fe. Make sure to fuel up before hitting long stretches of highway to avoid painful walks to the nearest gas station.

santa fe plaza Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

Photo Credit: Santa Fe Plaza/Facebook

Santa Fe Plaza
80 E San Francisco St #C
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 995-8484

From the central square with vendors from Native American artisans to the quaint shops and cafes, the Santa Fe Plaza is one of the most welcoming and serene spots within the city. Walking to most destinations is fairly easy from this pivotal point with art galleries, restaurants and hotels nearby.

inn at Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

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Where to Sleep

Inn of the Anasazi
113 Washington Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 988-3030

A Rosewood Hotel, the Inn of the Anasazi is great for both a relaxing stay as well as a fantastic margarita sipping spot on The Patio. Complete with an indoor water feature, rustic décor and wood-burning fireplace, the Anasazi Restaurant, Wine Cellar and beautifully appointed rooms make for a comfortable stay steps from the main plaza.

inn at loretto Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

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Inn and Spa at Loretto
211 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 988-5531

For a more boutique experience, the Inn and Spa at Loretto is just the ticket. Complete with a spa, outdoor pool and Luminaria Restaurant, the Inn and Spa is a one-stop shop for a relaxing vacation getaway in Santa Fe. The new Living Room also offers an early evening menu and reverse food happy hour from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., which includes delicacies such as the buffalo sliders and chicken cheese quesadillas.

Where to Play

canyon road art district Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

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Canyon Road Arts District
602A Canyon Rd.
Santa Fe, NM

Famous for its fine arts and galleries galore, the Canyon Road Arts District offers a wonderful stroll along the stream and is a noted destination for art lovers from around the country. World-renowned artists and local craftsmen alike have a wide variety of galleries and shops along Canyon Road. Guides to galleries can be found in most tourist locations, restaurants and the galleries themselves. Sorted by location, genre and artists’ name, guides are an invaluable tool to navigating the galleries.

blue rain gallery Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

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Blue Rain Gallery
130 Lincoln Ave. #D
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 954-9902

Home to several art galleries, Santa Fe caters to a wide variety of artistic tastes. Hosting several artists and their bodies of work, Blue Rain Gallery is exceptional. With pieces from noted glass artisans Dante Marioni and Preston Singletary to bronze sculptures and two-dimensional works, pieces displayed and sold at Blue Rain Gallery will have even the art inept in awe. Friendly and knowledgeable docents are always on hand offering insight to the processes of the art, and artists’ histories and bios.

geronimo Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

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Where to Eat

724 Canyon Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 982-1500

After spending a day on the square and in the galleries, appease that growing appetite at Geronimo. From course to course, enjoy dishes including wasabi caesar, peppery elk tenderloin and black truffle Boston bibb salad. Its award-winning cuisine is served in an absolutely fantastic atmosphere, putting fine-dining establishments to shame around the globe. Unique décor in the renovated building lends to an intimate dining experience that will not soon be forgotten.

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santa cafe Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

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231 Washington Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 984-1788

A perfect lunch or alternative dinner place is Santacafé. Steps from the plaza and an easy commute down the street from Inn of the Anasazi, Santacafé is also exquisitely unique and affords phenomenal food. Located on a courtyard, the unique American fare with Southwestern flair ranges from green chili burgers with rosemary potato chips to housemade chimayo red chili tortellini. Definitely worth a stop in for brunch, lunch, dinner or dessert. With plenty of charm and a convenient location, Santacafé is a must on the Santa Fe list.

Don’t Miss…

ten thousand waves spa Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Santa Fe

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Ten Thousand Waves Spa
3451 Hyde Park Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 982-9304

For an experience like no other, Ten Thousand Waves Spa will have you floating on air; or rather, in water. The luxury spa is home to unique treatments and serious relaxation time. Its 12-foot river rock baths and waterfalls are an incredible and decidedly different experience. Ichiban private experiences with indoor/outdoor ceramic tubs and a sauna will melt away tensions at this beautiful mountain retreat. From the four-handed massage to revitalizing salt scrubs and herbal wraps, Ten Thousand Waves will have you primed and ready for the drive home.

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Chad Chisholm is an avid globetrotter and brings the best of travel secrets and expert insights to his readership. A Denver-based travel writer and photographer, Chad’s travels have taken him to five of the seven continents in a passionate love affair with the world of travel and the outdoors. His work can be found at