New Mexico Travel Hints for Santa Fe Trips- Spring Break, Family Travel, or Historic Travel Get Away.
Traveling to Santa Fe NM for Spring Break? Winter Ski Trip? Family Summer Travel? Opera Season? Here are New Mexico travel tips designed to make your Santa Fe vacation easier anytime of the year! A Get Away to Santa Fe anytime is a great time.
Albuquerque’s Airport “The Sunport” (ABQ) Most visitors arriving by air into Albuquerque will fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). All the major airlines fly into ABQ. Santa Fe is approximately 60 miles north, or about a 70 minute drive to Pueblo Bonito b&b, located in downtown Santa Fe!
Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF) Santa Fe, NM has a small airport serviced by American Eagle flights from Dallas/Ft Worth and Los Angeles, or by private aircraft. The nearest large airport is ABQ, which most visitors rent a car and make the 60 mile drive north into Santa Fe while enjoying the majestic landscape of the Sandia, Jemez and Sangre de Cristos mountain ranges.
Amtrak New Mexico visitors traveling by train, find great convenience in visiting Santa Fe via the Lamy stop. Just a short 20 minute shuttle drive from the Lamy train station to Pueblo Bonito b&b front door! We highly recommend Amtrak as it provides a great travel experience for southwestern tourists who have the time and desire to creates a vacation memory never to be forgotten! Lamy shuttle information is listed on Amtrak website (see SAF).
Renting is a quick and flexible option for getting between Abq Sunport and Santa Fe. It can be very useful for enjoying other sightseeing opportunities as well- day trips to Bandelier, Pecos, Abiquiu, Chimayo, etc. Numerous rental car companies are located at ABQ Sunport. After renting a car, take I-25 north approximately 60 miles north to Santa Fe (there are 4 exits for Santa Fe). Getting to Pueblo Bonito b&b inn is easy. Take the St. Francis Drive Exit. Go to Cerrillos Road (about 2.9 miles) – turn right. Turn right onto Paseo de Peralta. Left onto Galisteo. Right at W Manhattan. Follow the big adobe wall which is on your right side to the first driveway, take a right and head into our secluded adobe compound -conveniently located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, NM.
Shuttle services are available between ABQ Sunport and Santa Fe. We recommendSandia Shuttle Express (888-775-5696). One-way or round trips are available – call Sandia Shuttle directly for exact rates, reservations and schedule information. This shuttle will pick you up at ABQ airport and drop you off at our door step any day of the week.
New Mexico Railrunner An economical way to arrive at downtown Santa Fe depot from ABQ Sunport. A commuter train which began in 2008, now runs from as far north as Santa Fe to as far south as Los Lunas NM, making many stops along the way. Passengers must take the city bus from ABQ Sunport to the downtown Albuquerque bus station (a stop on the NM Railrunner). Costs vary, but fare is approximately $6.00 from Albuquerque downtown to Santa Fe. Please check schedule, rates and policies directly at the New Mexico Railrunner website.
Though not recommended due to this transportation option being much less economical than alternatives stated previously, the Albuquerque Cab Company (505-883-4888) and Capital City Cab (in Santa Fe, 505-438-0000) will take you from ABQ Sunport to Pueblo Bonito b&b in Santa Fe and vice verse charging approximately $160-180 for the trip. This is a viable and reasonably priced means of transportation if you are flying in and out of the Santa Fe Airport however.
What to expect: Altitude and Weather
Altitude – Santa Fe’s elevation is 7,000 feet. Our air is very dry, and the sun is very intense. We suggest you wear a hat and use a high-SPF sunscreen liberally. Moisturizing products are also suggested. The altitude effects people differently and sometimes folks need a day or so to acclimate. We recommend you take it easy for the first couple of days, and always drink plenty of water. Alcohol consumption and exercise exertion are intensified at this altitude, so pacing yourself is a good idea.
Current Santa Fe Weather
On average, 300+ days of sunshine a year with low relative humidity can be expected for Santa Fe, NM weather. Our 7,000 foot above sea level elevation invites warm days and cool evenings during spring, summer and fall. Layering one’s outfits is advisable during winter months while a jacket or sweater is advisable other times, even during the summer. Sunsets are spectacular year round, but mostly in the fall, summer and spring. The Santa Fe Opera is well known for it’s unique amphitheater showcasing the summer monsoon lightening strikes in July & August- breathtaking!
Average high/low temperatures by month:
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Navigating Santa Fe
Staying at Pueblo Bonito b&b allows the convenience of walking anywhere in the downtown historic area while avoiding the annoyance and expense of parking. We are located in a prime location, easy walking to Canyon Rd, the Plaza, Rail yard, Galisteo shopping, museums and some of Santa Fe’s finest restaurants. Cars are not needed except for daytrips or excursions. To visit Museum Hill you can drive, take the city M-route bus, walk (under one mile), take a cab or enjoy a pedi-cab. There are numerous car rental agencies in Santa Fe, as you may want a vehicle since it can come in handy if you decide to visit Santa Fe’s spectacular surrounding areas. Remember parking is free when staying at Pueblo Bonito b&b.
For the 20th year in a row world travelers who subscribe to Condé Nast Traveler magazine have voted Santa Fe, New Mexico as one of their favorite travel destinations in the United States. Santa Fe, NM was selected as the third most popular travel city in the U.S. after Charleston and San Francisco! Santa Fe joined many desirable travel towns in this years 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards. Santa Fe held the third spot as well in 2010. More than 28,000 reader’s voted for thier favorite travel cities, islands, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise lines, and other travel-service providers from around the world for the magazine’s 24th annual poll.
“All Santa Feans should be proud of this recognition,” said Santa Fe Mayor David Coss. “The annual poll is generated 100 percent by the magazine’s readers, meaning that each of the city’s restaurants, lodgers, retailers, galleries, performers, attractions, and service providers have a hand in the award.”
Cities were rated on Atmosphere/Ambience, Culture/Sites, Friendliness, Lodging, Restaurants, and Shopping.
Santa Fe has been included as one of the top U.S. travel destinations by the poll each year since 1992 when Santa Fe was just a write-in candidate but received enough votes from the magazine’s readers to be chosen the number one travel destination in the world!
The “Top 10 US Cities” as ranked in the 24th Annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards:
1. Charleston, SC
3. Santa Fe
6. New York
The results of the poll will be featured in the November Condé Nast Traveler, which goes on newsstands later in October, and appear on the magazine’s web site.
Several Pueblo Indian villages dating back between 1050 and 1150 originally inhabited Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico. One of the earliest known settlements, considered today as downtown Santa Fe, was a cluster of homes centered on the location called “the plaza”. Named Ogapoge, this Native American village spread for half a mile to the south and west. The Santa Fe river - a seasonal water way – was once a year round stream until the 1700’s. The river was recognized in 2007 as the most endangered river in the United States according to the conservation group American Rivers.
The name “Santa Fe” literally translated from Spanish means “holy faith”. The full name when founded was “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis”- translated means “The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi”.
In 1851, Jean Baptiste-Lamy arrived in Santa Fe and began construction of Saint Francis Cathedral and establishing El Colegio de San Miguel. This centrally located church, recently renovated is still a vibrant ministry of the catholic community in Santa Fe. El Colegio de San Miguel took 7 years to recruit Christian Brothers from France. A solid Catholic education was highly sought after by affluent young men from throughout the area- one of which was William H Bonney (aka Billy the kid). In March of 1862, the Confederate flag of General Henry Sibley flew over Santa Fe for a few short days until defeated by Union troops.
Santa Fe was originally envisioned as an important stop on the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. However, as tracks were laid into New Mexico, civil engineers concluded it to be more practical to go through Lamy (a small village south of the city of Santa Fe). A branch line was completed from Lamy to Santa Fe in 1880. Three original conductor homes made from red brick were erected for Railway personnel and still stand on the corner of Galisteo Street and Manhattan just across from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroads extended a narrow gauge, called the “Chili Line” from the nearby city of Espanola to Santa Fe in 1886. The result of bypassing Santa Fe however created a gradual economic decline. This economic decline was reversed in part when the creation of a number of resources for the arts and archaeology occurred.
Santa Fe became the headquarters for the School of American Archaeology mainly because the historic Palace of the Governors was provided for its homebase. The Museum of New Mexico was then established in 1909 as an agency of the school. Thus through the museum, the school took an early interest in promoting and preserving the artistic traditions of Southwestern Indians. Edger Lee Hewett (director of the school) and Kenneth M Chapman (an artist hired by Hewett), provided extensive support for Indian artists by offering studio facilities, as well as collecting and exhibiting their work. In 1922, the School sponsored the first Southwest Indian Fair, precursor of today’s world-renowned Santa Fe Indian Market which consistently features renowned artists like San Ildefonso black potter Maria Montoya Martinez.
1912 New Mexico became the 47thstate of the United State of America with Santa Fe as its capitol city. From1942-46, Los Alamos (40 minutes north of Santa Fe) was base to the Manhattan Project. Santa Fe assumed a vital role in providing support to non-essential military personnel with services, housing, provisions and entertainment. Manhattan Avenue (named after the project) is approximately three blocks south of Santa Fe’s plaza and connects to the rail yard district. This provided families with secure and convenient downtown Santa Fe housing while taking up residence in New Mexico and guarding Los Alamos. Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast located at 138 W Manhattan was at that time apartments which provided George Sanders (Robert Oppenheimers personal body guard), his wife and infant daughter a comfortable home (see photos).
Today Santa Fe, NM is a well known center for arts that reflect the multicultural character of its inhabitants and the city. Santa Fe is generally considered to be the second largest art center in the United States after New York City. The city and surrounding areas have a high concentration of artists, which have come over the decades to capture the natural beauty of the landscape and essence of Native American culture. A well known New Mexico based painter was Georgia O’Keeffe, who lived in Santa Fe, but primarily in Abiquiu (a small village 50 miles from Santa Fe in Northern New Mexico). The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in downtown Santa Fe is devoted to exhibitions of her work and associated artists or related themes. Opened in 2006, it holds over one thousand of her works in all media and is funded by a private foundation. O’Keeffe’s friend, well known western nature photographer Eliot Porter, died in Santa Fe.
Canyon Road, just a 5-minute stroll from Pueblo Bonito Inn is notorious for the large number and high quality of art galleries all within a mile stretch. Described by Santa Fe visitors as “an art lovers Disney land” this is a major destination for collectors, tourists and locals. Canyon Road Art Galleries showcase a wide variety of styles from contemporary to Southwestern to experimental and include but are not limited to European, Taos, Masters, and Native American pieces. Breath taking outdoor sculptures line the street and galleries feature notable sculptors connected with Santa Fe like Allen Houser, Doug Hyde (studied under Houser), and Glenna Goodacre. Is it a wonder that Santa Fe is a designated UNESCO Creative City, and is considered one the best places in the world to shop specifically for Native American Indian arts and crafts?
In 2011 Santa Fe, NM was voted #2 Destination by Conde Nast reader’s choice award and #5 Most Popular North American Travel Cities by Travel+Leisure Magazine for the 10th consecutive year.Santa Fe is undoubtedly one of the most unique US travel destinations offered to New Mexico visitors. Santa Fe tourists enjoy numerous activities and events including high quality arts and culture, top notch native cuisine, breathtaking natural beauty, nationally ranked spas and museums, world history, US history and New Mexico history just to mention a few. Nick named “the city different” for a reason, its a unique place every American should experience at least once in their lifetime. Be warned however, the lure of the relaxed, laid back “manana” culture is intoxicating. How else better to experience the old world charm of historic Santa Fe than in a 150 yr old adobe pueblo-style compound turned Santa b&b- Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Call us today 1-800-461-4599 for a memorable historic Santa Fe vacation visit!
Credits: wikitravel.org as directly connected to pages from hot links provided; Santa Fe Countys Talk of the Town (Sea Bird Publications inc).
New Mexico Chile Facts
Did you know 7,000 years ago chile originated in Bolivia & Peru? Or that Columbus introduced chile into Europe around 1650? Did you know Europeans thought it was a spice, something like black pepper then ingeniously named it Red Pepper? The spicy unique flavor of chili has taken hold of palates across the world and particularly those in America. Did you know the state of New Mexico leads the US in the production of chile? Well, if you didn’t and want to learn more- read on!
Chile is classified as a vegetable when green and as a spice when dried and ground into a powder. Green chile can contain up to 6 times more vitamin C than a Florida orange, while Red chile can contain two times more Vitamin A than a carrot. Red chile is said to be hotter than green because of its extended exposure to the sun.
People once traditionally dried chile on the ground or on roof tops (which can still be observed today). Approximately 100 year ago experimentation with methods to keep chile pods cleaner and away from birds resulted in today’s version of the Chile Ristra (chile pods hung on a string). This method proved beneficial to elongating the shelf life of the delightful crop. Thus began the tradition of hanging the ristra in front of ones home, which soon turned into the popular belief that this was a welcome sign to visitors. It’s also believed that hanging a chile ristra in front of your door brings good health and fortune to those who occupy the home. Chile has more recently become a popular decorative element inside the home. Creativity has spawned many craft item in various shapes, sizes and colors (red, green and yellow). Popular chile rista shapes consist of wreaths, crosses, and hearts that are frequently paired with colored corn, shredded husks and dried flowers to make beautiful home décor.
New Mexico Chile Traditions
End of August ushers in harvest time for chile farmers in New Mexico. Cities and communities throughout the state celebrate this important harvest with diverse, yet always tasty festivals like the popular Hatch Chile Festival in Hatch New Mexico held over Labor Day Weekend; the Whole Enchilada Festival held in Las Cruces late September; Santa Fe’s Wine & Chile Festival as well as the Fiesta de Santa Fe held in the Capitol city mid to late September to name a just few. Though chile peppers are small in stature they are a huge part of New Mexico’s heritage, culture and are a central part to most loved New Mexico traditions and celebrations. The sweet fiery scent of roasted chilies filling the late summer and crisp fall air bring welcomed comfort to visitors and locals alike.
Sample of a typical New Mexico Chile Recipe that is simple and freezes well follows: Note: *This recipe and others can be found in the “Red Chile Bible” a book available for purchase from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast for $13.00 plus shipping/handling. Limited supplies available so order yours today 1-800-461-4599. Enjoy!
Pork with Chile Colorado*
3 Tbs. lard or vegetable oil 4 New Mexico chilies
1.5 lbs. boned pork shoulder, cut into 1” chunks
2 lg cloves garlic 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted & grounded
1 tsp. Mexican oregano ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt 2 cups rich chicken broth
Heat oil in large heavy pot and brown pork in batches over high heat. Remove to a plate. Wipe the dried chile with a damp cloth, discard the stems and seeds, and tear into pieces. Fry the chile in the hot oil until fragrant (about 5 minutes), stirring to prevent scorching. Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water, and soften (20 or 30 minutes). Put chile in a blender with about ½ cup of the soaking water and the garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Blend to a puree. Reheat the oil in the pot, and pour the puree into the hot oil. Sauté the puree, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Stir the stock into the puree, and then return the pork to the pot. Bring the stew to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and stew the meat slowly for about an hour. Remove the cover and continue simmering 30 minutes to an hour until the pork is very tender. Add more chicken stock, if necessary, to keep the meat moist. Serves 4.
Next, you’ll pass the Pecos Fish Hatchery (in partial operation) which is off to the left and on your way to Dalton Canyon. The Dalton gang (four brothers) were some of the boldest and most feared outlaws in the southwest and were last sighted in New Mexico after attempting train robberies in California. Watch for the signs and turn right into Dalton Canyon. You will find a delightful backdrop of colorful canyon rock splashed smooth by the Pecos river water and pooled to create a local favorite swimming hole. Take a splash or make a splash by skipping a smooth river stone across this peaceful, neck deep swimming hole. Regardless the degree of your wet & wild enjoyment, this area provides a great photo moment.
At this point, one can begin the journey home to Santa Fe or head to Cowles, NM and hike the Cave Creek Trail (an appropriate family hike, 6 miles out and back if the caves are the turn-around point). Heavily used by hikers and horses, this trail is lined with large, aged Douglas firs, aspens and wildflowers. Left to the trip planner’s final designs, this day trip from Santa Fe is truly a delightful experience for the mind, body and soul compliments of Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn.