After a little break (hello wedding, football season, playoffs & Super Bowl!) I’m back! Chris and I spent a short weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a minimoon together this past November. Since his Paramedic course won’t be over until June, we aren’t able to have an official honeymoon for quite some time. But we made the most of our time together exploring a new city!
About an hour away from Kirtland Air Force base lies the quaint New Mexican town of Santa Fe. Famous for its local culture and arts, Santa Fe reeks of charm. Chris and I stayed at the Eldorado Hotel & Spa, which has a perfect location and unforgettable hospitality. From a personal text message asking if we needed anything during our stay, to the surprise bottle of sparkling wine and card when we returned from our night out, this hotel pulled out all the stops. We started our night with free drinks (included with our stay!) at AGAVE Lounge, which is connected to the Eldorado. Their happy hour is great- you can’t go wrong with $5 margaritas & chips and guac; this is the Southwest, after all. They have a very creative menu including some awesome seasonal drinks. If you’re feeling adventurous go for the Smokey margarita. The name speaks for itself!
Downtown was walking distance, so we strolled through town and checked out all the local shops. Mainly selling jewelry, clothing and home goods, every store was filled with traditional Southwestern flair. We loved sitting outside on the roof of Draft Station while enjoying our night overlooking the plaza.
One of my favorite moments downtown was stumbling across a poet with an old-fashioned typewriter. Give him a topic and he’ll write you a poem. Come back in 10 minutes and he’ll read it to you. Just like the scene from the movie Before Sunrise, pay what you wish for your poem. It was romantic and totally ironic, as that movie is one that Chris and I cherish watching on repeat.
Then we were off to Meow Wolf. Just 15 minutes south of town, this place is indescribable. Part art installation, part interactive maze, this place was one of the most fun and unique places I’ve ever been. Chris and I didn’t even come close to “solving” the story behind the extraterrestrial worlds we roamed. We were having too much fun running around exploring. Make sure you don’t skip the washer/dryer. That was one of my favorite little surprises.
To top it off, we ended up going on a concert night, and the genre was EDM. Tell me I wasn’t in heaven! (Pro-tip: if you go during one of the concerts, you don’t have to pay admission plus the concert ticket, just pay for the concert and you have access to explore everything.)
We left the psychedelic halls of Meow Wolf after a few exploratory hours, perfectly content knowing we would absolutely return.
One thing we were not prepared for was the lack of late night food options! Not going to lie, Santa Fe was a semi-sleepy town–at least from what we experienced. We couldn’t find anything open as it was almost midnight. Luckily there was one bar-restaurant that was serving food, The Palace. Unlike the majority of places in town, this lively restaurant was packed with people dancing to live Latin music. We opted to sit back and watch while waiting to get our food to-go.
The next morning began with a quick breakfast at the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe, The Plaza Cafe. This place was bustling as it is in the heart of downtown and has a great view of the plaza (hence, the name)! After fueling up we were ready to tackle Santa Fe’s number one rated hike, the Atalaya Mountain trail. A 6 mile out-and-back hike takes you to the summit of Atalaya Mountain, leaving you with sweeping views of the city below and the Santa Fe National Forest. It’s a moderate hike that leaves you feeling accomplished, but not overly exhausted.
We ended out little trip by indulging in protein smoothies at the cutest organic/raw/vegan joint, Rasa Juice Cafe. Chris and I also split the Reuben, to which he told me I couldn’t eat it because it wasn’t vegan! I don’t think he realized everything on the menu was plant-based…and delicious! I definitely want to come back and try the everything else on the menu.
The entirety of our trip wasn’t even a full 24 hours. But we packed so much into our time in Santa Fe. If you’re living on Kirtland AFB and feel like you need a little getaway, Santa Fe is perfect. If anything, I’d drive up just to go to Meow Wolf again. Although I don’t think anything will compare to your first time.