A Week in Santa Fe

Photo of a large old brown wooden door embedded into the side of an orange-brown cement wall in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There is an old lamp either side of the door. Dark red bushels of ristras (bushels of dried chile peppers used for decoration in New Mexico) are hanging from each lamp.
Photo by Jessi Walker
Words and most photos by Jessi Walker

Santa Fe, New Mexico has a special vibe to it. Once you step into the downtown main square you’ll likely feel transported into a different era, something about the place evokes a sense of intimate, close-knit community. Ristras—strings of dried red chile—serving as a symbol of welcome, hang from windows, arches and doors. 

Photo of a small building made of various sized stones on Canyon road. A dark brown door with a rostra (a bushel of dark red dried Chile peppers) is hanging from the center of the door and red and white garland is hanging above and on either side of the doorframe. The word "LOVE" is in the center on the top strand of garland.
Photo of a market down a narrow side street in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. The brick path is lined on either side with shops selling colorful decorations, ristras, woven blankets and large white bull skulls with pointed brown horns.

Whether you’re visiting for the delicious cuisine, world-class spas or to feel like you’ve stepped into a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, Santa Fe has something for everyone. Here are Whalebone’s recommendations for how to spend a week in Santa Fe.


Photo of the lobby of The Inn of the Anasazi. The entire room is decorated in southwestern style decorations and has a light brown tone to it, from the two leather arm chairs seen at the front of the photo to the wooden ceilings. A large floor-to-ceiling bookshelf lines the back wall and in front of it there is a golden statue of a person running. There is a fireplace on the right wall which is an off-white color.
Photo of a small fireplace and booth table at the Geronimo restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The room is very dim and lit only by the candles stacked in the small curved fireplace and the two candles sitting on the ledge above it. The walls are an off-white sandstone. There is a black and white portrait set into the wall of a young woman wearing a scarf around her head and staring at the onlooker. Part of the booth dark red booth chair and white table cloth can be seen on the left side of the photo.

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is a luxurious boutique hotel located in the heart of Santa Fe. The space is decorated with traditional Southwestern decor and features a cozy fireplace, outdoor patio and a renowned restaurant. The location is unbeatable, walkable to many of Santa Fe’s best restaurants, museums, and attractions. 

If you’re looking for more of a holistic spa experience we’d recommend checking out Ojo Caliente properties.

Photo of one of the sitting areas found in a typical room at the hotel and spa Ojo Caliente in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There are to black leather arm chairs with light borne wooden frame sitting at an angle on a black rug with small white crosses on it in from of a white adobe-style fireplace. The decorations on the white walls are simple and include a large abstract painting of a light brown and a dark blue diamond as well as a circular gold metal plate with a small face carved in the middle. The fireplace is loaded with wood and a small stack is sitting next to it.


Photo taken of a wooden rack lined with ristras (bushels of dried dark red Chile peppers) for sale on the side of the street. Ristras are also hanging from the branches of the tree behind the stand.
Aerial photo of a wide array of items and trinketsbeing sold on a wood table at a store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There are handmade coasters with large outlines of eyes on them, small pots decorated in Southwestern patterns, potted plants, a bowl of pink, green and yellow candle sticks, tubes of paint, small pocket-sized journals and packs of tarot cards.

Start off your trip by getting a lay of the land. We’d recommend taking a stroll along Canyon Road, a historic street filled with art galleries, shops and restaurants. Here you’ll find historic artifacts, covetable western wear and handcrafted one-of-a-kind pieces.  

Photo of a wall covered in street art on a building in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The wall is taken up largely by the face of a woman with dark hair and light brown skin. She is wearing large silver hoop earrings and a turquoise stone necklace.She appears to be squinting with the sun on her face and looking at something in the distance.

If it’s art that you’re looking for, don’t miss SITE Santa Fe at the Sky Railway. This contemporary art museum is located in a lively area of town packed with shopping, breweries and a weekly farmer’s market on Saturdays. For an interactive art experience, check out Meow Wolf, an immersive warehouse space that’s been filled with delightfully disorienting installations from different artists. 

Photo of one of the Pueblo dwellings in one of the canyons at The Bandelier National Monument in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Amidst a large mass of light brown sandstone rock, there is a small rectangular black opening in the side of the mountain with what appears to be a hand-built wooden ladder reaching from the opening to the floor of the canyon.
Photo oby Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo of one of the large geological formations near the Ghost Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The landscape is hilly and light brown before the large formations jutt out of the ground like tall, thin towers with large balls on the top of them.
Photo by Raychel Sanner courtesy of Pexels

There’s plenty to do outdoors in Santa Fe. For those looking to hike the gorgeous terrain and check out some incredible history, The Bandelier National Monument is a wonderful option. This park features ancient Pueblo dwellings and petroglyphs, which you can hike around or take a guided tour of. 
To experience the picturesque high-desert landscape of Santa Fe, Ghost Ranch and the Georgia O’Keeffe House offer breathtaking views. Located about an hour from Santa Fe, The Ghost Ranch offers horseback riding tours, and the Georgia O’Keeffe House is a must-see for art lovers.


Photo of one of the benches and fireplaces in the restaurant Sazon in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The bench is decorated with beautifully decorative tiles of flowers and symbols in dark yellow, green, blue and white colors. There is an adobe-style fireplace that connects to the end of the bench. The fireplace is yellow and tapes up smoothly to the ceiling. It is filled with candles inside instead of wood.
Close-up photo of a partially opened door in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The door is made of light brown, ash-colored wood with rows of squares embossed upon its length and width. Each square has a small decorative circular piece of metal at its center. Green vines of ivy appear to be creeping across the door from either side and a large dark red rostra (a bushel of dried Chile peppers) is hanging in the center.

One of the things that makes Santa Fe so special is the mix of new and old. With influences of Mexican, Spanish and Western culture Santa Fe’s food scene is a deep dive into history and tradition. Recently, the city has taken on new life with fresh influences and newcomers paving their way into the scene. 

A great example of this is having a meal at Sazon. Originally from Mexico City, Chef Fernando Olea recently won ‘Best Chef of the Southwest’—his menu is deliberately small, and features beautiful local produce throughout. We’d recommend calling in advance and asking for the tequila and mezcal tasting at the bar to experience this mesh of old and new in the best way. You’ll try a series of moles with tequila, mezcal and sotol options, all with their very own story.

Close up photo of a row of tequila bottles sitting on a light brown wooden bar behind a tray of small shot glasses filled with tequila and mezcal.
Close up photo of a small black bowl sitting on a white plate. The contents of the bowl include a light green soup with a large dollop of white and brown cream on top. A long tray of tacos is sitting on the table next to the bowl of soup.

If you’re looking for more local flavor off the beaten path, we’d recommend checking out the Tesuque Village Market. You might come across local vendors outside, hear some fun stories from locals at the onsite bar or try some of the best pizza Santa Fe has to offer. 

Open for breakfast and lunch, The Modern General Feed & Seed has excellent food and juices. It’s a great place to bring your computer or a great book and post up. The shop is adorable and features consciously chosen items for the home. 

Another one of our favorite farm-inspired spaces is Los Poblanos Farm Shop Norte just north of the plaza in Downtown Santa Fe. This space is housed in a renovated 1935 Sinclair Oil gas station, and features curated goods and New Mexico-made wine and spirits. The best part is Bar Norte, an intimate specialty cocktail bar attached to the shop.