Hey everyone! I’m so excited for all of you to meet Sara from the blog “Sara Says.” I fell in love with her photography and knew I wanted her to share some of those amazing photos with all of you! Sara and I have been emailing back and forth for about the last month. She’s a soon-to-be expat so it has been fun sharing my experience with her :) Plus, she’s just a really cool person so you should all check her out! I asked her to share about New Mexico today because it is one of my favorite states and a personal favorite vacation spot for my family!
Hi! I’m Sara and I’m the gal behind Sara Says. Although my favorite place in the entire world to travel to is Europe, I’ve had some great trips and adventures here in the ol’ USofA. I’ve been to typical, well-known US tourist destinations such as Boston, New York City, New Orleans, etc, but one recent trip I took that really stuck out to me was a family trip to New Mexico for Christmas. I guess, since its not really a huge “must-see” destination you hear about too often, I didn’t have too many expectations. But boy was it amazing!
We drove from Louisiana to New Mexico (An 11+ hour drive. You never realize how big Texas is until you have to drive straight across its widest part.) and our first stop was Santa Fe. I really had no idea what to expect from Santa Fe. But, since its New Mexico’s capital, I figured it would be a big city and tons of skyscrapers and whatnot. But I was WAY wrong.
Here were my top 3 favorite things about Santa Fe:
Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the US and also the oldest city in New Mexico. And this history is evident everywhere you go. The architecture is exactly what you would think when you think of New Mexico – adobe facades, flat roofs, and completely influenced by both Spanish and Native American cultures.
We used VRBO and found an amazing little place walking distance from the Santa Fe Plaza. The Plaza was so picturesque – speckled with snow and decorated for the holidays. There are tons of shops around the square, as well as artisans selling homemade jewelry and crafts. One thing I noticed and really loved about Santa Fe is that it wasn’t infested with chain stores. All the stores were locally owned boutiques and speciality stores. It really made the city feel like a quaint little village.
Another thing I loved about Santa Fe is the art scene there. Like I said, not only were artisans selling their work on the street, but in all the local boutiques. Art is a huge part of Santa Fe’s culture. One of the must-see things in Santa Fe is Canyon Road, a famous street with over 100 art galleries displaying everything from traditional Native American art to international contemporary art. Grab some coffee, take a walk down the street and dip in and out of the galleries to browse the artwork.
I’m a sucker for beautiful churches. Every time I came across one in Europe I would spend an hour touring the inside and gaping at the architecture, windows, art, and detail. The St. Francis Cathedral in the centre of town was definitely my favorite church. It was just so picturesque speckled with snow.
If you ever decide to visit Santa Fe during the holidays, you HAVE to check out the Farolito Walk down Canyon Road. Tons of laminated paper laterns (farolitos) line the streets. The Canyon Street galleries are open late for the Christmas celebration for visitors. If galleries aren’t really your thing, you could just stroll down the street and enjoy the lights, carolers, and bonfires.
After my family and I spent an amazing week in Santa Fe, we headed to Angel Fire Ski Resort. On the way, we stopped at this amazing shopping center off the road in Taos, called John House Dunn. I would definitely recommend stopping by this cute little place. Like Santa Fe, its filled with tons of local shops selling some truly unique stuff.
We also passed the most amazing scenery. Being from Louisiana, two of the things that always leave me in awe are when I see snow and mountains. When I see BOTH at the same time, I am absolutely blown away. Here are some of the many amazing view we witnessed on our 2-hour drive from Santa Fe to Angel Fire.
I highly recommend visiting Santa Fe! I went in the winter so I’m a bit partial to the city at this time of year, but if you don’t like to cold I hear its just as beautiful in the summertime! Its not super crowded with tourists, it feels authentic, unique, and historical.
I loved being able to share my experience with you guys here on Wayfaring with Wagner! Be sure to check out my blog and follow along with my adventures!