A Cultural Experience with Art, Music and Food
A fascinating and enchanting blend of diverse cultures, ancient history, world-class art and historic opera amidst the inspiring New Mexican landscape.
Santa Fe, founded in 1610, is the cultural center of New Mexico, with historic neighborhoods, colorful art galleries and a vibrant city with a noted performing arts scene. Flat terrain and summer temperatures comfortably in the low 80’s during the day and cool in the evenings, make it an easy place to wander about. Most of our trips include a stop at nearby Abiquiu (the home of painter Georgia O’Keeffe), with truly spectacular views of historic adobe buildings in New Mexico’s high desert, as well as a visit to scenic Taos. Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos offers unique music and art in a old New Mexico town while connecting with Pueblo, Hispano and Anglo cultures with lengthy pasts.
Among the many unique art museums in Sante Fe, The New Mexico Museum of Art is the oldest art museum in the state of New Mexico. The museum’s art collection includes over 20,000 paintings, photographs, sculptures, prints, drawings and mixed-media works. Notable artists in the collection include Ansel Adams, Gustave Baumann, Georgia O’Keeffe and many others.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum offers insight not only into the artist’s paintings, but also her creative process and the light and landscape that inspired her. The Museum’s collections of over 3,000 works comprises 140 O’Keeffe oil paintings, nearly 700 of her drawings, and hundreds of additional works dating from 1901 to 1984, the year failing eyesight forced O’Keeffe into retirement.
But if there is any doubt that Santa Fe is a prime destination for art lovers, it’s Canyon Road quashes that doubt. Situated just east of the Santa Fe Plaza (where our hotel will be), Canyon Road is home to a slew of art galleries selling artwork and cultural treasures from well known local artists. Pop into the different galleries — there are more than 50 — along the street to find everything from jewelry and pottery to sculptures and paintings. The street itself is also a feast for the eyes. Many of the galleries found here are housed in historic adobe buildings laced with brilliantly colored flowers with scents wafting from top-notch eateries next door. It’s a wonderful way to stretch your legs and see very creative works, if we do say so ourselves.
Opera and chamber music have been pillars of Santa Fe for more than 70 years, where each summer some of the best performances in the world take place. The Santa Fe Opera shines in the high desert, taking you to a place where the experience is unlike any other, whether you are an opera fan or not. It is internationally known for introducing new operas as well as for its production of the traditional operatic repertoire. The opera house itself is open air with the protected audience facing ever-changing sunsets, thunderstorms and open desert beyond the stage. You will be treated to an opera themed dinner at the open air cantina on the beautifully landscaped rehearsal grounds, while a speaker offers a brief introduction to the evening’s event.
The Santa Fe Desert Chorale is one of the longest continually performing professional music organizations in New Mexico, as well as one of the most distinguished, with a selection spanning seven centuries from early polyphony to contemporary works. The composition of the Chorale is truly national in scope and the ensemble is recognized among the finest American chamber choirs.
Since it was founded in 1972, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival has become one of the world’s preeminent music festivals, guided by a visionary spirit and dedicated to artistic excellence and innovation. Contributing to its magic is the Festival’s unique Santa Fe setting, nestled amid the timeless splendors of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Festival invites scores of distinguished musicians, along with emerging young talent, during its 6-week season each summer.
To stay energized, you need to eat, and New Mexicans are passionate about their food. New Mexico is known for its fusion of Native American, Hispano and Mexican food, with influences over its long history from Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisines brought by travelers to the area. You will taste rich, traditional and fresh New Mexican flavors on your trip. Dine al fresco for dinner each evening and take in the peaceful ambiance of the temperate climate. We make sure that you get to experience the very best Sante Fe has to offer.
In terms of accommodations, both the grand La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe (located in the Santa Fe Plaza, the city’s cultural hub since its founding and where there always seems to be something going on) and the small Old Taos Guesthouse Inn in Taos are unrivaled in terms of hospitality, environment and feeling. The luxurious La Fonda on the Plaza provides a great starting point to walk to cafes, galleries or restaurants. Vibrant decor and authentic New Mexican architecture intermingle with indulgent amenities. Nestled amid a grove of stately old Taos cottonwoods and spruce, the Old Taos Guesthouse Inn began as an adobe home built over 200 years ago. Situated on seven-and-a-half acres on a rise overlooking Taos, the small home grew into a beautiful bed and breakfast hacienda with a rich and colorful history. Quiet spots and enchanting views are easy to find on the spacious grounds, a birder’s paradise.
The events, the food and scenery make this trip. Try something new.