Up & Coming By Lindsey Anderson

Up & Coming: Santa Fe

As one of North America's oldest capitals, the city of Santa Fe is already an intriguing place to visit. But take its thriving arts community, dynamic culinary scene and natural beauty into consideration, and you'll realize this under-the-radar destination ought to be added to your bucket list. Here's how to explore this fascinating and high elevation city, with the locals' first tip being simple: stay hydrated.

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Consider beginning with a guided tour of the town's historical and architectural highlights. A zoning code passed in 1958 ensured the preservation of Santa Fe's Spanish-Pueblo style of architecture, making for an unmistakable city aesthetic. You'll want to see the Palace of the Governors, once a 17th century seat of power and now the city's history museum, and the impressive Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, built in the French Romanesque Revival Style. Your guide will also take you to the Loretto Chapel to see its Miraculous Staircase, and hear the legendary story behind it. To learn about the area's ancestral Pueblo people, head out of town to Bandelier National Monument, where cave dwellings and petroglyphs point to human presence dating back as far as 11,000 years.

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Simply put, Santa Fe is an art lover's dream. This small city has over 200 galleries and museums to delve into, with the works of 20th century icons alongside contemporary artists who continue to push boundaries. Amongst those icons is Georgia O'Keefe, whose works are on display at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum; her home, 60 miles north of Santa Fe, is also open to the public. If you do venture out of town, add a viewing of the spectacular Ra Paulette Caves to your itinerary. Back in the city, the New Mexico Museum of Art is worthy of a visit for the building alone, not to mention the spectacular collection of New Mexican art housed within it. For a taste of Santa Fe's modern artistic landscape, check out the non-profit SITE Santa Fe or the mind-bending (but family-friendly) art collective Meow Wolf.

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If you plan nothing else for this trip, plan to come hungry. The food here reflects millenia of varied inhabitants, occupiers, immigrants, farmers, hunters and gatherers forming what is still an ever-evolving Southwest cuisine. At the heart of it all is the green chile, which you'll see various uses of everywhere. Try it in stew at The Shed; smothering the flat enchiladas at Tomasita; or atop the green chile cheeseburger at Santa Fe Bite. Other age-old institutions include Pasqual's for classic Southwestern fare, and Sazon for its mole served alongside mezcal and tequila. The much younger Paloma also serves Mexican, with Oaxacan landrace blue corn that's nixtamalized in-house, while the stylish Radish & Rye is a great destination for cuisine that pays homage to local farms.

For more casual eats during the day, Santa Fe's year-round Saturday farmers market is a great way to connect with farmers, while the Dolina Bakery Cafe serves up brunch, pastries and pies with an Eastern European twist. Finally, South Indian delights on Paper Dosa's gorgeous back patio are a great way to experience Santa Fe's inherent multiculturalism.

Oh, and did you know Santa Fe has a Margarita Trail? Download the app and you'll be guided toward 45 of the best cocktails in the country, including Luminaria's "Essential" margarita.

The following hotel provides a beautiful space to unwind in the very heart of Santa Fe. Plus, you'll enjoy the bonus amenities available through Internova SELECT Hotels & Resorts.

Ask us about other experiences we can provide at these destinations!

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