Make the most out of your Southwestern adventure!

Explore New Mexico: Beyond Santa Fe

One of our favorite aspects of Bead Fest is the range of creative people who join us from all over the nation. If you’re one of our attendees trying to make the most of your inspiration vacation, you’re in luck!

Today, we’re naming off some of New Mexico’s can’t-miss travel destinations. We’ve got a lot of fun ideas to get you even more excited for your trip—especially if you’re flying in to Albuquerque!

Take in the sights

Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway

Arriving in Albuquerque a few days before trekking to Santa Fe? Experience an unforgettable view of the Southwest’s beauty from the safety of a tram car. You’ll hover over massive canyons, rustic terrain and native wildlife, so make sure your camera battery is fully charged! Note: The tram closes for maintenance on March 27, but you can still enjoy this unique tour of Albuquerque’s scenic landscape if you arrive before Bead Fest Santa Fe. Discover More 

Atalaya Mountain

Get your hike on without venturing too far from Bead Fest Santa Fe’s venue! Atalaya Mountain is just 16 minutes outside of Santa Fe, making it the perfect nature-infused day trip before or after the event. The main trail spans 6 miles, so pack up some water and trail mix before embarking on this adventure! Discover More 

Santa Fe National Forest 

If you’re the kind of jewelry artist who enjoys seeking inspiration under the wide-open sky, you won’t want to miss out on this stretch of nature that covers 1,558,452 acres. There are 65 trails to explore, and some of them are lined with mountain streams, lakes and wildlife. It’s a breathtaking adventure! Discover More

Fun and historic activities 

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History 

Open since 1967, the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History boasts one of the most impressive selections of culturally-rich art in the Southwest. In addition to serving as a cultural institution, this museum offers live performances in its amphitheater, guided tours, a sculpture garden, onsite store and a cafe. Talk about the perfect place to learn and relax! Discover More 

Historic Old Town Albuquerque

Get a taste of Albuquerque’s past with the Historic Old Town’s many museums, bed & breakfasts, dining options, galleries and stores. While you’re there, make a stop at one of Albuquerque’s oldest buildings, San Felipe de Neri Church, built in 1793. Oh, and did we mention the Turquoise Museum is also located in Old Town? You simply must pay a visit! Discover More 

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center 

Experience the traditions of the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico by immersing yourself in their art, daily routines and customs. This is a great educational day trip for the entire family, including the little ones. Discover More

Eat, shop and play in Albuquerque

Cocina Azul

If your searching for the freshest and most comforting New Mexican cuisine, look no further! Cocina Azul’s head chef infuses each dish he creates with the unique culture and style of New Mexico, and this popular eatery has won countless awards for its authentic recipes. Discover More 

Frontier Restaurant 

Get a taste of Albuquerque’s wild western past at this New Mexican tradition. This casual eatery serves up some of the best burritos, burgers and roasted green chili in the Southwest. Have a sweet tooth? Make sure you try a famous Frontier Roll! Discover More 

A Few Old Things

Skip the mall and dig through the treasures of Albuquerque’s past. This antique mall is booming with collectibles, furniture, toys, jewelry and many other cherished keepsakes of the Southwest’s earlier years. Discover More

Rainbow Ryders: Hot Air Balloon Ride Co. 

Albuquerque locals take the business of hot air ballooning very seriously. In fact, there is an entire festival dedicated to hot air balloons each October! Luckily for you, Rainbow Ryders offers the scenic hot air balloon experience all year round, so if you want to see Albuquerque from a different view, try one of these safe and fun balloon tours! Discover More

Looking for more to do once you’re in Santa Fe?

Make sure you check out our Explore Santa Fe blog post for tips on where to eat, shop and get inspired.

We hope you’re planning on making the most of your time in the scenic Southwest by experiencing its many cultural activities, dining options and historic art installations. There is no better way to fire up your passion for creating jewelry art!

Still want to add a workshop? It’s not too late to start a new registration or add on to your existing Bead Fest Santa Fe workshop roster. We will see you all in just a few weeks!

Adding a new workshop to your schedule? Simplify your Bead Fest Santa Fe registration process! Contact Jaclyn at to add a new workshop. She will add you to the new workshop and email you an updated copy of your roster.











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