Guide to the Best of Santa Fe

Explore Santa Fe

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The ever-popular Bead Fest Santa Fe is just around the corner, and if you’re attending—which we hope you are—you’re probably looking forward to experiencing all of Santa Fe’s treasures. The mountain views, priceless sunsets, unrivaled art scene, nature-immersive activities—oh, and let’s not forget about the renowned cuisine!

Today, we’re breaking down the list of must-visit spots in Santa Fe to enjoy before or after an energizing day at Bead Fest. Find out where to fuel up before a Workshop, gather inspiration, brush up on the Southwest’s history and more. Leave a comment below if this list inspires you to extend your Santa Fe excursion!

Where to eat:

Coyote Café

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If you’re searching for an upscale eatery featuring the best of Santa Fe’s seasonal cuisine, look no further! Since 1987, this elegant café has been serving up innovative cuisine with a classic Southwestern touch. Be warned, tables fill up fast! We recommend making a reservation beforehand so you can experience this internationally celebrated restaurant.

*Recommended by Anne Mitchell and Richard Salley

Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen  

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This casual Santa Fe hot spot is famous for its 100+ varieties of margaritas and its affordable and flavorful food. If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere to reflect on your fun-filled day at Bead Fest, grab a seat at Maria’s.

*Recommended by Anne Mitchell

Plaza Café 

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A word from the wise. Never try to create jewelry art on an empty stomach! Before heading to the Convention Center, grab a seat at Plaza, and fill up on their selection of tasty breakfast options. Plaza is Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant, and there’s a good reason it has stood the test of time. Locals and visitors alike just can’t get enough of their authentic New Mexican cuisine.

*Recommended  by Richard Salley

Where to find artistic inspiration:

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

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Explore artwork of 20th century creative wonder, Georgia O’Keefe (also known as “The Mother of American Modernism”). Georgia spent her childhood summers in Santa Fe, as well as her final years, and the museum features the largest repository of the visionary’s work. Visiting the museum is an empowering experience and it’s sure to lead you to new inspiration.

Canyon Road Arts 

If you’re sticking around after Bead Fest Santa Fe, make a day out of venturing through the Canyon Road Arts District. You’ll find rows of upscale art galleries, beautiful boutiques, fabulous restaurants and live entertainment on the weekends.

*Recommended by Anne Mitchell

Patina Gallery

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Get a glimpse at some of the finest artisan jewelry and sculptural art in all of Santa Fe. Patina’s curation of high-end designer pieces will leave you speechless and  inspired to create.

*Recommended by Richard Salley

Where to explore history:

Loretto Chapel

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Known for its helix-shaped staircase, this chapel has been standing tall since 1610. The iconic staircase, which has no visible support, was an innovative design for its time and still perplexes master craftsmen today. Want to know why the chapel has been the subject of countless articles and TV specials? Find out for yourself while you’re in Santa Fe!

Where to become one with nature:

 Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill

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Get introduced to Santa Fe’s botanical heritage and biodiversity at this scenic 14-acre wonderland. Native and non-native botanicals rest alongside handcrafted stone sculptures, and lively birds can often be found mingling among the lush trees, plants and flowers. Be sure to have your camera ready! You’ll want to keep a visual record of your beautiful discoveries.

Where to let loose and have fun:

 Meow Wolf

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Keep your creative streak going strong in this artistic playground. Meow Wolf is an imaginative space for creatives of all ages, and features a children’s museum, art gallery, jungle gym and work from 100+ local artists.

Skylight Santa Fe

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If you want to experience the best of Santa Fe’s nightlife, head out to Skylight! It’s within walking distance of the square and they’re known for their comedy shows and live music.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales

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Rated one of the best breweries in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales is independently owned and serves up farm-to-table grub in their gastropub. They specialize in rustic and sour ales and also offer a wide selection of other local brews.

We may have a great selection of Santa Fe eats and activities listed above, but there’s a lot more to explore than what you see here!

Head over to Bead Fest Santa Fe’s travel page for even more tips on how to utilize your time in Santa Fe. If you have a specific travel question or need a recommendation, leave it in the comments below and we’ll be happy to help you out!

We would like to give a special thank you to Anne Mitchell and Richard Salley for giving us top notch advice on the best of Santa Fe. If you haven’t planned your Bead Fest Santa Fe adventure yet, there is still time! Act fast to reserve a seat in your top Workshop picks. The sooner you register, the sooner you can map out your time in Santa Fe. We hope to see you all there!

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2 thoughts on “Explore Santa Fe

  1. I need to know what classs I registered for as I forgot and never received an email; however, I did recieve a transaction indicating I have paid for my attendance. I am afraid maybe you might have my wrong email address. Can you please let me know what classes I signed up for…I know it was two. Thanks.

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