Every year for as long as I can remember, June’s called for a family vacation (typically to Nevada) but this year, we opted to move up to March and finally venture a little further east to good ol’ New Mexico. We visited Roswell, Albuquerque and the inspiration for today’s post Santa Fe. From yummy coffee to spiritual healing, here are 5 fun things to do in or near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Santa Fe Espresso Co.
Tucked into the Santa Fe Plaza, the Santa Fe Espresso Co. is the perfect little hole in the wall. While there are multiple coffee options in the area (including a Starbucks), this place is perfect for a little bit of local flavor. I got a hot Lavender Latte that was sweetened with a bit of local, organic honey. The mix of flavors was such a perfect blend of coffee and aromatics that gave me the afternoon pick-me-up I needed while scoping out local vendors and artists in the plaza.
Loretto Chapel Staircase
The condensed version of the legend behind the Loretto Chapel Staircase is that after the 1878 completion of the Chapel, carpenters could only install a rickety ladder to reach the choir loft 22-ft above ground. The Sisters of the Chapel prayed to the patron saint of carpenters, St. Joseph, for a safer solution. After nine days, “a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work.” After a few months, the staircase was finished and the man vanished without a trace or payment. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support, held together only by wooden pegs. Modern-day engineers and architects have visited the staircase but nobody can figure out how it was made or what kind of wood was used to manufacture the staircase. The entrance fee is $5 and supports the Chapel.
If you’re into art installations and pop-ups with perfectly instagramable moments, then Meow Wolf is absolutely for you! It’s an immersive and interactive pop-up art installation for all ages. It’s hard to explain so just watch instead:
New Mexico State Capitol
Meant to resemble the Zia sun symbol from a bird’s-eye view, New Mexico’s State Capitol is the only round capitol building in the country. The four story capitol, known as the Roundhouse, boasts a central interior rotunda that stands 60-ft through the top three stories. Inside is a $5.6 million art collection with nearly 600 pieces of art showcasing paintings, photography, sculptures, ceramics, glass works and so much more.
El Santuario de Chimayo
Ok, so this last one technically isn’t in Sante Fe. It’s actually 27 miles north but trust me, it’s worth the trip out of town. El Santuario de Chimayo is one of the most visited tourist attractions in New Mexico and is considered “the most important pilgrimage site in the United States.” Home to the “Tierra Bendita” (or “holy dirt”), many believe that the dirt located in a small hole just outside the chapel has curative powers that is often dissolved in water and eaten or applied to wounds topically, however many simply display it on their at-home altars. It’s customary to make a small donation or bring a type of offering. My family put together milagros for my aunt that had recently passed away of cancer and we attached them to the gate leading up to the chapel. I can’t even explain to you how overcome with emotion I felt while we were visiting. The one thing I can say is that while I was there, I felt like things would be okay.
There’s honestly so much art and culture to consume in Santa Fe and I wish I could have experienced more of it. But these were 5 of my favorite things I did during my time in the city.