Madison's Guide to Sante Fe


I didn’t really know what to except the first time I landed in New Mexico. I’ve never really been anywhere in the South West (I’m pretty sure Las Vegas doesn’t count) so I just took in the scenery of the landscape and adobe architecture as we sat in our Uber on the way to our Airbnb in Santa Fe. Santa Fe is a small(compared to San Francisco), quaint and quiet city filled with charm. Every where I looked there were dried chili peppers strung up next to front doors, friendly faces, and a bustling art scene. I hope you find this guide helpful as it has some of my now favorite places to eat, stay, and play.

Hacienda Rose – $$$

The reason why I traveled to Santa Fe in the first place was for my best friend’s bachelorette party. There was a total of 10 people and our Airbnb could possibly be my favorite part of the trip. Called the Hacienda Rose was more than accommodating. If you’re looking to host a large dinner party this would be the place to stay since the kitchen was phenomenal and fully stocked with spices, oils, and every kitchen appliance you could need. Two separate casitas with a total of four bedrooms and two full bathrooms in the main house and another full bath and king sized bed with a cozy kitchen in the guest suit.

The Shed – $$

Margaritas anyone?? Well, I didn’t have one, but a lot of the girls did and The Shed is known for their margs! Personally, I’ll remember them from their tacos. This was my first introduction to “tex mex” vs my usual San Francisco Mexican food (which I love and hold dear to my heart forever). Their tacos are crunchy, but smothered in cheese and juices that you’re most likely to eat them with a fork and knife than with your hands. This is also an amazing place if you have a large party even though they don’t take reservations. They were able to seat our party of 10 (on a Saturday night) and took such good care of us! The hospitality in Santa Fe is on another level. I would definitely recommend calling ahead of time to give them a heads up if you have a party larger than 6 and hands down, try the fish tacos!

Santa Fe Plaza – (Free)

If you’re looking to really get a sense of the scene and culture then Santa Fe Plaza is a must. It’s the center of galleries, bars, and is full of history. Depending on time of year and day you go, it’s the main gathering place for annual festivals such as the Fiesta de Santa Fe, Santa Fe Indian Market, The Spanish Market and Santa Fe Bandstand.

Ojo Caliente

The Cowgirl – $

A local gem playing oldies, serving up barbecue, with walls decked out in western decor. The Cowgirl was our first spot that was recommended to us. The pulled pork mini sliders are SO GOOD. The servings of everything else are huge so I would suggest ordering family style and sharing everything minus the mini sliders. 1-2 per person will do the trick.

The Rosewood – $$$

The Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is a luxury hotel in Santa Fe. The hotel boasts of contemporary and sophisticated style accommodation designed to pamper its guests. The bar and lounge were probably the nicest establishment we went to in Santa Fe. Not surprising as it is The Rosewood. Boutique-ish, bespoke feel, with distinct Southwestern ambience and flair. The Anasazi is best known for its Silver Coin margaritas, classic cocktails and locally brewed beers. Most of us girls had Palomas of course. We popped in for cocktails while waiting for our table to be set up at The Shed.

Meow Wolf – $$

Meow Wolf is an arts and entertainment group which began in and is still based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is an immersive, multimedia experience that transports people into realms of storytelling. Meow Wolf is a work and mixture of jungle gyms, a haunted house, and part murder mystery thats an immersive art exhibit. Basically, a really weird trip even if you’re aren’t - big Burning Man vibes for sure. Meow Wolf will soon be going to Las Vegas in 2020 if trippy possibly raverish vibes are your thing.

Soaking in a mineral bath after baking in the mud at Ojo Caliente Spa

Soaking in a mineral bath after baking in the mud at Ojo Caliente Spa


Ojo Caliente Spa – $$$

Ojo Caliente Spa was our main attraction. Mud baths, massages, all natural hot springs, basically a self care princess’s dream. This destination resort is one of the oldest natural health resorts in the country and the only hot springs in the world with four different types of minerals in the water: lithia, iron, soda, and arsenic. They have twelve pools that are filled with different types and combinations of these waters, with temperatures ranging from 80 - 106 degrees. The Spa has a strict whisper rule so if you’re going with a large group of vibrant women, assume you’ll be “shushed” at.

Other than being shushed, this place was absolutely breath taking. They even have trails and yoga classes! My favorite pool was the mud bath. You rinse under a shower, lather yourself with mud from this mud fountain and bake in the sun, then soak in a warm bath of mineral water. Tip: don’t wear white!

Canyon Road – (Free)

Canyon road is a home to more than a hundred galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in one half mile. You’ll find dried chili’s hanging from every door (like most places in New Mexico) and hospitality from locals and business owners. Many of the galleries on this half mile stretch have established reputations with major art collectors, major art fairs, and museums throughout the country.

Have you been to Santa Fe, NM? Let me know your favorite places below!