Santa Fe: The Best of the Best

We all loving reading those “best of” lists that appear on the Internet and in magazines. Well, then we must all love the fact that Santa Fe has been named on countless numbers of these lists!


In the past couple of years, the city of Santa Fe has been listed on numerous “best of” this and that lists.  These awards range from being one of the Coziest Cities in the United States by the Huffington Post, to being on the top ten of Best Foodie Cities according to Livability. Santa Fe even made it onto MSN’s list of 18 Cities With the Prettiest People. Talk about a “view”, huh?

These different lists show that Santa Fe is the place to be. If you’re the type of person who likes to travel with your furry friend, TripAdvisor will tell you to bring your pup to sculpture gardens at the Andrew Smith Gallery or hang out at the Frank Ortiz Dog Park. If you’re looking for a rather romantic time, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons mentions on their list how Santa Fe “seduces visitors” with its “Southwestern style and flavor-rich cuisine.”


Santa Fe has something for everyone, from the art lover to the hiker, and it shows by how often “The City Different” pops up on these “Best of” lists. Whether you’re looking for a fantastic farmer’s market (Sherman’s Travels) or a sunny place to retire (AARP Magazine), you’ll find it in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Adobe Destinations ranks high on reviews with TripAdivsor for the best vacation rentals in Santa Fe, so if you are planning an upcoming trip for Thanksgiving, Christmas or the 2015 Legislature, better reserve today for best accommodations! 

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Fiesta de Santa Fe: A Brief History


During the weekend of September 5-7, 2014, Santa Fe’s biggest celebration begins; a celebration over 300 years old.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is a historic capital and one of the oldest in the United States. It was established by Don Juan de Onate at San Gabriel in 1598 and moved over 30 miles south to the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where Santa Fe was founded in 1610.

In 1680 the Indians revolted, burned the city and drove out the Spanish colonists, who fled to what is now Juarez, Mexico. Before fleeing, the Spanish colonists rescued from the burning church the 29-inch wood carved Marian statue, La Conquistadora, originally brought to Santa Fe in 1625 by the missionary, Fray Alonso de Benavides.


Twelve years late, the King of Spain appointed Don Diego De Vargas to join the other colonists in Guadalupe del Pasa and organize a campaign for the resettlement of Santa Fe.

He accomplished this difficult and remarkable mission without bloodshed on September 4, 1692.

In December of the next year, the Indians resisted when De Vargas returned from a trip to recruit more colonists, so he set-up an encampment outside the city near the present site of the Rosario Chapel. De Vargas placed La Conquistadora on a makeshift altar and implored her to intercede for the successful re-entry into the town.


Before the end of December 1963, De Vargas had led his triumphant forces back into the City of Holy Faith where La Conquistadora was likely enshrined temporality in the Palace chapel.

Crediting the Madonna’s intercession with his victory, De Vargas is said to have vowed restoration of her throne in the parish church built by Fray Benavides in 1692 and destroyed by the Indians in 1680. Unfortunately, De Vargas died on April 4, 1704 without achieving this goal.

Eight years following the death of De Vargas, Lt. Governor Paeza Hurtado, a Captain and a close friend of De Vargas, influenced city officials to draft a proclamation for an annual celebration commend orating the peaceful 1692 resettlement. The 1712 proclamation establishing the first Fiesta de Santa Fe, was signed by Governor Marquez de La Penuela.


La Conquistadora is among the most venerated Marian figures in the world. She was crowned in 1954 by Cardinal Francis Spellman and again in 1960 by an apostolic representative of Pope John XXIII. Her golden crown is studded with precious stones, including a three-carat diamond.

And so it is that La Conquistadora, a conqueror of hearts, and De Vargas, a conquistador of the new world, join forces to inspire our unique and enduring celebration, la Fiesta de Santa Fe, a time of prayer, rejoicing and hospitality for all.

And so today, Fiesta de Santa Fe is an annual festival to honor and preserve Santa Fe’s rich history. “The cry of “Viva la Fiesta” has been reverberating through the streets of Old Santa Fe every autumn for 301 years, and the sound generates a curious blend of thanksgiving, revelry and pride in the hearts of Santa Feans who celebrate Fiesta annually to commemorate Don Diego De Vargas’ peaceful reoccupation of the City of Holy Faith.”

Thank you to for the incredible history.

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A Sneak Peak to Fall

As summer beings to fade to fall, September and October are arguably the best two months to visit Santa Fe. The summer crowds have thinned and the city is infused in the earthy scent of freshly harvested green chile roasting on the streets. You can sample this famous New Mexico staple in inventive dishes served by local restaurants or buy a bag to take home and use in your own kitchen. The aspen leaves begin to turn a brilliant shade of gold, towards the end of September, and the days are crisp with autumn air, yet still bathed by the warm sun.

Fall is fabulous in the Southern Rockies! Did you know The Rocky Mountain range begins-or-ends just outside of Santa Fe, as the mountain chain stretches from just south of the city into northern Canada?

With the aspens turning their most glorious color and the mountains ablaze in a luscious gold, the air is clear, brisk and inviting of many outdoor activities. You’ll find numerous places in Santa Fe as the perfect spot for fall leaf viewing. There are driving tours and walks, hiking and biking and horseback riding, and chairlift rides all within close proximity to the city’s historic downtown.

Following an afternoon spent hiking mountain trails or shopping the city’s boutiques and galleries, you can find yourself unwinding in a luxurious spa, enjoying a glass of wine and dining in world-class restaurants.

As the week’s pass and October arrives, you’ll be greeted with artist studio tours in towns and villages surrounding Santa Fe. Artists are eager to discuss their work and you’ll undoubtedly find a unique piece to take home or give as a gift during the upcoming holiday season.

In addition to these sweet moments that round-out a perfect vacation, Fall will allow you to partake in some of the area’s vibrant festivals. Here are our Fall Favorites:

Santa Fe Fiesta in September

This celebration is America’s oldest community event. Including parades, music, dancing, feasting and the Burning of Zozobra (a 49-foot-tall marionette); a time-honored tradition that pre-dates Burning Man and provides a way for viewers to symbolically release any gloom from the year. This year’s Burning of Zozobra will be on Friday August 29th.


Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta

A celebration of food and wine is the theme for the annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, which brings foodies to town from around the country to savor wine dinners, cooking demonstrations and other events showcasing world wines paired with New Mexico ingredients creatively prepared by talented Santa Fe chefs. It is one event, you will not want to miss!


Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October

The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta fills the skies south of Santa Fe with hundreds of colorful hot air balloons that dazzle the crowds during morning and evening Balloon Glows, Mass Ascensions and an array of contests. Spend the day at the largest ballooning event on earth, then spend the night in Santa Fe and enjoy a world-class dinner followed by an inspiring concert or play.


Ski Santa Fe – Scenic Chairlift Rides

The operating dates and hours for the chairlift rides will be posted on the Ski Santa Fe website. Information is also available at Ski Santa Fe, 505-983-9155.










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Summer’s Not Over Yet!

We are mid-way through the Summer months, which means August lies ahead and for Santa Fe that translates to some of the best art festivals….ever!

Here is what you have to look forward to while vacationing in Santa Fe this Summer:

Spanish Market

July 21 – 27

Leading us into the month of August, Santa Fe’s Spanish Market pays tribute to traditional Spanish Colonial arts and culture, with several hundred artists selling santos and bultos (wooden carved and painted images of saints), handmade furniture, colcha (straw ornaments), jewelry, weavings and more. Held on the Santa Fe Plaza, the market includes food, live music and dance performances, book signings and more!


Indian Market

August 18 – 24

This year the Santa Fe Indian Market will celebrate its 93rd year! This spectacular festival brings over 175,000 people to Santa Fe every August with its unique, exciting and inspiring events. From families with young children to avid art collectors, Santa Fe Indian Market attracts international visitors from all walks of life. More events are free and open to the public. You will not want to miss this incredible celebrate…it will be a memory of a lifetime.











Santa Fe Opera

June 27 – August 23

The 2014 Festival Season at the Santa Fe Opera season is underway! In August you can catch performances of Carmen, Don Pasquale, Fidelio, Doulbe Bill, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and the Apprentice Scenes. For the calendar and to purchase tickets, click here. The Santa Fe Opera will leave you breathless, and you will also most likely catch one of Santa Fe’s famous sunsets, in the open theatre. Truly magical!


Santa Fe Bandstand

June 23 – August 28

The Santa Fe Bandstand recently won “Best Event or Festival” in the Santa Fe Reporter’s 2014 Best of Santa Fe reader’s poll! With over 100 FREE performances from the heart of Santa Fe, August brings to the stage the Santa Fe Great Big Jazz Band, The Country Blues Revue, and many, many more artists! For the full event schedule click here.


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The Heartbeat of Santa Fe

We all know Santa Fe has beautiful sunsets, amazing shopping and the best restaurants around. Did you know that the music scene is thriving as well? On any given night you can hear the sweet sounds of music coming from art galleries and restaurants, the Bandstand on the Plaza, the Santa Fe Opera, and even from top of the hill at St. John’s College.

These signature Santa Fe summer music scenes are part of what make Santa Fe so magical.  When you join us at one of our properties during your vacation in Santa Fe, you’ll enjoy walking out your front door and being serenaded all day long.  Come and explore the ‘Heartbeat’ of Santa Fe!

Santa Fe Bandstand

Starting June 23rd the Plaza transforms into a concert venue offering 100 FREE performances from the heart of Santa Fe!  Take a look at the event schedule, here!


Music on the Hill

This concert series, sponsored by St. John’s College, is a popular summer event.  In their ninth season, every Wednesday evening take a quick drive up to the College (a shuttle is available) and be entertained with soothing sounds and stunning sunsets.  For more information, click here.


Santa Fe Opera House

Opening June 27th the 2014 Festival Season at the Santa Fe Opera is not to be missed while visiting Santa Fe.  The season boasts Carmen, Don Pasquale, Fidelio, Double Bill, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and the Apprentice Scenes.  For the calendar and to purchase tickets, click here.

Top 10 outdoor summer fests; Jun'12; Santa Fe Opera, open-air exterior, NM


Downtown Santa Fe

The music scene in downtown Santa Fe will not disappoint.  During the summer months (and even all year long) one of the local bars, restaurants or breweries are always serving up fresh food and delicious drinks, along with inviting artists to their stage weekly.  Here are Adobe Destination’s Staff Picks:

El Farol Cantina

Come from the food and stay for the entertainment!  El Farol offers the best tapas in Santa Fe, and has live music every night of the week, including the famous Flamenco Dinners.


Cowgirl BBQ

In the hipster Guadalupe district, the Cowgirl, a New Mexico-meets-Texas BBQ joint, has been a Santa Fe standby for a long time with good reason, known for its excellent food and strong tasty margaritas. It is a fun place for all ages thanks to the great playground, wacky western-style feminist flair, huge patio and live music on the inside stage after 9pm.


Second Street Brewery at the Railyard

The second outpost of Santa Fe’s second most famous craft brewery does some of the town’s best pub grub in a happening Railyard district with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and a lively music scene.


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Santa Fe Summer Events: Our Top Four

It happens every year. The evenings grow shorter, the sun shines longer, and Santa Fe begins to show an extra special energy, one that is both warm and infectious. Residents and visitors alike are out and about, shopping downtown, browsing Canyon Road or grabbing lunch outside in the sun. The calendars quickly become filled with one-of-a-kind events that only the City Different can offer. It’s all signs of a Santa Fe summer.

1.  Santa Fe is home to the largest international folk art market in the world. This year, the annual global gathering will occur July 11-13 and will feature the work of 150 master folk artists from 60 countries. This event is like nothing you’ve ever been to before, with international cuisine, worldly live music and cultural artwork from many societies around the globe. Come meet the world in Santa Fe.


2.  Held every July on the Santa Fe Plaza, the Spanish Market is the largest exhibition of traditional Hispanic Arts in the United States. On July 26th and 27th, over 200 local artists will gather to showcase handmade traditional objects, and many artists will be working on a piece right before your eyes. This fabulous event includes live music, dances and regional cuisine.


3.  Taking place in the later days of summer is the Santa Fe Indian Market, an inspiring festival attracting over 175,000 people each year. This world-renowned market presents a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Indian arts and cultures. This year, the Santa Fe Indian Market will take place August 18-24, making it the perfect family event to attend before the kids head back to school.


4.  With the 2014 Festival Season opening June 27th, the Santa Fe Opera is wonderful all summer long. The Opera makes for a marvelous night out on the town. This year’s calendar includes Carmen, Don Pasquale, Fidelio, The Impresario & Le Rossignol, Dr. Sun Yat-sen and more.


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Summer in Santa Fe

Summer in Santa Fe is one of our favorite times of year. The city feels so alive, bustling with an extra special energy, and the people have an extra spring in their step.

With June, comes the start of the Santa Fe Bandstand season. This community stage, set right in the heart of the Santa Fe Plaza, offers up a diverse musical lineup, free fun and dancing for all.

LC Patio

Canyon Road, the Railyard District and the dozens of art galleries in Santa Fe are a must-see. During the summer months, the weather is perfect for wandering the streets, in and out of galleries, markets, cafés and local shops.

Plaza 5

Of course, the cuisine of our city is unparalleled, and come June and July, the experience only gets better. The many unique adobe restaurants and cafés of Santa Fe boast gorgeous outdoor seating, patios and decks lined with colorful flowerpots set against the crisp backdrop of the sunny blue skies.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Hiking the surrounding, stunning landscape of Santa Fe is such a joy during this time of year, and the mountains are only a few minutes from the cultural downtown. The outdoor recreation goes beyond hiking. Try refreshing whitewater rafting, adventurous alpine horseback riding, fly-fishing or mountain biking. Santa Fe has it all!

Although there are a million reasons to come visit Santa Fe this summer, there is only one place to stay. We invite you to book your memories with Adobe Destinations today!


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