Welcome to the Land of Enchantment, CJP Members!
by CJP “Flight Levels” Editor Rob Finfrock
There’s a certain amount of serendipity in having Santa Fe, NM host CJP’s first Regional Event in 21 months. Our nation’s oldest capital city is home to a magnitude of museums, art galleries, nature hikes and more, all set in the crisp air and rejuvenating backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Add New Mexico’s temperate springtime weather to the mix, and it’s all just what the doctor ordered in the aftermath of our COVID year!
It’s been my pleasure to call the Land of Enchantment home since 1992. In addition to the roster of activities planned for CJP members during the Regional Event, here are a few suggested attractions to consider during your trip to the City Different from June 16-19:
Santa Fe Plaza/Palace of the Governors – 63 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe: Widely considered the Heart of Santa Fe and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Plaza consists of a central park lined with grass, trees, benches and a performing arts stage that plays host to national theatrical productions and weekday troubadours alike. The Plaza is ringed by historic adobe buildings, many of them hundreds of years old, which once served as trading posts along the Old Santa Fe Trail. Today, they’re home to businesses ranging from restaurants to galleries to gift shops.
Holding court over the Plaza is the Palace of the Governors, erected in 1610 by order of the Spanish crown as the office of the regional governor. Today, the oldest public building in the U.S. is best known for its outdoor covered promenade that hosts dozens of traditional Native American jewelers and weavers from surrounding pueblos.
Canyon Road – Immediately SE of the Plaza, Santa Fe: In addition to offering some of the most picturesque views of the city and surrounding landscape, Canyon Road is home to more than 100 art galleries along its mile-long, tree-lined route. A slew of interesting cafes, wine bars and fine dining establishments make this an ideal place to spend a couple of hours, or an entire afternoon.
Meow Wolf – 1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe: Words cannot adequately describe this mind-bending art exhibition featuring a variety of immersive and interactive exhibits. Formed in 2008, the Meow Wolf collective gained international recognition with the 2016 opening of its first permanent installation, the “House of Eternal Return,” developed in part by Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin. Guests may discover a multidimensional mystery house with secret passages, portals to magical worlds, and an expansive narrative amidst surreal, maximalist and mesmerizing art exhibits.
In addition to these attractions within the city proper, Santa Fe is also centrally located to a wealth of getaway opportunities within a 60 to 90-minute drive, from the historic WWII enclaves of Los Alamos and White Rock to the majestic cliff dwellings of Bandelier National Monument.
Ninety minutes north of Santa Fe by car, Taos is one of the nation’s foremost art colonies and home to Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site – while just a short 20-minute drive east on I-25 takes you to the community of Glorieta, home to activities ranging from fly fishing and ziplining, to exploring the Pecos National Monument and the Civil War-era Glorieta Pass Battlefield.
Albuquerque – New Mexico’s largest city – lies 45 minutes south of Santa Fe, offering its own historic Plaza and attractions. Take flight onboard the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, check out the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History – or, take a ride in a Bounder RV by many of the sites featured in the hit television shows “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”
This brief summary barely scratches the surface of activities to consider as you venture to the Land of Enchantment this month. Regardless of how you spend your time in the City Different, your visit to Santa Fe promises to be one you’ll remember!
A note on COVID-19: New Mexico has been consistently at the forefront of community response to the coronavirus, resulting in case numbers and other statistics that have generally trended more favorably than in surrounding states. As of May 21, more than half the state’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with more than 63 percent having received at least one dose.
Persons who are fully vaccinated against the virus are no longer required to wear masks in most settings, while the state government continues to mandate mask usage for those not vaccinated. Most public venues have reopened (including those mentioned here) with social distancing remaining in effect and most operating at limited, but expanding, capacity. Additional information is available at https://cv.nmhealth.org/.