The Reed Escape to Santa Fe
Restorative, rugged, and enchanting, Santa Fe is a place unlike anywhere else. Its singular marriage of the American West's mystique with the indigenous cultures of New Mexico is what makes Santa Fe so specifically Santa Fe. The city center is laced with a formidable amount of tourist traps and chintzy art, but with a little planning and research it's easy to cut that out from the periphery and focus on the great taste this country's oldest capital city has to offer—and a lot of that involves green chiles.
>> Daytripping with Mikael Kennedy
Santa Fe's cozy cafés and restaurants can easily grab ahold of your day, taking you hostage with spiced Mexican hot chocolates and red and green chile enchiladas, but just beyond the dusty rose adobe buildings is something spectacular. Our friend Mikael Kennedy, one of our favorite rug collectors and photographers of the American West, is a regular visitor of New Mexico. He tells us after he's had his fill of Santa Fe it's all about getting out into the Land of Enchantment—Ojo Caliente for the hot springs, driving out to Abiquiu to see the red rocks, the high road to Taos, going down to Silver City and stopping at every old church on the way (the Santuiaro De Chimayo in Chimayo is a top choice). But one of the most compelling day trips is to White Sands National Monument.
MK: Many people will disagree with me on this point, but you can definitely drive to White Sands and back from Santa Fe in one day, that's the beauty of the great wide open west; a four hour drive (each way) is nothing. Especially when the roads look like this.
Don't take I-25 South through Albuquerque, head North on I-25 (it's actually more east at that point if you're driving from the Santa Fe airport) to 285 South, ride that to Route 3 for a short hop and then take 54 all the way down. [Click here for a visual] The magic of New Mexico is the landscape and the way the light hits it. Everyone has their own ideas but to me White Sands is best at Sunset, it cools down as the light cuts across the world and you get a better view, the dunes stand out against each other.
[Guide created May 2015]