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3 Days in SantaFe


Three Days in Santa Fe


The chilly months of the year bring clear blue skies, crisp fresh air, snow-covered mountains, and the distinctive fragrance of piñon fires to Santa Fe. The holiday throngs have gone home, restaurants are less crowded, and even though temperatures can drop, it’s perfect weather for skiing, of course, as well as wandering through galleries, catching a live performance, indulging in a spa treatment, or sipping a craft cocktail.

This has been a banner winter for snow in New Mexico. Ski Santa Fe, at the top of Hyde Park Road, has a 57-inch base, and all seven lifts and 83 trails are currently open. For details and pricing visit Halfway down the hill, be sure to stop at Totemoff’s Bar for a warming bowl of green chile stew, live local music on Saturdays, and a pint of Cervezoso, a lager brewed exclusively for Ski Santa Fe by Santa Fe Brewing Company.


On the way back to town is Ten Thousand Waves (3451 Hyde Park Road, 505.982.9304,, a Japanese-style spa where you can soak in a private outdoor hot tub or indulge in a massages, facial, or salt glow. Relaxing in a tub at night with a breathtaking view of the stars is just as enjoyable as a midday soak. Plan ahead, though, as tubs and spa sessions book up quickly. The on-site restaurant Izanami offers traditional Japanese izakaya dining in a gorgeous but relaxed setting. The menu features house-made pickles, sashimi, salads, unique vegetable preparations, a wagyu burger, Japanese beer, and artisanal sake.

Back in town, check the schedule at the historic Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 West San Francisco Street, 505.988.1234). Built in 1931, it’s a Santa Fe landmark—both architecturally and culturally. Throughout the year, the iconic Moorish and Spanish Renaissance building plays host to live theater, film, dance, classical and pop music events as well as lectures and readings from renowned authors and scholars. Check for upcoming events at

Santa Fe offers a wide variety of lodging options, from chic to charming. Set in Tesuque, against a backdrop of beautiful high-desert foothills, the Encantado Four Seasons Resort (198 NM-592, 505.946.5700, is just 10 minutes from the Plaza. Terra, the resort’s casually elegant restaurant, offers regionally inspired cuisine as well as fine wines and cocktails under the direction of expert chef Kai Autenrieth. The resort’s spa offers an array of services, including massage, facials, and purification rituals along with a state-of-the-art fitness facility. Find rates and further information at

The timeless El Rey motor lodge (1862 Cerrillos Road, 505.982.1931, dates to the 1930s, when it was built along the original Route 66. Recently chicly updated, the inn consists of 86 unique adobe rooms surrounded by colorful gardens and a pool. Their popular La Reina bar serves signature tequila- and mescal-focused cocktails, beer, wine, and bar snacks daily from 5 to 11 p.m.

Cafe Pasqual’s (121 Don Gaspar Ave., 505.722.7672, is a tried-and-true Santa Fe establishment. James Beard Award–winning owner and executive chef Katharine Kagel beckons to locals and tourists alike with her mesmerizingly varied breakfast menu—try the smoked trout hash—enchiladas, sandwiches, and salads at lunch; and more elaborate dinner options that range from steak asada to chicken tagine. At peak times during the day, the wait for a table can be long, but if you’re feeling gregarious, offer to take a spot at the 12-seat communal table. Otherwise hop across the street to wander the aisles at Doodlet’s gift shop (120 Don Gaspar Ave., 505-983-3771,, which carries everything from postcards, whimsical tchotchkes, and toys to housewares, incense, and milagros.

After a late lunch or before dinner, follow the brick path away from the street to Tonic (103 E. Water St., 505-982-1189,, a jewel-box bar that recalls lounges of the 1920s and ’30s, with smooth wood, Art Deco–inspired details, and a glittering crystal chandelier. Sit back and sip one of owner Winston Greene’s craft cocktails—often to the toe-tapping beat of live jazz.