Category Archives: *Attractions

Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge

I have to admit, Sevilleta has always fallen by the wayside as I drive down to Bosque del Apache. This trip I finally detoured off the highway to see the Sevilleta visitors center. It has a great exhibit on Chihuahua Desert wildlife (including lots of taxidermy)–worth stopping for, as the Bosque del Apache info focuses almost entirely on birds.

More cheap/free tips

Reader Paul has some more very solid advice! I’ll be working these details into the next edition of the guide.

1. NM Rail Runner Train (p. 120). Current fares $9 OW, $10 day pass. Buy ticket either online or on the train. In Albuquerque, buses 250 and 50 connect the Alvarado train station to the ABQ airport Mon – Sat. Sundays there is no connection. Bus service is free by showing your valid train ticket. [This is covered in the back of the book, but not sure I noted that the bus is free with your Rail Runner ticket–very helpful!]

2. Sandia Shuttle Express — fare is now $30 OW. If one is taking the last run of the night, call the toll free number and let them know. Also, Sandia works in the opposite direction, picking up at your location in SF and delivering you to ABQ airport.

3. Santa Fe Public Library, 145 Washington Avenue, a block and a half north of the plaza, (505) 955-6781, https://santafelibrary.org/ . A great place to spend a rainy afternoon. Many out of town newspapers. A small but well stocked bookstore, paperbacks $1, hardcovers $2. I don’t remember your mentioning it, however the library is marked on the map on p. 77.

4. Ghost Ranch, p. 113. Perhaps worth more emphasis is that GR has many week-long programs mostly emphasizing the arts (painting, photography, jewelry making), the outdoors, and ministry (given GR’s connection to the Presbyterian church). Most but not all programs happen in the summer. [There’s a bit about this in the back of the book under Classes.]

5. Music on the Hill, free concerts in Santa Fe on Wednesday evenings at St. John’s College, Museum Hill area, Santa Fe. http://www.sjc.edu/programs-and-events/santa-fe/music-hill-2016/ I spent two weeks at St. John’s College last month and noticed that people turned out from all over to attend these concerts. Incidentally (shameless plug), St. John’s College is one of last remaining college curricula based on the Western and now Eastern classics. It has campuses in Santa Fe and Annapolis.

6. Santa Fe International Hostel, p. 94. You describe it well, particularly the “dimly-lit” part, however, I love the place and would stay there even if I had the money to stay somewhere fancier. Why? Intriguing people of all ages from all over the world stay there. Also: free food (but check the expiri date) and no taxes added to the price. Plus, doing the morning chore helps establish a bond to the place. So might you consider dropping the “not the worst” phrase? The hostel deserves better. [Always good to get firsthand reports from hotels, as I never have the time to stay in each and every one myself. Thank you so much!]

Santa Fe changes

Santa Fe Children’s Museum is closed. (Officially temporarily, but no reopening date is set.)

Marble Tap Room is closed.

Chuck Jones Studio Gallery has moved to 126 W. Water St.

Eight Modern gallery has moved to 1601 Paseo de Peralta.

La Fonda hotel has undergone some terrible renovations in the lobby, so it’s not so nice and old-feeling anymore. The lobby bar is a lot more generic.

Ecco Gelato moved down and across the street.

Santa Fe Baking Co. is closed.

St. Michael’s Laundry is closed.

I don’t usually rave about new things, BUT: MEOW WOLF IS AMAZING.

New Mexico Culture Pass

Instead of the Santa Fe museum pass for $20, there’s now a statewide New Mexico Culture Pass for $25.

It gets you into museums in Albuquerque (the Hispanic cultural center and the natural history museum) and the Coronado and Jemez historic sites, and it’s good for a whole year. A pretty good deal, certainly for state residents, but also not too bad for visitors, even if you’re only visiting a few museums.

Outside Albuquerque

The church at Laguna is now open officially only 9am-3pm Mon-Fri. When I dropped by, Alfred Pino wasn’t around, though the woman in the church office said he still comes by from time to time.

The Cerrillos Hills B&B is closed.

In Mountainair, the Shaffer Hotel has new management, as of this spring, and looks in great shape again. Excellent homemade pie in the dining room, and it’s open 6am-9pm most days.

Hours updates

A helpful reader just alerted me that the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe is no longer free on Friday evenings. Now it’s only on the first Friday of the month, to NM residents with ID.

Also, the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque closes for maintenance periodically–so it’s inaccurate to say it runs “frequently all year round.” If your trip falls outside the winter ski season, be sure to call ahead to check the schedule. The maintenance schedule is also posted on the website now. Next closing is November 4-15.

Albuquerque updates

Jo’s Place is closed. (That’s OK–the family’s two other good restaurants still rock the same block.)

Church of Beethoven is now called Sunday Chatter. (Not sure what happened there, but I guess it’s better not to know about chamber music feuds!)

(Thanks to the New York Times team for updating my 36 Hours in Albuquerque piece and finding these changes!)

North of Santa Fe

O Eating House, in Pojoaque, is now a fairly upscale Italian restaurant (but it has the same name). It looks good, if completely different!

The stock at Chimayo Trading Post has dwindled significantly. The owner (his partner passed away) is quite old and doesn’t seem to be restocking the place. Still, if you’ve never been, it’s worth a stop–there are still some treasures here.

In Chimayo, the separate Santo Nino de Atocha chapel has been spruced up and is open all the time now–it’s a bit more modern, but sweet. Take a peek inside, especially in the side chapel.

Santa Fe changes

As I noted before, the NM history museum is now open. Signage is not quite as detailed as I’d like, but otherwise it’s a nice introduction. The exhibits in the Palace of the Governors (now accessible via the history museum) are the same, fortunately–I find these more interesting.

Walking tours run by the museum go from mid-April to mid-October (not just in summer, like the book says). They last about two hours, and the route depends on who’s leading it, but it covers a couple of miles.

Linda Durham Gallery has moved away from Canyon Road, over to 1800 2nd Street.

Collected Works books has moved to the corner of Galisteo and Water, and now has a coffeeshop inside–lovely.

Adelante Casitas is back to being called Chapelle Street Casitas. Its online booking system is buggy–better to call.

Hotel St. Francis has been redone by the Heritage Hotels & Resorts group–it looks quite chic, but the rates have of course gone up. (The same group has redone the Hotel Plaza Real as well, which is great because that used to be a wasted dump.)

Willee’s bar is shut–it’s now called Corazon and books a lot of hipper live music.

Chispa! bar closes at 11pm now.

Green Palace teahouse is shut.

Carlos’ Gosp’l Cafe is shut. The space in the Design Center now sells NYC-style pizza by the slice–it looks good!

El Tesoro in Sanbusco Center is no longer particularly Salvadoran–the menu is more standard Mex-New-Mex, but everything looks good.

The Treehouse cafe moved to 1600 Lena Street (and unfortunately didn’t bring the nursery with it!).

The Blue Heron restaurant is shut.

Santa Fe Sights and Activities

The Awakening Museum (p. 35) is shut.

Sun Mountain Bike Co. (p. 51), now better known as Mellow Velo, has moved to 638 Old Santa Fe Trail—that’s just a couple of blocks south of Paseo de Peralta. It’s also phasing in a new phone number: 505/995-VELO.

More roads have been paved en route to Diablo Canyon (p. 51, driving directions on p. 52), so you have to look out for the dirt road 4.6 miles in—it heads uphill and bears slightly right, while the main paved road turns left. If you miss the turn, you’ll find yourself on a giant subdivision loop, soon heading south and then back east toward the city.

Poeh Museum (p. 70) now has its permanent display open. Its not quite as multimedia-crazy as planned, but it’s a neat series of dioramas, plus room for temporary exhibits. Hey, it’s free.

A couple of Santa Fe changes

First, Cookworks (p. 48) is closed, and that is not news at all, since it happened in late 2005. I just haven’t had my eyes open wide enough the past few times I’ve driven through town–sorry.

Prices on the four city-managed museums–Palace of the Governors, Museum of Fine Arts, Folk Art, and Indian Arts & Culture–are all up by $1 (to $8). Which means 4-day passes are now $18. But there’s a new 2-museum pass for $12–for either Palace of the Governors/MFA or Folk/Indian Arts–which is pretty handy. Also, Sundays are free to all New Mexico residents.

More news on the way shortly…

News from Taos

Rita’s (p. 122) has opened as a proper restaurant, down in Ranchos de Taos (4133 NM Hwy 68). I haven’t checked it out yet myself, but if the tamales are the same, I can’t imagine what could go wrong.

All summer long, there’s music on the plaza every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm–apparently a fun scene well attended by Taos residents, with dancing.

(Thanks to the folks at Taos Lodging for the update!)