Category Archives: *Miscellaneous changes

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, . 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. 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!]

Car-free travel tips

Reader Paul writes:

As an extreme budget traveler, I use public transit all I can. You might consider mentioning that transportation between Santa Fe and Los Alamos is available M-F (only) for a mere $3 cash each way via New Mexico Park and Ride. Don’t be deterred by the name — one need not have any vehicle to park to use this service. In Los Alamos, the Mesa Library stop puts one right in the midst of historic, Manhattan project Los Alamos. And the buses are big and cushy too.

See this website for more
and especially the schedule at

It’s the “blue route” that I am referring to. (Don’t confuse that with the Blue Bus that is completely different.)

One more point: for $10 one can buy a day pass on the NM Rail Runner (pay cash once on board) and so travel between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and back again (in the same day) with free passage on buses in both of those cities. It’s a great way to see the state and cheap too.

4th edition is here!

STAB4For the first time in FULL COLOR, this edition of Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque looks fabulous! I’m very pleased.

As usual, there’s already a correction: Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair is closed, once again.

Special shout-out to all the folks who provided photos and helped make it look so fabulous!

Albuquerque changes

The Candy Lady has moved, just one block, to 424 San Felipe St. NW. (The sneaky thing is that a different candy shop took over the old location–don’t be fooled.)

Hispaniae, the shop in Old Town, is closing.

Routes, the bike-rental company, has moved to a spot in Old Town: 404 San Felipe St. NW.

The A Store, a shop in Nob Hill, has moved a few blocks, to 3339 Central NE.

Stevie’s Happy Bikes, in Corrales, has moved a little bit north, to 4685 Corrales Rd.

Fire Season

If you’re visiting NM this summer, keep an eye on the wildfire situation. This blog ( posts bulletins from the Forest Service.

Two current fires could have an impact on your outdoorsy plans: the Tres Lagunas fire is only 10 miles north of Pecos, and a fire north of Silver City has led to evacuations of Hillsboro, on Hwy. 152.

Taos changes

Fernandez de Taos bookstore/newsstand is closed.

Parks Gallery moved from Bent Street to Paseo del Pueblo Norte, just north of the intersection with Kit Carson Road, on the west side of the street.

Laughing Horse hotel/hostel is closed.

Rellenos Café is now La Cueva, though the menu and food is largely the same.

Loka coffeehouse is shut. It’s now Stella’s, an Italian restaurant.

Zebadiah’s in Angel Fire now goes just by Zeb’s.

The Angel Fire visitor center has moved. Look for it on Hwy 434, just south of the T-intersection with Angel Fire Rd.

Correction: Wired? Internet café is behind Albertson’s, not Raley’s.

Public Lands Information Center

The office in Santa Fe has moved–it’s no longer on Rodeo Road, but out of the city a little way.

The address is 301 Dinosaur Trail. Where is that, you might ask? It’s just south of where Highway 14 meets I-25. (People who know the area will know it got its name from the dinosaur sculptures there.)

Phone number is 505/954-2002, and office hours are 8am-4:30pm Mon-Fri.

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.

Miscellaneous Taos changes

Fernandez de Taos bookstore has moved around the corner, onto Paseo del Pueblo Norte just next World Cup coffee.

The road running along the Rio Grande gorge on the west side has been paved, so you can head down this way and then jog over to Ojo Caliente and on south to Santa Fe–another scenic route, with potential for a hot-springs break! Look for the turn off US 64, about a mile west of the gorge.

Shuttle Service to Taos

Taos is jumping on the successful Rail Runner link between ABQ and Santa Fe: Starting June 4, Taos Express will run a shuttle bus will between Taos and the Santa Fe Rail Runner depot, timed with the train’s arrival, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Round-trip price is $10, and you can transfer to the Taos Chile Line town bus for free.

2nd edition is here! (plus transport updates)

The second edition of Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque is available now!

Fortunately, no obvious corrections to be made yet. But I’m sure a few will appear shortly.

The big news in the area is twofold:

1) The RailRunner commuter train now connects Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Schedules are here.

Note that, as a side effect, as far as I can tell, there is no longer a regular city bus linking the ABQ airport to downtown–there is now a free shuttle. Which would be nice, except it runs less frequently and is timed to coordinate with the RailRunner’s departures to Santa Fe. Still, if the times work in your favor, you could easily enjoy a car-free visit to Santa Fe (and Albuquerque).

2) Allegedly, daily direct flights to Santa Fe will be starting June 11. They’ll be operated by American Eagle (American Airlines) out of Dallas-Ft. Worth.

This has been on the table before, and very close to starting, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

ABQ Bike Paths, Madrid Toilets

This doesn’t refer to anything specific in the book–I just thought it was a big step forward: You can now bike all the way to the Balloon Fiesta grounds (thanks, Duke City Fix).

Balloon Fiesta traffic is the single biggest mental deterrent for going, I’d say. The park-and-ride bus system works, but if you can get there under your own power–so much cooler! And a pre-dawn bike ride would be great.

In other news, there’s now an actual flushing public toilet in Madrid! (Previously, porta-potties were all that was available.)

Moon New Mexico on the horizon…

If Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque isn’t enough for you, get ready for Moon New Mexico, with many pages devoted to the farthest corners of the state. It comes out September 28. And there’s an update page set up for the book, just waiting for news!

I talk (and talk and talk) about New Mexico on this fun podcast, the Amateur Traveler. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of discussion of New Mexican food, and a very rambling outline of all the various places you can visit in the state, including Pie Town and Truth or Consequences.

You can download the podcast at the Amateur Traveler website, or go via iTunes–I definitely recommend the iTunes-enhanced version, which includes some great photos.

Many of those photos happen to be mine–I just uploaded a bunch of the pics I used for the book to my Flickr stream. Easiest to see them in the New Mexico set.

Recreation in Taos

The Kit Carson Park Ice Rink (p. 114) is no longer, nor is Don Fernando Swimming Pool. The Taos Youth & Family Center, 407 Paseo del Canon, on the south side, has combined both of these functions, with a bigger indoor pool, as well as an ice rink–probably better for the community, but less fun for visitors, as the ice rink is no longer outdoors and easily accessible.

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…

Other ABQ changes

Greyhound/TNM&O buses now arrive at a new depot across 1st St., next to the Amtrak station.

Re: Tingley Aquatic Park (aka Tingley Beach, p. 158), I spoke too soon–the landscaping is still nowhere near finished, though I did see people fishing in the ponds, and the train to the zoo is running.

Re: Faulty Trail (p. 157), I realized the directions don’t really account for all the ways you could get lost.  First, turn on Canoncito, not Corte de Canoncito, which is the next turn to the north.  Then stay on Canoncito for a full half-mile–there’s a fork early on, and you need to bear right to stay on the main road.  Just as the paving ends, there’s another fork, and that’s where you want to bear left, onto Cole Springs Rd. You’ll pass through one fenced area, with ‘private property’ signs, before you reach the locked gate described in the book.  There’s very little room to park there, so you may want to park in the pullout right at the Cole Springs Rd. turn.