Appeared in May/June 2007 LINKS
The oldest capital city in North America, Santa Fe boasts a vibrant history dating to 1610, when it was founded by Spanish explorers. Recently, the city has been home to a wide range of artists, writers and other creative sorts seeking inspiration from this “Land of Enchantment.” Golfers come for the same reason, and they won’t soon forget the dramatic scenery and the epic drives they’ll hit at the 7,000-foot altitude.
Black Mesa Golf Club, one of New Mexico’s best layouts, has dramatic valley and mountain views and is worthy of multiple plays. The Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe is a local favorite with piñon and juniper-tree-lined fairways. The recently renovated Pueblo de Cochiti is a high-desert gem situated on a 54,000-acre reservation. Towa Golf Resort features distinctive rock formations on its two desert-style courses, one of which Hale Irwin designed.
Near the downtown Plaza area are a number of adobe-chic hotels. The Inn and Spa at Loretto features distinctive Southwestern decor, much of it handcrafted. The Eldorado Hotel & Spa is known for original art that graces its walls and the Kiva fireplaces in many of its rooms. Las Palomas offers casitas with custom leather and wood furnishings, hand-woven rugs and fireplaces. Just outside town is Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa, tucked up against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Known for its breakfast burritos and bakery baskets, Tecolote Café is a great way to start the day. At Gabriel’s, you can sit outside with a margarita while your waiter makes your guacamole tableside. The centrally located Plaza Café serves a full complement of authentic Mexican food. The Pink Adobe is an intimate gathering spot: The French onion soup and steak Dunigan are house specialties.
Must sees: the Plaza, Canyon Road galleries and Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The Santa Fe Opera has world-renowned performances each summer. Outdoor lovers should visit Bandelier National Monument and explore the Anasazi cliff dwellings.