Santa Fe, New Mexico


Unless you’re an avid skiier or from the state, you probably don’t think of New Mexico as an attraction for winter sports. But it is! Located at the southern end of the American Rockies, Santa Fe is almost 2000 feet higher in elevation than Denver. This February, we decided to visit New Mexico for a whole week so Alex could go snowboarding in Taos. We ended up missing most of the snow, but we really enjoyed our time in New Mexico!

We flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico, picking up a rental car and driving to Santa Fe and Taos before returning for the final night in Abuquerque. Beautiful desert landscapes right from the get-go!

First dinner in Santa Fe: Zacatlán. Really stellar meal. We especially loved the lamb shank barbacoa.

This is the second time we’ve rented an electric car while on vacation, and I would not recommend it, haha. Both times we only barely lucked out by having charging at the place where we were staying, which we only found out after the fact. Even then, not having guaranteed access to a charger and needing to charge overnight was a constant stress. With the winter temps in New Mexico the battery life was especially terrible, and the car only had ~100 miles on a full charge. Alas, we made it work! Having a car did mean nice little local outings though, like to the Trader Joe’s and the OrangeTheory next to it. Running was extra difficult, given the elevation!

Breakfast at Modern General Feed & Seed. Very cute general store / cafe.

Visiting the Santa Fe Railyard for the Railyard Artisan Market.

I loved the Acoma pottery and bought one of their little jars. We later saw many more examples of Acoma pottery and learned more about the Acoma people, some of whom live atop a mesa, nicknamed Sky City. 

I also learned after the fact that though the Santa Fe Railway is a famous rail line that linked much of the US, it actually didn’t go through Santa Fe due to the mountains. Instead it went around Santa Fe, and they added an offshoot branch into the city only afterwards.

Wanderings around town

Bought a nice Itzhak Perlman – Isaac Stern – Pinchas Zukerman record from this shop.

Lunch at The Pantry Rio


Southwestern desert, mountain town, indigenous people and cultures, Spanish colonization, all mixing together here.

The Palace of the Governors, where Native American artisans are licensed to sell their wares on the ground along the arcade.

Then we visited Meow Wolf, frequently listed as one of the most popular attractions in Santa Fe. I had no idea what to expect, and I think it was even more fun that way, haha. Kind of a gigantic art installation with strong mystery and fantasy vibes that you can explore to your hearts content. Try to solve the mysteries within or just wander around and look at the beautifully created environments. We had fun with the latter.

Meow Wolf is enormous! These are just a few tiny corners of the sprawling complex. Santa Fe is the original location, but they now have locations in Vegas, Denver, Houston, and Grapevine, TX.

Afterwards, dinner at Paloma.

Georgia O’Keefe Museum. Much of it was under renovation, but it was interesting to see some highlights of O’Keefe’s work still.

Always interesting to see artists’ early work that bears little resemblance to the later work they become famous for.

O’Keefe was married to famous photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

Some of the later works O’Keefe became known for. Large floral abstracts and Southwestern desert motifs. She moved to New Mexico in the 1930s and spent the rest of her life at her ranch in Abiquiu and in Santa Fe. 

Lunch at The Teahouse, followed by hot chocolate & chocolates at Kakawa Chocolate House.


A sunset drive to the tiny Santa Fe airport, where we tried and failed to swap our electric vehicle for something else. They didn’t have any other cars for us. We ended up keeping it for the rest of the trip, and it was fine in the end!

Dinner at La Boca.

The Rainbow Man, a shop near the plaza.

Inside the shop’s courtyard is this unassuming little plaque that signals the tie-in to Oppenheimer’s Los Alamos National Lab. All of the scientists who secretly worked on the atomic bomb first signed in at the office here in Santa Fe.

Brunch at The Shed.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Sage Botanical and Los Poblanos Farm Shop Norte.

I’ve somewhat randomly visited several state capitol buildings, so I figured I might as well add this one to the list too.

The entire building was pretty empty. Government was clearly not in session.

The whole building is circular, set under a dome with identical-looking chambers for the Senate and for the House of Representatives.

Some very interesting old-school Senate and House of Representative yearbook photos.

My favorite thing about the New Mexico State Capitol was the abundant artwork by local artists. It was like visiting a large free museum.

Restaurant week dinner at the Pink Adobe.


The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Located atop a hill, with a whole museum campus.

Really appreciated learning just a bit about the diverse native peoples who continue to live in this place.

An explroation of both historic and modern cultural practices.

Canyon Road, filled with art galleries, shops, and cafes.

And back downtown, a final brunch at Cafe Pasqual’s.

Including these delicious corn pancakes. It’s apparently a local New Mexico tradition to eat the pancakes with maple syrup, mole, and red chile, together!

Next up, we made our to Taos. Stay tuned for the famous drive!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at