Santa Fe - Get Out -

One of the major contributors to Santa Fe's fame is the large number of American Indian pueblos (towns) nearby. Several are important centers for folk art; most permit visitors at dances and other tribal ceremonial events; and from a more contemporary perspective, several host casinos with gambling, night life, etc. There are also, however, some pueblos that jealously guard the privacy of their residents and admit visitors only grudgingly, if at all. Nearly all pueblos charge a fee for photography, video, sketching, etc., as an attempt to mitigate the impact of tourism on the private life of the inhabitants.

Some of the nearby pueblos that are accessible to the public, at least on occasion, are ("A" denotes a primary folk-art center, "C" means casino, "D" means dances or other ceremonials open to the public):

San Ildefonso Pueblo pottery

  Cochiti Pueblo -- southwest of town, A/D
  Nambe Pueblo -- north, D, pleasant campground and waterfall
  Pojoaque Pueblo -- north, C/D, not much there but an interesting museum and gaudy casino
  San Ildefonso Pueblo -- northwest, A/D, a major pottery center
  San Juan Pueblo -- north, A/C/D
  Santa Clara Pueblo -- northwest, A/D, another major pottery center
  Santo Domingo Pueblo -- southwest, A/D, excellent for pottery and jewelry
  Tesuque Pueblo -- north, C/D

See also the articles on North Central (New Mexico), Central (New Mexico), Taos and Espala (New Mexico) for pointers to more distant pueblos (note: the likelihood that a pueblo will be open for visitors falls off with distance from Santa Fe, except for notoriously tourist-friendly Taos Pueblo).

Dances and ceremonials take place throughout the year, but one not-to-be-missed special event is the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Annual Arts and Crafts Show, held in mid-July at one of the pueblos, frequently San Juan Pueblo. Many of the artisans use this event as a "tune-up" for the Santa Fe Indian Market the following month, so that both quality and quantity of the available work are quite high, yet the prices are often considerably better than for comparable (sometimes the exact same) work at the Indian Market. The 2006 edition is on July 15-16 at San Juan; be prepared for heat and dust, wear comfortable shoes, and feel entirely free to avoid the noisome casino just outside the parking lot.

Other

  Taos, known for arts and crafts as well as a superb downhill ski area, is about two hours north of Santa Fe.
  The Enchanted Circle is a scenic (yet long) drive which includes Taos and Eagle Nest.

  Santa Fe National Forest is nearby and offers abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. The Santa Fe Ski Basin, web site, is a short distance outside town, in the high country of the forest (seriously high -- even the base of the runs is above 10,000', so think carefully whether you want to go there if you have respiratory problems or are prone to altitude sickness). In addition to the obvious skiing, the lifts often operate during the summer, taking visitors to near the top of 12,000'-plus Tesuque Peak for great views. The road to the ski area goes through an aspen grove with spectacularly golden foliage (and hordes of people looking at the trees -- don't expect privacy) in the fall, and several trails lead into the national forest from trailheads along the way. Some of the trails turn into interesting Nordic ski tracks in the winter.
  Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is just south of town near Cochiti Lake in the central region, and is covered in that region's article. Many guidebooks of the area omit this little gem, which is open for day use ($5/vehicle) and includes a trail through a short but spectacular bit of slot canyon. Highly recommended for the hiker with half a day to spend.
  A trip to Los Alamos and nearby Bandelier National Monument is a great excursion from Santa Fe. If you want to make a day of it, you can continue on into the Jemez Mountains and Valles Caldera National Preserve (plan ahead, as the Preserve's more interesting activities require advance reservations).

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License


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