If you’ve ever wondered what Santa Fe, New Mexico in the USA is like, it has recently been awarded “the best small city in America,” by Conde Nast Traveler’s Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards.
They had this to say, “No other place in the country, so beautifully reflects the art, architecture, food and crafts of centuries of Native Americans, Spanish and Mexican influence.”
Having just spent five days in Santa Fe it’s an inspiring town especially if you’re interested in art and architecture.
But this title, “the best small city in America,” didn’t happen by chance. The folk of Santa Fe have been working on creating a culturally rich town, embracing all its history for some time.
In the 1910’s they decided their traditional adobe architecture was an asset, bringing tourists, so they passed a decree for all new structures to be built in the adobe style, modeled on the local Indian pueblos’.
Today, the old part of the town is an impressive sea of earthy coloured, softly rounded abode buildings.
At about the same time the art scene was just beginning too.
Five impoverished artists named the “cinco pintores” moved into the ruins of some of the old adobe houses in Canyon Road painting scenes of the Southwest in the famed New Mexico light. The town has not looked back and today it is the 3rd largest art market in America after Los Angeles and New York with over 200 galleries, many of which are located in Canyon Road.
We spent a couple of days meandering through the Canyon Road galleries and the myriad of museums in the town, including the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.
Dotted throughout the town are many enticing restaurants to match this very stylish town. With a booming art scene, a sophisticated “out-of-town” clientele visit regularly. Don’t go past The Compound Restaurant on Canyon Road and James Campbell Caruso’s modern Spanish Tapas restaurants, La Boca and Taberna.