After a year of nearly no travel (we went to Texas Hill country for a weekend in the fall), we decided spring break was the time. Still uncomfortable with flying with a family of five, we knew it was going to be a road trip. Our first stop: Santa Fe, New Mexico. This was our first time visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico. Below are some tips for visiting in spring, ideas of what to do, and of course, what to wear.
Visiting New Mexico During Covid
Visiting New Mexico during Covid requires advanced planning, flexibility, and patience. The good news is that New Mexico has lifted the mandatory quarantine when visiting the state. Masks are still required inside buildings and outside. One thing to note is that most places are either at 25% capacity or still closed altogether to protect residents of Santa Fe and local Pueblo populations. Because of this reservations are required for most activities and I would highly recommend them for restaurants.
What to Pack for Santa Fe Spring
So, Santa Fe spring is definitely NOT like Houston spring. Lows can be in the teens and highs are about mid fifties. It snowed the first day we were there. Below are affiliate links for the items I packed, including a couple pairs of jeans, some boots, sneakers, lightweight sweaters, and coats.
Hilton Buffalo Thunder Santa Fe Hotel
We stayed at the Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder resort. It’s about 20 minutes north of Santa Fe in a secluded area near the mountains. Hilton did a good job of maintaining Covid safety protocols. Masks are required throughout the building, and there were multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the lobby. Rooms are sanitized and sealed until you check in, no housekeeping service unless you explicitly request it.
The property and hotel interior are beautiful and reflect the local culture. There is even a small museum of Native art in the hotel.
Downtown Santa Fe
Because of closures and restricted hours, we didn’t get to see nearly as much of Santa Fe as we would have liked. However below are some of the places we visited in downtown Santa Fe.
Dining on Santa Fe Plaza
Plaza Cafe is right on the square and had a wonderful outdoor dining area with tables appropriately spread out. I thoroughly enjoyed my Mexican mocha and blue corn and piñon pancake.
Wandering Through Downtown Santa Fe
Because of Covid, many of the usual events in the city don’t happen. There is typically a Native arts market around the Palace of the Governors, but that wasn’t there. Many stores were either closed or had restricted hours so instead we took the opportunity to just stroll through the streets and observe the architecture and street art.
I didn’t get to shop as much as I wished on this trip. The one shop we all loved was Doodlet’s. Toys, trinkets, souvenirs galore, there’s something for everyone here.
Sandia Peak Tramway
So our trip to the Sandia Peak Tramway can serve as a cautionary tale for you, should you visit. The tramway is in Albuquerque, about an hour’s drive from Santa Fe. Again, because of Covid you are required to buy tickets 24 hours in advance. Our intent was to take the tram up to the mountain in time for sunset. I assumed since we had our tickets it would just be a short wait. It ended up being more than an hour because of restricted capacity and someone getting lost on the mountain. By that time it was dark and cold, you couldn’t really even see anything outside. Also, it was below freezing at the top of the mountain. So basically, we waited for this tram, took it up for 15 minutes, got right back in line to come down again.
Santa Fe was our first stop for spring break. Stay tuned for more!