I found myself in New Mexico for a conference in Albuquerque, so it only made sense to make the 1.5 hour trip to Santa Fe.
Travelling by train
The RailRunner was a delightful way to travel. For $10 US one way you can be in the heart of Santa Fe in 90 minutes. It was comfortable and a bit quirky with the roadrunner “beep beep” being heard as the doors closed at each stop. It was relaxing watching the landscape sweep by and not having to worry about traffic.
Where to stay
There normally are an extensive variety of options but I was there during the National Governor’s Association meeting so many places were already full. The town was filled with SUVs and body guards but it made things interesting trying to name people as I came across them. One female governor went for a brisk morning walk through town with her security, who had to work hard to keep up with her!
I was lucky to find a room at Las Palomas Inn. My room was decorated in Santa Fe style with tile floors and local artwork on the walls. It even had a fireplace which wasn’t really needed in the heat of July but a nice touch. Breakfast was included and it was far more than expected. House made muffins, fresh fruit and omelettes with a selection of morning beverages. The location was within walking distance of the square and a short Uber ride from the market. The Uber drivers were mainly retirees and were a wealth of information on where to go and what to do.
The Farmer’s Market
I had only two days to explore this iconic town so I hit the ground running and after check in made my way over to the Santa Fe Farmers Market, a market that found its roots with farmers selling from the backs of their trucks in the 60s. This market has been listed as one of the top 10 markets and I’m glad I made time for it.
Flying really cramps one’s style when it comes to food travel. The fresh produce was so tempting but unfortunately I had to stick to things that are legal to transport and that I could pack in my suitcase. The tortillas they were cooking found their way into my belly but not my luggage.
Take A Food Tour
Just after mid day I hopped in an Uber to meet up with my group for Wander New Mexico‘s Santa Fe Historic Plaza Food tour. Not only are food tours a great way to discover a new destination’s culinary hot spots, they are perfect for solo travellers as the groups are small and more personal.
Santa Fee Cooking School
We all have to eat so I booked myself into an evening class at Santa Fe Cooking School where chose a class on traditional Southwest cooking we learned about hatch peppers and posole. This demo class was fun and we got to eat what they cooked. There is a beautiful kitchen store filled with spices, high quality pots and cookbooks. I left full, with a new cookbook and some Southwest spices, inspired to try a few new things in my kitchen.
Non Food Related but Oh So Worth It!
My Sunday was a day set aside for a little rest and relaxation. I stayed within walking distance of the square and also the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. The museum opened early so I was able to wander through before the after brunch crowd filled the space. The museum provided more perspective on her life and works and it was nice to be right there in New Mexico the place that provided her creative inspiration.
A dear artist friend told me that if there is anything that I need to do, it is go to Ten Thousand Waves Spa. I took this to heart and felt it was my duty to check this out. I spent my last afternoon in absolute bliss. This place was unlike anywhere I had ever been. I have been to spas but this was so much more that that. Available are outdoor baths and my private outdoor suite Ichiban had everything I needed to relax. It had two ceramic outdoor tubs, a sauna, a cooling berth and one of those high tech Japanese toilets that did everything except wipe! I ended my evening early with gyozas to go from their onsite restaurant Izanami . My solo trip to Santa Fe was an astounding success as I realized that travelling alone was actually kind of nice and I returned home feeling refreshed and restored.
I always like to end with something I have learned in my travels. If you are travelling as a single person it can be a bit daunting. If you don’t like to eat alone, choose activities like a food tour or a cooking class. This is provides you with education, culture, food and the opportunity to meet some new people.
Photos and story by: Kimberley Gunning, Plan A Culinary Vacation
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