Photo by Chris Corrie

EAT
Sante Fe is no stranger to good food. And lest you think it’s all purely southwestern style, there is more diversity than you might think. For example, Raaga (raagacuisine.com), headed up by Chef Paddy Rawal, serves up traditional Indian fare as well as a number of fusion dishes blending Indian and southwestern flavors. Paddy makes regular rounds through the dining area and is happy to chat about his creations (and he just published a cookbook). If you’re going to Santa Fe for the southwestern cooking pop into Cowgirl (cowgirlsantafe.com). Here you can get your BBQ fix along with great steak, salads, burgers and other comfort foods smothered in green chili. A table-side playground makes it easy to bring the younguns and the stage here regularly hosts live music. Be sure to try the Ice Cream Baked Potato.

SLEEP
If you’re looking for a place to park and leave your car for the duration of your visit then check out the Sage Inn (santafesageinn.com) located within walking distance to all things downtown, the train station, farmers market, museums and restaurants. The rooms range from the standard double queen to roomy suites. A continental style breakfast is included. For those looking to get a bit out of town, the luxurious Bishop’s Lodge (bishopslodge.com) is just a few minutes drive from downtown and offers up a wide range of rooms and villas. On property dining is great for early starts to a big day or kick back and take it easy. Mountain bike trails and horse stables are right on property for easy access.

PLAY
Here’s where choices are really going to get difficult, no matter how much time you spend in the area. While there are a number of great in-town historic tours, consider getting on a tour that takes you beyond the city limits. 4×4 by Fun (4x4byfun.com) founder Georges Malley uses 4×4’s to take guests out of the downtown and onto dirt roads overlooking the city and the surrounding area. For some cruisy day hikes get out to Bandelier National Monument (nps.gov/band) and become immersed in a place inhabited over 11,000 years ago. Or, for something bigger including hiking, mountain biking and more hit up the Valles Caldera National Preserve (vallescaldera.gov) where the landscape changes dramatically from one ridge to the next.