Today, I am leaving the city of Santa Fe feeling both sad and excited. Excited, because I am on my way through to Dallas and Miami (Miami Vice, South Beach, Ocean Drive here I go!), and “sad” because of leaving many dear people & places in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico behind. “I am not even sad because I know that you are going to come back!”, dear Rebecca Wurzburger smiles, who as Santa Fe’s former Mayor Pro-Tem has earned the city’s reputation and international excellence for developing the Santa Fe Creative Tourism strategy. It is really down to her continuous efforts that Santa Fe today counts among the top travel destinations for creative travel worldwide: Countless meetings & recent creative workshops with Santa Fe’s artists focusing on crafts, cooking classes, painting, encaustics or photography lessons have confirmed this travel trend for me more than once.
“Everybody I have met in Santa Fe has chosen to live (and thrive) here for many reasons. The energy, the light, the inspiration of this creative city have earned it a reputation far across the borders of New Mexico …
… you cannot help but become creative yourself”, is what I tell everybody who asks me about my stay and creative workshops here in Santa Fe. Indeed, I have only met happy people – from taxi drivers to the hotel staff to the very artists themselves, who of course love to share their awareness of the special magic that rules this place.
In addition to all of this, I would like to include some travel tips & ideas for your next visit to Santa Fe. Let me start by elaborating on Hotel Santa Fe, which does have a special story to tell. The majority of this hotel belongs to the Native Indian tribe of the “Picuris-Pueblo” and, despite its size (Hotel, Hacienda & Spa!) does a good job of blending in with the existing, surrounding adobe house structures that make Santa Fe such a unique place on Earth. All around the hotel, I find traces of the First Peoples of North America, starting from a local language welcome above the hotel’s entrance, to locally fitted spa treatments all the way to a large variety of inspiring Indian poems that room service like to leave on my bed each day. Beautiful: I love little details such as these ones! They make a place unique and render it a singular atmosphere, as well as an unparalleled and unique sense of charm.
Talking food: Apart from Hotel Santa Fe, do check out charming little Back Street Bistro as well as Kakáwa Chocolate House while in Santa Fe. Why?
Quite simply speaking: True local comfort meets real tips for travellers here! As its name suggests, the “Back Street Bistro” is located a little afield from the city centre of Santa Fe and does merit your visit. Tucked away between the famous Santa Fe Plaza and the equally delightful Railyard District with its weekly Farmers’ Market (a must-do when visiting Santa Fe on a Saturday morning!), you will find the Kakáwa Chocolate House, which equally deserves to be visited. Heavenly chocolate creations featuring chili, fruit flavours, nuts or simply pure (drinking) chocolate the kind of melt-in-your-mouth … everything for the sweet tooth here!
Last but not least, let me tell you a personal story. About Santa Fe & my first Thanksgiving. “Have I lost something else maybe … ? Other than my heart, of course …!”
Not my words- although you might be curious to hear more now.! Well. All my love and respect are for dear Rebecca Wurzburger, who I am quoting here and above as well as during my first ever days in the city. Rebecca and I are what you would call, “a true love story”. Some six years ago, the very committed and energetic Rebecca has single-handedly laid the foundation, and subsequently organised, the world’s first ever Creative Tourism Conference in the city of Santa Fe. Since then and me living in & supporting Creative Tourism New Zealand, I have followed her tireless efforts and worldwide engagements for the development of Creative Tourism International. Now that the time has come for us to “finally” meet in person, both of us are just BURSTING WITH HAPPINESS. What is more, Rebecca has almost instantly invited me to her Family Thanksgiving Dinner back home, a truly exceptional gesture that honours me deeply. It is thanks to her and her family that I have felt very much like home here: Home away from home in Santa Fe. Unsurprisingly thus, that we might have lost a part of our hearts to each other, but gained new friendship in the process! Here’s to you, my dear Rebecca.
Looking for further inspiration on what to do & see in & around Santa Fe, New Mexico? Here is my hand-picked selection of creative foodie travel tips, as shown on this Flickr Photo Gallery:
Disclaimer: I have been invited by Hotel Santa Fe & Tourism Santa Fe. All opinions are my own.