Exploring Santa Fe, New Mexico

As a passionate traveler, I knew when I had kids I wanted to share this love with them. The trips that have been the most special to me have been the trips my son and I have taken. How to pick a destination? When my son was 10, he fell in love with studying history. What better way to remember what you are learning than to travel to the place! And that’s what began our trips together.

 Santa Fe, New Mexico

M’s history class was studying Native American history. So after a little research we decided to head to Santa Fe for four days.  The Four Seasons Santa Fe was the perfect hotel for us, combining luxury and southwestern flair. The hotel is situated just outside town and has spectacular views. 

Our first stop was a 90 minutes drive north to the Taos Pueblo. History came to life! This multi-storied adobe structure is one of the oldest occupied villages in North America. It served as a major trading post and still hosts Native American artists who sell jewelry, pottery, and drums. 

 Taos Pueblo a UNESCO World Heritage site

Taos Pueblo a UNESCO World Heritage site

The next day we drove south 40 miles to the impressive Kasha-Katuwe Tent-Rocks National Monument located on the Cochiti Pueblo land. Kasha-Katuwe (“white cliffs” in the Pueblo language). These tent rocks do not disappoint! The 3 miles long trail leads up through a slot canyon to a look out with a view that is unimaginable.  The trail begins at a parking lot and weaves through old trees before coming to the base of the canyon. Here you can choose to continue on the recreational, meandering trail or up into the canyon. Clearly we chose up! 

As we began our hike into the slot canyon, my son remarked that he felt like we were entering an Indiana Jones movie. He couldn’t have been more accurate! 

 

 

The surrounding “tent rock” formations give the hike a serious feeling of adventure. The cone-shaped formations are a result of volcanic eruptions from 6-7 million years ago some of which are 90 feet high. As you hike you begin to see the formations from many views

Not only is the geologic evidence of millions of years visible, the rock formations are just plain cool! After descending back to the base of the canyon, the trail continues along past a cave dwelling eventually returning back to the parking lot. A MUST see when visiting Santa Fe!

After our hiking, we decided we wanted to wander around in the historic center of Santa Fe. If you are looking for a true Western town, Santa Fe is it! The town center features a lovely square outlined by shops, local art galleries and yummy restaurants. Our favorite stop was Kowboyz

This is a cowboy’s dream store- the largest selection of used/new cowboy boots/ hats/ western wear. My son was in heaven! Walking through the store you can almost smell the western grit of a cowboy and their rugged lifestyle. It’s easy to get lost in this store for hours. We did and walked out with a hat worthy of the toughest cowboy!     

We left Santa Fe feeling like not only had we deepened our knowledge of the Native Americans but also fell in love with the casual western life of this incredible South Western city. 

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