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City Guide: Two Days in Santa Fe

There is so much inspiration to gain from the artisan community. What better place to find a hub of crafters, makers and artists than Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s a place rich in history and culture, nestled among breathtaking scenery.

The Rustic Trades team was lucky enough to travel Santa Fe to hand deliver a custom Clayton table and benches. The table will serve as the centerpiece of a small guest house, built to emulate the design of the classic adobe home, a building method carried on for centuries and a familiar sight in northern New Mexico’s dry climate.  We can only imagine the memories that will be made as generations gather to celebrate one another in such a beautiful setting.

A stroll through town greeted our team with some of the finest chefs, architects, jewelry makers and glass blowers – all artists in their own right. Sculptures adorned the streets and paintings filled the windows. There’s a lot to take in such a diverse place, which is why we’ve decided to share a few of our favorite things when you only have a short time to visit:

If you’re hungry – and we mean really hungry – Cafe Pasqual’s is the place to go. Located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, they dish up generous portions of extraordinarily tasteful organic food in a quaint and colorful atmosphere. Chef Katharine Kagel, who opened the cafe in 1979, keeps the kitchen performing at their very best and it pays dividends to your taste buds. You won’t want to leave without one of their housemade desserts and a cookbook. Continue your day with a stroll through downtown to soak up more of the local fare.

Take in the sites while you’re downtown. Be sure to visit the San Miguel Chapel. It is said to be the oldest church in the United States, dating back to the early 1600s. Although it has undergone restoration over time to preserve the same beauty as when it was first erected, the original dirt floor and sanctuary stairs are still visible. Legends and oral history of the church tell stories far greater than what you can see with your own eyes.

Shop local crafters on every corner, including the Baca Streets Arts District. One step in Liquid Light Glass you will be struck with awe! If you’re able to catch owner and creator Elodie Holmes in action, you’ll see first-hand the nuances and patience she takes in creating such beautiful, delicate glass artwork. The Rustic Trades team agreed, one of her sculptures would look absolutely stunning at the center of a long Weston farm trestle table, or greeting you and guests on an entryway table. While you’re there, be sure to stop next door and relax with a cup of coffee from Counter Culture.

Travel almost anywhere around The City Different and you will find a mecca of jewelry makers. Whether lining the sidewalks in a street market or in a store window, there is no doubt the jewelry of Santa Fe captures the essence of its Native American roots. The meticulous handiwork is evident amongst every unique piece, and each tribe has their own one-of-a-kind touch. The Zuni tribe, for example, is known for their delicate needle point work. Effie Calavaza of the Zuni tribe, who is still making jewelry to this day, incorporates this needle point work along with her signature snake pattern. Each piece of jewelry has it’s own unique story and history, so be sure to ask about the origins when you see a piece you like.

Santa Fe is truly a gem of the United States and a remarkable place to visit. With the Sangre de Cristo mountains filling the sky and the beauty of the Rio Grande River snaking through the foothills, it’s no wonder why so many chose to settle here. The history is well alive today and continues to be told through countless artistic outlets.

Any special places we missed in Santa Fe? Comment below and let us know!

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