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8 Cool Things to Do in Santa Fe

If you’re looking for a warm-weather, art-filled, foodie-friendly getaway, Santa Fe — which has captured the imagination of artists and free-thinkers for decades — is the place. Here are the 8 best things to do in Santa Fe, from contemporary art museums to scenic desert hikes and regionally-inspired spa treatments.

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The Plaza

At the city’s historic Plaza area (the heart of downtown for nearly 400 years), you’ll find galleries, charming restaurants, quirky storefronts, centuries-old adobe buildings, and open-air art exhibitions. It’s the ideal place to aimlessly wander around and window shop, but there are a few standouts worth hitting up, including Keshi, a co-op selling arts and crafts by western New Mexico’s Zuni Pueblo people, and ramshackle food joint Roque’s Carnitas, which serves up Santa Fe’s most mouth-watering carnitas (that is marinated strips of charcoal-grilled pork with onions and peppers and served in a tortilla).

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Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi

Kitted out in handwoven textiles, kiva-style fireplaces, leather armchairs, and potted cacti, this three-story sleep nails Southwest style. Unpack in your sumptuous guestroom, which has Italian linens by Rivolta Carmignani and toiletries by New York’s C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, then wander the hotel’s hallways and common areas, ogling its impressive Native American art collection, including Arlo Namingha’s bronze sculpture “Hano Mana.” If you’re hungry, feast on hearty Argentinian dishes (think: green child-almond crusted salmon and duck enchiladas molé with pico de gallo) at the Anasazi restaurant, or grab a casual bite at the Santa Fe Plaza, just steps from your doorstep.

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Photos Courtesy of Julienne Barth And Coad Miller

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Santa Fe Vintage Outpost

Vintage clothing lover’s will want to set aside a few hours to peruse this carefully curated shop—a treasure-trove of trendy flannels, jean jackets, and leather goods. Apart from the threads, there’s also a panoply of Southwest antiques and one-of-a-kind creations from jewelry designer Julienne Barth.

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Photos Courtesy of Kate Russell, Ken Howard, Insight Foto for Santa Fe Opera, 2016

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Santa Fe Opera

Built in 1998 from a design by James Polshek Architects, this stunning open-air theatre brings the outside in, offering views of the Sangre di Cristo and Jemez mountains from practically every seat in the house. The opera kicks off its 2017 season on June 30th with a captivating performance of Die Fledermaus and Lucia di Lammermoor.

RELATED: 10 Awesome Travel Accessories for Spring Travel

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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks

Looking for the perfect day trip? This glorious water and wind-eroded box canyon, renowned for its spired sandstone hoodoos, is little more than an hour away from downtown Santa Fe. Once you've arrived, lace up your running shoes and hike the jagged canyon — an easy three-mile trek that rewards with staggering, otherworldly views of the Sangre de Cristo, Sandia, and Jemez mountains.

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SITE Santa Fe

If cutting-edge contemporary art is your thing, plan a trip to this relatively small, but impressive modern museum, which was founded in 1995 to organize the first international biennial of contemporary art in the USA. The art museum is currently undergoing renovations to its façade by New York-based firm SHoP Architects, but once it’s completed later this fall, it’s destined to be a work of art in and of itself.

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The Inn of Five Graces

For a Relais & Chateau property, the Inn of the Five Graces feels remarkably charming and low-key. We love the gypsy-like décor, best captured in details like kilim rugs, jewel-tone throw pillows, and mosaic-tile bathrooms, and the personalized service: afternoon margaritas and wine-and-cheese spreads, daily walking tours, a nighttime treat on your pillow. At the intimate Himalayan spa, indulge in body pampering treatments like an Ayurvedic healing massage or a High Mountain Hydration treatment, then tuck into contemporary French fare (the bouillabaisse with scallops, shrimp, mussels and sea bass is a must-order) at the 315 Restaurant.

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Geronimo

This elegant Southwestern restaurant is our pick for a special night out in Santa Fe. Reserve a table in the intimate dining rooms, or, if the weather’s nice, on the lantern-lit front patio. Then, prepare for the feast of a lifetime: kabocha squash and crawfish bisque to start, followed by the telicherry rubbed elk tenderloin and mesquite grilled lobster tails for your main, and lemongrass ice cream for dessert.

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