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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

5 Day Trips Around Santa Fe

New Mexico is the "Land of Enchantment" with unique vistas in any direction away from the capitol city of Santa Fe. Making your base camp in Santa Fe gives you the advantage to choose from 5 leisurely day trips. Here are just a few of the highlights of these 5 excursions.

Bandelier Cliff Dwelling
To the west you will explore the ancient ruins of Bandelier National Monument for a self-guided tour of ancestral pueblo cliff dwellings. You can then explore the space-age city of Los Alamos and the Los Alamos History Museum. Continuing west through the Jemez Mountains, you will pass the world's largest caldera, the collapsed crater of a three-million year-old volcano and enjoy the Jemez River Canyon with waterfalls and natural springs.

To the northwest you can travel through the red rock landscape made famous by Georgia O'Keeffe. The Pedernal, a flat-top thumb of rock near Abiquiu stands prominently on the western horizon and was painted many times by O'Keeffe. Tours of her Abiquiu home can be arranged in advance. Lakes and rivers along the route include Abiquiu Lake, Heron Lake and the Brazos River where swimming and fishing are available. Echo Amphitheater is a natural sandstone echo chamber with picnic area and a meandering trail through the sandstone canyon.

Taos is a delightful adventure to the north. Rich in Hispanic and Pueblo Indian tradition, a trip to Taos can begin with a drive up the High Road past Chimayo, famous for its weaving tradition and the Santuario de
One of the most photographed churches
 in New Mexico
Chimayo. This is the "Lourdes of the Southwest" visited by thousands of pilgrims each year seeking the blessings of the "miraculous dirt" found in a corner of the 19th century chapel. In Taos you will find the oldest inhabited pueblo, built more than a thousand years ago, the Taos Pueblo is a living history community. Taos itself is a very historic village and meeting place of Spanish settlers, mountain men, frontier scouts, and Pueblo Indians. The highlight is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge crossing the narrow, deep canyon that cuts through the mesa outside Taos. Take the drive down into the Gorge and return to the Low Road back to Santa Fe at Pilar for the best adventure of the day.

East of Santa Fe is the 'other' Las Vegas, once an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail it is still home to the largest collection of Victorian-era buildings in the West. Along the way out of Santa Fe you will pass through Glorieta Pass and the opportunity to visit the Pecos Wilderness, filled with trout streams. Continue on to the Pecos National Historical Park to see ruins of the deserted Pecos Pueblo and Spanish mission church. In Las Vegas take a walking tour of the historic architecture, unique shops and restaurants. Continue on to La Cueva, Mora and through the mountains to join the High Road to Taos for a scenic ride back to Santa Fe.

Allan Houser Sculpture Gardens are on the way to Madrid
South of Santa Fe you can visit the old mining towns of Cerrillos and Madrid. On the way stop at the Allan Houser Sculpture Gardens (appointment required). Turquoise has been mined along this route for centuries as well as gold, coal and lead. Madrid, the home of the movie 'Wild Hogs' with Tim Allen and John Travolta, is now a fun village of art and unique characters. Continue on to Sandia Park and turn right on NM 536 through the Sandia Mountains to the top of Sandia Crest overlooking Albuquerque.  Don't miss a stop at Tinkertown on the way, a private collection of miniature villages, it's a one of a kind museum.

These are just some of the highlights of these 5 day trips. The mileage of these trips range from 45 to 250 depending on how far you want to adventure. Santa Fe as a hub for these adventures gives you the luxury of fine dining, great evening music in the many restaurants and lounges and a great night's sleep at the Fodor's recommended Don Gaspar Inn. We'll help you decide which adventure is right for you.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spring into Summer In Santa Fe

Santa Fe from the mountain top.
The view of Santa Fe from the look out near the ski basin.

Big Tesuque Creek, along the hiking trail in
 the Santa Fe National Forest.

Come Visit Santa Fe in 

                       The Good ol' Summer Time

Art, art, art.....The Grand opening June 6th from 5-8 pm of the Santa Fe Sorrel Sky Gallery now joins the Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango and Santa Fe with the beautiful art represented by these distinctive galleries. Representing artists like bronze artist Star Liana York, painter Tom Palmore, and former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse, among others establishes the Sorrel Sky Galleries as a combination of contemporary and traditional fine art and jewelry. Visit both with a stay at the Don Gaspar Inn in Santa Fe and Blue Lake Ranch, our sister inn in the Durango area.

Plein Air Santa Fe runs June 8 to July 6th. Painters from around the US will be in Santa Fe the week of June 8-12 to paint at various locations. Their selected pieces will be on exhibit at InArt Gallery. For more information contact Plein Air Painters of New Mexico.

The artistry in this man's these fiber drawings is stunning,
nothing is drawn first, he just creates as he goes.
July 11 to 13 welcomes the Eleventh Annual International Folk Art Market. The market motto "Meet the World in Santa Fe!" is very fitting. With over 150 master folk artists from around the world, you will be touched and inspired by the industry of these people. Bring your sun hat, sun screen and patience as you wander the booths and meet the people.

Experience the bright colors, happy people, world
community at the Folk Art Market
Check out the Specials being offered at the Don Gaspar Inn for June and July and find your way to the adventures awaiting you in Santa Fe and New Mexico this summer.

We look forward to serving you at the Don Gaspar Inn.

Ana, Kristine and Patrick

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Learn More About Turquoise in Santa Fe

The Southwest and Santa Fe are known for the beautiful Turquoise jewelry and decorated art pieces you can find here. Beginning April 13th to May 2nd at the Museum of Indian Arts  and Culture you will be able to view over 500 items made from turquoise. These items date from A.D. 900 to the present.

According to an article in The New Mexican by Anne Constable, "Navajo babies are given their first turquoise beads at birth." Native Americans appear to have been working with the gemstone for more than 1200 years before the Spanish arrived in New Mexico.

A vein of Turquoise
Photo R. Weller/Chochise College. 
The history of turquoise in New Mexico includes the old mines found near Santa Fe in the area of the villages Cerrillos and Madrid. Around 200 mines have been found in the Southwest.

The exhibit titled "Turquoise, Water, Sky: The Stone and its Meaning" will give you the opportunity to see this gemstone which is symbolic of sky, water, bountiful harvests, health and protection.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Have you Thought of Santa Fe for your Spring Break or Easter Vacation?

The trees are budding.
St. Francis enjoy spring daffodils.
The roses are awakening.

March showers have brought out the spring colors in the Don Gaspar Inn courtyard. It has also added a nice new layer of snow on the Santa Fe Ski Basin and the skiers and snowboarders are delighted. It's the best of both worlds. With temperatures reaching the upper 50's in the city you will enjoy wandering the Plaza, Galleries and Restaurants Santa Fe is famous for. It is also a fabulous time to visit our many area Spas including the world famous Ten Thousand Waves and Ojo Caliente.

The views in and around Santa Fe will remind you of scenes you have seen in hundreds of movies since before John Wayne, because they were filmed here. Taking a day trip out from Santa Fe to historic sites like Bandelier National Monument or Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument will give you the sensation of living in that old West.

We invite you to take some time for yourself after the dramatic winter you may have experienced and come to New Mexico, it is still The Land of Enchantment full of warmth, sunshine and dramatic vistas and adventures; from rock climbing, to hiking, shopping, history, eating and river rafting. There is something for everyone. Come join us at the Don Gaspar Inn and enjoy spring.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spring Is On It's Way....

Yes, the Crocus are blooming in the Don Gaspar Inn Gardens. We have wonderful 50 and 60 degree weather. It might change for a few days at a time, but it is gorgeous. We invite you to come and warm your bones after a difficult winter in lots of the US and Canada and parts of Europe.

These last two weeks we have had visitors from Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico! Some of the favorite things guests reported doing included the High Road to Taos and a visit to the Taos Pueblo. Lunching at the delightful Sugar Nymph's Bistro in Penasco. One couple enjoyed the museums in town. Another group enjoyed hiking the Atalaya Mountain trail on the outskirts of Santa Fe. Of course, shopping and the art galleries were enjoyed too.

Taos Pueblo photo by M. Thurman
Since it was Valentine's weekend we were happy to point people to the famous "Santa Fe Chocolate Trail" which includes: Todos Santos, The Chocolate Smith, C.G. Higgins Confections and my favorite Kakawa Chocolate House.

Always lots to do in Santa Fe. We hope to see you soon.

Don Gaspar Inn - Santa Fe's Secret Garden Blog: Two wonderful opportunities to Feast on Santa Fe's delicious food!

Don Gaspar Inn - Santa Fe's Secret Garden Blog: Two wonderful opportunities to Feast on Santa Fe's delicious food!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Two wonderful opportunities to Feast on Santa Fe's delicious food!

Visit the 17th Annual Art Feast Santa Fe Feburary 21-23

Santa Fe is a world renoned art center. In keeping with it's commitment to the arts, ART Feast is an annual
Colorful Canyon Road Gallery
fund raiser for ARTsmart, a 501c3 nonprofit, which helps give school children an opportunity to explore visual arts. Events include Art, Food, Wine, Fashion and Homes to explore and enjoy. A favorite event is the Edible Art Tour (EAT) for a mear $35 per person you can wander downtown and Canyon Road galleries and nibble on delicious samples from Santa Fe's finest restaurants and caterers.  Find out more at the Art Feast website.

Restaurant week in Santa Fe  February 23 - March 2

Ana and Kristine, your Don Gaspar Inn
 Keepers, enjoy the Coyote Cafe
Restaurant week is an opportunity to sample foods from some of Santa Fe's best restaurants. Choose from special prix-fixe Lunch and Dinner offerings plus enjoy special events such as classes, demos and tastings.
Check out the Santa Fe  Restaurant Week  website for more details and to make reservations.

Visit the Don Gaspar Inn Specials page for our winter lodging specials and come join the fun.