When you first heard that you’re headed to Santa Fe, chances are, “wow that’s a great place for guys to hangout” wasn’t the first thing you thought of. After all, Santa Fe has a reputation of being filled with art and jewelry and generally more of a romantic getaway or artist destination. During a recent trip to Santa Fe I was surprised though that while my pre-conceptions were true – there’s actually lots of cool stuff for guys to explore too!
Take a “Trip” When You Visit Meow Wolf
Described by some as an “adult children’s museum” and by others, “as close as you’ll get to an acid trip without doing drugs”. One thing is for sure, Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return should be on your list of places to visit while you are in town. Even if you don’t have time to go inside and check out the interactive art, make sure to drive for a quick look. In their parking lot, you can take photos with the giant sculptures including a 30-foot tall robot holding a flower, a metal tarantula, and a shiny metal wolf.
Lowrider Art Exhibition
The New Mexico History Museum has some fantastic exhibitions but you’ll not want to miss “Lowriders, Hoppers, and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico”. The exhibit features a combination of photographs, artifacts and even full cars to admire. Additionally, the New Mexico Museum of Art will also be launching Con Carino: Artists Inspired by Lowriders. Both of these museums are just a couple blocks away from the Eldorado as well.
Explore Some Manly Art at Patina Gallery
There are a ton of different art galleries within a few minute walk of the Eldorado hotel and every one that I visited deserves to be highlighted but in particular, guys should visit Patina Gallery. They have a fabulous “Bugs & Buses” exhibition right now of artistic photos of old Volkswagons by Jack Parson. While you are there, make sure to also check out their collection of furniture made from old street signs – perfect for any mancave!
Get Your Bearings at William R. Talbot Fine Art
A couple doors down from Patina Gallery is William Talbot where you’ll find a gallery featuring tons of old maps with a focus on the Missisippi, Texas, and Southwest. Their collection ranges from items dating back to the 16th century to more modern items from the early 1900’s.
Conquer “The Mother” Green Chile Burger at Cow Girl BBQ
Despite its name, Cow Girl BBQ is a perfectly safe place for a group of guys to visit during the conference without getting in trouble with your wives (though they may want to visit too!) There are two things that Santa Fe is known for and both of them are great here – Green Chili Cheeseburgers and Margaritas.
Make sure to stop by here and grab “The Mother of All Green Chile Cheeseburgers”. Imagine a patty that is a mix of beef, buffalo, and bacon, smothered in melted brie, truffled green chile and sliced tomato then served in a cheddar and green chile bun. Oh yeah and it’s accompanied by some hand-cut truffle fries too.
Wash that down with a prickly pear margarita or a something from their great craft beer list and you’ll go to bed that night with a smile on your face. It’s also just a few blocks from the hotel, but make sure not to drink too much since New Mexico’s police are VERY strict on public intoxication.
Explore the Margarita Trail
On the walk back from Cow Girl, there are a ton of other great places to enjoy one of Santa Fe’s famous margaritas including the hotel bar at the Eldorado. Margaritas are so popular here that Santa Fe Tourism even created an official “Margarita Trail” featuring 30 different locations and you can even get your passports stamped. Though you can only receive two stamps per day (they take excess alcohol consumption very seriously here!).
Do Some (Chocolate) Shots at Kakawa Chocolate House
After chile cheeseburgers and margaritas, it’s time to kick off the day with some chocolate shots at Kakawa Chocolate House. No, these aren’t alcoholic, they are “Drinking Chocolate” but they are very liberal with samples and have a number of varieties ranging from spicy to creamy. It’s also a great place to pick up some chocolates for later like chocolate covered chiles and chile dusted caramels.
Buy Some Jewelry For Your Partner!
Ok, so I know some of you are just tagging along to make this a “vacation” while your spouses are learning blogging tips while others of you there to learn while you partner is back home. Either way, this is a GREAT shopping town for jewelry items. From high-end pieces at Patina and other galleries to Native American and artisanal craftsmen along the plaza, make sure to take the time and explore. Your partner will love you for it – trust me
Madrid, NM – Film Site of Wild Hogs, Former Ghost Town, and More!
While it’s a 15-20 min drive south of Santa Fe, if there’s a chance you should plan a visit to Madrid. It’s a former ghost town that’s now an artist colony, additionally it’s the town featured in Wild Hogs and it’s also the site of the first baseball stadium (built in the 1920’s) with electric lights and scoreboard west of the Mississippi. Legend has it that Thomas Edison himself helped design the lights and Babe Ruth even played here.
Today, though, it’s a thriving artist colony with interesting places to visit like Connie’s Photo Park where you can take pictures with dozens of painted cut outs and there’s also the “Old Coal Town Museum”.
Relax on Your Balcony or Patio and Enjoy the Fresh Air
Santa Fe sits at about 7,200 feet so chances are you’re going to get a bit winded initially. Don’t worry – it’s ok to relax and just enjoy the cool, clean, fresh mountain air. After all, chances are that it’s hot and humid back home so just enjoy yourself here!
Whatever you pick to do outside of the conference, there’s more than meets the eye in Santa Fe. They say that New Mexico is the “Land of Enchantment” and it seems that the spirit has invaded pretty much every element of life here. People might be a little different, things might not be what they seem at first but you are sure to have a blast exploring the town!