Some say it is the landscape. Others attribute it to the light and the setting in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There is no doubt about it, Santa Fe, NM, is in a class of its own. This Southwestern city is dotted with colorful art galleries, historic adobe homes, and funky restaurants and shops.
DAY 1: EXPLORE NEW MEXICO'S PAST
Your group will get acquainted with the city as they embark on a scavenger hunt that will take them to all of Santa Fe's attractions, including the State Capitol, San Miguel Mission, Loretto Chapel, La Fonda Hotel, St. Francis Cathedral, and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
The Palace of the Governors at the New Mexico History Museum, on Santa Fe Plaza, built by the Spanish as a government building in 1610, will give your group the opportunity to learn about the history of New Mexico and its native people. It's possible to arrange a reception at the museum, complete with cocktails and tapas as well as local musicians, singers, and Flamenco dancers.
DAY 2: SOAK UP THE SANTA FE VIBE
The scent of pinons and juniper bushes wafts through the air at this sanctuary, with its outdoor soaking tubs, saunas, massages, and foot soaks. Inspired by a Japanese mountain hot spring, an onsen, Ten Thousand Waves is the place to relax in Santa Fe.
Located in the heart of the city's historic downtown, the Santa Fe School of Cooking offers an array of southwestern cooking classes, incorporating Native American food and culture -- as well as offerings like the red chile workshop that focuses on New Mexico's official state vegetable.
DAY 3: FROM HORSES TO ART
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, a luxury resort on 500 acres on the Pueblo of Santa Ana, is home to the Tamaya Horse Rehabilitation Program, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and care to neglected and abandoned horses in New Mexico. Groups can interact with these magnificent creatures, taking part in teambuilding and volunteer activities. Trail rides along the river will even pass ancient petroglyphs.
After spending the morning with the horses, arrange for your group to have lunch at Santa Ana Cafe, featuring New Mexican cuisine and views of Tuyuna Mesa, the most sacred spot on the pueblo, from its covered patio.
No visit to Santa Fe is complete without a tour of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the only museum in the United States dedicated to this intriguing artist. Paintings featuring her distinctive flowers, glowing landscapes, and beloved desert are on display here, as is a short film that highlights her fascinating life.
This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.