on March 22, 2008
At least a half-day visit to the Santa Fe Plaza should be considered for a Northern New Mexico vacation itinerary. Shoppers and art lovers might want to devote at least a full day here.The Plaza is several blocks of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and historic sites. Works of the local Indian pueblos are sold here. Some of the common items are silver and turquoise jewelry, pottery, sculptures, and paintings. Some of the Indian artists sell their creations on the sidewalk lining the Palaces of the Governors and offer nice deals. Crafts representative of the Spanish and Southwest culture can also be purchased in a few of the shops and galleries. All of the items we saw in the Plaza seemed to be of good quality. Just be aware that many of the shopkeepers and artists begin closing their businesses between 4 and 5 PM.Besides the shopping, there are several interesting historical sites to visit within the Santa Fe Plaza. The Plaza has existed since 1610. The Spanish often built their cities around central squares such as this. Some of the buildings surrounding the Plaza have been there for several centuries as well. The La Fonda Hotel in which we stayed one night has been around in various forms since 1610. We took quick looks at The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi where the Virgin Mary statue of 1626 stands and the 19th century Loretto Chapel to see the Miraculous Staircase that has been the subject of TV specials and movies. Since we did our Plaza sightseeing on a Monday, we didn’t get a chance to visit the Palace of the Governors that dates back to 1610 and was the meeting place of the rulers of the area Spanish settlements. This attraction is closed on Mondays. There are several restaurants to choose from in the Plaza area. Some also have live music. Most of the restaurants serve Southwestern cuisine, but don’t worry if you are like me and don’t care for that type of food. There are other food options on the menus as well. We dined at the Blue Corn Café where I had the ribs & chicken basket and at the Rooftop Pizzeria. We were very pleased with both restaurants. The Santa Fe Plaza is a nice place to get a feel for the New Mexican culture that has evolved from the American Indian, Spanish, and U.S. frontiersman heritages.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009