Art Appreciation in Santa Fe

Going through some photos from last year, I realized I missed a couple of places from New Mexico, the main one being Santa Fe – one of the reasons Joseph and I wanted to take a trip to this state in the first place! As a whole, New Mexico is so different from the rest of the country, and you can definitely see it in their two main cities. There is such a beautiful spirit that blends the Spanish and the Native American culture together, and brought to life through the architecture, the food, and the decor, among other things.

The day after getting engaged, Joseph and I met up with Luba, a friend of his that drove four hours from her small town to see us. She’s been to Santa Fe a few times and ended up being sort of our guide to this place.


The first thing we did was have lunch at a French pastry and restaurant right by the downtown area called Chez Mamou. Now, before you start throwing macarons at us for going to a French place instead of an authentic Southwestern eaterie, in our defense, we had been eating at other restaurants that were local gems known for their Mexican food, but it got to be a little too much for us, haha.

Anyway, the decor is so cute in this authentic French restaurant, whose owner and chef is originally from France. There is an inside area that was very packed, so we opted for the beautiful outdoor space. Kind of a mistake, however, because service was really slow out there. The food was definitely worth the wait.


In downtown, you will find SO MANY shops that host a variety of artists selling their hand-crafted jewelry and art. You can spend a whole day just wandering around and window shopping. However, if you’re not into jewelry as much, like I am, the stuff might look a little too repetitive.


New Mexico is famous for being the state that Georgia O’Keefe ran away to get a newfound inspiration. It is in Santa Fe that her museum, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum is located. I was so excited to peruse her museum and learn more about her art, only to find that only a handful of her work was displayed. The majority were of other artists.

So much disappointment, I cannot even begin to describe it. Honestly, this museum was the only disappointing part of my trip to New Mexico. If you’re a big O’Keefe fan, and you’re about to visit this museum to see her work, I would lower the expectations.


Lastly, we stopped by a local favorite – Kakawa Chocolate House – to sip on some historic drinking chocolate elixers that brew recipes from 1000 BC to mid-1900 AD. This was my first time trying thick chocolate drinks and wow, this stuff is strong, haha. Definitely not your grocery-store-Hershey’s-chocolate-milk drink. I took a sip, and it sufficed me plenty.

Santa Fe is a beautiful city to see, and makes for a great day trip. We were only there for less than a day and I thought we covered a lot of ground. But if you’re really into art, there are SO many museums and little art shop in the downtown area alone, that this would probably be a place you can wander around for much longer than we did.

Hopefully I get to come back. Just looking at the architecture makes me swoon.

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