While one can sweat it out in New York this summer or spend time in traffic jams in LA, let me tell you why I'd rather be in Santa Fe, the oldest capital in the United States (est. 1500). The air of this high desert is dry, the sun is always shining, restaurants work on european style lunch and dinner hours, and jewelry filled art markets are abundant. Ilf and Petrov once said that this town feels fake, but I think they might have been confusing museum dryness with sun parched streets where real free spirits roam.
A Car is essential here and plan on driving far. For a completely grown up get-away one can take the waters at the gorgeous Ojo Caliente Spa, sample a wonderful meal of red chile enchiladas and sparkly margaritas at the Shed, visit art stalls at any of the numerous (there is always one going on) fiestas and talk to the native-american jewelers about their inspiration, or better yet plan on visiting an International Folk Arts Fair (UNESCO designated) to interact to truly staggering number of international artisans.
Nature lovers can head up to the Sangre De Cristo Mountains north of Santa Fe for a lovely walk under the aspen trees, though lack of oxygen might require you to take a few stops along the way to take in the view and reapply the sunblock lotion. Or venture to the Bandelier national monument to see the caves and dwellings of the pueblo people who lived here long before Plymouth rock was named. Time your visit for lavender picking season to gather your own perfume heavy harvest, or simply stop by Santa Fe Farmer's market to buy a lavender bunch and pot of local wild flowers honey.
You wouldn't be alone in appreciating this hidden gem, as you might run into Gene Hackman or Simon Pegg in the local restaurant, but it's a tradition here to leave the stars in peace and let yourself concentrate rather on the meandering cute adobe streets of this town from one of the thousands of galleries to the next and enjoying the warmth of the desert air.
Story by Elena (PeonyForest)