History, architecture and a world-class art scene put Santa Fe, N.M., on the short list of many an avid traveler. When we visited friends there during a tour of the American Southwest, I was surprised to learn it also has great food and spectacular canine access.
If you’re planning on making your way to this cultural hotspot, there are a number of items you’ll want to include on your travel itinerary.
Vegans and vegetarians will find lots to love about the food scene in this creative corner of New Mexico. Cafes, eateries and coffee shops abound with meatless sandwich options, eggless baked goods and more.
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A fun place to go in the morning is Revolution Bakery. It’s 100 percent gluten-free, with a mostly organic menu and boatloads of vegan items available for those who prefer cruelty-free noshables. For the price of a scone or a muffin, you can start your day with a tasty treat.
Thai Vegan on Cerrillos Road offers meatless menu items for those who choose to skip animal products altogether. Most entrees are less than $15, and the atmosphere is romantic yet casual. Fireside seating is available.
Cafe Fina offers great vegetarian brunch options for less than 10 bucks, while a decent veggie burger can be scored for lunch at Second Street Brewing along with custom-brewed suds.
For a modern atmosphere with authentic Italian fare, make your way to Andiamo in the Railyard District. Vegetarian dinner items start at less than $10, and parking during the week is relatively painless.
If you’re looking to cruise the galleries and boutiques, Canyon Road is the place to go.
The historic center of Santa Fe’s art scene, it’s a picturesque stroll that will keep you entertained for quite some time, while enjoying unique pieces of art by individuals whose work is sought after by shop owners around the world. The window shopping is free, with higher-end purchasing options available.
Santa Fe’s museum scene is also noteworthy. Local artifacts, American Indian pieces and other collections are available for perusing. The main must-see venue, however, is the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Filled with works by this world-renowned artist, the museum also honors her legacy through photographs and informational exhibits.
The gift shop has fun souvenirs that are accessible for the average budget. I scored two pairs of reversible ceramic earrings for roughly $60. They have two different color schemes and stainless steel fasteners, providing lifelong wearable memories for 30 bucks a pair. Tickets to the museum are $12.
If you’re traveling as a couple with a pooch in tow, you can also check out the free-to-visit Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.
While canines can’t enter the interior, there’s a decent-sized park to the left of the front entrance with benches, grass and trees for shade. While one pet parent stays with Pookie, the other can explore the inside of the basilica for a peek back in time to old Santa Fe. Bring a book for when it’s your turn to dog sit, and a picnic blanket and snacks to enjoy as a family afterward.
Our Labrador loves any chance she can get to check out a community’s treat scene. There are a couple of fun places to do this in Santa Fe. The first is Critters and Me. A casual, affordable pet supply store frequented by locals, it also carries giant treats and toys that dogs are allowed to shop in the aisles for themselves.
The second is Teca Tu. This drool-worthy pet emporium is located inside Sanbusco Market Center, a boutique mall.
Dogs are welcome to stroll inside the venue, enjoying bowls of water on their way to treat and toy nirvana. You’ll find everything from sweet potato chews and child-sized jerky treats to canine couture and tug ropes.
While parking is challenging in Santa Fe, it’s free outside this particular indoor market and within walking distance to pooch-friendly patio coffee and a grassy railroad park for walking Rover.
The other thing that’s fab about the town’s pet scene is the abundance of water fountains with drinking spouts placed at heights suitable to both two- and four-legged travelers. Winter months bring a water shutdown for pipe safety, but they’re open for use from spring through autumn.