Santa Fe is New Mexico’s most enticing destination for artists and travelers alike, and no more so than during the annual Indian Market. Each August, thousands upon thousands of people throng the central plaza, shopping for paintings, sculptures, jewelry and crafts. According to one local historian we spoke with, some galleries make enough money during this one weekend to stay in business until the next market.
The selection of Native American arts and crafts may be unparalleled during the Indian Market, but so are the crowds. It can be great fun to peruse the stalls (some of which exhibit memorably fine works) and watch turquoise-encrusted tourists haggle for yet more turquoise jewelry. But these days, I prefer to keep my distance from the market, shopping instead in the calm of the local galleries. If you do wish to visit the Indian Market, I recommend staying well outside of town, where hotel rooms are hard to come by in any case.
We stayed at the Hacienda del Cerezo, a 10-room high-desert retreat shielded from neighbors by 336 acres of private land dotted with juniper and piñon. The hacienda stands on a small hill amid exquisite scenery, with uninterrupted views extending to Los Alamos in the west and to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the east.