Chris Corrie via santafe.org
Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe.
updated 10/30/2006 1:04:54 PM ET 2006-10-30T18:04:54

One of the oldest cities in the United States, Santa Fe has long been a center for the creative and performing arts, so it's not surprising that most of the city's major sights are related to local history and the arts. The city's Museum of New Mexico, art galleries and studios, historic churches, and cultural sights associated with local Native American and Hispanic communities all merit a visit. It would be easy to spend a full week sightseeing in the city, without ever heading out to any nearby attractions. Of special note is the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Cooking, Art & Photography Classes
If you're looking for something to do that's a little off the beaten tourist path, you might consider taking a class.

You can master the flavors of Santa Fe with an entertaining 3-hour demonstration cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking and Market, on the upper level of the Plaza Mercado, 116 W. San Francisco St. (tel. 505/983-4511; fax 505/983-7540; www.santafeschoolofcooking.com). The class teaches about the flavors and history of traditional New Mexican and contemporary Southwestern cuisines. "Cooking Light" classes are available as well. Prices range from $40 to $88 and include a meal; call for a class schedule. The adjoining market offers a variety of regional foods and cookbooks, with gift baskets available.

If Southwestern art has you hooked, you can take a drawing and painting class led by Santa Fe artist Jane Shoenfeld. Students sketch such outdoor subjects as the Santa Fe landscape and adobe architecture. In case of inclement weather, classes are held in the studio. Each class lasts for 3 hours, and art materials are included in the fee, which ranges from $85 to $90. Private lessons can also be arranged. All levels of experience are welcome. Children's classes can be arranged. You can create your own personal art adventure with one of Shoenfeld's 1-day classes at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, or a 5-day intensive class (also held at Ghost Ranch). Contact Jane at Sketching Santa Fe, P.O. Box 5912, Santa Fe, NM 87502 (tel. 505/986-1108; fax 505/986-3845; www.skyfields.net).

Some of the world's most outstanding photographers convene in Santa Fe at various times during the year for the Santa Fe Photography & Digital Workshops, P.O. Box 9916, Santa Fe, NM 87504, at a delightful campus in the hills on the east side of town (tel. 505/983-1400; www.santafeworkshops.com). Most courses are full-time, lasting a week. Food and lodging packages are available.

Wine Tastings
If you enjoy sampling regional wines, consider visiting the wineries within easy driving distance of Santa Fe: Balagna Winery/Il Santo Cellars, 223 Rio Bravo Dr., in Los Alamos (tel. 505/672-3678), north on US 84/285 and then west on NM 502; Santa Fe Vineyards, with a retail outlet at 235 Don Gaspar Avenue, in Santa Fe (tel. 505/982-3474), or the vineyard itself about 20 miles north of Santa Fe on US 84/285 (tel. 505/753-8100); Madison Vineyards & Winery, in Ribera (tel. 505/421-8028), about 45 miles east of Santa Fe on I-25 North; and the Black Mesa Winery, 1502 Hwy. 68, in Velarde (tel. 800/852-6372), north on US 84/285 to NM 68. Be sure to call in advance to find out when the wineries are open for tastings and to get specific directions.

Cultural Chow -- If you get hungry while visiting the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, the Museum of International Folk Art, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art (all located together, southeast of the plaza), you can now feast on more than your fingernails. The Museum Hill Café (tel. 505/820-1776) opens Tuesday through Saturday for beverages and snacks at 10 a.m., and a tasty lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; it serves Sunday brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Especially for Kids
Don't miss taking the kids to the Museum of International Folk Art, where they'll love the international dioramas and the toys. Also visit the tepee at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, where storyteller Joe Hayes spins traditional Spanish cuentos, Native American folk tales, and Wild West tall tales on weekend evenings. The Bishop's Lodge has extensive children's programs during the summer. These include horseback riding, swimming, arts-and-crafts programs, and special activities, such as archery and tennis. Kids are sure to enjoy El Rancho de las Golondrinas (discussed above), a living 18th- and 19th-century Spanish village comprising a hacienda, a village store, a schoolhouse, and several chapels and kitchens.

The Genoveva Chavez Community Center is a full-service family recreation center on the south side of Santa Fe (3221 Rodeo Rd.). The complex includes a 50m pool, a leisure pool, a therapy pool, an ice-skating rink, three gyms, a workout room, racquetball courts, and an indoor running track, as well as a spa and sauna. For hours and more information, call tel. 505/955-4001.

For more on what to see and do in Santa Fe, visit our complete guide online at http://www.frommers.com/destinations/santafe/.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

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