According to our Airbnb host, Canyon Road is one of Santa Fe’s three major centers. A magical half-mile trail of fine art, dining and shopping, it is one of our favorite destinations in the city. Our host’s advice to exploring Canyon Road? Go up one side of the road until you get to the top, take a break at The Teahouse, then go back down through the other side.
Canyon Road is a renowned center of the arts in the U.S. and abroad, but a first glimpse wouldn’t betray the rich tapestry of art that composed the neighborhood. The adobe galleries looked like the rest of the town – beautiful and historic, but not out of the ordinary. It was only after we took a closer look that we realized how special Canyon Road was.
The gardens were filled to the brim with life-size bronze figures, interactive artworks, steel wind sculptures and paper airplane statues that looked like they were suspended in mid-air. Inside the hundreds of galleries was a diverse collection of artworks: Native American, Latino, contemporary fine art from U.S.-based and international artists…you name it. The stores sell everything from jewelry to antiques to clothes.
We visited Canyon Road as it was opening for the day at 10 a.m. We wandered in and out of galleries, looking at artworks by world-class artists like Vladimir Kush and Michael Parkes to local artists who were often in the galleries (we had a fascinating conversation with a painter from Santa Fe whose subject matter revolved around the city’s picturesque natural sceneries). One of our favorite discoveries was an artist from Iran by the name of Rahileh Rokhsari, whose paintings delved into Sufi philosophy made widely known by the poet Rumi.
At noon we stopped at The Teahouse before continuing our journey on the other side of the road (as per our host’s suggestion). We got back to where we started at about 5 o’clock, when the galleries and stores were starting to close down. Even with hours of exploring, there were plenty of things we didn’t get to see. When we go back to Santa Fe – and we will – Canyon Road would be one of the places we’d visit again!
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