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Looking for information on Santa Fe

Porter, Indiana
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Looking for information on Santa Fe

I am at the very beginning stages of planning a family trip to Santa Fe with children aged 15 and 10. I am totally unfamiliar with the area and wondered where would be a good area to stay - and on the flip side, what areas to avoid - if any. Is the city relatively safe to walk around in the evening? What is the "Plaza" ?

Thanks for any help.

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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1. Re: Looking for information on Santa Fe

The best place to stay in Santa Fe is the plaza area Downtown. This area generally runs between $100-150/night for a room (it only goes up from there). There is another area along Cerrillos Road near the interstate that is cheaper, although this is much less convenient.

The Plaza is an actual Spanish-style plaza and most of the sights in Santa Fe are on it or scattered around it.

The majority of Santa Fe, and certainly the tourist areas, are safe to walk around at night and you should have lots of company.

Be sure to try to take a day trip up to Taos. Pecos is also nice, as is Bandelier Nat'l Mon and Jemez Springs.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Looking for information on Santa Fe

I would definitely stay within walking distance of the plaza. With two children, I would try to rent a two bedroom (or three??) casita. We did that 10 years ago with our then 12 and 15 year old. It was great to have snacks in the room. We also left them in the room with TV, etc. while we did some touring of galleries. Most two bedroom casitas will give you two TV's!!!!

There are hundreds of casitas to rent in Santa Fe. The prices are no more expensive than the hotels (often less) and you get a living area and a kitchen. Most have a kiva fireplace and supply wood.

We walk around some in the evening, but Santa Fe is a sleepy town. Many restaurants close at 9 or 10. You could walk to the plaza and around there; but by 9....you will probably be in your room with your children.

I would definitely go to Bandelier with the children. The main trail is great. Let me also recommend the Tsankawi trail which is a separate part of Bandelier. The trails there are challenging and you end up on top of a mesa with incredible views. I don't think I would do it with a child younger than 10 (you would spend your time worrying about their safety!).

There are many national monuments and parks in the area. Pecos National Park is fascinating and only a few miles from town. A visit to Los Alamos is always interesting.

You will have a great time.

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3. Re: Looking for information on Santa Fe

My first thought when seing your post was to question how much would the children enjoy this destination. Although it is without a doubt, one of my most favorite places ever...my adult daughter and I travel there yearly, I just wonder how much your 10 and 15 year old will get out of it. We just returned again about 2 wks ago and of course they were just going into the off season but I have to really think how many families I saw visiting, it was primarily all adults, couples, sisters, girlfriends, people looking to just connect, wine and dine and enjoy the scene. Sant Fe is about enjoying the arts and culture...maybe they (your kids) are into that? Aside from perhaps a bit of hiking or horseback riding, what are your expectations for them? Wonderful if they do enjoy the most amazing art galleries maybe outside of New York and Paris. For accommodation, for sure check out the B and B Casitas for value and comfort. We have also stayed at La Fonda and really enjoyed it but prefer a charming casita. The plaza is the focal point of the town for shops, restauants, etc and totally walkable to the Canyon Road Galleries and so many Casitas. You want to be close to this and yes it is totally safe. Where would I avoid? Staying out on Cerillos Road where the cheaper rooms are found but then you are missing the whole reason for being there, spend the extra and be in the plaza area or you will regret it, trust me!

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Looking for information on Santa Fe

I just returned and there were few families; but most children are in school now. I do remember my trip from 10 years ago as a happy experience with the children. They enjoyed the southwestern food; they enjoyed the Palace of the Governors; they enjoyed Bandelier. Today I would add Pecos National Park, and horseback riding to that list.

The highlight for my daughter was the balloon ride we did out of Albuquerque.

I believe we spent part of our time in Santa Fe and part of it in Taos. As an adult traveler, I'm not fond of Taos, but it may be a good mix with children.

5. Re: Looking for information on Santa Fe

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