We know what you’re thinking: “Who goes to Santa Fe, New Mexico for Spring Break?”
We’ll counter your question with another question: Do you want to go somewhere where hooting frat guys five-hundred deep are hosing each other down with cheap domestic beer? or would you like to do things easier, cheaper and better here in Santa Fe? I realized recently that tourist season here never truly ends, but it does abate a little in the cooler months. While downtown Santa Fe will be packed to the gills for things like the Folk Art Market in July, a trip here in March or April gives one uncompromised access to skiing, art, world-class restaurants, cocktails and the best regional food in the country (come at us, Texas barbeque).
So we took it upon ourselves to assemble our picks for five things to do over your Spring Break in Santa Fe. Let’s go, James Franco…
Meow Wolf’s Top 5 Spring Break Selections in Santa Fe, New Mexico
5). Cafe Castro — New Mexican cuisine isn’t quite like anything else. Our hometown enjoys a confluence of cultures and influences that have come together to make food that we start to miss if we’re away from home for too long. Red and green chile (ideally from Chimayó and Hatch, respectively) are staples in most of our meals and it gives these dishes a character all their own. Castro is one of the most legit home cooking places in town. It’s a great place to start discovering New Mexican, but ask any local around here and they’ll give you a list of worthy followup restaurants as long as your arm.
4). Ten Thousand Waves — Few things can get us piling into a car with our friends like a trip to Ten Thousand Waves. This Japanese-style spa pulls out all the stops with beautifully-designed hot tubs nestled about halfway up the mountain above the city. Snowfall during a soak at Ten Thousand is one of the prettiest things you can see in Santa Fe. And, come-on, I mean what says Spring Break like an actual… break.
The spa is supported by Izanami, a casual izakaya restaurant that serves food in small dishes. You can also drink sake you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the states. I suggest ordering a flight and sampling a few.
3). Bandelier National Monument — New Mexico is one of the oldest continually-settled regions in North America. This gives us places like Bandelier, where visitors can see cliff dwellings built by some of New Mexico’s earliest inhabitants. A sense of great age and mystery exists throughout New Mexico and it’s at its most powerful in locations like Bandelier. The highlight of the trip is the Alcove House, an enormous shelter built 140 feet above the floor of the canyon. The climb up will make your heart jump into your throat, but it’s more than worth the suspense.
2). Ski Santa Fe — Shoutout to all of our friends and neighbors working up at Ski Santa Fe! You have one of the coolest jobs in the city. Visitors to our mountain are treated to one of the best ski experiences in the Southwest, with a gob-smacking view that extends all the way to the Jemez Mountains. Classes for beginners are fairly priced and are staffed by some of the most patient teachers I’ve met, as they demonstrated last year as I was falling end-over-end for thirty yards down the side of the mountain. You can get a forecast of the conditions on the mountain here.
One of the highlights of the season is the Slush Cup, a pre-Spring bacchanal in which skiers attempt to skim over a massive puddle of slushwater by Totemoff’s bar. The event is soundtracked with some of the sexiest house music in the Southwest. Meow Wolf is hosting the party this year, with the winner of the event taking home a badass trophy we designed ourselves.
1). Meow Wolf, House of Eternal Return — We’ve been at this thing for less than a year and we’ve already overhauled our immersive art exhibition with some brand-spanking-new installations designed to melt your brain with neon rays. You can read more about the Meow Wolf upgrades here. If you’ve visited us prior to our relaunch last week you may have noticed some doors and fixtures were sealed off. Well…
Above photograph by Lindsey Kennedy.
When we’re not building narrative-driven sci-fi art, we’re hosting banger musicians and DJs who previously never had a venue in Santa Fe. And, no matter where you come from, we promise you that you have never seen a show in this context before. I personally recommend taking a break from the dance floor inside our brand new Infinity Spa. The Spa adds an excellent visual component to the music while you relax.
Come visit us this Spring Break. We’ve been gaining momentum in the public consciousness since we opened, but we are by no means ubiquitous and other groups haven’t tried emulating us yet. This means you can experience something wholly unique that will turn your Instagram followers green with envy.
Play us out, James…
- What to do in New Mexico—Our Top 7 Tourist Attractions
- West Coast Road Trip: Our 5 Strange Art and Performance Vacations
- Meow Wolf’s West Coast Road Trip Pt. 2: Art and Strangeness in Oregon and Washington