Santa Fe (O’ga P’ogeh) has been a destination for people seeking healing, spiritual enlightenment, creative inspiration, and personal growth for a very long time. Many ancient healing traditions are still practiced and celebrated in the oldest capital in the US, and many say that this land some of us call home has a special energy to it. Perhaps it’s the vastness of the desert sky or the groundedness we feel as we walk among the chamisa and juniper trees. Here’s a (not definitive) list of things to do and places to visit in Santa Fe to boost your health and self-care practices.
Stock up on local produce at the Santa Fe Farmers Market
What’s the best way to start your Saturday? Visiting the Santa Fe Farmers Market of course! I love going to the farmers market because it means I’m eating seasonal foods (better for the environment and my body!) and supporting local farms and businesses. Unlike other farmers markets, the staff ensures that all products sold by its vendors are always grown locally right here in northern New Mexico. Expect squash in the summer and fall, artichokes in the spring, and of course green chile roasting in September. And don’t forget to grab yourself some flowers for a little pick-me-up!
Hours of operation: 8 AM - 1 PM every Saturday, all year round.
Visit The Ark for all your magical care needs
Located in the Railyard District– near to the Santa Fe Farmers Market– is The Ark. It’s my favorite store in Santa Fe and I always take my friends visiting from out of town there. It’s fully stocked on all your spiritual/witchy/magical needs: tarot cards, crystals, candles, prayer flags, and books on a wide range of topics including holistic health, meditation, divinity, dreamwork, and magic. There is a pretty amazing range of incense available and a really cute kids' section full of fun and educational toys. Looking for a gift for someone or want to treat yourself? Definitely head to The Ark.
Take a hike on one of Santa Fe’s many trails
Santa Fe is a favorite hiking destination for visitors with accessible all-season terrain and beautiful mountain views. One of my favorite trails in Santa Fe is the Nambe Lake Trail, a 6.7-mile out-and-back trail that starts at the Santa Fe Ski Basin parking lot and leads you through the Sangre De Cristo subrange of the Southern Rockies. I’d rate it hard and would recommend doing it between the months of May and October (in the winter, spikes, and poles are a must!). Looking for something a little easier? The Dorothy Stewart trail, part of the Dale Ball trails, is a 1.9-mile loop trail with some sweet views. It’s an easy, quick hike but keep in mind that there is very limited parking.
Other notable mentions: Galisteo Basin, Sun Mountain, Atalaya, Arroyo Hondo Open Space, and Frank Ortiz dog park for your furry friends.
Reduce your waste with Soap and Supply
The owner of Soap and Supply, Amy Harmon, is on a mission: to help people reduce their single-use plastic waste. Amy works with closed-loop businesses to send back containers and reuse them as much as possible. Bring your own container, or buy an up-cycled or new one and fill up on eco-friendly alternatives for skin care, body care, and household cleaning supplies. All products are priced by the weighted ounce.
When I recently visited the store, I couldn’t resist buying an “All Salve” from Fat and the Moon and a wild rose bar of soap which I happily cut myself from the block with a soap slicer. Amy opened the store back in November 2019 and would love for more people to come up with ways to creatively reuse, recycle and reduce waste.
Take a class at Paseo Pottery
Taking their mission straight from their website, Paseo Pottery is a pottery-powered charity embracing a radical form of conscious capitalism. In other words, they cover their costs and donate the rest to improve society. The studio has donated over $30,000 to local charities and served over 20 local nonprofits.
Now, let’s talk clay. Throughout the week, expect hand-building, sculpture, wheel, and glazing classes. Dip your toes in by attending their popular pottery throw-downs happening every first Friday of the month. They have public events for all people interested in learning about clay, where you can enjoy pottery demos, drinks, and music, and try your hand at wheel throwing or hand building while being guided by a local potter.
Playing with clay has many benefits including helping to relieve stress, increasing muscle relaxation, and increasing emotional stability. Clay is ultimately very forgiving and helps ground you to the earth. Give it a try!
Soak at Ojo Santa Fe and Ten Thousand Waves
A wellness guide for Santa Fe without soaking options would be a crime. Luckily, you’ve got two places in town to soak and relieve stress. Ojo Santa Fe is a luxury resort and spa located just 20 minutes' drive from the historic Santa Fe Plaza, with spring-fed thermal pools, a spa, a restaurant featuring farm-to-table cuisine, lodging, and guided outdoor activities. For a soak in the communal thermal pools, it costs $45 Monday through Thursday and $65 Friday through Sunday. Check out their website for private soaking rates.
A totally different vibe, but no less relaxing, is Ten Thousand Waves. Inspired by the great Japanese mountain hot spring resorts, 10k Waves (as it’s called by locals) offers private hot tub suites, a luxury spa, indoor and outdoor patio dining in their popular restaurant Izanami, and lodging. Each private hot tub suite is self-contained with a hot tub, sauna, private changing room, and showers, and costs $78 per person for 90 minutes of soaking. Before the pandemic, Ten Thousand Waves used to offer communal soaking, which I loved because it was cheaper and you could just walk in. After having a look at their website, I’m stoked to find out that they’re trying to bring back a more affordable, accessible option for people with reserved communal soaking. This is available Monday through Thursday at 7:30 pm and costs $58 per person for 90 minutes.
Prefer to visit some natural hot springs? Check out the San Antonio hot springs located in Jemez, located just under 2 hours away from Santa Fe.
Enjoy the benefits of The Salt Cave
Is soaking not your thing? Perhaps sitting on a zero-gravity chair in a cave lined with Himalayan salt while listening to soothing music is. The Santa Fe Salt Cave is constructed of nine tons of exquisite pink Himalayan salt crystals which are known for improving respiratory health, balancing your body’s pH, reducing signs of aging, boosting the immune system, alleviating depression, improving sleep quality, and even increasing libido. They also use a halogenerator which is a device that emits tiny dry salt particles into the cave. Sessions are 45 minutes long and cost $40. The Salt Cave also offers full moon ritual, reiki energy healing, sacred cacao, and sound healing sessions.