Pueblo Indian villages; visiting the living past


Santa Fe PuebloThe ground that Santa Fe is built upon was originally inhabited by a number of Pueblo Indian villages. Many of these villages, built around 1050-1150, were abandoned 200 years before Spanish settlers arrived, leaving little modern day evidence of their existence.  Despite this, the indigenous population at the time of Spanish settlement in the 17th century was approximately 100,000 people scattered throughout 70 multi-storied adobe towns known as Pueblos.  Many of these surviving Pueblos are still in existence today.  As was common in these times, the Spanish settlers and missionaries attempted to subjugate and conquer the Native Pueblo Indians.  Ultimately, in 1680, the Pueblo’s revolted against the colonists, burning most of Santa Fe and occupying the region until 1692.  One of the few buildings that survived this destruction is the Palace of the Governors; still a central part of the historic Santa Fe Plaza.  Come see all of this amazing history and more, when you stay at our luxurious Santa Fe Bed and Breakfast, located right in the heart of Santa Fe. Read More

Explore the rich tapestry of Santa Fe history


Santa Fe CultureHistory lovers rejoice!  Santa Fe is not only an amazing cultural destination, it also has a rich tapestry of history woven throughout its 400 years of existence.  Yes, you read that right.  At 400 years old, Santa Fe is our Nation’s oldest capital city, and the second oldest city overall! Centuries ago, the land was inhabited by Native Americans.  One of the earliest known settlements here was a Native American group, called the Pueblo people, who settled the area as a trade and commerce center somewhere between 1050 to 1150.  In 1610, Santa Fe became a Spanish colony, and was governed by them for 200 years.  Eventually it became a part of Mexico, and then in 1848, the United States. Shortly thereafter, thousands of American pioneers came west on the Santa Fe Trail.  These intersecting cultural influences are still evident today, where you can see the fusion of Anglo, Spanish, and Native cultures. Thanks to the rich Santa Fe history, US News ranks Santa Fe #5 as a historic destination.  It has also been ranked one of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  These accolades and more provide you with a great reason to come check out Santa Fe history for yourself!  Stay at our luxury Santa Fe bed and breakfast, and let the history lover in you explore the area’s preserved architectural traditions, historic sites, Indian Pueblos, and community celebrations such as the centuries old Fiesta de Santa Fe. Read More

Santa Fe’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail


Santa Fe’s Recipe for Adventure

Santa Fe’s Recipe for Adventure, a food-lovers guide to all things Santa Fe, is the perfect way to experience the rich food-centered culture of our area.  As a centrally located Santa Fe Bed and Breakfast, Four Kachinas is the perfect place to start and end your gastronimical excursion through the region.  Here, you will find four hundred year old culinary traditions, from traditional Spanish and Native Cuisine, to inventive modern fusions unique to the Southwest.

At the center of our culinary excellence in Santa Fe is the New Mexican Chile.  With more chile peppers grown in New Mexico than all other states combined, we use these tasty red and green chiles in every food imaginable, from ice cream to enchiladas.  Dating back 6,000 years, green chiles have long been a staple food in New Mexican cuisine.  It wasn’t until the mid 1900’s, though, that the green chile took a different and wildly popular turn in Santa Fe cuisine. Read More

Holiday Music in Santa Fe


191What is the holiday season without music? Santa Fe has plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favorite holiday music while staying at Four Kachinas Inn. Luckily, all of these events are located downtown and are just a short walk from your accommodations.
The Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s Winter Festival runs from December 14th – 31st, 2012. Their Holiday Series features four different programs: “Carols and Lullabies”, “The Big Holiday Sing”, “The Lighter Side of Christmas”, and “A Toast to the New Year.” Because the Chorale performs at various venues, visit their website to see where each concert will be performed.
Santa Fe’s premier location for live music is the Lensic. Through the course of December, the Lensic will be hosting a wide range of artists who are in the holiday spirit! Beginning on December 10th with Aaron Neville and his quintet performing classic Christmas songs and selections from his latest gospel album. The Santa Fe Concert Association will be presenting a free concert by the Santa Fe Concert Band on December 17. Then, on Christmas Eve, hear child prodigy and piano virtuoso, Emily Bear with the Santa Fe Orchestra.

Concordia Santa Fe Wind Ensemble presents Duke Ellington’s jazzy interpretation of “The Nutcracker” at the St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Arts. The ensemble will be performing on December 19th and 20th, 2012.

Artist Studio Tours


Santa Fe galleries combined represent thousands of artists at any given time.  While a gallery setting may be a nice way to view art in a professional setting, it can also be exciting to visit the artist’s studio and meet with them one on one.

Because New Mexico’s weather is so delightful in the autumn, there are several Artist Studio Tours not far from Santa Fe.  In addition to visiting with the artists in their creative space, you will also get to enjoy scenic drives through the New Mexico landscape.

Pojoaque River Art Tour

September 15 -16

Located just 16 miles north of Santa Fe, the Pojoaque River Art Tour, known for its tri-cultural nature, quality, and variety of exhibitors, includes twelve studios and two artists’ markets, totaling thirty-three artists. Visitors travel through the eclectic and lovely old farming communities of Pojoaque, and Nambé, a wonderful opportunity for a bike or auto adventure on a fall weekend. Gallery artists will be hosted by Estrella Del Norte Vineyard‘s new gallery, vineyard and winery in Nambe, a perfect end point for a beautiful day.

Pecos Studio Tour

September 22 – 23

The Pecos Studio Tour is made up of a loosely knit group of artists living in and around the village of Pecos in northeastern New Mexico. Located 20 minutes from Santa Fe, the small community hosts a blend of unique people. Besides artists in all media, many residents have long historic and cultural ties to the area.  Situated on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Pecos enjoys four beautiful seasons. With clean air and wonderful light, it’s the perfect atmosphere for creating inventive art.

El Rito Studio Tour

October 13-14

This early Spanish settlement is now home to a community of artists.  El Rito is located just northwest of Espanola, about 40 minutes from Santa Fe. This is an opportunity to acquire folk art such as hand carved furniture, paintings, pottery, artist’s books, textiles, santos and much more.

Day Trip to the Northwest


O’Keeffe Country


See the landscapes of sandstone cliffs, tree-lined river beds and juniper covered foothills that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe and are reflected in her paintings. This trip takes you north from Santa Fe on US 285/84 connecting with US 84 in Española (approximately 23 miles north of Santa Fe).  For a more extensive day trip, you can continue on US 84 all the way to Chama (approximately 2 hours travel time).


Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch: See the landscapes that O’Keeffe painted and visit the places where she lived and dreamed. Guided tours of her restored adobe hacienda in the village of Abiquiu are available by advanced reservation at 505-685-4539.  Please call as far in advance as possible to book your tour.

Ghost Ranch is a large property owned by the Presbyterian Church north of Abiquiu replete with geological wonders and spectacular landscapes, many of which you’ll recognize from O’Keeffe paintings.  Abundant hiking opportunities exist throughout the area.

Abiquiu Lake: This man-made lake offers seasonal swimming, boating and some of the finest fishing in Northern New Mexico.  The reservoir, which was created by damming the Rio Chama, offers many opportunities for camping and hiking among the Pinon (Pine), Juniper, and Sage, ensconced among colorful rock formations.

Echo Amphitheater: This natural sandstone formation is a great place to camp or picnic while admiring nature’s handiwork of wind erosion on rock. Cumbres Railroad

Los Ojos:  Further up US 84 in Los Ojos, you can visit the showroom of Tierra Wools.  This is a weaving cooperative where the art of traditional Hispanic weaving still thrives.  Rio Grande style textile products are produced on-site in the showroom and are offered for sale.

Chama and Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad: Travel further north on US 84 (about 2 hours from Santa Fe, or 110 miles), to reach Chama.  Nestled in the valley of the New Mexico Rocky Mountains, Chama is the southern terminus of the scenic narrow-gauge railroad that makes a spectacular trip through the alpine backcountry of New Mexico and Colorado. The rail trip north is an all-day excursion. Call 505-756-2151 to obtain departure times, tour durations and to make reservations.

Drama at the Santa Fe Opera


Besides the incredible art markets and recreational activities in the area, one of Santa Fe’s main summer tourist attractions is the Santa Fe Opera.  Located just 7 miles north of the city, the Opera begins it’s 55th season on June 29th and runs through August 25th.  This season features a rotation of 5 new productions:  Tosca, The Pearl Fishers, Maometto II, King Roger,and Arabella.

Founded in 1956 by New York-based conductor, John Crosby, the Santa Fe Opera has had more than 1,600 performances of nearly 140 different operas.  A typical season features two popular works, an American (or world) premiere, a rarely performed work, and a Strauss opera.  Much of the cast, musicians, and production team are from around the world.

In addition to the 5 major opera productions, there is also The Apprentice Program, which features young singers and technicians who are transitioning into professional careers.  Typically, they perform in Apprentice Scenes for two nights in August.

In addition to the dramatics happening on-stage, the Santa Fe Opera is a great place to see and be seen.  Several patrons will arrive hours early to tailgate in the parking lot.  Some guests bring fancy 5-course meals, complete with candelabras, tablecloths, and fine wine.  The Opera also provides tailgating picnics and preview buffets.  Because July and August are considered Santa Fe’s ‘monsoon season’, patrons are often treated to incredible sunsets, rainbows, and distant lightning storms.  The Opera House does have a roof, but is open on the sides to provide easy viewing of nature’s dramatics.

Whether you’re a newcomer or seasoned opera lover, there is  always a bit of drama to be had at the Santa Fe Opera.

Daytrip to the North




This day trip will take you to the charming town of Taos, a culturally rich small town set against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and a spectacular mesa sliced by the meandering Rio Grande to the west.  For maximum sightseeing, travel to Taos on the High Road (US 84/285 to SR 503 to SR 76 to SR 518. Reach Taos in approximately 2½ hours) and return on the Low Road (NM 68 to US 84/285) that follows the Rio Grande for part of the trip.  The Low Road is about a 1½ hour drive to Santa Fe.  (Approximately 165 miles roundtrip)


Nambe Pueblo and Nambe Falls:  Nambe pueblo is an historic 700-year-old pueblo located north of Santa Fe at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  Beautiful Nambe Falls, 4 miles beyond the pueblo, tumbles through a rocky canyon in a spectacular display. A nearby recreational site offers an amazing setting for picnicking, hiking and camping. 505-455-2036

santuariodechimayoChimayó: This small village is located 40 miles south of Taos and 24 miles northeast of Santa Fe, about ten miles east of Española in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It is on Hwy 76 (the “High Road”) – a scenic route through old Spanish villages. Today Chimayó is famous for the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families. Many shops contain their work as well as fine art and crafts from the region.  This quaint northern New Mexico town is also the home of the famous Santuario de Chimayó (a National Historic Landmark), a church built in 1814-1816 that has been the destination of countless pilgrims who attribute it with miraculous powers of healing.

taospueblo1Taos Pueblo: The Taos Pueblo is on the northern outskirts of the town of Taos. It consists of an amazing multi-story adobe structure built between 1000 and 1450 AD and has been inhabited for over 1,000 years.  Approximately 150 people still live within the Pueblo full time, and the people of the Pueblo continue to maintain the age-old beliefs and cultural traditions of their ancient society. Privately owned shops and galleries throughout the village support the numerous local artists. 505-758-1028

The Millicent Rogers Museum: Four miles north of Taos, visitors can enjoy an outstanding historical collection of Native American jewelry, ceramics, paintings, and weavings, as well as Hispanic textiles, metalwork, sculpture, and a wide range of contemporary Southwestern art. The original collection was amassed by Standard Oil Heiress Millicent Rogers and has been expanded to include Hispanic secular and religious arts and crafts from colonial to current times. Museum hours and information can be obtained by calling 505-758-2462.

The Taos Art Museum: The Taos Art Museum is housed in the home of Nicolai Fechin (Fechin House), who, with his family, moved to Taos in 1927. Born in Russia, Fechin is one of the most important portrait painters of the 20th Century. His paintings of Native Americans and of the New Mexico desert landscape are considered among his best works. The Museum’s permanent collection also includes many examples of Fechin’s carvings, along with over 300 works of art by more than 50 Taos artists, and features the Taos Society of Artists and Taos Moderns. 505-758-2609

san-francisco-de-asis-missionSan Francisco de Asis: This historic church, four miles south of Taos in Rancho de Taos, dates from 1772.  Artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams have memorialized this famous church because of its unique massive adobe and masonry architecture.  This edifice is ideally entered through the garden on the west side to fully appreciate its enormous structure and authentic adobe construction. The church is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but is closed from noon to 1:00 p.m.  Please call for more information. 505-758-2754

Ohkay Owingeh (formerly the San Juan Pueblo): Returning from Taos via NM 68, one passes through this Pueblo that was established as the first Spanish capital city of the New Mexico Territory in 1598. Watch local artisans create their wares, and then purchase jewelry, pottery and other crafts at the Ohkay Owingeh Crafts Cooperative. 505-852-4400

Day Trip to the West


Los Alamos and through the Jemez Mountains


This scenic trip winds through ruins of an ancient civilization, a high-tech research center (birthplace of the atomic bomb), traditional Pueblos, and the collapsed center of a long-dormant volcano.  Follow US 84/285 north from Santa Fe.  Then turn west on SR 502 to Los Alamos.  Connect with SR 4 to Bandelier National Monument.  Continue on NM 4 past the Valle Grande, through the Jemez Mountains and the town of Jemez Springs.  Connect with US 550 at San Ysidro to Bernalillo and then return to Santa Fe via I-25 (about 160 miles round-trip).


San Ildefonso Pueblo: Located 23 miles north of Santa Fe, the contemporary San Ildefonso Pueblo has a flourishing art community. With an average of 20,000 visitors yearly, this is one of the most visited northern pueblos.  Famous for the matte-finish black-on-black pottery originated by potter Maria Martinez in the 1920’s, the Pueblo has several on-site craft shops and artisan’s homes open to the public for shopping. The pueblo offers spectacular views of Black Mesa, a sacred site. For pueblo information, please call 505-455 3549

Bradbury Science Museum:  This museum is operated by Los Alamos National Labs and displays scientific and historical information in three galleries – Manhattan Project history, national defense, and varied basic and applied research.  Most interesting are videos that tell the story of life at Los Alamos before and during the Manhattan Project. There are photos, documents, and objects illustrating life during these intense years when an international team of scientists raced to build an atomic bomb. Call for hours and exhibition information: 505-667-4444.


Bandalier National Park

Bandelier National Monument: The ancestors of modern Pueblo people built thriving communities about 600 years ago in the area known as Bandelier. Several thousand ancestral pueblo dwellings are found among the pink mesas and sheer-walled canyons.  The best-known archeological sites, in Frijoles Canyon near the Visitor Center, have easy access to visitors.  One can explore the area via a short, self-guided tour of the ruins or choose more in-depth hiking into the backcountry wilderness. More than 50 miles of maintained trails lead to unexcavated ruins and wildlife habitat throughout the monument.  Call the visitor center at 505-672-3861 x 517 or hear recorded information at 505-672-0343.

Tsankawi: Tsankawi, a detached part of Bandelier National Monument, is undeveloped and unexcavated.  A 1.5 mile trail follows centuries-old paths through the area where the ancestral Pueblo people lived.  Cave dwellings, petroglyphs, and the site of Tsankawi village can be seen from the paths. Tsankawi can be found just before the entrance of Bandelier National Monument off NM 4.



Valles Caldera National Park

Valle Grande:  This collapsed volcanic caldera is one of the largest in the world. A vast meadow approximately 3 miles in diameter and a 15-mile diameter ring of mountains are the only visible remains of a massive volcanic eruption.  The 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains is located 15 miles west of Los Alamos on NM 4.  The preserve is open to the public, but has managed to keep the numbers of visitors small, so you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself.  Get out and experience a profound sense of solitude that will leave you refreshed and relaxed. See wildlife, beautiful vistas, and learn about the preserve’s rich history and geology.  Schedule your visit by going to www.vallescaldera.gov.

Jemez Springs:  Nestled between stunning red rock mesa–remnants of ancient lava flows over a million years old–the village is named for its famous mineral hot springs. Fissures in the earth allow water near the surface to contact rock below that is heated by the magma underneath. The result is a steady supply of hot springs that bubble up throughout the valley. Jemez Springs is a great place to reconnect with nature and enjoy the healing mineral waters.  Artist galleries, shops and casual dining are also available.  Visit their web site at www.jemezsprings.org.

tentrocksKasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument: An optional side trip on your return north on I-25 (exit 259 to NM 22 to Tribal Route 92, then Forest Service road 266) is a visit to Tent Rocks.  The area owes its remarkable geology to layers of volcanic rock and ash deposited by a volcanic explosion.  Over time, weathering and erosion of these layers has created slot canyons and tent rocks. The tent rocks themselves are cones of soft pumice and tuff beneath harder caprocks.  Hiking on maintained trails is available.  The monument is open for day use only and may be closed by order of the Cochiti Pueblo Tribal Governor.

Day Trip to the East


Pecos and Las Vegas


This is “the other Las Vegas,” a frontier railroad town that was part of the historic Old Santa Fe Trail. On the way to Las Vegas on I-25, visit the Pecos National Historical Park.  Fishermen will find excellent fly-fishing along the Pecos River and hikers can enjoy the Pecos Wilderness area.  You can double back to Santa Fe via I-25 or if time permits, take NM 518 from Las Vegas through Mora to NM 78 through Vadito, Penasco and Dixon connecting with NM 68 (low road from Taos) described above.


Pecos Wilderness Area: Hiking and horseback riding are great ways to enjoy the beauty of the Pecos Wilderness. The terrain varies from open meadows in the Pecos River Valley, to the steep canyons of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Wildlife sightings range from deer and elk to big horn sheep, turkeys, and grouse.

Pecos River: The Pecos River originates high up in the Pecos Wilderness Area of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and provides excellent fishing and grand vistas. Fly fishers seeking isolation, solitude and a bit of adventure might consider the upper reaches of the Pecos or one of its tiny headwater tributaries. Anglers won’t find many other humans, but can discover brightly colored wild brown trout as well as native Rio Grande Cutthroats, New Mexico’s state fish.

Pecos National Historical Park: Located 2 miles south of the town of Pecos on NM 63, this park preserves 12,000 years of history including the ancient pueblo of Pecos, Colonial Missions, Santa Fe Trail sites, 20th century ranch history of Forked Lightning Ranch, and the site of the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass. The visitors center contains exhibits, book sales, and a 10-minute introductory film. There is a one and a quarter mile self-guided trail through the Pecos pueblo and mission ruins. Guided tours are available to groups with advance reservations.  505-757-6414 x 1.

Las Vegas: Las Vegas was established in 1835 when a group of settlers received a land grant from the Mexican government. The town is laid out in the traditional Spanish Colonial style, with a central plaza.  During the railroad era, Las Vegas boomed, quickly becoming one of the largest cities in the American Southwest. Turn-of-the-century Las Vegas featured all the modern amenities, including an electric street railway, the Duncan Opera House, a Carnegie library, a major Harvey House hotel, and the New Mexico Normal School (now a state university). The new settlers shunned the local adobe building style, erecting instead the Victorian homes you’ll see there today.  Many our now considered historic structures, with over 900 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

United World College: The United World College-USA was founded in 1982 in Montezuma, NM (six miles west of Las Vegas) through the philanthropy of Dr. Armand Hammer and is part of an international system that includes twelve pre-university residential schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma.  An outstanding historical building on the campus is the Montezuma Castle.  This massive building was originally built in 1882 as a resort for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. This restored campus building is available for scheduled public tours.  Call for tour times and details. (505) 454-4221 or (505) 454-4288