Canyon Road: The other half
Just to counterbalance my tip on the high end gallery on Canyon Road, I had to include this one as well. Not only is it not so expensive, it is entertaining and has a message. It does illustrate the variety of arts and crafts available on this incredible street. (I also like the guy's political views).
- Arts and Culture
Canyon Road: Bring the bank!
This road in Santa Fe is unbelievable! There are literally dozens and dozens of galleries from the folk/funky to the "out of my price range" types. The photo was taken at one which had large collection of bronze statuary. One was at least 15 feet tall and featured double tree trunks with a bridge atop and children climbing all around. It was beautiful and large and I wondered what kind of price tag it would have. When I found it, I gasped - $160,000! However, there are lots of less expensive places and even if you don't buy, it is worth the walk.
What to buy: Art and craft works of every description.
What to pay: The sky is the limit.
- Arts and Culture
Misc: Canyon Road
Canyon Road is mostly art galleries but there are some other shops as well. You can also find some very good restaurants there.
What to pay: Bring lots of $$$!
But you can find inexpensive stuff, too. We bought a nice framed watercolor for around $100.
Misc: Shops, shops, shops
Along with art galleries, SF is loaded with all kinds of shops. Everything from Eddie Bauer and Gap to some of the most expensive shops known to man.
There are plenty of souvenir shops, too.
What to pay: Bring lots of money...
Native American Vendors: Indian Jewelry
In front of the Palace of Governors and across Palace Ave in the square, there are a group of Native Americans selling their jewelry and other sovernirs. The prices were very reasonable.
What to pay: Depends on the value of the item.
Santa Fe Plaza Shops: Jewelry
There are lots of shops in Santa Fe Plaza that sell jewelry. And there are lots of people that want to take advantage of tourists. It was amazing how many 'sales' were going on and the 'huge discounts'. To me, this is a scam. However, there are some decent people to be found and I picked up a ring from a local artist at the Golden Adobe. They were friendly and helpful and full of information. Other shopkeepers just wanted your money and if you weren't buying, they didn't want to waste their time talking to you.
There are also many shops featuring Native American trinkets. In fact, by the end of the day, the all looked the same to me.
What to buy: Jewelry crafted by local artists - make sure to ask!
What to pay: Anywhere from $100 to thousands.
Better than a T-shirt
We have some great bookstores -- and a book makes a much nicer gift for the folks back home than yet another T-shirt!
What to buy: Santa Fe has the inevitable chain bookstores (Hastings, Borders), but some smaller local shops are definitely worth a look. Close to the Plaza, there's Nicholas Potter on Palace Avenue (rare books and some used stock; they also often sell concert tickets) and Collected Works on San Francisco Street, across from the Lensic Theatre (a nice general bookstore with a terrific selection of Southwestern books and a resident cat). The newsstand in La Fonda is small and crowded, but has a surprisingly extensive selection of Southwestern and Santa Fe-oriented books.
Slightly farther afield there's Garcia Street Books, next door to the Downtown Subscription coffeehouse (a good place to hang out -- a friend of mine, a dashing gentleman in his 60's, met his future wife there). Then there's the Ark (on Romero Street off Agua Fria -- tightest turn in Santa Fe; do NOT attempt this in a motorhome!), which specializes in 'New Age' books and has a lovely ambience, although it can get hectic at booksignings. (But in some more mainstream subjects -- e.g., alternative health -- it has far and away the best selection in town.)
Trader Jack's Flea Market: Where the Bargains Are!
If this place still exists, you'll find the best prices in Santa Fe here. Only open on weekends from Easter to Thanksgiving, there's plenty of jewelry, clothing, beads, and all the usual flea market items. Before you buy anything on the Plaza, check here first!
- Budget Travel
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No Bargains on the Plaza
Most of the shops on the Plaza are VERY expensive and some of them even mark up their wares above the manufacturer's suggested retail price. If you don't know what something is worth, shop around until you do.
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