Saddle Up for the High Season
Time for a Santa Fe adventure
It’s true that I had to give up my horse when I moved here from Dallas, since the staff wouldn’t let me keep her in the hotel. Luckily, there are no shortage of horses in Santa Fe, and some of my favorite places to sneak away and ride are the Galisteo Basin Preserve (north of Galisteo), and the Aspen Vista Trail up toward the ski area—though truth be told, both involve loading the horse in a trailer, a task that is not always the easiest for some.
If you’re someone who owns a horse trailer, I don’t need to tell you about all the places in New Mexico that are interesting to ride; our state is full of people who moved here just for that lifestyle. But it’s an equally great place to enjoy a bucket-list kind of experience, fulfilling your Wild West fantasy without a lot of experience in the saddle. Northern New Mexico has all kinds of outfitters, starting as low as $35 an hour and ranging from large operations that take groups three times a day, to mom-and-pops with a few quiet horses and personalized service.
Not only is trail riding widely available and affordable here, it never comes near highways, shopping malls, or smog. Rides are available in canyons, mesa, mountains, splashing through the Rio Grande, in White Sands National Monument, and at Ghost Ranch—to name just a few—and at sunset, by the full moon, with guide and gourmet picnic, or for an hour any day. Just ask at our Concierge Desk about the areas you’re interested in—some outfits require advance notice and a deposit, others will let you mosey in and mount that afternoon. I think you’ll agree that it gives a whole new appreciation for getting back to the routine "mañana."
Just don’t squat on your spurs,
Jennifer Lea Kimball
This time of year Chef Lane Warner is busy preparing delicious seasonal dishes perfect for any backyard gathering. His delightful fruit salsas add the perfect dash of summer to just about anything grilled!
The four players in Mystic Lizard are bluegrass veterans in the New Mexico music scene, having played with some of the best-known jug bands in the region. Guitarist Bob Goldstein is a regular in Bill Hearne’s band, and was gratified to see the regular dancing crowd turn out to see his band, with Bob Gray on mandolin, Zeke Serverson on bass, and Ben Perea on banjo—playing together as Mystic Lizard for eight years now.
For La Fonda, the band favors the waltzes, two-steps, and swing numbers in their repertoire, which normally includes everything from traditional bluegrass to "newgrass" and original songs that aren’t part of the usual fiddler’s songbook. Intricate four-part vocal harmonies and creative arrangements will make it a treat for fans of that old-time music, 60s folk rock, and country alike when Mystic Lizard plays La Fiesta Lounge on Aug. 26-27.
Santa Fe Indian Market is the biggest event of the year (Aug. 21-23), and the highly anticipated Live Auction and Gala (Aug. 22) takes place right here at La Fonda, so reserve a ticket or table now before it sells out! Leading up to the market are the Objects of Art Show (Aug. 12-15) and from the same producers, the Antique American Indian Art Show (Aug. 17-20), both at El Museo Cultural. The annual Whitehawk Ethnographic and Indian Art shows (Aug. 13-18) take place at the Santa Fe Convention Center, and the Wheelwright Museum’s annual benefit auction happens Aug. 20.
For some family-oriented fare, the Railyard Park is screening free summer movies The Goonies (Aug. 14) and Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug. 28). Also free are weekly matinees at the Violet Crown Cinema at the Railyard, The Neverending Story (Aug. 4, 6) and The Princess Bride (Aug. 11, 13).
Prolific artist James Drake speaks with David Krakauer of the Santa Fe Institute at the Lensic (Aug. 5), courtesy of the Lannan Foundation, where portions of Drake’s Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash) exhibit are on display weekends through Aug. 30. Fans of Breaking Bad will want to see L.A.’s Miles Allen perform his super-charged rendition of all the characters from all six seasons, in a tour de force at the Lensic (Sept. 10).
Ballet aficionados are in for a treat this fall as the legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp’s 50th anniversary tour makes a stop at the Lensic with a double billing of premieres (Sept. 22). The annual Stars of American Ballet, made up of principals and soloists from the New York City Ballet, comes to the Lensic with dancer Daniel Ulbricht (Aug. 12-13), and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will premiere a commissioned work from choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo of Spain, along with other international heavyweights (Sept. 4).
The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival winds up Aug. 24, just as classical music season begins in our small city with big-city culture. Performance Santa Fe opens its Festival of Song with the husband-wife duo Kelsey and Owens (Aug. 2), followed by soprano Anna Christy (Aug. 6) and opera apprentices performing Romantic vocal ensembles (Aug. 9), all at the Scottish Rite Center. The first orchestra concert of the season will be a program of Tchaikovsky with violinist James Ehnes (Aug. 30) at the Lensic, where Santa Fe Pro Musica opens its 34th season with the chamber music ensemble Opus One (Sept. 18-20), featuring an Artist Dinner (Sept. 20). The Santa Fe Symphony opens its season with guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa and violinist Itamar Zorman and pianist Olga Kern, at the Lensic (Sept. 27).
In contemporary music, Grammy Award-winning composer Esperanza Spalding presents her new project Emily’s D+Evolution, combining music, poetry, and performance (Aug. 6). Also at the Lensic, on tour for her forthcoming album Midnight, is multi-instrumentalist Grace Potter with special guest Rayland Baxter (Aug. 7), part of Santa Fe Yoga Festival (Aug. 6-9), which also features a concert by perennial City Different favorite Michael Franti (Aug. 8). Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton (Aug. 16) comes to the Railyard Plaza, followed by the multicultural, multi-instrumental Red Elvises (Aug. 28).
The Santa Fe Opera hosts all-star duets this summer: Emmylou Harris with Rodney Crowell (Aug. 31), followed by Grammy winners Chick Corea and Bela Fleck (Sept. 4). Counting Crows comes to the Downs at Santa Fe (Sept. 17). The Las Vegas band Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns makes its debut appearance in its namesake city (Sept. 24), home to bandleader Jerry Lopez, who plays a program of New Mexico music at the Lensic the following night. Enjoy a taste of New York as jazz master Wynton Marsalis brings the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for an evening at the Lensic (Sept. 29).
Fabulous free concerts continue at the Santa Fe Bandstand several evenings a week through Aug.28; La Fonda is sponsoring the concert Aug. 14 by Impulse Groove Foundation, led by La Fonda’s friend, Brian Hardgroove, the bass guitarist for the band Public Enemy, inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Besides its intriguing exhibitions, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum also hosts a calendar of art-related activities for fans of the Modernist painter, including a guided painting class (Aug. 20), a day trip for writers to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch (Aug. 21), sampling O’Keeffe recipes with the Santa Fe School of Cooking (Sept. 15), and other events, many free.
At the Case Trading Post in the Wheelwright Museum, "Old Friends, New Faces" (Aug. 20-21) showcases exceptional Native artists speaking about their work.
Free-with-admission talks scheduled at the New Mexico History Museum include the Great Pueblo Revolt (Aug. 7), the first operas of the New World (Aug. 8), the Alvarado Hotel and Fred Harvey in film (Aug. 9), colonial-era music of the Inca Trail (Aug. 13), the Spanish presidio of Santa Barbara (Aug. 28), and a panel discussion on the Civil War in the West (Sept. 20).
Sundays in August are free admission at the Museum of International Folk Art, thanks to a major grant for the exhibit The Red That Colored the World. Check out the schedule of special events, including a talk on the use of cochineal in Oaxaca (Aug. 9) and a sale of products made by New Mexican women artists (Aug. 29-30).
New Mexico Literary Arts is offering a series of sliding-scale summer writing workshops on “Writing as Medicine,” and unleashing the “difficult, wild, and unknown,” including tapping creative potential through Chinese medicine techniques (Aug. 8) and using objects as a point of departure for healing (Aug. 23), at locations around Santa Fe. The series concludes with a free “read and share” workshop (Sept. 19).It’s a good time of year to visit historic El Rancho de las Golondrinas, which has a children’s festival Aug. 29 and a new history camp where visitors of all ages can try their hand at such colonial skills as colcha embroidery, bow making and tinsmithing (Aug. 15). In September, grab a turkey drumstick and meet some jugglers as the living history museum hosts its annual Renaissance Fair (Sept. 19-20).
Cast aside your troubles at the uniquely Santa Fean festival Burning of Zozobra (Sept. 4), which predates Burning Man by a half century. It’s a prelude to the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe celebration of the city’s Spanish heritage, a weekend of revelry and pageantry (Sept. 11-13) in an around the Plaza.
Two-steppers from around the Southwest head to Taos for the annual Big Barndance Music Festival (Sept. 10-12) at Kit Carson Park, with a full schedule of concerts, food and drink, and of course, a big barn dance.
For exotic car fans, the annual Santa Fe Concorso (Sept. 25-27) comes to The Club at Las Campanas, with a special tribute this year to Denise McCluggage and a focus on Ferraris, Harley Earl’s 1951 LeSabre, and Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Cadillac Cyclone. More than 100 rare and exotic vehicles will be on display.
The state’s best-loved agricultural products get their own festival during the annual Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta (Sept. 23-27) at the Santa Fe Opera, with guest chefs preparing special meals, food demos, and tours of historic homes. Of course La Plazuela will take part, featuring special wines from J. Lohr and a fabulous menu to be held in La Terraza. Make sure you get your tickets soon by calling 505-995-2316, because the dinner will sell out quickly. Among the best-loved events is the Gran Fondo bike ride (Sept. 27), which pairs a scenic ride along the High Road to Taos with gourmet food stops and a champagne finish. There’s also the Gruet Golf Classic, where six sparkling wines are paired with food from a different restaurant at every third hole, in what is sure to be a very leisurely 18.
La Fonda In the News
La Fonda is named "Best Hotel, Inn or B&B for Out of Town Guests" in Santa Fe Reporter. READ MORE
La Fonda is featured as a "hot, as in popular" place to stay in Santa Fe. READ MORE.
La Plazuela offers beautiful, delicious courtyard dining. READ MORE.