Magical. Beautiful. Welcoming. These words capture the essence of Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to the distinguished broker Darlene Streit of Sotheby’s International Realty. And coming from a woman who has lived and worked in some of the world’s most extraordinary locales, this is high praise.
"I moved here from London in 1990 after having spent time in the UK, Italy, Nepal, Tibet, Switzerland, and India. I loved the sunshine and ease of life in Santa Fe. And I felt fine leaving a larger city because of Santa Fe's cosmopolitan vibe; I could still have some of the sophistication and culture that a bigger city like London provides, while living in a beautiful, friendly community.”
Natural beauty and a glorious climate are the primary draws of Santa Fe and its region. “The ease of living here is tops, with a wonderful quality of life. We have so much sunshine here! And the quality of the light is gorgeous, as are the amazing sunsets we get to experience. We still have four seasons, but the change in seasons is relatively mild compared to Toronto, where I grew up.
The city has a strong cultural pull for Ms. Streit as well. Her background includes a rich education in the arts, with studies ranging from the Sotheby’s art auction houses in New York and London to the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Rome’s oldest school of the fine arts. For someone with her lifelong creative interests, “Santa Fe was a natural choice with its diverse art and cultural offerings.”
And of course, her work in real estate gives Streit the opportunity every day to share her enthusiasm with visitors and those considering a move to the Southwest. “Santa Fe is a small town with a big town sophistication, and still offers very affordable living compared to many other towns and cities throughout the USA.”
See why the well-traveled luxury real estate expert chooses to call Santa Fe home.
For Breakfast or Brunch...
Above photos of Cafe Pasqual's by Kitty Leaken/Courtesy Cafe Pasqual’s.
"For lovely outdoor seating with great views, make a trip to Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado (198 State Road 592 | 505-946-5700). Cafe Pasqual’s (121 Don Gaspar Avenue | 505-983-9340) is a tiny, historic restaurant with delicious New Mexican food and locally sourced ingredients."
"Eloisa at the Drury Hotel (228 E Palace Avenue | 505-982-0883) has attentive service and a varied, eclectic menu of artistic and adventurous dishes. At Vinaigrette (709 Don Cubero Alley | 505-820-9205), you’ll find an amazing selection of salads with unexpected combos of creative ingredients that are truly satisfying."
"Geronimo (724 Canyon Road | 505-982-1500) is my choice for the best fine dining, on Santa Fe’s historic Canyon Road. And just up the road, The Compound Restaurant (653 Canyon Road | 505-982-4353) offers fine dining with a creative flair and a great bar that you can eat at, which is a friendly and fun spot with locals and visitors alike."
"Tonic (103 E Water Street | 505-982-1189) is a favorite destination downtown with hand-crafted specialty cocktails, live jazz, and Deco-inspired decor. Bar Alto (228 E Palace Avenue | 505-982-0883) at the top of the Drury Hotel has rooftop cocktails and a panoramic view, as well as music and appetizers. And Secreto Lounge at the Hotel St. Francis (210 Don Gaspar Avenue | 800-529-5700) is a classic, wood-accented bar, known for its mixologists and out-of-the-ordinary cocktails. You can also order from the hotel's bar menu."
First photo of an altar exhibit at Museum of International Folk courtesy of Museum of International Folk Art; second photo of Museum of Indian Arts & Culture courtesy of Museum of Indian Arts & Culture; third photo of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden by Sarah Spearman.
"Don’t miss the Georgia O'Keefe Museum (217 Johnson Street | 505-946-1000). She's a local hero who lived and painted in this area and is one of the few female artists getting the recognition she deserves."
"A one-stop, day-long visit to Museum Hill offers four very different museums: Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (704 Camino Lejo | 505-982-4636), Museum of International Folk Art (706 Camino Lejo | 505-476-1200), Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (710 Camino Lejo | 505-476-1269), and Museum of Spanish Colonial Art (750 Camino Lejo | 505-982-2226). The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is adjacent with gorgeous views and outdoor sculptures, and Museum Hill Cafe is a great place for brunch, inside or on the patio."
"The Historic Plaza (63 Lincoln Ave | 505-955-6200). (National Historic Landmark) is the heart of old Santa Fe yet still hopping with events and free concerts all summer long, as well as a tree lighting and caroling during the holiday season."
"One of the highlights of the holidays here is the Canyon Road Christmas Eve Farolito Walk, with thousands of farolitos (small lanterns or luminarias) lighting the walls and rooftops of the historic Canyon Road neighborhood. Bonfires and spontaneous caroling make a very festive atmosphere."
"Authentic Santa Fe with an international flair and décor, the Inn of the Five Graces (150 East DeVargas Street | 505-992-0957) was named the #1 City Hotel in the US by Travel and Leisure and its readers in 2019.
Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi (113 Washington Avenue | 505-988-3030) is a luxury boutique hotel that has exceptional service and classic Santa Fe-style decor, right in the middle of downtown a block from the Plaza."
"Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda & Spa (1501 Paseo de Peralta | 855-825-9876), Santa Fe's only Native American owned hotel, blends traditional architecture with modern convenience and amenities.
Fort Marcy Hotel Suites (321 Kearney Avenue | 505-988-2800) are Southwest-style luxury condominiums in the hills above downtown Santa Fe, fully appointed for a home-away-from-home experience."
Our Own Edit Note
"Campanilla Compound (334 Otero Street | 505-988-7585) is a community of Santa Fe-style vacation rentals with a clean, modern sensibility, a short walk north of the historic center of town." And, we are pleased to mention that the rentals are outfitted with Matouk linens.
"At Ten Thousand Waves (21 Ten Thousand Waves Way | 505-982-9304) you can soak in a Japanese-style spa, with excellent massage therapists and a unique restaurant serving sake and specialty Japanese dishes. Truly a serene and relaxing world of its own!"
"There’s great people-watching on Saturdays at Santa Fe Farmers’ Market and the Railyard (1607 Paseo De Peralta | 505-983-4098) when the market is in full swing and the Railyard is hopping with visitors and locals alike. Meet the farmers, buy local foods and gifts, and enjoy music from various musicians interspersed through the market. Coffee shops, galleries, shopping, dining, and an outdoor artist market are all within a few blocks."
"The Cowgirl (319 S Guadalupe Street | 505-982-2565) has live music on the patio, comfort food, and a diverse clientele that gives you a taste of the fun and funky side of Santa Fe. For something completely different, try a Lava Lamp: a frozen margarita dropped into a beer! It’s tastier than you might think."
"Take a day or overnight trip to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa (50 miles north of Santa Fe at 50 Los Banos Drive | 505-583-2233) for its natural hot springs spa with outdoor soaking areas, a freshwater pool, hikes in the surrounding hills, and a restaurant."
"Ghost Ranch (280 Private Drive 1708, Abiquiu, NM | 505-685-1000) is the heart of O'Keeffe country, with incredible views, hikes, and rock formations. Workshops are offered all year round. You can visit on a day trip, or stay as a personal retreat or to attend a workshop."
"Go back in time and learn about the history of the Southwest at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (334 Los Pinos Road | 505-471-2261). It’s family-friendly with a diverse range of events, from traditional crafts and ranch living demonstrations to art, food and drink festivals, and a Renaissance Faire."
"The Santa Fe Children’s Museum (1050 Old Pecos Trail | 505-989-8359) offers interactive exhibits and lots of play opportunities and events for the whole family to participate in. Meow Wolf (1352 Rufina Circle | 505-395-6369) is an artistic wonderland unlike anything you've ever experienced. Explore the many rooms, portals, and dimensions for a fun adventure."
"And, across the street from the Farmers’ Market and beautifully and sustainably landscaped, Railyard Park (740 Cerrillos Road | 505-982-3373) has rocks to climb, tunnels and slides, a small outdoor gym, and family movies under the stars during the summer."