Looking for something special for a loved one, family member and/or friend, but tired of big stores and “that’ online retailer? Skip the corporate shopping outlets this year and instead buy something from a local artist, artisan or producer.
Need some ideas on where to go? Check out a few places we like in Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Plaza
The first and most obvious place to shop is downtown Santa Fe. The center of the city is The Santa Fe Plaza, a National Historic Landmark and public square over 400 years old.
Your first stop should be the Native American artists selling traditional jewelry and artwork on the north side of the park on West Palace Avenue outside the Palace of the Governors.
For something completely different, visit Suzani on the east side of The Plaza. The women’s store features handmade clothing, shoes, handbags and more from Central Asia and Denmark. Where else can you get needlepoint boots?
Another stop are the shops in La Fonda hotel, where you can also find food, drink, and restrooms. Or, for something more laid back, try the Five and Dime and its renowned frito pie or the Plaza Cafe, Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant, serving guests since 1905.
For several blocks coming out from The Plaza, you can find a plethora of independently owned shops. One of my favorites is the Santa Fe Olive Oil and Balsamic Company.
There is such a large selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars that you will probably need to ask for help. In addition, the store also carries other items, such organic durum wheat pasta like rainbow farfalle. The multi-colored pasta both looks and tastes delicious.
You can also find small shops selling unique items that make unusual gifts. My favorite find was a kiva ladder, and the resulting challenge getting it into my car (it fit after many attempts!)
The Railyard Artisan Market
Just out of the downtown area in the Railyard District is The Railyard Artisan Market. It’s held every Sunday from 10:00am until 3:00pm in the Farmers Market Pavillion. Local artists sell all types of wares, including blown glass, jewelry, pottery, sculpture and even teas and body products.
Santa Fe is an international shopping destination, and there are many more places where you can find perfect holiday gifts. And if you’re not interested in buying things, visit the many museums in the area, such as the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and/or the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.
Or simply take a seat in The Plaza public space and soak in some glorious New Mexico winter sun.
Diane Hatz is a creative writer, impact consultant and contributor to Newsbreak. Follow her to learn more about food, art, culture, health and wellness in the Santa Fe and New Mexico areas.