Marilyn Foster: Historic Santa Fe beckons those who love art, culture, food |

Marilyn Foster: Historic Santa Fe beckons those who love art, culture, food

Marilyn Foster

For the visual traveler, there’s no place in the United States quite like Santa Fe, New Mexico. The combination of Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo culture blends to make the city and surrounding area charming and colorful.

Although you are in the United States, it may not always seem so. The pueblo-style architecture, the food, the art, and the scenery are uniquely Santa Fe and unlike most western cities influenced by the cowboy culture. Like the state motto, “Land of Enchantment,” in my mind, Santa Fe should be called “City of Enchantment,” for everywhere you look, you will be enchanted.

Like Carson City, Santa Fe — translated to mean Holy Faith in Spanish — is the capital of New Mexico and is the state’s fourth largest city and the highest and oldest capital in the United States. The population is about 70,000 or 15,000 more than Carson City. Sitting at 7,000 feet above sea level, the altitude is higher than South Lake Tahoe (6,237 feet), yet it is considered the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

The best artists in the world have lived and worked in Santa Fe, today boasting 200 art galleries, museums and private art dealers. There is a visit planned to the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden and foundry to see the works of famed Apache sculptor Allan Houser. We also will take a day trip along the scenic Turquoise Trail to the village of Madrid, a thriving artist community.

We’ll see the cliff dwellings of the native Pueblo Indians and visit El Santuario de Chimayo, known for the healing powers of the Holy Dirt. The chapel there is considered one of the most important holy Catholic pilgrimage sites in the U.S.

The Chamber is planning a 5-night in-depth tour of this charming city departing Sept. 13. We’ll be staying right in the heart of the city within walking distance of most attractions. There are eight culinary experiences planned, one of which is learning to make tamales at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. An optional tour features major spy hangouts where KGB spies exchanged top-secret information during the World War II Manhattan Project, so there’s some American history to be learned as well.

I hope you will join me on this most interesting exploration. With only one-hour time difference and just a four-hour flight, we should not be bothered by jet-lag. This is a perfect getaway for those who don’t want to travel far yet want to get away to learn more about our wonderful country. The cost is $2,340 per person and must be booked by March 13. The price includes air, eight meals, five nights’ accommodations, free parking at the Chamber, transfers to and from Reno airport and Albuquerque to Santa Fe, all sightseeing, and the services of a knowledgeable tour guide.

Go to the Chamber’s Travel Club website found on the homepage at for a complete itinerary. Or, stop by the Chamber at 1900 S. Carson to pick up a brochure.