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Summer Guide 2013

93 Days of Summer; 93 Ways to Enjoy Them

June 11, 2013, 12:00 am


20. Lunch like a lady

Alexa Schirtzinger

On occasion, my friends and I do ladies’ lunches, which is generally code for having a glass of wine with our salads, and there’s no better spot for it than the magical patio at La Casa Sena (125 E Palace Ave., 988-9232), where the trickle of a fountain and the generous shade of an enormous cottonwood have the power to transport the ladies in attendance to lunchtime nirvana. Men can come, too…sometimes. (AS)


21. Explore Indian Market

One of the only times you’ll ever feel like you’re in a big city in sleepy Santa Fe is during SWAIA’s Indian Market (Aug. 12-18). In its 92nd year, the 2013 Indian Market anticipates an attendance of over 150,000 people from around the world to admire, buy and sell Native artwork. (MRC)


22. Dip your feet in the Rio Grande

A few weeks ago, a boy, a dog and I took a little trip to Diablo Canyon. The canyon, which is about 15 miles from Santa Fe, but a 45-minute drive on long dirt roads, is eerie and magnificent. The dark basalt walls loom overhead, dotted with the occasional rock climber and echoing the calls of various desert birds. Our destination was the Rio Grande. The trek down to the river is three miles long, but in the spring and summertime heat, walking the sandy arroyo is a challenge. The sandy routes reminded me that we live at the bottom of a dried-up sea—a thought that made me feel small and very parched. (It’s difficult to carry enough water for two people and a thirsty dog.) Toward the end of the three miles, green trees appeared in the distance. The river must be close. The Rio Grande there is glorious—a desert oasis of trees and river shrubs. We stepped into the water, which was less chilly than I’d anticipated: the power of the desert sun. We stripped and sat down in the water. The river is shallow enough that one must lie down to be completely submerged. The walk was worth every step for the cool sensation of water on our sunburned skin. Thank goodness for running rivers; they are the perfect place to dip in your toes and cool off. (MRC)

23. Catch the Waves

Alexa Schirtzinger

While there are a host of great day spas in town—and the beloved and scenic Ojo Caliente just a short drive away—Ten Thousand Waves (3451 Hyde Park Road, 982-9304) offers a true escape plan, transporting visitors to the lush, watery bliss of a Japanese onsen. Book a massage, facial or other treatment, or just relax in one of the spa’s secluded private tubs. (AS)


24. Ride the Rail Trail

With a new connection underneath busy St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe’s paved, scenic Rail Trail is the perfect place for a long (or short, if you prefer) bike ride. For a rewarding afternoon, start your ride at Second Street Brewery (1814 Second Street, 982-3030). Go as far as you want, then return the way you came—cold beer and hot burgers will be waiting for you at the end. (AS)

25. Learn to fly

Sure, the Santa Fe Airport’s direct flights are convenient for getting the hell out of Dodge in a hurry, but it’s also a destination for another reason: flight school. Sierra Aviation (474-0774, offers an $80 “discovery flight” that includes 30 minutes of instruction followed by a 30-minute flight where you’re at the controls—no experience necessary. They also do instruction for $50/hour and rent planes to already-certified pros. (AS)


26. Go barefoot in the park

Mia Rose Carbone

Sometimes it’s important to let yourself breathe. It’s summer, it’s hot, so go commando! Or at least take off your shoes, walk on the lush, green grass at Patrick Smith Park and dip your feet in the Santa Fe River. Who knows? There might even be water in there. (MRC)


27. Tennis, anyone?

It’s called the “sport of a lifetime” because, truly, it is. Dust off the old racquets, open a new can of tennis balls, and hit the courts at Alto-Bicentennial Park (1043 Alto St.). If it’s hot, visit the nearby public pool for a swim afterwards. Hell, it’s almost like you just joined a country club. (AS)


28. Play golf (the hippie kind)

Since watering an entire golf course in the desert is, um—let’s just go with totally unsustainable—we recommend you leave the clubs at home. Instead, pick up a Frisbee, a few friends and some brews, and head out to one of Santa Fe’s many disc golf courses. Santa Fe Disc Golf just raised money to refurbish the city’s oldest course, at Ashbaugh Park; New Mexico Disc Golf ( hosts a list of upcoming events. (AS)


29. Go to the Santa Fe Opera

Kate Russell

Seriously, just go. Even if you hate opera (or know nothing about it), the SFO experience is so much more—fancified tailgating, amazing views, fabulous people-watching and overall a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Oh, yeah—and if you do like opera, SFO consistently pushes the envelope in terms of talent and innovation. This year, for instance, it hosts the world premiere of Oscar, an opera about Oscar Wilde. If that doesn’t scream Santa Fe to you, maybe you took a wrong turn in Albuquerque. For season dates and tickets, visit (AS)


30. Patio sipping

Nothing says summer like a chilled cocktail sipped slowly on a sunny patio, and Secreto Bar at the Hotel St. Francis (210 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-5700) has perfected the ambiance—and the drinks. From classic cocktails to the famed smoked sage margarita, mixologist Chris Milligan is sure to mix up a craft cocktail to suit your summertime fancy. (AS)


31. Ice cream is for grown-ups, too

Alexa Schirtzinger

Actually, this particular ice cream is only for grown-ups. In a revamped cocktail menu that embraces all things summer, Coyote Café (132 W Water St., 983-1615)—the more refined cousin adjoining the Cantina of the same name—has put the talents of its mixologist and owner, Quinn Stephenson, to good use. We adore the Manhattan sorbet—a Manhattan, essentially, frozen into sorbet using liquid nitrogen ($16, available Fridays and Saturdays). It’s the perfect combination of an adult drink with the childlike delight of an ice-cream cone. The mixologist amuse bouche—cucumbers “completely inundated with salted gin” ($6)—is also not to be missed. (AS)


32. He said, she said

Alexa Schirtzinger

If you’ve never submitted an Eavesdropper (“Overheard in Santa Fe”) to the Reporter, quite frankly, you haven’t truly lived in Santa Fe. Sure, this one’s a little self-serving, but open your ears, and you’ll be shocked, awed and occasionally delighted by the weird shit you hear around here. The Plaza can be an especially fruitful listening spot. Send eavesdroppers to (AS)


33. Soak up the sun

Enrique Limón

Sometimes, the sun shines so much here that we take it for granted. Don’t! Slather on the sunblock, whip out your floppy hat, and catch some vitamin D at the Railyard Park (corner of Paseo de Peralta and Cerrillos Road). There’s a pretty cool play area for kids, a beautiful garden (thanks, Railyard Stewards!) and, on weekends, farmers and artisan markets nearby. (AS)


34. …or the shade

One of our city’s unsung beauties is Federal Park (corner of Washington Ave. and Paseo de Peralta), where towering trees shade soft grass to provide the perfect weekend reading or picnicking spot. (AS)


35. Get your art on

Santa Fe’s art scene blooms in the summer. The Railyard district’s contemporary galleries offer a creative counterpoint to Canyon Road’s classic visual arts and Friday-night openings, and its cornerstone is one of our perennial favorites: SITE Santa Fe (1606 Paseo de Peralta, 989-1199, This summer, SITE is doing what it does best: boldly going where no other galleries have gone before with The Pearl, a project by multimedia artist—though that hardly does him justice—Enrique Martínez Celaya. Celaya’s “immersive installation environment” is slated to take over SITE’s entire space starting July 13 and “includes several large and small-scale paintings, sculptures, video, waterworks and olfactory interventions.” (AS)


36. Ride ’em, cowboy!

From June 19-22, the 64th Rodeo de Santa Fe ( comes to town. General admission costs $17 for adults and $10 for kids and seniors—a bargain for some of the best mutton-bustin’, rodeo-clownin’ and general cowboy-themed merriment this side of the Rio Grande. Thirsty for more? On Aug. 10-11, the Zia Regional Rodeo, sponsored by the nonprofit New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association (, combines the thrill of bronco riding with the good cause of equality. (AS)


37. Roll hard

Enrique Limón

If you’ve never been to a roller derby bout, well, ’tis the season to watch hardcore girls in rollerskates vie for dominance of a roller rink! Santa Fe’s own Disco Brawlers face the Albuquerque Dooms Dames on Aug. 15; for more info on upcoming bouts, visit (AS)


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