New Mexico — Shopping and Leisure
With its fascinating blend of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo heritage, New Mexico is one of the coolest states in the American West to do some shopping. The range of jewelry, crafts, and artwork in particular is world-class, especially in Santa Fe where hundreds of very talented artisans have their homes and workshops. Albuquerque’s Old Town is another good place to search for a treasure to bring home, while Taos and its army of artists always provides plenty of tempting buys.
The best place to begin the hunt is Santa Fe’s Plaza neighborhood. The Plaza itself and the ancient streets that wind off at each corner are literally lined with little boutiques, art galleries, jewelry shops, and souvenir stores. The quality in most outlets is exquisite, with US$1,000 items sharing display space with affordable alternatives. For a truly authentic shopping experience, browse the Native American craftspeople who sit along the sunny side of the Plaza every day with their handmade jewelry spread out on blankets for sale.
Stroll Santa Fe’s Canyon Road, where beautiful historic adobe compounds house famous artists and their work. This street is where you can easily spend thousands on a piece of original art. At the other end of the shopping spectrum is the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market at the Railyard Complex downtown. Open from April to November, this lovely outdoor market is filled with the best New Mexico grows and bakes. If you find yourself in Albuquerque, be sure and set a day aside to wander around its Old Town. The Native American arts and crafts in its shops are some of the best in America.