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 is world-class, especially in Santa Fe where hundreds of talented artisans reside and have workshops. Albuquerque’s Old Town is another great place to search for treasures 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 lined with hundreds of little boutiques, galleries, jewelry shops, and souvenir stores. The quality in most outlets is exquisite, with US $1,000 items sharing display space with more affordable alternatives. For a truly authentic shopping experience, check out the Native American craftspeople who sit along the sunny side of the Plaza every day with 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. You can easily spend thousands of dollars on a piece of original art. At the other end of the 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 produce and baked goods in New Mexico. If you find yourself in Albuquerque, be sure and set a day aside to wander the Old Town. The Native American arts and crafts are some of the best in America.