A visit to Santa Fe is one of those authentic romantic getaways that stays with you and creates the kinds of memories that grow sweeter with time. Far away from the hectic urban coasts, days at leisure in this high desert town, touring art galleries, visiting ancient adobe churches, watching colorful ceremonial dances at nearby pueblos and delighting in long lunches at charming courtyard cantinas seem like the best daydreams come to life.
Perhaps the most romantic experience of all is watching the sunset from the open-air Bell Tower Bar, atop the historic La Fonda hotel on the plaza. Up here, the air is crystal clear and scented with piñon pine, and the colossal turquoise sky goes on forever. Arrive earlyish (7:30 pm or so in the summer) to get a prime seat. Sip a cocktail and you will soon become mesmerized watching the glowing sun slowly melt behind the darkening silhouettes of the distant Jemez Mountains.
The bar’s bill of fare is limited but choice – featuring eight different specialty Margarita cocktails, locally grown and vinted sparkling white and pinot noir wines and Santa Fe Pale Ale. Hot and delectably crispy roasted green chile or calabacita quesadillas headline the snack selection.
The La Fonda Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in the U.S. and is located at the end of the old Santa Fe Trail. It was one of the 84 unique Harvey House Hotels, made famous in the 1946 MGM musical, “The Harvey Girls.”
Open seasonally. If the weather turns chilly, the staff at the Bell Tower bring out blankets for the guests.
Enjoy a video glimpse of the details in this most beautifully restored landmark hotel located at the end of the Santa Fe Trail:
100 East San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501