Bring Fido on an unforgettable trip to dog-friendly Santa Fe, New Mexico! "The City Different" comes alive in the summertime when the weather is warm, pet-friendly patios are open and visitors flock to the year's hottest events. The city hosts the Santa Fe Wine Festival, International Folk Art Market and Santa Fe Art Week in July, and the Santa Fe Indian Market in August. Spend a weekend with your dog sampling New Mexican cuisine and wines, taking in the local culture, architecture and creative arts scene, communing with nature in the American Southwest, and scanning the night sky at one of the best stargazing spots in the U.S.
A Weekend in Dog-Friendly Santa Fe
Posted by Erin Ballinger
3 p.m. La Fonda on the Plaza
As the only hotel on historic Santa Fe Plaza, La Fonda on the Plaza offers a convenient, comfortable and ideally situated home away from home. Your dog will be welcomed with a gift bag stuffed with liver treats, a toy, a list of nearby pet-friendly places and a door sign to alert staff that Fido is inside. There’s a dog-walking area where he can do his business, too. This AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel exudes Southwestern charm with its bright, artsy decor and adobe architecture. In each guest room, New Mexican craftsmanship is evident in the hand-painted headboards, handcrafted furnishings and original artwork. Two dogs up to 45 pounds are welcome at La Fonda on the Plaza for an additional fee of $50, with 20% of the pet fee benefiting Española Humane. Nightly rates start at $209.
4 p.m. Stock Up on Dog Treats
Make your way to Pooch Pantry Bakery and Boutique to select some fresh dog treats for your pup. The 10-minute walk from the plaza will allow you and Fido to stretch your legs while sightseeing in downtown Santa Fe. Have fun raiding the Pantry and stocking up on all the supplies your furry friend may need for the weekend. You can also buy him a new collar as a souvenir or bathe him at the self-serve dog washing station. Spoil your pup with a peanut butter-bacon frozen yogurt after his bath!
6 p.m. New Mexico Wine Tasting at Noisy Water Winery
Drop by the dog-friendly patio at Noisy Water Winery’s Santa Fe tasting room to sample wines from the highest-awarded winery in New Mexico. Wine is available by the glass or you can purchase a bottle to go. They also offer gourmet cheese pairings and olive oil and balsamic tastings.
8 p.m. Dinner at TerraCotta Wine Bistro
Walk a block from the winery to dinner at this restaurant’s pet-friendly outdoor garden seating. TerraCotta Wine Bistro serves globally inspired fare paired with international wines and craft beers. The three-course prix fixe menu is a good value and changes seasonally. The smoked barbecue platter, fried chicken and an assortment of bruschettas are other popular choices. Enjoy the view of the stars in the clear New Mexico sky as your after-dinner entertainment.
7:30 a.m. Early Morning Ride & Hike Tour
Start your day with a dog-friendly hike with Santa Fe Mountain Adventures. You and your canine companion will be picked up at La Fonda on the Plaza by your guide in a Pinzgauer High-Mobility ATV that will take you to the New Mexico Mountains. Enjoy the crisp morning air and the redolent scent of Ponderosa pine trees on a mile-long roundtrip hike along a creek. The tour lasts approximately 2 hours, so you’ll be back in Santa Fe in time for a hearty breakfast. The Early Morning Ride & Hike Tour costs $77 per adult and $61 per child (12 years and under) plus tax. Dogs hike for free. Advance reservations are required.
10 a.m. Breakfast and a Bark Park
After working up a healthy appetite, head to the pup-friendly patio at Tune-up Cafe, a neighborhood diner serving New Mexican comfort food. If this place looks familiar, you may have seen it featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Order a bomb dot com (one of Guy Fieri’s catchphrases) dish like huevos rancheros, fruit compote-stuffed French toast, or the cafe’s signature El Salvadoran Pupusas.
After breakfast, if you and Fido are ready for more fun in the New Mexico sun, head to Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park. Your pup can make new friends and explore more than 135 acres of trails and arroyos (streams). If you'd rather take it easy, spend the rest of the morning relaxing back at the hotel.
1:30 p.m. Dog-Friendly Historical Walking Tour of Santa Fe
Arrive at the Eldorado Hotel & Spa by 1:30 p.m. for a pet-friendly cultural tour of Santa Fe with Historic Walks of Santa Fe. The professional guides who lead the Downtown Daily Tours are art historians, museum docents and actors who bring Santa Fe's rich history and art scene to life. The tour lasts about 1 hour and 45 minutes and costs $18. Children under the age of 16 and dogs are free.
3 p.m. The Burger Stand at Burro Alley
After the tour, walk to nearby Burro Alley to refuel with a late lunch at The Burger Stand. All of their burgers are prepared using Angus beef, house-made condiments with New Mexican flair, and crisp veggies straight from the farmers market. Order the Green Chile Burger (topped with fire-roasted Hatch green chiles and melted pepper jack cheese) and Parmesan Truffle Fries for yourself, and a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries from the kid’s menu for your canine dining companion.
5 p.m. A Cuppa Joe With Fido
Take a short walk from the Plaza to Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Santa Fe's oldest locally owned independent bookstore. Shop for a new book and settle into a couch with a locally brewed Iconik Coffee Roasters latte while Fido rests his weary paws next to the fireplace or outside on the patio.
8 p.m. Dinner at The Shed
Tonight you’ll enjoy dinner on the pet-friendly courtyard patio at The Shed, which has been serving creative New Mexican fare since 1953. It’s a popular spot and the beautiful patio seating is in high demand, so don’t be surprised if there's a wait. Once you’re seated, your waiter will provide water for your pooch. Be sure to order a margarita and The Trio (fresh blue corn tortilla chips served with queso dip, guacamole and tomato salsa) to start. The Shed is known for their red chile enchiladas, so that’s a safe bet for your main course. Save room for one of their delectable desserts like fresh lemon soufflé, mocha cake, or raspberry sundae paired with an espresso or spiked Spanish coffee.
8 a.m Breakfast at Palacio Cafe
Breakfast burritos were invented in Santa Fe, and no visit to the city would be complete without sampling one. Fortunately, the dog-friendly Palacio Cafe serves them up daily to hungry diners. Sit on the patio with your pooch and try one of their meat- or veggie-loaded burritos served “Christmas-style,” smothered in green and red chile sauces. Pancakes, omelets and breakfast tacos are other menu favorites. Order Fido a side of bacon for $3 to make his tail wag!
10 a.m. Paint with your Pup
Spend your Sunday morning taking a two-hour guided painting class with your dog by your side at Santa Fe Art Classes. Try your hand at depicting an adobe church or New Mexican flora and fauna. You'll enjoy a new dog-friendly activity and take home your own souvenir!
12 p.m. Take a Pet-Friendly Pedicab to Cafe Des Artistes
After your art class, call Santa Fe Pedicabs to take you to lunch. It’s a fun way to take a break from walking, and pets are welcome to ride, too! They charge a dollar per minute, so the 10-minute ride to your next destination should cost around $10. The company also offers customized pet-friendly tours.
Parisian flair meets Pueblo-style adobe architecture at Cafe des Artistes. Located in an area filled with art galleries, this quaint spot is modeled after the cafes found in the South of France. Soak in the atmosphere on the dog-friendly patio and enjoy light fare like salads, sandwiches, coffee drinks and desserts. Your pup can sip on water in the provided bowl while you dine.
2 p.m. Gallery Hopping
According to TOURISM Santa Fe, this city is considered the third largest art market in the U.S. After lunch, visit nearby dog-friendly galleries like Canyon Road Contemporary Art, McLarry Fine Art, Luca Decor and Wiford Gallery to peruse the local art. Keep your eyes peeled for those masterpieces with dogs as their subject!
4 p.m. Depart Santa Fe With a Dog-Tired Fido
By the time your weekend in Santa Fe comes to an end, your dog will be ready to relax after hiking in the mountains, playing at the dog park, eating yummy treats and touring historic Santa Fe… and he might even have a new appreciation for art!
Have you been to Santa Fe with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
Banner photo by @dulceandelana.