The Place to Be: Santa Fe
O'Keeffe, Oh Joy!
Georgia O'Keeffe didn't settle permanently in New Mexico until she was 62, but her work evokes the Land of Enchantment as intensely as green chilies, brown adobe, and Spanish Colonial Catholic symbolism. In August 2007, the Santa Fe museum devoted to her work marks its tenth anniversary with a weekend celebration—added incentive to take in the awe-inspiring landscape she made famous.
The festivities were a who's who of O'Keeffe fans, with performances by Tony Award–winning actress Joan Allen and jazz singer Diana Krall. But the real star of the weekend was O'Keeffe herself, as seen in Georgia O'Keeffe, Illuminated (an exhibition of pictures by photographer Tony Vaccaro), and, of course, in the artist's own work. O'Keeffe classics in the museum's permanent collection—from signature large-scale flowers to piercing abstractions—give a crash course in the feminist artist's wide-ranging influence and a reminder of why her paintings still resonate today. For more information, go to OKeeffeMuseum.org.
What Else to Do
High art meets the high desert at the Santa Fe Opera (800-280-4654). The open-air venue, an architectural feat with 2,100 seats but not a single bad view, merits a trip on its own.
At the 17th-century Palace of the Governors (NewMexicoIndianArt.org), more than 900 artisans representing 41 pueblos and communities sell authentic handcrafted silver and turquoise jewelry.
Where to Eat
It's just off the bustling epicenter of Santa Fe's art scene, but The Compound (505-982-4353) feels secluded—especially the back patio, which conjures images of The Secret Garden. Our pick: the tuna tartare with osetra caviar or the Natural Harris Ranch grilled beef tenderloin, and—no dessert desert here—the liquid chocolate cake.
Rooftop Cantina (505-983-1615) has stunning views of the Jemez mountain sunsets to the west and the St. Francis Cathedral's rose window to the east—plus a sinful but irresistible queso fundido and to-die-for mango margaritas.
Where to Stay
The bright white adobe El Rey Inn (from $95; 800-521-1349), a throwback to the days of Route 66, sits on busy Cerrillos Road, but its five lushly planted acres have been deemed a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
At La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, luxury comes steeped in history (from $229; 866-331-7625). The resort includes an 1882 mansion surrounded by six acres of fruit trees, 157 rooms, the renowned Fuego restaurant, and—in case you don't see enough at the O'Keeffe festival—a $1.5 million art collection.