Santa Fe & Taos
New Mexico’s flourishing art scene and Native American culture await as we set out for this beautiful, iconic Southwestern destination. We’ll begin our visit to the oldest capital city in the U.S. with a guided walking tour through the Santa Fe Plaza, the historic heart of the city, where you’ll stop at landmark sites like the Santa Fe Indian Market, Palace of the Governors, and Loretto Chapel. Then ride along on an open-air trolley tour of greater Santa Fe, followed by a fun a cooking demonstration and dinner at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. We’ll spend a full day learning about the beautiful Southwestern art of Georgia O’Keeffe with a visit to her museum and the famous Ghost Ranch, where she created many of her famous paintings. Then we’re off to the thriving arts community of Taos for a visit to the fascinating 1,000-year-old Indian pueblo. The final day of our tour is your choice. You can spend the day at your leisure or join the optional half-day tour to visit the Anasazi cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument. This will be an extraordinary OLLI trip! Please join us to experience the beauty of historic New Mexico.
MONDAY, SEPT. 14: Your exciting tour to “the land of enchantment” starts today with a morning flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico (elev. 7,000’). Motorcoach transfer to the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza Hotel, newly renovated and just two blocks from the plaza. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)
TUESDAY, SEPT. 15: On this morning’s guided walking tour from our hotel, discover Santa Fe's top attractions and historic sites, and hear colorful stories about its history, distinctive adobes, and rich culture. After a no-host lunch at one of the many restaurants in the plaza, board the open-air trolley for a leisurely ride past the most significant historical areas in Santa Fe, including Canyon Road and its colorful art galleries, Santa Fe's Museum Hill area, the Palace of the Governors, and other notable locations in the oldest capital city in the United States. Tonight, enjoy a demonstration-style cooking class at The Santa Fe School of Cooking, followed by a full Southwest meal. (B,D)
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16: Today’s activities focus on the great artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who spent much of her life in New Mexico. You’ll visit the O’Keeffe Museum, which offers insights into the artist’s paintings, her creative process, and the light and landscape that inspired her. After a no-host lunch, we travel by motorcoach to O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu to experience the environment where she lived and worked. We’ll visit Ghost Ranch for a tour of the beautiful landscapes that O’Keeffe loved and painted. Dinner on your own tonight. (B)
THURSDAY, SEPT. 17: Our full day tour to Taos includes a stop in Chimayo to visit the Rio Grande Weavers, then winds through romantic mountain villages on the High Road. In addition to Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site, there is time to visit points of interest in Taos, such as Kit Carson's home or the many galleries of the Taos Art Colony. The return trip includes vistas of northern New Mexico along the picturesque Rio Grande Gorge and valley. (B)
FRIDAY, SEPT. 18: Today it’s your choice to further discover Santa Fe on your own or take the optional tour to Bandelier National Monument. This half-day tour travels into the Jemez Mountains to visit the Anasazi Cliff Dwellings in Frijoles Canyon at Bandelier National Monument. Here the ancestors of the Pueblo people first carved cave-like dwellings into the soft volcanic tuff and later built adobe structures along the slopes and on the floor of the canyon. From 400-600 years ago, they abandoned this valley and moved to the Rio Grande. Tonight, join the group for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant in the Plaza. (B,D)
SATURDAY, SEPT. 19: This morning we depart Santa Fe and travel to Albuquerque, with a stop in old town for shopping and a no-host lunch before heading to the airport for our flight back to Palm Springs. (B)