6 Virtual Experiences That Bring The Best of Santa Fe To You

Note: This blog was written by author Jacqueline Kehoe  for Matador Network in paid partnership with TOURISM Santa Fe.

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Most aspects of our world have been moving toward the digital for a while now — the current pandemic only accelerated the trend. But what about travel? What will travel look like in this increasingly digital age?

The “real thing” can only be experienced in person, of course, but more and more destinations are realizing that what they have to offer can and should be made available to people everywhere. Santa Fe is leading that charge — why shouldn’t we be able to see Georgia O’Keeffe’s best works, margarita in hand? What’s stopping us from scoping out virtual trails, diving deep into Indigenous history, or figuring out what the heck Meow Wolf really is, all from the comfort of our living room?

Nothing. With these six virtual experiences, travel — and some of the very best of The City Different — comes to you.


Experience #1: The Santa Fe Margarita Trail

7 virtual experiences that bring the best of Santa Fe to you

Photo: TOURISM Santa Fe

The origins of the margarita are a bit murky, but one thing is certain: In Santa Fe, the drink’s history runs deep. The city was one of the first to import tequila from Mexico, and now it’s the “Margarita Capital of The World.” You want a taste of this tangy, world-class cocktail at its finest? You come to Santa Fe and hop on the Santa Fe Margarita Trail, a route that unites 40+ of the country’s best margs.

And now you can do so virtually. Choose one of four recipes — straight from the trail’s hotspots — and get to tasting Santa Fe. Shake up La Reina’s La Ultima Palabra, learn the secrets behind Del Charro Saloon’s Silver Coin, sit pretty with La Choza’s Roca Bonita, or go simple with Cowgirl BBQ’s classic Cowgirl Cadillac. Keep those fresh limes stocked!


#2: The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

6 virtual experiences that bring the best of Santa Fe to you

Photo: Shutterstock/photoBeard

Known for her bold, innovative art, Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the 20th century’s most-loved painters. Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is a can’t-miss when you’re in town, and now, a lot of the collection is online.

“O’Keeffe From Anywhere” covers a lot of ground: Her art and photographs, her handwritten letters and home furnishings, it’s all accessible through your screen. You can even download creative activities for you and the kids, getting the fam to stretch their shading skills. (Tag the masterpieces with #okeeffeinspired if you post them.)

Note: Animal bones often inspired O’Keeffe’s paintings. “A Collection of Bones is a 45-minute, expert-led video exploration of this aspect of her life and work.


Experience #3: Santa Fe’s era-spanning history

7 virtual experiences that bring the best of Santa Fe to you

Photo: TOURISM Santa Fe

Santa Fe is one of America’s most culturally and historically diverse cities, and it’s got the museums to match. Here are just a few of the virtual offerings:

  • Alexander Girard — an interior and textile designer who hung out with the likes of Andy Warhol and Eero Saarinen — donated more than 100,000 objects to the International Folk Art Museum. You can now check out Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe online.
  • The Santa Fe Children’s Museum posts activities for the kiddos almost daily. Bubble-making? Nature yoga? Yes, please.
  • If you want to dive into the Old West, you got it. El Rancho de las Golondrinas, an authentic living-history museum south of the city, is running live living-history sessions on everything 18th- and 19th-century New Mexico, from flamenco to chile to baking bread in mud-brick, wood-fired ovens.

Experience #4: Santa Fe cooking classes

7 virtual experiences that bring the best of Santa Fe to you

Photo: TOURISM Santa Fe

The Santa Fe School of Cooking has gone almost entirely online, and classes start at $20 each. The options are stunning: Choose between Georgia O’Keeffe’s favorite local and seasonal recipes; taste New Mexican favorites like green chile chicken tamales and blue corn pecan pancakes; go for fine-dining, Mexican style (think salmon baked in banana leaves and smoked chicken with mole); up your vegetarian game with goat cheese enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and frijoles borrachos; or even explore Santa Fe’s take on Bolivian cuisine.

Local chefs and James Beard Award-winning authors walk you through the intricacies of every Santa Fe flavor, showcasing refined techniques in easy-to-apply ways.


Experience #5: Into the (virtual) outdoors

6 virtual experiences that bring the best of Santa Fe to you

Photo: Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

The team at TOURISM Santa Fe and a handful of the city’s outdoor experts took Google Trekker — a 50lb panoramic camera — and documented 25 of the area’s best outdoor experiences, from the Railyard Park to nearby Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. No more do you have to rely on clicking through Google Maps and trying to visualize the scenery you’re in for. Now, you can explore it step-by-step (an image was captured every two seconds!).


Experience #6: The city’s unmatched art scene

7 virtual experiences that bring the best of Santa Fe to you

Photo: TOURISM Santa Fe

Santa Fe is one of the largest arts markets in the country — and not just for turquoise. From museums to galleries to gardens to inexplicable immersive experiences, you’d never see it all, even if you were here in person. But with the city’s virtual art opportunities, you can start chipping away right now:

  • Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return has always been something that defies definition. You’ve probably heard of it, and you’ve probably been curious — what is it? Well, now it’s in 360º.
  • A two-hour virtual painting session could be what gets you or the kids started on a new hobby. Santa Fe Art Classes will have you painting your own Grand Canyon, your own O’Keeffe tides, all from your own makeshift art studio. BYO paints.
  • Turner Carroll Gallery, a Santa Fe institution since 1991, has put its exhibits — collected from artists the world over — entirely online.
  • Prescott Studio’s Gallery and Sculpture Garden is now up and ready for a walk-through, and this isn’t just any walk-through. Bright-pink elephants, teal flamingos — we’re talking serious technicolor joy.
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