The first half of this Indian Country itinerary took us from Phoenix to Gallup with a side trip to Zuni. This article, the second part of the itinerary, describes Indian Market week in Santa Fe.
Leaving Gallup on a beautiful Sunday, I drove three hours, through Albuquerque, to central Santa Fe. If you are going to truly enjoy Indian Market, make a reservation in downtown Santa Fe or at a hotel that has shuttle service to Indian Market activities. Another idea, if you plan ahead is to rent a home with Vacation Rentals by owner. Fortunately I have friends within walking distance of the historic Plaza and was able to stay with them for the entire week.
Enjoying Santa Fe
Early in the week, we checked out the exhibitions at the various museums. We stopped in to see the Silver Seduction exhibit at the Folk Art Museum. Also on Museum Hill you can enjoy the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art (a surprisingly small, but nice museum), the Wheelright Musuem (best gift shop) and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
Early in the week, is a good time to sample the wonderful restaurants of Santa Fe. When the crowds arrive, it will be hard to get a reservation or a table.
Vendors began to set up on side streets (there were not related to the SWAIA artists) and my friend purchased a strand of vintage green turquoise to use in a necklace. We also noticed that the Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise was set up outside the Hilton Hotel.
After a week of museums, gallery openings and shopping, you may already be overwhelmed with the Santa Fe experience. But, the best is yet to come on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday night the streets fill with visitors, workers putting up tents and vendors getting ready for their big weekend. By early morning on Saturday the streets literally bustle with pickup trucks, vendors rolling carts and helpers setting up the artists' booths.
Saturday morning dawns and the early shopper at Indian Market (you can go as early as you want but the first purchases cannot be made until 7am) will find the most highly collectible treasures. Some of the top artists sell out during this early-morning frenzy.
Early morning is a great time for everyone to shop. It is cool, most of the tourists are still having their first coffee, and you'll have a great selection. Tip: If you see something you like, purchase it. It may not be there later in the day!
Tip: If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, consider lunch at the Hilton Hotel. The restaurant has a soup and salad bar, with hand-carved meats and chili soups. It usually is not crowded, the dining room is cool and restful, and the food is excellent. We had lunch with author, Paula Baxter, and compared notes on shopping and collectible jewelry.
Indian Market is best seen in two days. Some say that by Sunday afternoon shoppers can find some bargains.
Not everyone loves Native American jewelry and pottery as much as we do. But never fear, there is plenty going on to suit other interests. How about a Native American film festival... or skateboarding contest? Those events were going on as well. There is usually music in the Plaza and a full schedule of Santa Fe events that weekend as well.
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Native American Art and Jewelry on Examiner.com
Santa Fe Hotels