My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Visiting Santa Fe With Your Pet

2011/03/24by Donna Hull

Baby boomer pet owners enjoy traveling with their furry companions. Since Alan and I travel entirely too much to own a pet, we can’t give you any advice about pet-friendly destinations. But, we’ve got you covered. In today’s guest post, Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com advises boomers on the joys of visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico, with your pet.

Visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Santa Fe is a brightly colored fabric woven with art, architecture, and cuisine. No matter your predilection — a weekend here is a delight for any active baby boomer.  It’s also a very walkable city — the perfect kind of place to visit with your pet.

The central Plaza is the epicenter of the city, and the day we visited it hosted a celebration of Santa Fe’s 400th birthday. People soaked up the sunshine while enjoying live music, perusing the unique arts and crafts displayed by local artisans, and shopping in the galleries and boutiques that line the streets.

Admiring the Art

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A gallery welcomes dogs and shoppers

Know for it’s art and artists, it’s not surprising that you’ll find more than 200 galleries and a dozen museums in Santa Fe. In the United States, only New York City and Los Angeles sell more art than this little city.

For a beautiful afternoon stroll, head to Canyon Road. Even if art isn’t your thing, there’s not a nicer place to take a walk. This narrow street is lined with adobe homes that have been transformed into galleries specializing in Western, Native American and landscape art — and many of them are pet-friendly!

If you’re more drawn to contemporary art, head over to The Railyard District. This 50-acre, city-owned art district has become a hub of creativity. Even the architecture here is modern, with clean-lined buildings that reflect the spirit of native adobe structures. Galleries, restaurants, and shopping venues have begun to take hold here since the Railyard’s unveiling in 2008.

Museum Hill is where baby boomer travelers will find the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian — both top-shelf private museums. Also located here are The Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Boomers could easily spend an entire day on the hill admiring their collections.

Appealing Architecture

One of the most distinctive things about Santa Fe is the adobe architecture. History is palpable as you visit The Oldest House, built around 1612 and possibly the oldest structure in the nation. It shares an alleyway with San Miguel Mission, billed as the country’s oldest church.

There are numerous old churches in Santa Fe that are worth a visit. The 131-year-old Loretto Chapel is known for its “miraculous staircase,” and the Santuario de Guadalupe recently became home to a 12-foot statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of New Mexico. We especially liked the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (the patron saint of animals, of course!) for its stained glass windows brought over from France.

Creative Cuisine

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Tempting pastries for desert

Santa Fe is a town for foodies. With over 200 restaurants, choosing where you’ll eat can be a real dilemma. The up-scale dining scene is dominated by Geronimo, Coyote Café, and The Compound, well-established eateries that garner national attention. But, we chose a place a little off the beaten path, with one of the nicest pet-friendly patios we’ve ever enjoyed.

The Burro Alley Café was a perfect spot for lunch with shady patio seating, French menu, and authentic ambiance. We were a bit surprised to find great French food in Santa Fe, but we’ve not had better since our last visit to Paris. The accordion player added to the experience, but the crème de la crème was choosing from the freshly baked pastries for dessert!

Are you planning a baby boomer trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico? You can find more information about visiting “The City Different” from the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau

Amy and Rod Burkert run the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com and write about pet travel as they explore the US and Canada with their dogs, Ty and Buster. Their blog is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and humorous tales of the couple’s dog friendly adventures.

All photos courtesy Amy Burkert.

Do you travel with a pet? Post a comment to share your favorite pet-friendly destination. Or perhaps you have a question for our pet travel experts. Ask away!

What about taking your pets on the plane? Read Edie Jarolim’s guest post review of Pet Airways.



A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

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