KSMO (Santa Monica, CA) KFLG (Flagstaff, Arizona) KSAF (Santa Fe, NM)
Weather & Terrain
We had a few storms to avoid on this trip. We landed in Flagstaff for fuel and lunch just before one hit. We waited there a couple hours as it blew past and then continued on toward Santa Fe. New Mexico had a storm 100nm long strung across it. We set out planning to just go as far as the storms would let us. We watched the radar closely and It ended up moving northeast just quickly enough to clear up Santa Fe and enable us to land there for the evening.
The terrain was stunning moving across Arizona and New Mexico. As we left California, we got to fly over much of the expansive city of LA (including the Hollywood Hills), a sight that never fails to impress in its enormity. Red rock plateaus, canyons, and other rock formations were scattered all across Arizona and New Mexico. But perhaps one of the best terrain views was a flight right over Meteor Crater (also known as Barringer Crater), the best preserved meteorite crater on earth, about 37 miles east of Flagstaff!
Why we chose this stop
We were originally thinking of going to Mineral Canyon, Utah as our last major stop on this journey, but after a couple of delays along the trip, decided to head a little closer to home for our final evening. Santa Fe was one of our top choices, as Anna had only been there very young and Anil had never seen it, and it was a known as a beautiful place with a walkable downtown. Luckily, the storms cleared out enough for us to land there, but had they not, we were armed with some other ideas in the area.
Santa Fe was indeed very easy to navigate. Uber is prevalent there so we were able to catch a ride from the airport to our B&B and then walk all around the historic downtown with ease. The high elevation made the summer cool and evening extremely pleasant.
Eats and Sleeps
We stayed in a B&B named Casa de la Cuma decorated in characteristic southwestern art with adobe walls. The owners were extremely kind, provided delicious breakfast in the morning, shared their museum passes with you for free, and the overall stay was perfect for our last evening of this journey.
We got a taste of some authentic New Mexico Mexican food for dinner at The Shed, a place that came highly recommended situated near The Plaza downtown.
- Santa Fe is a vibrant city! Every night of the summer, they have free live music in The Plaza. The night we were there, a folk band from Austin was playing. They had a great crowd gathered, people were dancing, and we loved getting to just stand outside and listen to them while soaking up the city's energy. Saturday morning, we walked around an artisan market in The Plaza, which was equally lively. In another area of downtown was a wellree traveling art exhibit from Spain's Prado museum.
- The adobe buildings that are scattered throughout the hillsides and downtown create a unique and memorable vista in this place.
- The striking Church of St. Francis positioned in their downtown. We spent time walking in and around it at dusk.