Lez Explore: Santa Fe

By Kylie Condon

Santa Fe, New Mexico is known as the “City of Different.”  Different indeed, this city is truly like no other.  While researching the city’s queer scene, I quickly discovered that Santa Fe doesn’t really have any LGBTQ+ specific bars.  I was skeptical at first, unsure of why everyone claims Santa Fe to be such an open and accepting city.  However, during my visit, I was pleased to learn that the community is alive and well in Santa Fe.  Thriving in fact.  So much so that they don’t necessarily need gay bars because everywhere is LGBTQ+ friendly.  With that, I found some unique and interesting places that I felt more than welcome at:

Meow Wolf

Meow Wolf is a one of a kind, interactive experience suitable for all ages.  I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it.  It sort of feels like a mix between playing laser tag and being in the middle of a Stranger Things episode.  The current installation, House of Eternal Return, revolves around a multidimensional mystery house with secret passages and portals to magical worlds.  At the immersive experience, guests can follow a narrative storyline through different rooms in the installation. It’s truly a unique experience for all your senses.  The space also turns into a 21 and over club at night with live music.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum showcases one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. Located near Santa Fe Plaza, the museum provides a great look at the artist’s body of work and personal life.  The museum also gives insight into O’Keeffe’s creative process and how living in New Mexico influenced her work.  A highlight of the museum is a live video feed of the artist’s personal garden (which inspired much of her work) that is still maintained to this day.  Whether you’re a big Georgia O’Keeffe fan or have never heard of her, the museum is still an incredibly informative and enjoyable experience.

Canyon Road

While the museums in Santa Fe are wonderful, an interesting and free alternative can be found just by strolling down Canyon Road.  Canyon Road runs through an art district filled with a collection of over 100 stunning art galleries and studios.  The art ranges from Native American art and antiques to more contemporary pieces.  Depending on your budget though, it may be more of a window-shopping experience.  Regradless, Canyon Road is worth checking out and gives you a good taste of the local art scene.

LGBTQ+ Scene

Despite not having any gay bars, the city’s community is existent and thriving.  As mentioned before, Santa Fe is pretty intermixed but there are still LGBTQ+ specific groups that hold events at various bars in the city.  Mark Banham, an involved community member and Santa Fe resident, started gaysantafe.com, which is a great resource for LGBTQ+ locals and visitors in Santa Fe.  Thanks to these event organizers, and people like Mark, LGBTQ+ residents and visitors of all ages and genders can stay up to date with queer-specific happens in Santa Fe.

When visiting the great city of Santa Fe, GayTravel recommends Inn on the Alameda & Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa

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