Road Scholar : Home
Santa Fe and Taos: A Tale Of Two Cities

Program Number: 11009RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/6/2015 - 4/12/2015; 4/27/2015 - 5/3/2015; 5/11/2015 - 5/17/2015; 5/18/2015 - 5/24/2015; 6/8/2015 - 6/14/2015; 7/13/2015 - 7/19/2015; 7/27/2015 - 8/2/2015; 8/24/2015 - 8/30/2015; 9/7/2015 - 9/13/2015; 9/28/2015 - 10/4/2015; 10/12/2015 - 10/18/2015; 10/19/2015 - 10/25/2015; 11/2/2015 - 11/8/2015; 12/28/2015 - 1/3/2016;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Price starting at: $1,349.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Less than 70 miles from one another, Santa Fe and Taos are the jewel cities of northern New Mexico, seemingly enchanted places set amidst the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Adobe pueblos built by ancestral peoples still stand, elegant Spanish colonial plazas serve as meeting places as they have for four centuries and beautiful museums display the work of artist-pilgrims who gathered here to find inspiration in the land. Examine Santa Fe and Taos through the eyes of those who have called them home and discover not only what they share, but also what sets each apart.


• Trace the history of governance in Santa Fe and visit the modern New Mexico State Capitol building.
• Be moved by the ancient Native traditions and cultures preserved in Taos Pueblo and gain insight into the art of making Native American pottery with a traditional potter in Santa Clara Pueblo.
• Explore beautiful, world-renowned Canyon Road and see stunning examples of both contemporary and traditional art along the way.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile, standing up to one hour. Elevations of 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Date Specific Information

4-6-2015, 4-27-2015, 5-11-2015, 5-18-2015, 6-8-2015, 7-27-2015, 9-7-2015, 9-28-2015, 10-19-2015, 11-2-2015

Full service hotel near historic downtown Plaza.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

7-13-2015, 8-24-2015, 10-12-2015

Comfortable hotel in the historic Railyard District with complementary shuttle service to downtown.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


This program date will attend a special New Year's Eve concert presented by Performance Santa Fe and a Pueblo feast-day dance. Full service hotel near historic downtown Plaza.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

Santa Fe

A cosmopolitan city famous for its world-renowned opera, chamber and choral music and for its art and artists, Santa Fe is situated at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Nearby, eight historic, continuously occupied pueblos and small Hispanic villages divulge a heritage that is impeccably preserved in this multi-cultural state capital.

Full-service hotel near downtown Santa Fe or comfortable hotel in the historic Railyard District. See Date Specific Information for details.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ronald Roybal

Ronald Roybal is a professional musician who performs in the New Mexico area. A descendant of Spanish Colonial and Pueblo (Tewa) peoples, he has been nominated for four Native American Music Awards for his flute and Spanish guitar recordings. Ronald has been featured twice on NPR’s “Performance Today” program and has performed live at concert venues such as the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Colorado Music Festival. He holds bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and psychology.
Mark Utgaard

A resident of New Mexico for more than 40 years, Mark Utgaard enjoys sharing his love for the state’s culture and history with others. He is a former journalist and editor, and for 20 years, owned an importing business that offered traditional and contemporary handcrafts from Colombia for wholesale in North America, Asia and the Caribbean. During the 1960s and 1970s, Mark traveled to Europe several times as a member of youth orchestras, and later worked as a travel manager for other youth choirs and orchestras journeying to Europe. He has been a Road Scholar group leader and instructor for six years. In his free time, Mark likes to make furniture from old wood and he is learning to play the button accordion.
Sharon Franco

Sharon Franco holds a master’s in English literature from the University of Illinois, as well as a literary translator's diploma from El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City. She teaches literature and writing at the University of New Mexico and Santa Fe Preparatory School, public speaking at Santa Fe Community College, and Spanish language and literature privately. She has translated books of fiction to and from Spanish. In Mexico, she was a translator of films, fiction and scholarly publications.
Jerry Rightman

Who would have ever thought that a retired veterinarian would become a dedicated art lecturer? Jerry Rightman is just that person and is an active member in the art community of Santa Fe, applying his talents as a docent at the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. He has received rave reviews for the many years that he has been teaching for Road Scholar.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
  Santa Fe, NM 6 nights
 Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This charming hotel is located three blocks from the historic downtown Plaza and is surrounded by Santa Fe restaurants and shops with convenient transportation nearby. 100% non-smoking facility.
  Contact info: 100 Sandoval Street
Santa Fe, NM 87507 USA
phone: 505-988-2811
  Room amenities: Southwest motif, Hilton Serenity Bed and Amenity Collections, coffee and tea service, ironing boards, robes, hair dryer and makeup mirror
  Facility amenities: Business Center, complimentary printing service, fax, express mail, notary public, office rental, photocopying service, video conferencing available, video messaging, video phone, 24-hour Pavilion Pantry Market, laundry-valet service, ATM, baggage storage, bar area, concierge desk, elevators, gift shop, guest activity/recreation desk, lounge, multi-lingual staff, room service, fitness room, pool, surface parking lot ($17 daily fee for parking)
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Best seasonal rates Request additional nights directly from hotel prior to arrival by calling 505-988-2811.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Best seasonal rates Request additional nights directly from hotel prior to arrival by calling 505-988-2811.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
On Day 1, hotel check-in is available after 3:00 PM. The program commences with Registration from 4:00-5:30 PM. You will be staying at Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza that night.
  End of Program:
The program concludes on Day 7 with breakfast. Hotel checkout by is by 12:00 Noon. You will be staying at Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. No special documents or waivers required.
  Parking availability:
There is a $17 daily fee for parking at the hotel. Participants have access to their vehicles throughout the program.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Santa Fe, NM
  Nearest city or town:  Albuquerque
  Nearest highway: I-25
  Nearest airport:  Albuquerque International Sunport and Santa Fe Airport (very small; commuter service from Denver only)
  From End of Program
  Location: Santa Fe, NM
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Sandia Shuttle Express
phone: 888-775-5696
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


70 minutes 




Approximately 65 miles


Sandia Shuttle Express offers regular service between the Albuquerque Sunport and Santa Fe. Reservations are required. When you make your reservations, you'll need to let the shuttle service know the hotel at which you'd like to be dropped off in Santa Fe, and when you wish to return to Albuquerque. Reservations for the shuttles must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your travel date, or your place on the shuttle will not be guaranteed.


Santa Fe


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle


Travel Time:


5 to 10 minutes 


The Santa Fe airport is serviced by a limited number of flights and airlines. If you choose to fly into/out of Santa Fe, please call your hotel before the program starts for their recommendation regarding shuttle transportation from/to the airport.

Driving Directions
  From North and South on I-25 to the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza From I-25 (all directions) take the St. Francis/Santa Fe Plaza exit; continue to Cerrillos Road. Turn right on Cerrillos Road. Access the left lane, follow the left split which turns into Sandoval Street. Remain on Sandoval Street for 1/2 mile. The HILTON SANTA FE HISTORIC PLAZA is on the left hand side of Sandoval Street after crossing over West Alameda.
Elevation Note: Santa Fe is at an elevation of 7,000' above sea level.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Hotel Check-In / Program Registration / Welcome Dinner / Orientation and Introductions
(Monday, December 28)
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00 PM.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session.

If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.

 Dinner: Buffet at the hotel from 6:00 PM until 7:00 PM
 Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and roles and responsibilities.

Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration.

Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Morning Lectures on New Mexico and Santa Fe History / Walking Field Trip to Santa Fe Plaza and New Mexico Museum of Art / Free Time / Native American Music Presentation
(Tuesday, December 29)

Note: Walking up to several blocks over paved terrain; some standing up to an hour at museums

 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. Selections usually include eggs, french toast or pastries, oatmeal, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: This morning we'll learn about the history of what is now the state of New Mexico, from its earliest Native American inhabitants, to the Spanish Conquistadors and the Anglo settlers who followed. We'll also hear about Santa Fe, "The City Different."

We'll then head out on foot to explore the Plaza area, including the impressive Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the intriguing Loretto Chapel, and other sites as time permits.

 Lunch: Buffet luncheon at La Fonda hotel's Fiesta Lounge
 Afternoon: Free afternoon for independent explorations
 Dinner: Dinner at a selected restaurant or at the hotel
 Evening: Presentation by Native American musician Ron Roybal. Ron is a fine Native-American Flute player and guitarist, and is dedicated to the preservation of traditional music, as well as a composer in his own right.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lectures about Georgia O'Keeffe and Southwestern Literature / Field Trip to Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / Free Afternoon and Evening
(Wednesday, December 30)

Note: Walking up to several blocks over varied terrain; standing up to an hour at museum.

 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel
 Morning: We'll start the morning with a lecture about the literature of the Southwest. Our instructor will introduce us to some of the work of the many talented Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo writers and poets who have written about the region.

After a break, we'll hear about the life and art of Georgia O'Keeffe. After moving to northern New Mexico in 1949, Ms. O'Keeffe spent the next 26 years producing distinctive and iconic paintings of the area's landscape, flowers, and other regional subjects.
 Lunch: Plated meal at the Blue Corn Café, 2 blocks from the hotel. Our selected menu includes some traditional New Mexican dishes, and well as non-New Mexican options.
 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll walk 4 blocks to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. The O'Keeffe Museum, while not large, is a "must see" destination for many who visit Santa Fe. Ms. O'Keeffe's paintings, as well as those of some other artists, are featured in changing exhibits.

The rest of the afternoon is free for independent explorations or relaxation.
 Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Evening: Free eveing to explore Santa Fe's nightlife, enjoy the company of new Road Scholar friends with informal activities, or rest and relax.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Field Trips to the State Capitol Art Collection, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art / Lecture about Native American Art
(Thursday, December 31)

Note: Walking up to several blocks over paved terrain; standing up to an hour at a time at museums.

 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel
 Morning: This morning, we'll visit the state capitol building, which houses an extensive collection featuring the work of New Mexican artists and sculptors.

We'll then go to Museum Hill for visits to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art.

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is one of the State of New Mexico museums, and features pottery, jewelry, sculpture, baskets, and other objects made by Native Americans from all over the United States. Most of the work is from the Southwest.

The Museum of International Folk Art features the huge collection of folk art of Alexander Girard, displayed in charming scenarios.

Both museums have great gift shops as well!

 Lunch: Buffet at the hotel
 Afternoon: This afternoon begins with a lecture about Native American art. We'll then depart on a field trip to the sculpture garden at Shidoni Foundry in Tesuque.
 Dinner: Plated meal from a selected menu at the Santa Fe Bar and Grill
 Evening: Sparkling wine and dessert at the hotel, followed by an optional video
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lecture about Santo Domingo Pueblo / Field Trip to Santo Domingo Feast Day / Free Afternoon
(Friday, January 1)

Note: Walking up to several blocks over paved and unpaved terrain; standing for up to 3 hours at the Pueblo

 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel
 Morning: This morning, we'll learn a little bit about Santo Domingo Pueblo and its feast day dances.

We'll then depart for the Pueblo to see some of the dances. This unique cultural experience is both a sacred ritual and a celebration, and it is an honor to be allowed observe them.

(No photography allowed. Please see the link in the "Web Links" section for advice on appropriate behavior and etiquette while visiting a Pueblo.)

 Lunch: At the hotel
 Afternoon: Free afternoon or optional video(s)
 Dinner: Buffet at the hotel
 Evening: Optional video
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Field Trip to Taos
(Saturday, January 2)

Note: Walking up to several blocks over packed dirt, paved and unpaved, and sometimes uneven terrain; standing for up to an hour at museums.

 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Our motor coach departs for Taos after breakfast. While in Taos, we'll visit Taos Pueblo (if it is open), the Harwood Museum of Art, the Ernest Blumenschein Home, and San Francisco de Asís Mission Church. We'll also have a little free time to explore the historic Taos Plaza area.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. We'll provide a list of restaurants in the vicinity of Taos Plaza.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Taos sites, then return to Santa Fe.
 Dinner: At the hotel
 Evening: Program closing in our hotel meeting room. We'll share our experiences and exchange our farewells.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Breakfast and Departure
(Sunday, January 3)
 Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.
 Morning: If you are departing from the hotel, please check out no later than 12:00 PM.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Santa Fe, NM General Overview
Museums and galleries, e.g., Palace of the Governors Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Art and Culture, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Spanish Colonial Museum, Laboratory of Anthropology, Rancho de los Golondrinas (recreation of a Spanish Colonial village), Gerald Peters Gallery, Nedra Matteucchi (Fenn) Gallery, Alan Houser Sculpture Garden, Houshang's Gallery, Alene Lapides Gallery, Laurel Seth Gallery and many more. Historic buildings and churches include Sena Plaza, El Santuario de Guadalupe, the Oldest House, San Miguel Mission, St. Francis Cathedral, the Chapel of Loretto (with its miraculous staircase!) and Cristo Rey Church. During late June, July and August, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Santa Fe Opera are in full swing and there are many theatre productions and concerts going on in the city year round. The Santa Fe Visitors' Guide provides seasonal listings of events, as does New Mexico Magazine. A link to Santa Fe's calendar of events, web sites and telephone numbers is listed below. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

American Indian Myths and Legends

Author: Richard Erdoes, Alfonso Ortiz

Description: An illustrated collection of 180 traditoonal stories from all over North America.

Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest

Author: Stephen Plog, Amy Elizabeth Grey (Illustrator)

Description: This illustrated introduction provides an in-depth look at the ancient cultures that first inhabited the pueblos and cliff dwellings of the American Southwest. Organized chronologically, it features hundreds of maps, mostly black-and-white photographs and site diagrams.

Dark Beauty, Photographs of New Mexico

Author: Jack Parsons

Description: Some of the best work of Jack Parsons, a longtime and accomplished Southwest photographer, is compiled in this full-color coffee table book. Parsons presents the rugged landscapes and the people of New Mexico, exploring religious iconography, far-flung ranches, small towns and wide open spaces.

Edge of Taos Desert, An Escape to Reality

Author: Mabel Dodge Luhan

Description: First published in 1937, this story reveals the spiritual awakening the New York socialite experienced through Taos, the Pueblo Indians and Indian Tony Luhan, whom she later married.

If Mountains Die, A New Mexico Memoir

Author: John Treadwell Nichols, William Davis (Photographer)

Description: A visual survey of Taos old from the perspective of a 30-year Taos resident, who's still as in love with the land now as he was when the book was first published in 1979.

Indian Arts of the Southwest

Author: Susanne Page

Description: Featuring color photographs of the basketry, pottery, weaving, jewelry, and carvings of 200 noted artists, this book is both a collector's guide and cultural history of the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo peoples and other native peoples.

Moon Handbook Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque

Author: Zora O'Neill

Description: A comprehensive, no-nonsense guide in the popular series, with good background information about history, culture and popular attractions.

New Mexico, A History

Author: Joseph P. Sanchez

Description: This cooperative effort between three native New Mexicans is the first complete history of New Mexico. It charts the state’s development from 16th-century Spanish colony to frontier province, from its 1912 American statehood to a hub of (often classified) scientific research. A vital source for anyone seeking to understand the complex history of the West.

Pueblo Nations: Eight Centuries of Pueblo Indian History

Author: Joe Sando

Description: An expansive history of the Indian Pueblos of New Mexico from a Native American perspective. The book explores the origins of the tribe to its current struggles to maintain sovereignty, land and water rights.

Runner in the Sun

Author: D'Arcy McNickle

Description: Nickles combined his anthropology background with all the suspense of a mystery to craft this novel about pre-Hispanic Indian life in the American Southwest.

Santa Fe Map

Author: MapEasy

Description: A plastic-coated, fold-up map of Santa Fe, including Taos and Albuquerque.

Santa Fe, History of an Ancient City

Author: David Grant Noble (Editor)

Description: A revised edition of of this classic history of Santa Fe to the mid-nineteenth century, featuring essays by ten scholars and hundreds of archival photographs, drawings and maps.

Talking With the Clay, The Art of Pueblo Pottery

Author: Stephen Trimble, Tom Ireland (Photographer)

Description: With color photographs throughout, this 20th anniversary edition of Trmible's portrait of the Pueblo people as revealed through pottery traditions includes interviews with a new generation of artists.

The Art of New Mexico: How the West Is One

Author: Traugott, Joseph

Description: An illustrated compendium of New Mexico art from the 1880s to the present that considers historical and cultural significance with a wealth of information about the artists and their pieces. Written for a broad audience.

The Great Taos Bank Robbery

Author: Tony Hillerman

Description: Nine indelible tales of life in New Mexico by the great newspaperman and author of the terrific series of mysteries set on the Navajo Nation.

The Myth of Santa Fe, Creating a Modern Regional Tradition

Author: Chris Wilson

Description: By exploring Santa Fe's architectural style, public ceremonies, historic preservation movement and cultural traditions, Eilson unravels the complex interactions of ethnic identity and tourist image making.

The Spell of New Mexico

Author: Tony Hillerman (Editor)

Description: A selection of 12 thoughtful essays on the New Mexico state of mind by great writers, including C.G. Jung, Mary Austin, D.H. Lawrence and Lawrence Clark Powell. Hillerman succeeds in communicating the lure of the desert Southwest in this wonderful, literate introduction to the state.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768