What's a dog to do in Santa Fe?
February 22, 2012 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Is Santa Fe a dog-friendly destination?

Mr. Bird and I are planning a summer road trip to Santa Fe. It's our first visit and we'd like to bring our Miss Clio along. Any suggestions for fun things to do in the area while traveling with a curious, well-behaved pooch?

(Dog data: >50 lbs, very quiet, house-trained. She travels very well by car and likes new surroundings. She does not board well, which is why we take her with us on trips. She has been known to melt the hearts of redneck uncles and stern waitresses with a single glance.)
posted by pepper bird to Travel & Transportation around Santa Fe, NM (7 answers total)
Santa Fe is a beautiful city with plenty of outdoor activities. You can walk around downtown, visit shops, and see local artists and art galleries full of beautiful work. I don't think the galleries will let your dog come in, but if they're well-behaved you can leave them outside without a problem.
posted by Aanidaani at 7:40 PM on February 22, 2012

I was just in Santa Fe over New Years, as part of a long road trip. We wanted to take our Boston terrier along but at the last minute decided not to. I regretted it. I saw TONS of people out with their dogs. Not sure about dog-friendly businesses, but it seemed like every third person on the street had a dog. There is also a large park just west of the plaza that has a huge network of biking/hiking/running trails.

My only concern with Aanidaani's gallery recommendation is that you're going in the summer. How does she do in the heat?
posted by Brittanie at 7:52 PM on February 22, 2012

There are probably at least 20 Albuquerque restaurants with outdoor dining areas that welcome dogs -- the north valley location of Flying Star has a particularly pleasant one for summer days. I don't know of any in Santa Fe offhand, as I haven't had the chance to have a dog as a dinner guest there -- might be easier to find such a thing away from the tourist-heavy areas, those restaurants tend to be pretty packed.

It will be hot enough in the summer that you absolutely have to carry water and a dish for your dog -- simply being with the dog does not change this. If you have to tie the dog, do it in the shade and put the dish down with some water. Carry at least a quart for the dog in town, more if you are out hiking. Bring additional water for the humans.

Tops for activities is going down to the Rio Grande and throwing the stick in the water, but make sure you are at one of the slower moving areas of the river and that your dog will be able to get out again. There's a nice loop drive through the town of Jemez Springs, lots of hiking in that area and two restaurants with decks.

Generally you will not be able to take your dog indoors at the restaurant at all, dog-friendly ones often have the deck or patio in front, but at a few there is a different entrance to bring your dog into that area. If it's a place where you order at the counter, you can get the dog set up first and then go in, but with two people I'd have one person stay with the dog.
posted by yohko at 8:19 PM on February 22, 2012

Best answer: New Mexico has recently enacted a law that allows dogs to dine with their owners outdoors at restaurant patios. During the Summer, there are lots of establishments that will have these. Santa Fe is very dog (and pet) friendly. During Fiesta in September, we even have a Pet Parade.

There is a large system of trails North of town. Along with the National Forest and Ski Area up in the mountains, we also have the Dale Ball Trail system. You do want to keep your dog on leash due to other hikers and mountain bikers that use the trails.

Other points of interest might be the old mining town of Madrid that is South of town, the Railyard near downtown and the Rail Trail, the Plaza at the center of town and Canyon Road where all the art galleries are (sorry but most galleries don't allow dogs but the walk down the street is very scenic).

June - July is the hottest period and usually pretty dry. By the end of July - first of August, the monsoon season gets going with rain in the afternoon. Water is very important as well as not leaving your pet inside a car, it gets very hot, even with a window rolled down. You also want to be careful if your dog is off leash. We are ground zero for plague (though it's less of a threat with our current drought) so don't let rover catch rodents or roll around animal dens.
posted by jabo at 10:13 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oops, almost forgot… if you like to hike, there is a great book put out by the Northern New Mexico Sierra Club, Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area. It lists about 50 hikes, how long and strenuous they are and provides directions and maps. The Club also organizes hikes and some allow dogs.
posted by jabo at 10:18 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

You will probably feel the altitude (7000 feet) for a few days: don't stand up too fast, rest more often than usual, drink lots of water, take it easy on alcohol. Miss Clio might well react the same way.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:36 AM on February 23, 2012

Response by poster: Great answers so far, thank you all! Sounds like Santa Fe will be perfect, especially with regards to dining. We do like to hike, and we keep her leashed on walks and hikes because she likes to investigate everything. Thanks, too, for the hydration and altitude tips.

Brittanie: she's very good with heat (she's a Texas dog) but we're too overprotective to leave her in the car or tied up while we go into galleries, shops, etc. (Mr. Bird thinks someone will steal her because she's friendly and all-around irresistible. I'd probably would want to, I guess, but I recognize I am biased.)
posted by pepper bird at 7:52 AM on February 23, 2012

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