The heart of Tesuque, New Mexico, is little more than a wide spot at a crossroads, scarcely hinting at the village's appeal as a destination for art lovers. With its cottonwood bosque setting, Tesuque offers a natural haven for artists making traditional crafts in home studios, among them a tinsmith and a santero who creates wooden carvings of saints.
Unlike nearby Santa Fe, art here isn't concentrated in a Canyon Road-style gallery row; it's scattered throughout and sometimes found in unexpected places. Take the community's main gathering place, Tesuque Village Market, where, along with a fine wine collection and fresh empanadas, you'll find a gallery showcasing Santa Fe-area artists.
Surprising, too, is the museum-quality modern art, which can be seen at an expansive sculpture garden and a leading contemporary gallery.
Tesuque (teh- sue-kay) is about 6 miles north of Santa Fe. Take U.S. 84/285 to the Tesuque exit and County Rd. 73/591. Or follow scenic Washington St./Bishop's Lodge Rd. through the hills from Santa Fe. For more information, contact the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau (800/777-2489).
Glenn Green Galleries View art from contemporary sculptures and paintings to tribal basketry. INFO: 136 Tesuque Village Rd.; 505/820-0008.
Fisher Tinworks Richard Fisher's mastery of tin shaping is evident in the intricacy of both his home furnishings and traditionally inspired works such as crosses and nichos (wall-mounted boxes for displaying figurines or pictures). INFO: Call for hours or appointment; 505/989-4227.
Shidoni Gallery and Foundry Watch bronzes being poured, and see finished works in the gallery and large sculpture garden. INFO: Closed Sun; 1508 Bishop's Lodge Rd.; 505/988-8001.
Tesuque Village Market Dig into some blue-corn pancakes for breakfast or tortilla soup at lunch, and even catch a bit of local gossip. INFO: $$; Bishop's Lodge Rd. at County Rd. 591; 505/988-8848.
El Nido A longtime favorite, set in an adobe with fireplaces and a viga ceiling. Best known for grilled seafood and steak specialties. INFO: $$$; closed Mon; Bishop's Lodge Rd. at County Rd. 591; 505/988-4340.
The Pueblo of Tesuque Flea Market (8-4 Fri-Sun; off U.S. 84/285, adjacent to the Santa Fe Opera; 505/670-2599) has hundreds of stalls that sell turquoise jewelry, blankets, and other crafts. The market is more than just a tourist haunt; locals come here to haggle for everything from auto parts to cowboy hats.