Santa Fe Travel Tips from the Founder of Its Best Cutting-Edge Art Space
The creative mind behind Meow Wolf helped turn this place into a high-tech creative haven, but his tastes aren’t just avant-garde—he relishes traditional charms, too
Just over ten years ago Vince Kadlubek co-founded immersive-arts and culture space Meow Wolf and helped turn Santa Fe into a first-rate multimedia, tech-aware creative haven. Kadlubek suggests tapping into the city’s artistic vanguard this summer. But when it comes to food and lodging, he relishes the charms of traditional Santa Fe vibes.
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On the Friday before Labor Day, the local Kiwanis Club hosts The Burning of Zozobra, an annual fundraiser that rivals Burning Man for its incendiary centerpiece. This year marks its 95th anniversary. “Fifty-thousand people burn a 50-foot-tall psychedelic puppet set to a mariachi soundtrack, and then we watch amazing fireworks and then we party,” says Kadlubek. “It’s the best.”
“Currents New Media Festival is one of the most incredible, annual showcases of digital and tech-driven art in the world,” says Kadlubek. “This festival confirms Santa Fe’s place on art’s cutting edge.” The majority of the festival events take place in the Santa Fe Railyard at the El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe building. This is a free event that is in its 10th year and will be held June 7–23, 2019.
The Taos Vortex—held in Taos, 70 miles north of Santa Fe—is a new festival-style event produced by Meow Wolf that takes place on August 16–18, 2019. Kadlubek describes it as “a 3-day immersion into the magical town of Taos, with vibey music acts, river rafting, hot-air balloon rides, hot springs, hiking and earth ships.”
While Kadlubek is a champion of the vanguard of multimedia art and experiences, his food recs are in the classic Southwestern vein. “If you want legit New Mexican food, go to Café Castro on Cerrillos Road. The chicken chalupas, huevos rancheros, and enchiladas are great. And don’t skip the sopapillas. They’re the best in Santa Fe.”
Kadlubek is a neo-traditionalist when it comes to lodging: “The El Rey Court is the coolest option in Santa Fe proper, and it’s pretty affordable,” says Kadlubek of the city’s new New Mexican modern hotel spread out over 5 acres of landscaped grounds. He also recommends the old-school Inn of the Turquoise Bear. “Go deep into the Santa Fe charm,” says Kadlubek.