Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
The excellent Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (710 Camino Lejo, 505/476-1250, www.indianartsandculture.org, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun., $8) is devoted to Native American culture from across the country, though the cornerstone is the permanent exhibit Here, Now & Always, which traces the New Mexican Indians from their ancestors on the mesas and plains up to their present-day efforts at preserving their culture—all through inventive spaces (looking into a HUD-house kitchen on the rez, or sitting at desks in a public schoolroom), sound clips, and stories.Another wing is devoted to contemporary art, while the halls of craftwork display gorgeous beaded moccasins, elaborate headdresses, and more.
The gift shop is particularly extensive, stocked with beautiful jewelry and other tidbits from local artisans.
One of the city’s best tourist deals, a $18 museum pass, good for four days, grants access to three of the institutions on the hill (the fourth is free), as well as to the Palace of the Governors and the New Mexico Museum of Art on the plaza. You can buy it at any of the five participating museums.
The museum is also open Mondays in the summer.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition