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Where the Adults

Where the Adults


A honeymoon should be about romance, good food, and relaxation -- for couples getting hitched in California, nearby Santa Fe, N.M., fits the bill.

As gay couples rush to the altar in California ahead of the November election that could snatch their marriage rights away, many are planning hasty honeymoons to Vegas and Palm Springs. Ho-hum. May we suggest another destination not far from the Golden State?

Santa Fe, N.M.. is the grown-up place to toast your love. Art, restaurants, adorable adobe architecture, gorgeous scenery -- it's all there. Do you really want to go to a circuit party or a clothing-optional resort after you just promised your life to another?

Temptation of the wandering-eye variety is hard to come by in Santa Fe -- the only gay bar is in an LGBT retirement home 20 minutes from downtown (we kid you not). The real temptation is the plethora of restaurants right at your fork tines. The New Mexican capital has only about 70,000 residents but hundreds of top-notch eating establishments, many of which are sophisticated, romantic, and friendly. Santa Fe, of course, specializes in authentic Southwest cuisine: everything from tamales to Frito pie. Standouts include Fuego (330 E. Palace Ave.; 505-986-0000) and Geronimo (724 Canyon Rd.; 505-982-1500).

Just remember, if you're holding hands with your wife or husband, locals won't look at you twice, but the city is teeming with tourists, so you may get a stare from that couple with the fanny pack.

Maybe the most wonderful thing about Santa Fe (besides its temperate summers, which are often cooler than those in Los Angeles) is the city's manageable size. The ultra-charming downtown, devoid of chains and strip malls, is completely walkable; don't bother renting a car if you don't have to (you'll need to walk off all those great meals anyway).

The city's innumerable art galleries and museums are a 10-minute stroll from most area resorts, hotels, and bed-and-breakfasts. A good choice for your overnight stay is La Posada de Santa Fe (330 E. Palace Ave.; 866-331-7625). The luxe resort and spa is tucked away in a quiet nook just two blocks from Santa Fe's ubiquitous culture and cuisine -- Santa Fe's beautiful St. Francis Cathedral is a stone's throw from La Posada. The resort's tasteful cabins are cozy (fireplaces for a quiet night with your betrothed), and there's a pool, gift shop, restaurant (the aforementioned Fuego), and a full-service spa. Even better, La Posada offers commitment ceremonies and receptions on the property, whipped up by its very own wedding planner, David Stone.

If you can tear yourself out of your room for anything other than meals, make sure to check out the abundant art and museums. Everything worth seeing is just blocks from the Historic Plaza--a quaint park in the middle of town. Across the street from the Historic Plaza is the squat, but cute, Palace of Governors; built in the early 1600s to house Spain's territorial government. Today, the structure holds a museum on Santa Fe and New Mexico history. Nearby is the Museum of Fine Arts, a Pueblo Revival building that houses boatloads of Western art. Around the corner is the Institute of American Indian Arts, a collection of, you guessed it, Native American art. Don't miss the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, where the works of the legendary painter -- who found inspiration in her adopted state of New Mexico -- are gathered in one convenient, beautiful spot. Keep an eye out for celebrity sightings; this one's a favorite of the jet set.

Suffice it to say, art galleries will come at you fast and furious. They're literally on every block. Don't get stressed, just wander in to whichever one catches your eye. Everyone's friendly, and the proprietors welcome the window-shopping.

If you're wondering what nightlife in Santa Fe consists of, it revolves around eating as well as drinking a good glass of wine (or two or three). Wander to the city's main drag, San Francisco Street, and get tipsy at the San Francisco Bar and Grill (50 E. San Francisco St.; 505-982-2044), or try the Coyote Cafe & Cantina (132 W. Water St.; 505-983-1615). Don't worry, you're not driving.

At about 10 or 11 you'll find yourself back in your hotel room -- full and happy and postnuptial. Who needs the bars?

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