When to Go
How to Get to Santa Fe
Serviced by a small regional airport, it’s unlikely you’ll get a direct flight from your originating city. You can either fly into Albuquerque Airport then transfer to a regional flight. Or you can disembark in Albuquerque, pick up a car and drive an hour to the city.
Where to Stay in Santa Fe
Things to Do
From outdoor activities, walking charming streets, eating traditional food and enjoying the local art scene, Santa Fe has plenty to offer visitors’ diverse tastes.
Devour the Cuisine
Northern New Mexico cuisine can best be described as a blend of Pueblo and Hispanic. Stop by Maria’s for a taste of the region’s offerings. Be prepared to have some sweaty eyebrows and runny nose from the spice and definitely get the sopapilla, a quick bread that is reminiscent of beignet. If you want to steer clear of the spices, fear not, there are plenty of places that offer fare other than Northern New Mexican. Railyard’s Farmers Market is a great place to start the day with a delicious kimchi pancake and breakfast burrito and taste a variety of other local fare. Stop by the jam table to test out flavors like raspberry ginger red pepper.
Walk through the charming neighborhoods
One of my favorite ways to explore a city is to walk around the neighborhoods. Santa Fe is a super walkable city if you stay in the right place and it allows you to see so much more than if you were to drive everywhere. The historical downtown and plaza is filled with picturesque streets and shops selling New Mexican trinkets. If you get tired of looking around the streets, step into one of the many museums in the area or grab a margarita on one of the many rooftop bars.
Get your art fix
Did you know that Santa Fe is the third largest art sales city in the country behind New York and Los Angeles? I was surprised too. If you have some cash burning in your pockets, head to Canyon Road and visit galleries showcasing art ranging from paintings to outdoor sculptures. Not only can you buy art, but there are plenty of art museums to spend an hour or two, including the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.
If interactive art is more your thing, then a trip to Santa Fe is not complete without a visit to Meow Wolf. Actually, no trip is complete without a visit to Meow Wolf. The best way I can describe this 20,000 interactive art collective is that it unleashes the most pure child-like wonder I have ever felt as an adult all while maintaining a certain level of creepiness. If that makes any sense at all. The possibilities are endless and your imagination is free to unleash.
Peruse a Street Market
Take time to appreciate the Native American Vendors Program of the Palace of the Governors. You can find handmade goods ranging from jewelry clothes, blankets, leather goods, magnets, and toys. We bought a couple hand-painted magnets with traditional symbols from the Pueblo Indians in Northern New Mexico. There are a handful of other street markets throughout the historic downtown to find a range of goods.
Enjoy a Sunset
Being at such a high elevation has a beautiful effect on the light so sunset and sunrise are especially beautiful in Santa Fe. For a nice view of the city go to Fort Marcy Park about 45 min-1 hour before sunset. While you are perched above the city, the buildings are seemingly lost in the forest of trees below. As the sun settles below the horizon, the mountains in the distance turn into ink blot silhouettes.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Santa Fe is close to a multitude of hiking and biking trails as well as a handful of National Monuments at its doorstep. No trip would be complete without visiting the great outdoors and seeing what natural beauty the area has to offer. Bandelier National Monument, famous for its cliff dwellings, and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, known for its tent rocks are within an hour of the city. Spend the morning exploring the trails and the afternoon enjoying some local food and beer.