Visit the Beauty and Culture of Santa Fe, NM
Venture into the unspoiled beauty of 7,000-foot Rocky Mountain vistas, marvel at the contrast of ancient native culture mixed with modern arts, feast on legendary cuisine, and relax in rustic sophistication. A visit to Santa Fe, Travel & Leisure’s #1 Cultural Destination, feels a lot like a visit to Europe. The Spanish Colonial charm of this historic destination has been enchanting travelers for over 400 years. Voted the #4 ‘Best Place to Live in the U.S.’ by Kiplinger, Santa Fe is magical and exuberant at any time of year. The history and culture will fascinate and inspire you!
Once you arrive in Santa Fe, the highest capital city in the United States, it’s obvious that you’re not in Kansas anymore. Nestled at 7,000 ft. in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe is surrounded by thousands of acres of unspoiled wilderness, including the local Piñon tree and its signature scent. 300 days of sun, a gentle four seasons, and dramatic blue skies provide a pristine playground for outdoor adventures of all types, from hiking and horse-back riding to mountain biking and rock climbing.
To admire Santa Fe’s natural beauty, don’t miss the magnificent sunsets and star gazing. Explore more than 30 miles of scenic hiking trails all year round. In the winter, enjoy Ski Santa Fe, ice skating and snow shoeing. The summer brings biking, horseback riding and rafting as well as competitive and fun runs.
Legendary History & Culture
Like a fine wine, Santa Fe has gotten better with age. At 400 years old, Santa Fe is the nation’s oldest capital city. The early Native American inhabitants called it “Dancing Ground of the Sun”; while the founding frontiersman at the turn of the 20th century referred to it as “The City Different”. Those nicknames still hold true today as Santa Fe is a unique blend of Anglo, Spanish and Native Cultures against a back drop of color drenched sunsets. Santa Fe is a paradise for history buffs and cultural explorers alike with its museums, preserved architectural traditions as well as community celebrations like Fiestas de Santa Fe on the historic plaza.
Discover the legendary and innovative flavors of Santa Fe, including the local Chile, which isn’t just an ingredient, but a way of life. With more than 200 restaurants serving everything from traditional New Mexican home cooking to contemporary fine dining to local farm to table discoveries, created by nationally acclaimed chefs, Santa Fe is a foodie paradise.
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta and Santa Fe Wine Festival at El Rancho de las Golondrinas are a must for the wine enthusiast. Chocolate lovers should follow the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail for bold elixirs, truffles and other chocolate fare.
In the mid 19th century, traders used the Santa Fe Trail to bring essential and luxury goods to the southwest. Keeping with this tradition, today, Santa Fe continues to give shoppers access to Native American artwork and unique handmade items of delight in small boutiques, trading posts and large open air markets. On the look out for authentic native jewelry and the perfect gift? Uncover treasures at Santa Fe’s independent boutiques and annual seasonal art markets.
Diverse Visual Arts
Santa Fe has something for everyone because the type of art produced here is as dynamic as its residence. This historic city is a colorful journey of Native American art, international folk art and contemporary multimedia installations of all shapes, sizes and mediums from well established, as well as, up and coming artists. The eclectic cultural mix provides vibrant and thought provoking variety.
Wander the halls of the New Mexico Museum of Art, Georgia O’Keefe Museum and Museum of contemporary Native Arts or check out the more than 250 galleries concentrated on Canyon Road, downtown Lincoln Avenue and Railyard District. For those unable to make decisions on vacation, make sure to do bothǃ
Mill around the colorful galleries on the world-famous Canyon road where the art spills out into the yards and front porches with bronze sculptures of man and beast as well as moving sculptures fueled by the wind.
Vibrant Performing Arts
Santa Fe brings art to life with live music, premier films and cultural dance. There is no more beautiful way to experience opera for the first or fiftieth time than at the Santa Fe Opera. Tailgate in the parking lot prior to the performance, then soak in a sunset as the well as the arias.
The historic Lensic Performing Arts Center keeps each season interesting with theater, lectures, film, dance, and music. Santa Fe has its fair share of festivals from New Mexico Jazz to New Music to Thirsty Ear. Or indulge in music of the masters during the Chamber Music Festival.
If your feet are made for dancing, try the Santa Fe Old Time Music & Bluegrass Festival or take a class at Juan Siddi Flamenco Theatre Company. When you would rather spend your time in the dark, the Independent Film Festival and Santa Fe Film Festival may be more of your scene.
Rejuvenation & Relaxation
Many travelers are drawn to Santa Fe for its healing properties. Whether you prefer to soak, massage or detoxify the stress and pain away; Santa Fe has numerous day spa choices like ShaNah Spa & Wellness Center, Nidah Spa at Eldorado Hotel and Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe. Leave the world behind and let the healing begin.
Luxuriate in rustic sophistication surrounded by old-world charm and modern amenities. Climb the stairs to Ten Thousand Waves Japanese Spa to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown and get transported to a Japanese hot spring resort. Soak in the hot tub or relax in the sauna; indulge in a massage and get a facial.
Finish up a day of exploring Santa Fe by taking a deep breath and sinking deeper into the hot mineral springs at Ojo Caliente. Drink in the beautiful mountain view under the stars and let all your cares melt away. When the world outside of vacation gets to be too much; it’s time to come visit Santa Fe againǃ