I am recently back from Santa Fe where I have spent a great deal of time over the past ten years. I love the art and culture of the city along with the great restaurants. The city has a very rich history and is known as “The City Different”.
What to Do in Santa Fe
The Native Americans, who lived in the area centuries ago, were artistic people and created pottery, textiles, jewelry and ceremonial costumes.
The Spanish established Santa Fe as a city in 1610 and ruled it for more than 200 years. Those who lived there, kept their Old World traditions alive and depended on their values of familia y fe or family and faith. In 1821, Spanish rule ended and the Santa Fe Trail opened. European merchants and American adventurers poured in. With the railroads came tourists and artists. Large ranches were established and cowboys brought the culture of the West.
Today, all these cultures survive and their traditions flourish, giving Santa Fe a look and an atmosphere that is all its own. It is a city of unique architecture, filled with amazing art, sophisticated shopping, creative cuisine in some of the best restaurants in the United States and wonderful museums.
Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the US with settlers as early as 1607-1608.
In May 2005, USA Today named Santa Fe as one of the 10 great places for big-city art with a small town feel.
In July 2005, Santa Fe was designated a “creative city” by UNESCO and was the first community in the world to be so recognized. It is still the only North American city to have received this designation.
Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2019 listed Santa Fe as #2 in the Top 15 of US Cities.
Santa Fe, according to Conde Nast Traveler, was listed as #2 in the the 2018 Best Small Cities in the US.
I heard the famous architect, Frank Gehry, speak in Santa Fe a few years ago where he was somewhat critical of the adobe style of architecture where everything looks the same. The old buildings are historic and great but, in my opinion, there is no need to have all new buildings built in the old style. I am so glad to finally see some new contemporary architecture beginning to appear. Check out the Railyard Arts District.
How to Get to Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital, sits in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, 45 minutes north of Albuquerque. I recommend renting a car so that you can explore some of the areas outside the historic Plaza as well as to take a day trip or two to nearby Taos, The Turquoise Trail or Georgia O’Keeffe country near Abiquiu.
The Santa Fe Municipal Airport has daily direct flights from Denver, Dallas and Phoenix. Once you’ve arrived, you can find two car rental agencies right at the airport or there are two other companies offsite.
I always prefer flying into Albuquerque International Sunport Airport a 45 minute drive from Santa Fe. Here there many more non-stop flight options and more rental car companies to choose from. I have never taken it, but the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, is a commuter rail line serving the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.