Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Its long, colorful history and vibrant southwestern culture make it a fascinating place to visit.
Santa Fe is a great city to explore on foot. Sign up to one of the free tours, or head off on your own. Winding streets and alleys reveal masterpieces such as the Loretto Chapel. Be sure to see its “miraculous” staircase built by a mysterious stranger who some believe to have been St. Joseph. Other great places to visit are the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis and the Palace of the Governors, which was built by the Spanish in the early 1600s.
Santa Fe is a popular destination for art lovers. Early in the 20th century, the city attracted an assortment of great artists, and much of that legacy lives on today. Visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which documents her time in Santa Fe and houses over 1,000 pieces of original artwork. You can also take a trip along Canyon Road, which has many of the city’s 250 galleries.
Long before the artists arrived in Santa Fe, it was the home of the Indian Pueblos, the native people of the area. Their contributions to art and culture still play a large part in the city. Many of these communities are still in Santa Fe today, and it’s possible to visit and witness their culture close-up. Check events calendars for special events such as the Santa Fe Indian Market, and the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Arts and Crafts Show and Market.
When you want to spend time away from the town, take to one of the hiking routes, such as the Aspen Vista Trail. If you’re feeling more adventurous, rent a mountain bike or ride the Rio Grande rapids on a raft.
With over 400 years of history, within its plazas, churches, museums, and traditional festivals, Santa Fe is a fascinating blend of culture and history, past and present.