By Expedia, on February 13, 2020

How to Spend a Weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital city, is a renowned destination with Pueblo architecture, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and fascinating historic sites. There’s no end to the experiences you can have in Santa Fe, even if you’re only spending a few days in the city. If you’re planning a quick vacation, take a look at this helpful itinerary and ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Santa Fe and how you can see all the city’s best attractions.

Contemporary art gallery on Canyon Road
Art Gallery on Canyon Road

Friday Evening

When you arrive on Friday, you’ll have 72 hours in Santa Fe. Start with a traditional dinner at Angelina’s Restaurant, a historic restaurant with a homey feel and New Mexican favorites like lamb ribs, dried corn, and red chile. You could also try Rancho De Chimayo, a hacienda-style restaurant with adobe walls, tiled patios, and a diverse menu of food and drink to start your night.

After dinner, head to Del Charro Saloon for margaritas, cocktails, and New Mexican menu options. The neighborhood bar is a favorite among locals, so you may make some new friends along the way. You’ll also like Tiny’s Restaurant & Lounge, a historic nightlife landmark with cocktails, Mexican dishes, and a lovely patio with a fountain depicting St. Francis. The bar also hosts some of the best bands in Santa Fe, so you could spend the entire night dancing and mingling.

Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours remaining in Santa Fe. Start with breakfast at Tia Sophia, a landmark diner with classic Southwestern dishes like huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos with chili. You could also try Counter Culture, an artsy warehouse café with traditional favorites like fried egg sandwiches, pancakes, and French toast.

After breakfast, spend some time exploring the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. The stunning museum is home to a permanent collection of over 3,000 works by the famed artist. You could visit the Palace of the Governors as well, which is home to numerous exhibits depicting the local history of the city and its residents.

For lunch, visit Milad Persian Bistro, a unique restaurant nestled among galleries with kebabs, falafel, and tabouleh. If you’re looking for another option, Paper Dosa is a popular South Indian restaurant with a mix of Indian-inspired dishes fused with New Mexican flavors.

Saturday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, spend some time in Santa Fe Plaza, a sprawling public square that’s home to many markets with local food and crafts. The plaza hosts many events as well, such as food festivals and art shows. If you want to explore and shop more, visit Canyon Road, a thoroughfare with art galleries, quaint shops, and the New Mexico Museum of Art.

On Saturday night in Santa Fe, things really heat up. Start with a simple dinner of pizza and beer in The Blue Heron Brewing Company, a coveted local restaurant with a long list of draft beers. For something more upscale, try Arroyo Vino, a hidden gem of a restaurant with a wine shop and creative cuisine using local produce.

After dinner, visit The Cowgirl, a mainstay in the city’s nightlife scene. The bar and restaurant not only serves dinner late if you’re still hungry, but it also has a beautiful patio and a long list of margarita options.

Entrance to New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe
New Mexico Museum of Art

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning in Santa Fe, you’ll have 24 hours left to explore the city. Have breakfast at Cafe Pasqual’s, a busy downtown restaurant with classic breakfast dishes like corned beef hash and griddled polenta with chorizo and served with a hot cup of coffee. You could also head to the Pantry Restaurant, a road-stop diner with traditional breakfasts like pancakes, omelets, and chicken-fried steak.

Santa Fe’s architecture is one of its biggest draws. After eating, visit some of the city’s most breathtaking buildings to see the wonders of its historic architecture, such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi or the San Miguel Chapel, which has an extensive collection of artwork.

For lunch, visit Palacio Café for burritos and deli sandwiches like a Cuban Reuben with corned beef and maple-cured ham. You’ll also like Paloma Restaurant, an upscale Mexican restaurant with tortillas, tacos, and other Mexican dishes.

Closeup of buildings in Santa Fe Plaza
Santa Fe Plaza

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, see the wonders of Meow Wolf, an interactive surreal haunted house with immersive art installations and multimedia elements that take you into the realm of fantasy. If you want something more traditional, visit the Museum of International Folk Art to see exhibits of global art and artifacts.

On Sunday night in Santa Fe, you can take in all the experiences you may have missed. Start with dinner at Radish & Rye, a cozy restaurant with a large selection of whiskey and Spanish and Mexican menu options. You’ll also like Sazón, a restaurant and mezcaleria that specializes in New World cuisine like pork belly tacos and chiles en nogada.

Before you leave, be sure to spend some time at the Agave Lounge, a hip bar with late-night food, shareable dishes, specialty cocktails, and an extensive wine list. If you want to enjoy the cityscape, visit the Rooftop Pizzeria and sip wine while gazing at the lights of the city.

Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?

With this itinerary for spending a weekend in Santa Fe, you’re ready for an unforgettable trip. Take a look at more fascinating facts about Santa Fe and find deals on Santa Fe vacations on Expedia to make the most of your experience!