Santa Fe

The capital of the state of New Mexico, Santa Fe is situated at an elevation of almost 7,000 feet above sea level, making it the highest state capital in the country. Originally conquered by the Spanish, it was taken by the United States in the mid 19th century. Santa Fe is well known for its museums, architecture, Native American heritage, hiking, and skiing.


The Museum of New Mexico administers 4 of Santa Fe’s prominent museums; the Palace of Governors, a Spanish colonial building that remains the country’s oldest public building still in active use, the Museum of Fine Arts, which has a large collection of South western art, the Museum of International Folk Art, and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, dedicated to the region’s strong Native American heritage.

Other museums that are worth a visit include the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which is dedicated to one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, displaying art and handicraft exhibits from many Native American cultures, and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, home to exhibits that detail the history of Hispanic culture in New Mexico.

In August each year, the Santa Fe Indian Market takes place, and is the world’s biggest American Indian art market, featuring works by over a thousand American Indian artists. For music lovers, the world famous Santa Fe Opera takes place between June and August every year, and is performed outdoors in an amphitheatre offering spectacular views of the nearby mountains.

Outside Santa Fe, there are a number of Indian pueblos, or communities, to visit that offer an insight into modern indigenous life and culture. Around an hour’s drive from the city, the Bandalier National Monument is the site of ancient Native American ruins, and is well worth a visit. Also near to Santa Fe, and perhaps one of the better-known locations in New Mexico, Los Alamos is the birthplace of the atomic bomb, and the Bradbury Science Museum is located at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and has exhibits detailing the history and research of the laboratory.

For outdoors enthusiasts, Ski Santa Fe offers skiing and snowboarding around 16 miles from the centre of Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Mountain Adventures offers visitors a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking.


The city offers shoppers a variety of goods, including clothes, jewellery, furniture, and handicrafts. For artwork, Canyon Road has dozens of galleries that suit all budgets, and the weekly Farmer’s Market is well worth a visit for its huge selection of fresh food produce.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Santa Fe has a variety of good quality cuisine on offer, though some restaurants can be pricey. For authentic local Southwestern food, Blue Corn Café, Tomasita’s, The Shed, La Plazuela, Rancho de Chimayo, and Coyote Café all come highly recommended.

For international cuisine, some of the better-known restaurants include 315 for French cuisine, India Palace for Indian dishes, Jinja Bistro for Asian fusion cooking, and Andiamo for Italian food.

In terms of bars and nightclubs, Santa Fe has a number of options for visitors. El Farol offers live salsa and merengue music, and also worth visiting are Dragon Bar, the Bull Ring, and Rio Chama. For nightclubs, 2 of the better known ones are the Swig and the Paramount.

Tourist Information

Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau Box 909 Santa Fe87504-0909

Telephone: +1 505 955 6200Email: scenter@santafe.orgWebsite:


Santa Fe’s airport offers limited services to a few domestic destinations. Most visitors will fly into Albuquerque Airport, which is served by domestic and international carriers, and then take a bus or train to Santa Fe, the journey taking up to one and a half hours.

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