Visit Santa Fe, the “City Different,” home of an extraordinary blend of Anglo, Hispanic and Native American cultures. Santa Fe’s diverse and distinctive history gives this southwestern town a unique and almost foreign flavor, an inviting charm. Adobe Pueblo, Territorial and Northern New Mexican architectural styles echo the history of this city. Homes are close in proximity and the blocks are short and country style. Santa Fe’s vivacious blue sky and 320 days of sunshine a year make the city ideal for searching for clarity. Here, in the nation’s oldest capital city, the landscape becomes a vibrant canvas of warm, soft hues that change with the seasons.
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New Mexico vacations could entail walking Santa Fe’s narrow streets, visiting its open plazas, and experiencing its historic landmarks that makes one feel as though they are discovering the city anew. Santa Fe’s sense of romance and history comes in large part from generations of its citizens–people who have maintained their identities and the identity of their beautiful city by protecting tradition and accepting change carefully.
Santa Fe extends a warm welcome to its guests year round. Spring through Fall, the town hosts many world famous annual markets, fiestas, restaurant competitions, and film festivals. In the Winter Santa Fe entices you with the smoky scent of piñon trees and shares its fresh snow at the Santa Fe Ski Basin. Exceptional shopping is a guarantee all year long. Below is a mere sampling of the Best of Santa Fe, we have many more recommendations for you as part of our concierge services. So what are you waiting for? Come visit Santa Fe today!
If you’re looking for expert, insider advice on unique things to do, tours, the best restaurants, museums, galleries, and shops, AQUI Santa Fe also recommends visiting SantaFeSelection.com Travel Guide & Concierge.
Jump Straight To:
- •The Performing Arts
- •Visual Arts
- •Annual Markets
- •Foodie Festivals</a.
- •Film Festivals
|Santa Fe is the best of both worlds, a small town with many metropolitan features. Our fine art and theater culture is among the best in the country.
|The Santa Fe Opera is one of the world’s leading cultural festivals. The stunning, state-of-the-art opera house sits like a massive white cloud on top of the mountain. The ceiling is open to expose vibrant Santa Fe sunsets and also lays bare the midnight sky as a backdrop to its premier and classic productions. Entertaining pre-opera soliloquys give previews of each evening’s performance and digital computer screens give instantaneous translations in English to enhance understanding of the performances. The No.1 Santa Fe experience, opera buff or not! July–August, santafeopera.org
|The historic Lensic Performing Arts Center, a beautifully restored theater in the heart of downtown, hosts touring and local companies, year round. lensic.org
|Aspen Santa Fe Ballet brings top choreographers, a distinctive groundbreaking repertoire, and virtuoso dancers to foster a dance company that is a jewel of the American West. Spring season, aspensantafeballet.com
|Santa Fe Desert Chorale, one of the nation’s premiere professional ensembles. Summer season. desertchorale.org
|Performance Santa Fe features world-class music and performing arts May–August. performancesantafe.org
|Celebrating 32 years of music, The Santa Fe Symphony conducts the classics and Christmas Treasures. September–May. santafesymphony.org
|Adobe Rose Theatre, a remarkable new black box theatre located in the theatre district in South Santa Fe, featuring professional actors in award-winning plays. adoberosetheatre.org
|Santa Fe is like an art festival that never stops. Santa Fe’s art scene is constantly refreshed with new works and the variety of its offerings ensures that there is a style for everyone. With over 200 Galleries, filled with historic, contemporary and cultural art, Santa Fe has been a major art destination for years, satisfying both first time art buyers and also the most sophisticated collectors from around the world. Check out this listing of galleries in the area.
|Canyon Road is an enchanting half-mile long street in downtown Santa Fe. Full of world-class shopping, incredible restaurants, and boasting some of Santa Fe’s best galleries, Canyon Road is a must stroll for every visitor to Santa Fe. You’ll find over a hundred galleries lining this picturesque street and you’ll be sure to discover some unforgettable items. visitcanyonroad.com
|The Railyard Arts District of Santa Fe is housed in modern warehouse style buildings only blocks from Santa Fe’s plaza. The Railyard Arts District boasts a wealth of contemporary artists housed within walking distance of one another. It’s a can’t miss for art lovers and those interested in expanding their knowledge of contemporary art. santaferailyardartsdistrict.com
|Downtown Santa Fe is peppered with numerous galleries, shops, restaurants and museums. santafegalleryassociation.org
|Meow Wolf is a immersive, multimedia installation that presents an entirely new form of artistic storytelling. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the experience of a jungle gym, haunted house, children’s museum, and immersive art exhibit. meowwolf.com
|Spanish colonists founded Santa Fe in 1610, over 400 years ago. Santa Fe holds a wealth of museums showcasing its earliest history and artifacts up to some of the most famous artists and authors who have called Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico home.
|Georgia O’Keeffe Museum offers insight into the work of the most prominent female artist of her day, a woman inspired by the light and landscape of New Mexico. Her artistic legacy is advanced through innovative public engagement, education and research. okeeffemuseum.org
|Palace of the Governors, located on the Plaza, this building was originally built by the Spanish in 1610. Today it is the country’s oldest continuously occupied public building and it chronicles the history of Santa Fe. You will see the American Indian artists, taking their place through a lottery system, sitting under the portal selling their authentic jewelry and art. palaceofthegovernors.org
|The New Mexico History Museum tells the story of Santa Fe through music, texture and colorful text. It serves as an excellent introduction to Santa Fe and its present day mix of cultures. It is located on grounds where wars were fought, and lines were drawn by the Spanish, Native Americans and the U.S. Infantry. nmhistorymuseum.org
|New Mexico Museum of Art shares a rich and deep history through modern and contemporary art of New Mexico and the Southwest. nmartmuseum.org
|Museum of Indian Arts & Culture covers a broad spectrum of Indian art from ancient pottery and artifacts to the colorful and utterly distinctive contemporary Indian art of today. indianartsandculture.org
|Museum of International Folk Art houses the world’s largest collection of folk art. It interprets creative works of traditional artists from cultures around the world and is host to the International Folk Art Market. internationalfolkart.org
|Wheelright Museum of the American Indian This independent museum focuses on little known mediums and art shows by living Native American artists. The chronicled jewelry collection is the most outstanding of its kind, the rug collection is an education in design, and the beaded artifacts from the indigenous people are breathtaking. The museum shop, Case Trading Post, features the best collection of vintage and contemporary works of art. wheelwright.org
|Santa Fe’s world famous annual art markets bring art from people in far reaches of the world, the pueblos of the Southwest, and right here in Santa Fe. They are some of the largest and most prominent markets worldwide and each one has its own focus and mission.
|Indian Market is the largest and most prestigious intertribal fine art market in the world has a history dating back to 1922. Participation is often a family tradition bearing collections of native historical and contemporary arts. The weeks preceding the market are filled with ceremonies, awards, auctions, fashion and a glamorous gala. August, swaia.org
|The International Folk Art Market focuses on preserving living folk art traditions, while at the same time creating economic opportunities for artists from around the world. Baskets, textiles, ceramics, rugs, and jewelry are one-of-a-kind and irresistible. July, folkartalliance.org
|Santa Fe Spanish Market pays tribute to the Spanish Colonial arts and culture that is at the very core of our lives in Santa Fe, blending native art, live-music, regional foods, and dance on the Plaza. The history of this culture is rich with the religious art of santos and bultos, tin work, jewelry, weavings and furniture. This traditional festival is combined with a new juried contemporary art venue. July, spanishcolonial.org
|Santa Fe is foodie town. Even the number of restaurants per capita in Santa Fe is unusually large. Here’s a few festivals you might want to add to your calendar.
|The Wine & Chile Fiesta, is the premier food and wine event in the Southwest. Local red and green chiles are the staff of life in New Mexico but kick them up a notch by combining them with escargot. Other past culinary delights have included: a blue corn tempura and a flash-fry salted shrimp infused with lavender, each of which is a must try! Chef luncheons, cooking demos, wine seminars, auctions, and nightly wine dinners culminate with the Grand Tasting under the tent at the Santa Fe Opera. September, santafewineandchile.org
|Edible presents the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown. Give the chef a burger and some green chile and experience the unprecedented possibilities. The top eight contenders from the online voting will move on to the Smackdown to battle it out at the Santa Fe Railyard in front of a panel of local celebrity judges. September, ediblesmackdown.com
|New Mexico boasts a growing film industry, with many movies and television being filmed here every year. The influx of talent and industry professionals has only increased the presence and impact of film festivals in Santa Fe.
|Celebrate cutting edge film and great talents of independent filmmaking at The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Named, “one of Moviemaker Magazine’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals on the planet”, this relatively new festival is making history every step of the way. Mingle with filmmakers, expand your knowledge of the film world and join moderated panels hosted by those in the know. October, santafeindependentfilmfestival.com
|The Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival introduces films that inform and foster an understanding of Jewish culture, religion, history and/or identity. Selections are an eclectic mix of award-winning documentaries, narrative first-run features, Israeli cinema and more. October-April, santafejff.org
|The Santa Fe Film Festival celebrates all facets of cinematic arts, locally, regionally, and globally. It honors those working both behind the scenes and on screen to bring the best of film creation, production, & showings to the public. December, santafefilmfestival.com
|Santa Fe has some of the best mountain snow in West, with great snowfall nearly every year, unpack those skis and get some fresh air. If you’re up for a bit a of a drive, and want to beat the crowds, Northern New Mexico has an abundance of great skiing, all within a few hours of Santa Fe.
|Ski Santa Fe Thirty minutes from town, an 88” base, sunny and 20-40 degrees; now that’s some skiing! The kids can join Chipmunk Corner for lessons, rent equipment in town or up at the basin, and catch a ride on the shuttle up to the mountain. Or, drive up and stop at 10,000 Waves Japanese Spa on the way down to soak your bones after an exhilarating day on the slopes. skisantafe.com
|Come golf in Santa Fe, where we have beautiful, green golf courses set against our incredible high desert landscape. And with 300 days of sunshine, the weather for golfing is nearly always right!
|Links de Santa Fe is our city course that the locals adore. Approach the first tee and you will marvel at the panorama of four mountain ranges. Open year-round, linksdesantafe.com
|Santa Fe Country Club, a semi-private golf facility, giving the golfer an experience as unique as the City Different itself. The championship course invites players of all skill levels. santafecountryclub.com
|Buffalo Thunder Towa Golf Resort, located on the Pojoaque Pueblo, offers quality golf at an affordable price. PGA Tour Champion Hale Irwin and architect, Bill Phillips of Tempe, AZ co-designed Towa utilizing the natural topography, unique natural rock formations, and indigenous piñon trees to create a magnificent high desert golf course surrounded by the majestic Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains. Cool breeze, warm sun and 27 holes of high-altitude scenic beauty. Open year-round, weather permitting. buffalothunderresort.com
|Black Mesa Golf Club Rejuvenate your senses amidst the artistry of nature at Black Mesa. Every hole shaped by the surrounding landscape is like an artist forming a delicate piece of pottery. Artistic but challenging, the fairways are framed by arroyos that hug the natural ridgelines and valleys. From the first tee shot, you realize that mental strategy is essential, while the course’s expansive fairways and greens allow it to be played more easily than it appears. 18 Championship holes. blackmesagolf.com
|Cochiti Golf Club is an 18 hole public golf course situated in Cochiti Lake, New Mexico. The verdant greens of this course only compliment its lovely setting in the high terrain. Located halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, it’s not only one of the best courses in New Mexico, but it’s also convenient! cochitigolfclub.com