Visit Santa Fe
a population of 70,000 primarily Hispanic, Anglo and Native
American people, Santa Fe, which means Holy Faith in Spanish, is
situated at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the southern Rocky
Mountains. It was founded between 1607 and 1610, making it the
second oldest city as well as the highest and oldest capital in
the U.S. Today its unique offerings of art, culture and ancient
traditions make it a world-class tourist destination, drawing
more than 1 million visitors each year.
Santa Fe has long been a center for arts and culture. Due to
sales, it now ranks as the country's third largest art market
with nearly 300 galleries and dealers. There also are more than
a dozen major museums showcasing an array of art, culture,
history and traditions, as well the world-class
Santa Fe Opera,
In recent years, the city has also earned a reputation with
food-lovers. Whether you're hankering for basic New Mexican
food, creative Southwestern cuisine, or authentic Italian,
French, Asian and other world cuisines, the city offers more
than 200 choices.
Getting to Santa Fe
Santa Fe is located in Northern New Mexico, an hour's drive
north of Albuquerque, the state's largest city and major air
gateway. The Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is serviced
by all of the major U.S. airlines. Flying into Albuquerque,
booking your accommodations here, and renting a car is by far
the most popular way of traveling around New Mexico. But not the
only way. Train service provides access to Santa Fe on a daily
basis. Once in town, getting around is easy. Downtown Santa Fe
and the surrounding historic districts are compact and most
conveniently traveled on foot. For longer trips there is a local
taxi service and a public transportation system.
New Mexico Rail Runner
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express
carries passengers in and out of Santa Fe between Albuquerque
and points south. The Rail Runner terminates (80 minutes after
leaving Albuquerque) at the tiny Santa Fe depot in the historic
popular for shopping and entertainment. Across the tracks at the
Sanbusco Market Center, you can browse specialty shops and
import bazaars and enjoy a delicious meal at El Tosoro Café or
one of the other eateries. The best part: Our hotel shuttle
will drop and pick you up at the ABQ downtown station!
here to download a pdf of the weekday train schedule.
here to download a pdf of the Saturday train schedule.
here to download a pdf of the Sunday train schedule.
One block away, galleries, boutiques, antiques stores, and
restaurants line South Guadalupe Street. The art-deco-style Zia
serves what is called "international comfort food,” while
Cowgirl BBQ specializes in mesquite-smoked brisket, ribs,
chicken, and frozen margaritas.
For the signature Santa Fe experience, head for the historic
Santa Fe Plaza, the soul of the city. It’s an eight-block walk
from the depot. If you don't want to hike, you can catch the
Santa Fe Pick-Up, a free shuttle bus that leaves from the north
end of the tracks soon after each train arrives. The bus loops
the historic district and stops a block from the famous plaza,
as well as at Canyon Road with its art galleries.
For a thousand years, traders from as far away as the Pacific
Coast and the Mayan empire in Mexico (and beyond) gathered in
the central plazas of Indian pueblos in New Mexico. Today
Indians from 23 tribes and pueblos continue the tradition in the
Santa Fe Plaza. Like their ancestors, the artisans offer their
wares on blankets spread on the ground. Every day, they line the
portal of the 400-year-old Palace of the Governors, now part of
the New Mexico History Museum.
The New Mexico History Museum juries the vendors and inspects
their workshops to ensure that all items are original and
trademarked. Silver must be sterling and turquoise either
natural or stabilized stone, but not color-enhanced. You can
shop with confidence that you’re getting authentic American
goods, not imported or mass-produced merchandise.
The New Mexico Museum of Art, the
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and
the Institute of American
Indian Arts also are located near the
plaza. One can easily spend several hours just looking at all
A long row of connected adobe storefronts lines East Plaza
Street one block off the plaza. Built centuries ago as family
homes, these dwellings now house galleries, courtyard
restaurants, and boutiques. One unobtrusive door, 109 East
Palace, was the secret gateway for the Manhattan Project. There,
families headed to Los Alamos were provisioned so they could
settle in that hastily built town where the first atomic bomb
When the evening light transmutes the adobe buildings to gold,
the stone towers of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de
Assisi come to life.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi is a glowing
reminder of old Santa Fe. Built in 1869, the landmark anchors the
east side of the downtown historic zone. The oldest statue of
the Virgin Mary in the United States, brought here in 1625, is
the city’s patroness and a distinguishing feature of this
beautiful house of worship.
You can reach Canyon Road via the free
Santa Fe Pick-Up shuttle,
which has two stop locations there. In addition to art, the road
hosts eateries such as Geronimo and The Compound; so, you may
want to plan to dine in this district.
to download a pdf of the Santa Fe Pick-Up schedule.
Just a bit south of the Canyon Road art district is Santa Fe's
Museum Hill, which is served by a bus — the "M" bus — which
departs from Santa Fe Plaza. Fares are very inexpensive. Four
museums line Camino Lejo. The
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian focus on the
heritage and evolving culture of Southwest Indians.
of International Folk Art encompasses even more cultures,
displaying thousands of toys, textiles, and hand-carved dioramas
from around the world. The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art
features objects from throughout the Hispanic world.
Military aficionados will want to stop at Santa Fe's
Memorial Military Museum and Library to salute the past. Nearly
all of New Mexico's national guard was among the thousands of
Filipino and American soldiers forced to participate in the
renowned Bataan Death March during World War II. The museum
commemorates the event and other conflicts that involved New
Trains return to Albuquerque in the afternoon and evening, so
you have plenty of time to soak up the best of Santa Fe before
you leave. Then relax and listen to the “beep-beep” as Rail
Runner speeds you back to Albuquerque. It's a great way to get
to Santa Fe without worrying about driving or parking a car.
For more information about the train contact:
New Mexico Rail Runner Express
809 Copper Ave. N.W.
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Metered parking spots in downtown Santa Fe cost $1.00 an hour
and are in operation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through
Saturday, excluding major holidays. For additional information
on public parking, including lot and garage locations, click
a PDF of the city's Parking Locations.
Albuquerque-Santa Fe Shuttle Service
Sandia Shuttle Express (aka Santa Fe Shuttle) 1-888-775-5696,
505-474-5696 Provides 15 runs daily between downtown Santa Fe
hotels and Albuquerque and 14 runs back between Albuquerque and
downtown Santa Fe hotels.
Santa Fe Markets
Santa Fe Museums