Relaxing by the pool is always a great idea but when you want to experience what Northern New Mexico has to offer we've got you covered. From kid's activities to wine tours we have a little bit of everything to get you started.
With its crisp, clear air and bright, sunny weather, Santa Fe couldn't be more welcoming. On a plateau at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, at an elevation of 7,000 feet, the city is 34 surrounded by remnants of a 2,000-year-old Pueblo civilization and filled with reminders of almost four centuries of Spanish and Mexican rule. The town's placid central Plaza, which dates from the early 17th century, has been the site of bullfights, public floggings, gunfights, battles, political rallies, promenades, and public markets over the years. A one-of-a-kind destination, Santa Fe is fabled for its rows of chic art galleries, superb restaurants, and shops selling Southwestern furnishings and cowboy gear.
sights & activities:
Barrio de Analco
Along the south bank of the Santa Fe River, the barrio -- its name means "district on the other side of the water" -- is one of America's oldest neighborhoods, settled in the early 1600s by the Tlaxcalan Indians (who were forbidden to live with the Spanish near the Plaza) and in the 1690s by soldiers who had helped recapture New Mexico after the Pueblo Revolt.
Cristo Rey Church
Built in 1940 and designed by legendary Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's exploration of the Southwest, this church is the largest Spanish adobe structure in the United States and is considered by many the finest example of Pueblo-style architecture anywhere.
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe
As much an educational and community gathering space as a museum, the Santa Fe Cultural Museum celebrates Santa Fe's -- and New Mexico's -- rich Hispanic heritage by presenting a wide range of events, from children's theater to musical concerts. www.elmuseocultural.org
Headquarters of the Historic Santa Fe Foundations (HSFF), this 19th-century Territorial-style house has a small exhibit on Santa Fe architecture and preservation, but the real draw is the small but stunning garden abundant with lavender, roses, and 160-year-old trees.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
Special exhibitions with O'Keeffe's modernist peers are on view throughout the year -- many of these are exceptional, sometimes even more interesting than the permanent collection.
Gerald Peters Gallery
The suavely designed Pueblo-style gallery is Santa Fe's premier showcase for American and European art from the 19th century to the present. It feels like a museum, but all the works are for sale.
Institute of American Indian Arts
Containing the largest collection of contemporary Native American art in the United States, this museum's paintings, photography, sculptures, prints, and traditional crafts were created by past and present students and teachers.
A delicate Gothic church modeled after Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, Loretto was built in 1873 by the same French architects and Italian stonemasons who built St. Francis Cathedral. The chapel is known for the "Miraculous Staircase" that leads to the choir loft.
Museum of Fine Arts
Designed by Isaac Hamilton Rapp in 1917, the museum contains one of America's finest regional collections. It's also one of Santa Fe's earliest Pueblo Revival structures, inspired by the adobe structures at Acoma Pueblo.
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
An interactive, multimedia exhibition tells the story of Native American history in the Southwest, merging contemporary Native American experience with historical accounts and artifacts.
Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA)
At this museum, the premier institution of its kind in the world, you can find amazingly inventive handmade objects -- a tin Madonna, a devil made from bread dough, and all kinds of rag dolls.
Palace of the Governors
A humble-looking one-story adobe on the north side of the Plaza, the palace is the oldest public building in the United States. Built at the same time as the Plaza, circa 1610 (scholars debate the exact year), it was the seat of four regional governments -- those of Spain, Mexico, the Confederacy, and the U.S. territory that preceded New Mexico's statehood, which was achieved in 1912.
Santa Fe Children's Museum
Stimulating hands-on exhibits, a solar greenhouse, oversize geometric forms, and a simulated 18- foot mountain-climbing wall all contribute to this underrated museum's popularity with kids. Puppeteers and storytellers perform often.