"La Villa Real de la Santa Fe" Top 5 Page for this destination Santa Fe by goodfish

Santa Fe Travel Guide: 702 reviews and 1,410 photos

Royal City of the Holy Faith

We made our first trip to Santa Fe back in 1999 and rehashed so many great memories over the next nine years that we made a return trip in 2008... just to see if it could be as fabulous a second time around. It was. In fact, we had so much fun that I've told my Other Half that I'm not waiting yet another decade for our next margaritas on the plaza!

2016 note: I only had to wait another 8 years: just returned from the latest trip and am in the process of updating these pages.

She is the oldest capital in the United States, and has held firmly to her roots as home to both indigenous Pueblo tribes - from as far back as the first century - and the Spanish who explored this region in the 1500's. It wasn't initially an easy or peaceful marriage of cultures but eventually the best of both worlds came together to create a city as rich and colorful as its history.

Here are my top 10 reasons to visit:

1. Creative/Fine Arts: from Native American metalwork and pottery to Canyon Road's 2 miles of galleries, Santa Fe is the 2nd largest art market in the U.S.

2. Museums: Wheelwright, Georgia O'Keeffe, International Folk Art and more

3. Food: if you've never eaten Southwestern, it's high time you did

4. Arts and Culture: pueblo dances, architectural walks, Santa Fe Opera, cooking classes....

5. History: this is an old, old lady with many, many fascinating stories

6. Festivals: Wine, Indian Market, Fiesta, Harvest and more

7. Day trips: just a short drive to old mining towns, pueblos, parks and small art communities

8. Shopping: loads of unique shops to browse

9. Weather: deep blue skies, starry nights and 320 days of sunshine a year!

10. Outdoor Fun: hike, raft, ski, golf, walk, bike or just soak up the sun: you'll never be bored!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Food, art, culture, diversity and lots of great hiking in area
  • Cons:Night owls will find that the sidewalks roll up a little early
  • In a nutshell:My favorite small U.S. city
  • Last visit to Santa Fe: Apr 2016
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (33)

Comments (8)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    You have very good comments and the tips for the region helpful. I plan to be here in September and will follow your things to do as a guide.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2011 at 6:46 AM

    Just the page I needed to start planning our NM trip this coming September! Can't wait to see Santa Fe now ;-) Particularly appreciated your restaurant tips and day trip ideas - thank you

  • ATLC's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    That Cristo Rey Church story is very amusing! Deliciously written tips :-)

  • Kaspian's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Santa Fe looks fantastic! Almost brought tears to my eyes. It's definitely been added to my wish list. Thanks for sharing! Ed.

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2010 at 5:02 AM

    She's adorable!! Nice page too! I liked the architecture of Santa Fe, but NOT the prices in the stores...lol! Wow, looks like we missed A LOT of stuff there...

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Dreams of sopapillas . . . Fun page; great city. Taos is also fantastic.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    What a great page, jam-packed with first-rate tips written with style . Our first sight of SF was pure magic - a winter's evening, deep twilight, snow all around and the city's silhouotte lined with luminares. Must go back one day. leyle

  • MichaelRees's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2009 at 5:31 AM

    Ten excellent reasons


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