Colorful landscape and bright sky in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Jack Parsons/Santa Fe CVB)

Snowy yucca in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Jack Parsons/Santa Fe CVB)

Aspen Vista Trail, Santa Fe National Forest, Santa Fe, New Mexico (Ralph Lee Hopkins/National-Geographic/Getty)

Santa Fe Christmas (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Santa Fe

The Spaniards landed in Santa Fe 13 years before the Mayflower arrived on the East Coast. Inspired by the native buildings, they built a town of adobe. Some 400 years later, the town still retains its incredible look, thanks to strict development codes. Despite its small size—about 70,000 people—Santa Fe is one of the country’s foremost art markets. On Canyon Road, dozens of studios, galleries, and cafes vie for attention, while on the historic plaza, traders sell Native American jewelry and belt buckles. The open-air Santa Fe Opera and the downtown Lensic host world-class performances, and museums abound—like the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and SITE Santa Fe, a warehouse-like space for contemporary art. Adventure seekers come for what lies just outside of town: the 13,000-foot Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Santa Fe National Forest. 

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Traveler Reviews of Santa Fe


Alistair rates Santa Fe
My abiding memory of Santa Fe was drinking cocktails on the rooftop patio at the Coyote Cafe and looking out in the bluest, most vivid evening skies you can imagine. Yes, it's a Santa Fe cliche, but itall felt very Georgia O'Keeffe. Everything else to the downtown area around Santa Fe Plaza felt a bit fake and glossy -- lots of great art to browse and legions of rich-looking boomers and artsy types seemed to be the flavor. It gets a little grungier as you head away from the center. The Cowgirl BBQ on S. Guadalupe St. is a nice casual spot for quesadillas, wings, and beers in beer garden. We stayed at the Hotel Santa Fe, located close to the Santa Fe Railyard Park and about a 15-minute walk from the downtown area. Good choice for lodging.
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Pieter rates Santa Fe
Absolutely worth the visit. I think the best time to go is in Fall, especially during the annual Zozobra celebration when they burn a three-story tall effigy and participants stream back into town shouting "Viva la fiesta." Christmas time is also really pretty. The food is absolutely amazing, but only if you like spicy dishes. Order your plates "Christmas" to get both red and green chile sauce.
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