Santa Fe Travel Guide

  • Interior square of palace
    Interior square of palace
    by BruceDunning
  • Front of the Chapel
    Front of the Chapel
    by BruceDunning
  • December 2012
    December 2012
    by HispanicYob

Santa Fe Highlights

  • Pro
    karenincalifornia profile photo

    karenincalifornia says…

     Fascinating culture, delicious Southwestern cuisine, beautiful jewelry and pottery made by Native Americans, the second biggest US center for art (Manhattan is first) 

  • Con
    karenincalifornia profile photo

    karenincalifornia says…

     Extremely expensive shops and restaurants are causing the city to lose some of its original authenticity 

  • In a nutshell
    lareina profile photo

    lareina says…

     Go ahead and run the yellow light, they'll think you're New Mexican! ;) 

Santa Fe Things to Do

  • Loretto Chapel

    Cynics will tell you that the legend of the Miraculous Staircase is a myth, and it may be, but the story is intriguing and the interior of the chapel is beautiful. Before I continue what may turn out to be a rather long narrative, I do want to advise anyone with a mind which leans toward skepticism that the Loretto Chapel is no longer a church but...

    more
  • Canyon Road Art District

    Canyon road is absolutely lovely in April, and El Farol allows you the opportunity to continue enjoying it even during lunch. The building itself has a charming style and there is an extensive patio for watching the world go by. Inside the restaurant, a Native American woman was selling jewelry, and the walls we painted to mimic the mission style....

    more
  • Palace of the Governors

    Located In the heart of the plaza, the Palace of the Governors is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest continually occupied public building in the U.S. Constructed as New Mexico's capitol in 1610, its 4-foot thick adobe walls have survived 400 years of turbulent history including the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, when local tribes wrested control...

    more

Santa Fe Hotels

See all 104 Hotels in Santa Fe

Santa Fe Restaurants

  • Pizza Pizza I want Pizza... in Santa Fe?

    Tucked up in the back of a shopping center on San Francisco Street take the elevator to the 3rd floor. It can be a little hard to find at first. There was a waiting list but a very small one, come to think of it we never put our name in because they had a table for us so fast.Excellent service on a busy night, but we never felt rushed or hurried by...

    more
  • Blue Corn Tacos

    Upstairs over looking parts of downtown Santa Fe BLUE CORN TACOS $9.75Three crispy blue corn taco shells filled with ground beef or chicken and garnished with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. Served with flame roasted salsa. I had the beef and my husband has the chicken and then we shared. Try their ginger ale with the tacos a very nice compliment....

    more
  • Local flavors

    I didn't get a shot of this one so here's a nice piece of local art to fill the space...This was another favorite 'cause it had great, reasonably priced food, was just across the road from our rental and they didn't bat an eye the two nights we showed up in hiking boots and backpacks. Tucked away in the Devargas shopping mall, it's not exactly on...

    more

Santa Fe Nightlife

  • Howl at the moon (or the sun)

    This could go under restaurant tips as well but am sticking it here as a fair amount of folks were just having cocktails...Coyote Cantina is the lively, tomboy sister of the sedate and very expensive Coyote Cafe. Located up on a rooftop patio over the cafe, it's only open during the warmer months and a good choice for sampling some of Coyote's...

    more
  • A beer with a view

    This bar just off the Plaza became a bit of a favourite of ours for early evening drinks. Its first floor roof terrace has a good view of the Plaza below, a friendly atmosphere and a good selection of micro-brews. In our two visits we sampled several of these. Chris favoured the India Pale Ale while I rather liked the Marble Red which had loads of...

    more
  • Live music some nights

    This is an unassuming little bar just south of the Plaza, with live music some nights. We came here a couple of times. The first occasion was on a Tuesday, which is “open mic” night. We thought this might be interesting; however in the time we were there (well over an hour) only one band played, that of the manager, and the light jazz style was not...

    more

Santa Fe Transportation

  • Getting there is half the fun! Who knew?

    We took a winter trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico by Amtrak train to re-state our wedding vows We have been married 20 years) and take a small vacation. I admit I was a tad nervous but I made accommodations in the sleeper car for a private room outbound and inbound. They promised to bring our meals to or room so I wouldn't have to try and balance...

    more
  • Tourist Bus

    There is a small, open air tourist bus called the Loretto Line that you can pick up by the old town central Plaza, takes you up Canyon past the art galleries, then up past the celebrity homes, up to the Museum Hill, then back around old town. Takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes and gives you a good overall look at what is available in Santa Fe, plus...

    more
  • New Mexico Rail Runner

    The New Mexico Rail Runner is a train service which runs from Belen in the south, through Albuquerque, to Santa Fe as it's terminus in the north.The Rail Runner offers a great opportunity to non-drivers who are staying in the area to access Santa Fe at low cost. The service is not frequent, providing mainly for commuters, however, there are a...

    more

Santa Fe Shopping

  • Girly (& Cool) Things Everywhere

    Although this little boutique focuses mainly on women's clothes, you can find jewelry (faux jewelry, as well as authentic Native American Indian) and some lingerie-type items to boot. What makes it special is the personalized attention that you'll receive from the friendly owner, Kim Roman, as well as her adorable dogs, Romeo & Bella. The latter...

    more
  • Authentic Indian Jewelry

    Lining the Governors Building facing the Santa Fe Plaza are licensed, local Indian jewelry vendors. Many of the vendors are also the artists that make the jewelry. Many of the artists take great pride in the turquoise they use and the other materials they use. The vendors must be licensed and the inspectors make sure that the products or authentic.

    more
  • Every souvenir you can think of!!

    With not an inch of unused space in this shop, The Original Trading Post accommodates a variety of souvenirs including T-shirts, key rings, shot glasses, Native American basketware and pottery, postcards, etc.One section of the shop holds a selection of Western-style suede and leather jackets, long skirts and belts. One side of the shop is devoted...

    more

Santa Fe Local Customs

  • Santos and other religious art

    Spanish settlers brought the Catholic faith and its saints to the Southwest four hundred years ago. As colonial chapels were established and missionaries dispatched to this remote region, imagery was needed to familiarize the newly converted with the saints and their stories and to provide the churches with representations of their specific...

    more
  • "The City Different"

    Santa Fe's unique appearance is due to the thoughtful preservation of its historic structures, and to a zoning code, passed in 1957, which dictates how new buildings must look. New construction within older sections of the city has to be styled after specific Territorial, Pueblo or Spanish architectural styles that are considered traditional to the...

    more
  • Pueblo Etiquette

    Visiting some of New Mexico's pueblos is an excellent way to learn about the history and culture of the indigenous peoples. Because they are recognized as Sovereign Nations, they also are allowed their own specific laws governing conduct and accessibility - which vary greatly from tribe to tribe. For instance, some allow visitors to roam freely,...

    more

Santa Fe Warnings and Dangers

  • Traffic is Terrible

    Nearly all the time, but especially at peak commute hours, the main artery being Cerrillos Road is jam packed. it is typical to see it backed up 3-4 blocks at the stop lights. The other main street of of St. Francis Dr (Hwy 84/285) going north is slow with much traffic for 4-5 miles heading out of town or coming back into town.

    more
  • Santa Fe River

    What was once a raging river is now a trickle and great disappointment.. They used to river raft down the downtown sector-Now you would scrape bottom and have to walk the raft all the way.

    more
  • Parking is expensive

    The garages they try and get people to park in are the highest in price. There are 4-5 multi story garages that I noted; maybe more. Each stated $2 for 1/2 hour, and $4 for an hour, then goes up from there by $2 an hour with max of $10. I do not like to pay that amount. Soooo, I and many others look and find spots along the street where Sundays are...

    more

Santa Fe Tourist Traps

  • Nambe Fall

    This is located on and Indian reservation. After a 20 mile drive from SAnta Fe and down a gravel road of 6-7 miles, you come to a booth. In that are two Indians who want $10 per vehicle and $5 for photo op in order to see the falls. Not me, especially since I intended to be there only 5-10 minutes.

    more
  • Oldest House in Santa Fe -- NOT!

    Oldest House in Santa Fe should be renamed Oldest Tourist Trap. The building isn't anywhere NEAR as old as it's cracked up to be, and definitely not worth the price of admission. For a lot less money, you can go look at genuinely old adobe walls in the Palace of the Governors (check out my "Must See" tip for more museum information).The Oldest...

    more
  • Indian Casinos

    Like elsewhere- good source of income for pueblos and Native Americans. They are abundant here- especially in Pojoaque. Lived in Santa Fe for three years and have been back and have yet to take a step into one of these casinos. Don't plan to either. There are so many other beautiful places to visit. If you must take a road trip from Santa Fe,...

    more

Santa Fe What to Pack

  • Cold, high altitude,dry winter air

    Sunglasses. The high altitudes and sun's position in the winter makes for a very bright sky. The glare alone is blinding. Don't forget to protect your eyes. Also dress in layers especially on sunny, cold days. I was comfortable at 30 degrees (0 dg C) in layers of thermal undershirt, shirt & polar fleece sweater (Jumper), a hat and pair of gloves...

    more
  • Packing List

    Comfortable shoes are a must!! Sandals are fine in summer, but good walking shoes are a requirement at any season on the city's often uneven pavements.A lightweight straw hat is essential in the summer, and a good idea any time the sun shines to cut glare and ward off sunburn. (Remember, you need to protect the back of your neck too.)From June...

    more
  • Packing List

    Santa Fe Style -- as I've described before -- we're a touristy spot, but also very 'New Mexico' -- often called the 'land of manana' (like later, or tomorrow). This all means, dress in whatever is comfortable. However, sweats don't go. Jeans and a dressy shirt always work.The Santa Fe style is jeans with an ironed crease in the pants. No ties for...

    more

Santa Fe Off The Beaten Path

  • Chimayo-Town Sites

    The main items that was open was Trujillo's Weaving, at the corner of Country Rd 98 and Hwy 76. Number 505-351-4457.They have been weaving for eight generations in this setting. Almost all the other places along Hwy 76 were closed/dead, or maybe never opening again? Quite a disappointment since I thought the shops would hold some nice touring

    more
  • Chimayo-A Sacred Place

    This is a place of pilgrimage and 300,000 come annually to attend masses and hopefully be redeemed or receive cures for ills and pains and disabilities. The church first was built in early 1800's and by 1820 it was known as a church to cure diseases and ills and healings. The tower and roof pitch were added in 1917. Services are held daily and...

    more
  • Los Alamos-Fuller Lodge

    This was built in 1928 as a school/ranch to teach children of means the discipline of how and what to learn. It was then very remote up to here. The main section has 771 huge logs, and the wings on either end were added after the Manhatten Project finalized here. They took over the lodge and other buildings for guests during the atomic bomb...

    more

Santa Fe Sports & Outdoors

  • CliffClaven's Profile Photo

    by CliffClaven Written Sep 8, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An hour's drive north of Santa Fe brings you to a stretch of the Rio Grande which is popular for whitewater rafting. Several companies organise trips along the river, but old Cliffie can recommend the Los Rios River Runners for their laidback but totally professional approach. As you stand there in your orange lifejacket before the trip, the guide tries to scare you by telling you what to do if you are tossed into a raging torrent or get trapped under the raft. The four-hour trip down the river turns out to be not quite so scary - after all, losing a tourist or two is hardly good publicity - but a lot of fun, especially if most of your thrills in the rest of the year come while sitting in front of a computer terminal!

    Related to:
    • Rafting

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Santa Fe Favorites

  • Birds that turn on & turn off

    One of my most favorite things are the birds one finds in different areas of the world. I actually have 2 insane cockatiels at home. Among my favorites are the Lorakeets aka "Lorries" in Australia and the Australian Bell Bird which sings in the early dawn hours with a haunting clear like bell tone. Here in Santa Fe I found another set of birds with...

    more
  • Visitor Centers

    There is a main visitor center just across from the State Capitol building, and in the rear. It is next to Sam Miguel Mission church on Old Santa Fe TRail St. The other center is at the railroad station on the west side along Guadalupe St. It is closed on Sundays, though. There is a lot of local and regional literature at the centers to guide you,...

    more
  • Adobe, adobe, adobe!

    When we arrived at our accommodation in Santa Fe the owner of the Chapelle Street Casitas said “And yes, there is a law that everything has to be brown!” The downtown area here preserves a number of old adobe buildings from Spanish colonial times, but at first glance you might be fooled into thinking that all the buildings were old, and all of them...

    more

Instant Answers: Santa Fe

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

94 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Santa Fe
Canyon Road- El Farol restaurant
Things to Do
Forego the car for few days & go on a Walk About
Things to Do
Giddiyup to Cowgirl
Restaurants
Home of 100 Margaritas
Restaurants
Best Bargain near the Plaza
Restaurants
Day Trip #5: Taos
Things to Do
Add to Day Trip #5: Chimayó
Things to Do
Add to Day Trip #4: Rio Grande Gorge High Bridge
Things to Do
Day Trip #4: Orilla Verde Recreation Area
Things to Do
Add to Day Trip #3: Cerrillos
Things to Do
Day Trip #3: Mad for Madrid
Things to Do
Day Trip #2: Chaco Culture National Park
Things to Do
Rosario Cemetery
Things to Do
Canyon Road: Art Attack!
Things to Do
Day Trip #1: Bandelier National Monument
Things to Do
Watch the sunset
Things to Do
Cristo Rey Church
Things to Do
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Things to Do
Museums!
Things to Do
Festivals!
Things to Do
Palace of the Governors
Things to Do
Georgia O'keefe Museum
Things to Do
Decent Food, Bad Service
Restaurants
Visit the Loretto Chapel
Things to Do
Loretto Chapel
Things to Do
Palace of Governors
Things to Do
A Real Disappointment
Restaurants
Shindoni Sculpture garden and glass blowing
Things to Do
Pecos Monument
Things to Do
Los Alamos-City History Museum of the Bomb
Off The Beaten Path
Los Alamos-A Nuke Experience
Off The Beaten Path
White Rock Overlook
Off The Beaten Path
Bandelier Park-Tsankawi Ruin Hike
Off The Beaten Path
Bandelier Park-Upper Falls Hike
Off The Beaten Path
Bandelier National Park
Off The Beaten Path
Bandelier Park-Loop trail hike
Off The Beaten Path
Dale Ball Trails-Hiking
Things to Do
Santa Fe Mountain Hike-Atalaya
Things to Do
Upscale for the Elegant
Restaurants
Santa Fe Reservior-DAn Ball Trail
Things to Do
Map of Santa Fe

View all Santa Fe hotels