Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico but has a population of only 70,000. At 7,000 feet, it is the highest state capital in the US and, having been founded in 1607, it is also the oldest. It is renowned as a center for art, music, and food, and has a long, fascinating history and wonderful scenic beauty.
Santa Fe's history and culture is celebrated in a host of excellent museums. These include the New Mexico History Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, and the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum.
Santa Fe has many fine buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available to guide you through the many attractions.
Santa Fe has a year-round program of festivals, from the Fiesta de Santa Fe to the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta.
Santa Fe is surrounded by mountains and deserts and is a great center for hiking, climbing, cycling, and horse riding.
The Santa Fe Opera House offers a unique experience; it is partially open air with spectacular views of the Jemez Mountains.
Santa Fe has a pleasant year-round climate with mild winters and warm summers. The rainy season is in July and August.
Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF) has daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Denver. A shuttle bus service will take you into town for around $16, while a taxi will cost around $36.
Santa Fe is connected to Albuquerque by the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. A single fare is from $9. The Amtrak Southwest Chief stops at Lamy, 15 miles to the south of Santa Fe.
Santa Fe is connected to the rest of New Mexico by the I-25. Road conditions can be impacted by snow in winter.
Sante Fe has limited bus services to other cities in the southwest. A bus from Lamy costs from $15.
Days Inn has budget rooms two miles from the city center, while Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza offers 4-star accommodation right in the center.
The Plaza - this is the city's historic center, famous for its adobe buildings and home to upscale boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
Historic Guadalupe - just to the west of the Plaza, this area is home to some of the city's most famous buildings. It also has a bustling market and is the center of the city's art scene.
Cerrillos Road - this is the city's busiest boulevard and houses many of Santa Fe's modern hotels and retail outlets.
Santa Fe has good bus services, with the North Central Regional Transit District offering free local buses from Monday to Friday.
Taxis cost $3 to hail and then around $2.50 per mile.
Parking can be an issue during summer but roads are generally free from congestion. Car rental is available from $50.
Downtown has specialty stores offering books, toys, crafts, and art, while Cerrillos Road and Zafarano Road have larger, big-box stores and malls.
A quart of milk in Santa Fe will cost $0.76 and a loaf of white bread is $2.44.
Five and Dime General Store on E San Francisco Street serves southwestern classics such as Frito Pie from $10. Tomasita's on S Guadalupe Street is renowned for its traditional New Mexican food, with entrees at around $11.