Santa Fe is easily one of the Southwest’s most interesting and eclectic cities. While it’s decidedly steeped in Western cowboy culture, it’s also a fusion of European, Mexican and indigenous elements. Beyond its roots, Santa Fe has become well known as a haven for artists, and features numerous galleries with works spanning centuries, countries and styles. One of the most interesting things to do in Santa Fe is to explore the smaller galleries that feature works by local artists.
What to See
San Miguel Mission: When you take a step into the San Miguel Mission, you take a step far back in time. This church was built for the Spanish in 1610 by Tlaxcalan Indians, in what is now an iconic Southwestern style. This is a working church, and people still faithfully attend mass here on Sundays. In fact, this is the oldest working church in the United States.
St. Francis Cathedral: This stunning cathedral is one of Santa Fe’s landmarks, and a testament to the city’s unique cultural heritage. Built between 1869 and 1886, it features a dramatic Romanesque Revival style that is truly worth seeing.
Museum of International Folk Art: A favorite spot for travelers, this museum features the largest collection of international folk art in the world, including Africa, Asia and Latin America. There are also Spanish colonial items as well as a selection of textiles and costumes.
New Mexico History Museum: New Mexico’s past is one wild, rocky and romantic adventure. The New Mexico History Museum offers a glimpse into times gone by, from a number of different perspectives and experiences.
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture: This popular museum explores the history of native people of the Southwest through art from prehistoric to contemporary times.
What to Do
Ski Santa Fe: Located in the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Ski Santa Fe is one of the highest elevation ski areas in the United States, and boasts one of the most spectacular views. There is something here for everyone: Novices, experts and those in between will find a slope and an adventure to their liking.
Canyon Road: Art lovers shouldn’t miss taking a walk along Canyon Road. The buildings are beautiful in and of themselves, but they also house amazing galleries filled with works from some of New Mexico’s best artists. There are also charming restaurants and quaint shops up and down the road, so it’s easy to make an afternoon of it.
Hyde Memorial State Park: This park’s serene mountain setting is ideal for picnicking, bird watching and camping. There’s also a hiking trail and a swimming beach perfect for warm summer days.
If you’d like to see the best of Santa Fe, SmartFares can get you there for less than you think, and you’re sure to get a selection of the best available flights.