Santa Fe is a beautiful town surrounded by beautiful mountains. During our ten days, there was a breath of fresh air feeling very much like a Southwestern Berkeley, at least to us. Of course, it could have been the altitude! Did you know that Santa Fe is located at nearly 7200 feet above sea level? That's 1500 more than Denver!
I see why people say it is a great place to visit and I certainly agree with them! Here are my favorite things we did in Santa Fe while we were visiting.
Santa Fe Farmers Market
You know I am going to go with food first! We visited the Santa Fe Farmer's Market our first full day in Santa Fe. They are open Tuesdays and Saturdays and are housed in an adorable building downtown. There are 150 local vendors there….usually. It was a little on the small side (winter and all) when we visited, but not too small that we didn't buy $100 worth of lamb meat! We also picked up some decadent blue cheese and churned-that-morning butter along with long-lusted for tomatoes. I cannot imagine what the market must be like in the summer!
Great place to eat breakfast, I had a kimchee pancake and lovingly eyed the fresh donuts.
Santa Fe is known as an artist's town and Canyon Road is the center of all things artistic. Even if you aren't into art, it is a cute street with wonderful adobe architecture and cafes and restaurants. It's also a fun place to take photos, especially for Instagram, there are tons of great statues to use as props!
Downtown Historic District
I am lumping this all together. The downtown area of Santa Fe offers a lot. Great restaurants (I loved The Shed and The French Pastry Shop & Creperie); a historic plaza, shops with everything from food stocks, luxury local clothing, you name it, an area where you can buy Native American jewelry and museums. Lots and lots of museums.
In just a few block radius you have the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, the New Mexico History Museum, and the Museum of International Folk Art – wow! And the cool thing is that every Friday evening admission is free!
I am not religious in the slightest, but I have to admit there are some great churches in Santa Fe, at least from an architectural perspective. You've got Loretto Chapel, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, and the San Miguel Chapel all very close to each other, all with their own unique characteristics.
Loretto Chapel has a fantastic helix-shaped spiral staircase (perfect for all the weddings they have there). The San Miguel Chapel is one of the oldest religious buildings in the U.S. (although it was burnt and rebuilt) but I think it's the outside that is cooler. The adobe walls change color throughout the day as the sun rises and falls.
Eat Chili Anything
The state question in New Mexico is “red or green?” I say who cares – they are both pretty tasty!
I knew one thing when we planned to visit Santa Fe. Green chili cheeseburger. It was a must. There is even an official green chili cheeseburger trail you can follow – I need to do that in this lifetime. I had my burger at Santa Fe Bite, delicious and spicy.
A few days later I went Christmas style getting both the red and green sauce on my cheese enchiladas without regrets.
You definitely need to spend a lot of time “researching” to figure out the answer to the question, “red or green?” It's tough but you gotta do it!
How about you? Were any of my five things to do of interest to you? Have you been to Santa Fe and done these or other activities? Do you think you want to visit in the future? Do tell!
For a visual summary of this post, check out my Santa Fe web story!
Like it? PIN it!
Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.