An Introduction to Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

New Mexico’s Capital — “The City Different”

Facts, Figures & Phone Numbers scrolldown Information Sources & Web Links scrolldown
Getting to Santa Fe scrolldown Dates in Santa Fe History scrolldown
Plans & Reservations scrolldown Maps dirgif

Facts, Figures & Phone Numbers

Population(2000 Census) of Santa Fe MSA 147,000

Elevation 7,000 feet above sea level, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Nearby peaks as high as 12,000 feet.

Santa Fe forecast & current weather conditions remote site from The Weather Channel

Climate High desert, intense sunlight. Very dry, sometimes less than 20 percent humidity. Santa Fe averages 14 inches of rainfall a year—and 30–34 inches of snow from November to April. Acclimating to high altitude can take a few days—don't be surprised if you feel fatigue, unusual thirst or slight dizziness at first. Also, sunscreen and a hat are advisable year round. Nights and early mornings are cool, even in July and August.

Average high/low temperatures by month:

January 40/19° F
February 43/23° F
March 51/29° F
April 59/35° F
May 68/43° F
June 78/52° F
July 82/55° F
August 79/55° F
September 73/49° F
October 62/39° F
November 50/28° F
December 41/20° F

Getting to Santa Fe

Santa Fe is 50 miles north of Albuquerque and 75 miles south of Taos, located just off of Interstate 25.

The Albuquerque International Sunport remote Many visitors to New Mexico arrive at the Albuquerque Airport and rent a car, so that they may explore the state's scenery at a leisurely pace.

Southwest Airlines remote site has many flights a day serving the Albuquerque International Sunport. Other carriers include American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Northwest and US Airways as well as several regional airlines.

Santa Fe's Municipal Airport remote is capable of operating 24 hours a day. Commercial service is limited--only planes with fewer than 30 seats are permitted to land.

FYI New Mexico State law requires that all passengers traveling in a moving vehicle must wear a safety belt. Any child under one year and under must be in a child restraint seat in the back seat. Any child five years and under riding in the front seat must also be in a child seat secured by a safety belt.

Driving services exist to transport visitors to their hotel destination. Check with your hotel/motel for more information. For those traveling directly to downtown Santa Fe, Sandia Shuttle Express remote site busses take visitors to the center of town. Call for reservations and schedule information 1-888-775-5696 (in Albuquerque: 505-243-3244; in Santa Fe 505-474-5696. Driving time to Santa Fe from Albuquerque is a bit more than an hour.

Parking and traffic can be a problem in Santa Fe during high tourist season (June-August) and special events like Indian Market. Most tourist attractions are within walking distance of downtown hotels. There are 15 city-owned parking lots in the downtown area. If you plan to stay outside of downtown Santa Fe, consider renting a car.

There is a limited public bus system called Santa Fe Trails remote

Plans & Reservations

Lodging dirgif Make hotel reservations in advance. Weekends year round are near capacity, and rooms during Santa Fe Indian Market (the third or fourth weekend in August) are booked as much as a year in advance.

Dining dirgif Reservations are suggested for upscale restaurants. Casual dress is acceptable in most restaurants.

Information Sources & Web Links

City of Santa Fe Government Web Site remote site

Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau remote site PO Box 909, Santa Fe, NM 87504, 800-777-2489. An official visitors guide is available along with maps and other information. Brochures translated in French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish that contain general information about Santa Fe are also available at the Visitors Bureau.

Santa Fe New Mexican remote site The Capital City's daily newspaper

Santa Fean Magazine remote site Monthly life-style coverage of "The City Different"

Foreign Currency Exchange Bank of Santa Fe, 241 Washington at Paseo de Peralta, 505-984-0500

Public Transportation Santa Fe Trails remote operates six bus routes throughout the city from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm Mon-Fri; 7 to 7 on Saturday; no service on Sundays or holidays. 505-955-2001

Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau remote site 800-284-2282

New Mexico Sno-phone 505-984-0606

New Mexico State Tourism Division remote site 800-545-2042

Ski New Mexico remote site 505-982-5300, 800-755-7669

Taos Visitors Information remote site and Taos County Chamber of Commerce remote 800-732-8267

Weather and Road Conditions 800-432-4269. Life in the mountains can be unpredictable at best. Rain in Albuquerque can be a snow storm in Santa Fe and a blizzard in Taos—even in late April!

Dates in Santa Fe History

1100–1300 CE Communities developed and thrived with sophisticated trade routes and farming techniques along the banks of the Rio Grande

1540 Spanish arrival, conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado wintered at a pueblo on the west bank of the Rio Grande 20 miles north of Albuquerque

1609 Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the US, was founded by Don Pedro de Peralta. In this colorful city the past is always present. Santa Fe's Plaza is still the center of all local fiestas

1628 St Francis Cathedral standstoday near the site where the first church was built by the Spanish, followed by an adobe parish church in 1712. Finally, construction on the Romanesque-style sandstone Cathedral was begun in 1869 by Archbishop Lamy

1821 The first Santa Fe Trail wagon trains from Franklin, MO reached Santa Fe

1848 US claimed the territory for its own

1879 The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway arrived in NM

1912 New Mexico was admitted to the US as the 47th state

1925 The Spanish Colonial Arts Society was founded

1952 The Spanish Market was revived in Santa Fe, and occurs annually the last weekend of July

1957 The Santa Fe Opera performed its first season

1973 The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival was founded

1983 The Santa Fe Desert Chorale was founded

1992 Condé Nast Traveler magazine readers voted Santa Fe their favorite travel destination in the world

1997 The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum opened

2002 The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art opened

2006 Railyard area redevelopment opens first galleries

LAST MODIFIED December 1, 2009

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