Favorite Places in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

In a city made for walking, there are many treats.

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New Mexico is so rich in opportunities of various kinds that it's almost impossible to do more than point out a favorite few. The first thing to notice is the land itself. The earth is visible here, many-colored, mountainous, flat, cut by arroyos and made green by the precious waters of the Rio Grande. And look at the daytime sky, always beautiful, and in the evening, remember to study the sunsets and give thanks . . . then decide where you'll go.

Around Santa Fe there are many special places where first-time visitors as well as native New Mexicans always want to check in. The Museum of International Folk Art remote site is the best of its kind: fun, colorful, good for all ages including the treasure house of the Girard Collection, a fine display on Hispanic arts and the newly-added Neutrogena Collection article of more than 2500 textiles, ceramics and folk art objects from around the world. While you are up on "museum hill", you can stop at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture remote site and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian remote site both excellent sources of information about the art and culture of the native people of the southwest.

Around the Plaza in Santa Fe there are the obligatory and rewarding stops at the Museum of Fine Arts remote site and the Palace of the Governors remote site Beneath the portal article of the Palace of the Governors, the Native American vendors selling their jewelry, pottery and crafts are bonded and authorized by the Museum. You'll get the real thing here-at a good price. The art pilgrim must of course visit the grand Georgia O'Keeffe Museum remote site around the corner on Johnson Street. But don't hurry so much that you can't stop for a while in the Plaza and watch the rest of the world go by, or eat one of Roque's carnitas, sizzling snacks that will make you happy. You might also want to walk up De Vargas Street, which makes you feel that you have stepped back in time, remember to follow it all the way to Paseo de Peralta, you'll find many surprises along the way, galleries, historic houses and you could stop by the Pink Adobe's Dragon Room at 406 Old Santa Fe Trail (505-983-7712) for a refreshment . . . that's traditional. At Old Santa Fe Trail and Paseo de Peralta is the "Roundhouse", the New Mexico State Capitol, which houses the Capitol Art Collection article The Collection, open free to the public, includes more than 100 pieces of artwork from the diverse art traditions of New Mexico.

A 25-mile drive east will take you to the Pecos National Historical Park remote site where you'll discover a prehistoric Indian pueblo as well as the ruins of a 15th century Spanish Colonial mission church. Here the two cultures are left to the elements; with the aid of an excellent small interpretive center you get a feeling for the time depth and cultural mix which make New Mexico so special. To get there, take I-25 north to Exit 299, then 2 miles east on NM 63 (505-757-6032).

Other favorite places include the fishing holes on the Little Rio Grande, the wonderful drive from El Rito to Taos, the great adobe church with its famous buttresses at Ranchos de Taos, the ceremonial dances at the Indian pueblos article —remember that these are religious ceremonies and take time; stand quietly back and be blessed. For a hike in the mountains around Santa Fe, Hyde Park Road will quickly take you away . . . just follow it into the Sangre de Cristos. Hyde Memorial State Park remote site just 7.5 miles northeast of Santa Fe, offers great hiking, cross-country ski trails, a sledding slope, a cool stream, camping and picnic areas. Take Washington Avenue to Artist Road/Hyde Park Road (NM 475).


Thanks to Ellen Bradbury who founded Recursos de Santa Fe remote site as an educational, non-profit organization. Among its diverse projects, Recursos maintains a literary center, produces symposia and arranges for specialized tours. You can contact Recursos at 505-982-9301

Originally appeared in
The Collector’s Guide to Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque - Volume 14


Related Pages

A City Made for Walking article
Archdiocese of Santa Fe Art Collection article
The Capitol Art Collection article

Santa Fe: Knowing What to Expect article
The Santa Fe Opera remote


Collector’s Resources

Santa Fe

New Mexico Museum of Art | 505-476-5064
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum | 505.946.1000
SITE Santa Fe | 505-989-1199

RESOURCE LISTS UPDATED WHEN VIEWED | ARTICLE CONTENT REVISED January 27, 2009

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