Santa Fe Attractions
Santa Fe is a favorite among art lovers, music and opera lovers, history lovers, food lovers, and nature and adventure lovers. The downtown Santa Fe area features more than 250 galleries and museums, amazing dining, boutique shopping, extraordinary performing arts events, and a variety of cultural attractions.
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- Santa Fe Indian Market – This annual art market is a spectacular event that draws an estimated 100,000 people to Santa Fe from around the world. First held in 1922, artists display their work in stalls around the Santa Fe Plaza and adjacent streets, selling directly to the general public. In order to participate, all artists must provide proof of federal Tribal enrollment, and their work must meet strict quality and authentic materials standards.
- St. Francis Cathedral – A Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Santa Fe, this Romanesque-revival style cathedral stands in dramatic contrast to the surrounding adobe structures. Built between 1869 and 1886, the cathedral features characteristic round arches separated by Corinthian columns, truncated square towers, and even a large rose window imported from France. Mass is held every Sunday.
- Chapel of San Miguel – Also known as San Miguel Mission, this Spanish colonial mission church is the oldest church in the United States, having been built between approximately 1610 and 1626. Though the church has been repaired and rebuilt numerous times over the years, its original adobe walls are largely intact.
- Santa Fe Opera – Located 7 miles north of Santa Fe on a former guest ranch of 199 acres, the Santa Fe Opera is internationally known for introducing new and innovative operas as well as standard operatic productions. Since its inception in 1956, the Santa Fe Opera has staged over 40 American premieres and has commissioned nine new operas.
- Santa Fe Plaza – The commercial, social and political center of Santa Fe since 1610, this National Historic Landmark in downtown Santa Fe is known as "the heart of Santa Fe." The Plaza consists of a central park lined with grass, trees and benches, and encompasses historic monuments, restaurants, businesses and art galleries. It is home to annual events including the Spanish Market and Santa Fe Indian Market, and attracts tourists interested in the music, design, jewelry, art and dance of Spanish, Indian and Mexican cultures.
- Santa Fe Farmers' Market – What began with a handful of farmers in the late 1960s is now New Mexico's largest farmers' market and one of the most widely recognized markets in the United States and beyond. Representing over 100 active vendors and featuring hundreds of different agricultural products, the market assures that 100% of the vegetables, fruits and nursery plants available for sale are grown right here in northern New Mexico.
- Randall Davey Audubon Center – Named for the late Santa Fe artist who willed his home to the National Audubon Society, this wildlife refuge occupies 135 acres at the mouth of Santa Fe Canyon. Just a few minutes' drive from the Plaza, it features more than 100 species of birds, 120 types of plants and varied mammals-including black bears, mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, raccoons and coyotes. Trails winding through more than 100 acres of the nature sanctuary are open to day hikers, but not to dogs. There's also a natural history bookstore on site.
- Planetarium at Santa Fe Community College – Offers various programs to educate visitors about the night sky, including constellations and information from the Magellan spacecraft.
- Summer concerts at the Santa Fe Bandstand – Throughout July and August, the Santa Fe Plaza stage pulses with free live performances two to three times a week, featuring everything from Native American music and salsa to blues, R&B and jazz. Performances at lunchtime and evenings. Days vary.
If you thrive on adventure, you'll find virtually unlimited things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In warmer months, golf is a favorite among visitors to the area, which offers a variety of challenging courses. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains feature miles of excellent hiking and biking trails through pristine wilderness. And in winter, Santa Fe is paradise for downhill skiers and snowboarders. Ski Santa Fe, 16 miles north of Santa Fe, is open from Thanksgiving through Easter and offers 67 trails and a freestyle park, beautiful panoramic mountain vistas and endless fun beneath the winter sun.
Just a few of the many activities you can enjoy in Santa Fe include:
- Art Classes
- Horseback Riding
- Loretto Chapel – Adjacent to the Inn and Spa at Loretto at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail, this beautiful Gothic-style chapel was built in 1878 and patterned after Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Rich in history and tradition, the Loretto Chapel is home to the "miraculous staircase," which makes two 360-degree turns, stands on its own weight without visible means of support, is made of an apparently extinct wood species, and was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails. Today, the Chapel serves as a museum that is open daily for tours and hosts hundreds of weddings every year. Learn More
- Georgia O'Keeffe Museum – With more than 140 paintings, watercolors, pastels and sculpture, the museum represents the largest collection of work by O'Keeffe available to the public in a single institution. Subjects range from the artist's iconic flowers and bleached desert skulls to nudes, landscapes, cityscapes, still-lifes and abstracts, dating between 1916 and 1980. The first art museum dedicated to the work of a female artist of international stature, the museum offers free admission on Friday evenings.
- New Mexico Museum of Art – The oldest art museum in New Mexico and a masterpiece of Pueblo Revival architecture, the museum's 20,000 works of art span from the historic art colonies of Taos and Santa Fe of the past hundred years to cutting-edge contemporary art from around the region and the world.
- Museum of Indian Arts and Culture – Dedicated to the accurate and culturally sensitive presentation of Southwestern Native American cultures, the museum divides its collections into "Individually Catalogued Collections," which include Southwestern textiles, pottery, baskets, jewelry, contemporary art, and artifacts chronicling the everyday life of New Mexico's long period of human habitation. Its Archaeological Research Collection contains between 5 million and 10 million artifacts.
- Palace of the Governors – The oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States, this museum houses artifacts from ancient Native American cultures and early Spanish settlements.
- New Mexico History Museum – This new history museum will include interpretive exhibitions on New Mexico's colonial past housed within the Palace of the Governors building.
- Museum of International Folk Art – Features rotating exhibits of contemporary and historic folk art and an extensive collection of crafts honoring New Mexico's Hispanic art traditions.
- Santa Fe Children's Museum – A place for families to learn and play together, the museum features interactive exhibits, an outdoor garden, a diversity of programs, and professional staff who make for a special museum visit.