17 Best Things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Are you looking for a unique travel experience that combines history, culture, and natural beauty? Look no further than Santa Fe, New Mexico. Known as the City Different, Santa Fe offers visitors an array of activities and attractions that are sure to satisfy any traveler. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 17 best things to do in Santa Fe, from exploring art galleries to hiking in the mountains.

Visit the Santa Fe Plaza

The Santa Fe Plaza is the heart of the city and a great place to start your visit. This historic plaza has been the center of social and cultural life in Santa Fe for over 400 years. Here you’ll find a mix of shops, restaurants, and museums, as well as historic buildings like the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

Explore the Palace of the Governors

The Palace of the Governors is located on the north side of the Santa Fe Plaza and is a National Historic Landmark. Built in the early 17th century, it served as the seat of government for New Mexico for centuries. Today, it houses the New Mexico History Museum, where you can learn about the state’s rich history.

Check out the art galleries on Canyon Road

Canyon Road is home to over 100 art galleries, making it one of the premier art destinations in the world. Here you’ll find a mix of traditional and contemporary art, from paintings to sculpture to photography. It’s a great place to browse, buy, or just appreciate the art.

Go on a hike in the Santa Fe National Forest

The Santa Fe National Forest offers over 1.5 million acres of outdoor recreation, from hiking and camping to fishing and skiing. There are over 1000 miles of trails to explore, ranging from easy day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips. Some of the most popular trails include the Aspen Vista Trail and the Winsor Trail.

Learn about Native American history at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a museum and cultural center that celebrates the history, culture, and art of the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. Here you can learn about the traditional way of life of the Pueblo people, as well as their contemporary culture and art.

See the Santa Fe Opera

The Santa Fe Opera is a world-renowned opera company that performs in a stunning open-air theater. The season runs from late June to late August and features a mix of classic and contemporary operas.

Take a hot air balloon ride

Santa Fe is known for its clear blue skies and stunning vistas, making it the perfect place for a hot air balloon ride. You can take a sunrise or sunset ride and see the city and surrounding mountains from a whole new perspective.

Tour the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is dedicated to the life and work of one of America’s most famous artists, Georgia O’Keeffe. The museum houses over 3000 of her works, including paintings, drawings, and sculptures. It’s a must-visit for art lovers and those interested in the life of this groundbreaking artist.

Relax in the natural hot springs at Ojo Caliente

Just a short drive from Santa Fe, Ojo Caliente is a natural hot springs resort that has been around for over 150 years. The springs are believed to have healing properties and are a great place to relax and soak in the mineral-rich waters.

Visit the New Mexico Museum of Art

The New Mexico Museum of Art is housed in a beautiful building in the heart of Santa Fe and showcases a mix of contemporary and traditional art. The museum has a large collection of works by New Mexican artists, as well as rotating exhibits from around the world.

Shop at the Santa Fe Farmers Market

The Santa Fe Farmers Market is a vibrant and bustling market that offers fresh produce, artisanal foods, and handmade crafts. The market is open year-round and is a great place to sample some of the local flavors and meet the farmers and artisans who produce them.

Explore the Loretto Chapel

The Loretto Chapel is a historic church that was built in the 19th century. It’s famous for its spiral staircase, which is believed to have been built without any nails or visible supports. The chapel is open to visitors and is a popular spot for weddings and other events.

Take a cooking class

New Mexico cuisine is a unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican flavors. Taking a cooking class is a great way to learn about the ingredients and techniques that make this cuisine so special. There are several cooking schools in Santa Fe that offer classes for all skill levels.

Visit the New Mexico History Museum

The New Mexico History Museum is housed in the Palace of the Governors and offers a comprehensive look at the history of the state. The museum has exhibits on everything from the early Native American civilizations to the Spanish colonization to the present day.

Attend the Santa Fe Indian Market

The Santa Fe Indian Market is the largest and most prestigious Native American arts market in the world. It takes place every August and features over 1000 artists from over 200 tribes. You can browse and buy everything from jewelry to pottery to textiles.

Go skiing at Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe is a popular ski resort located just 16 miles from Santa Fe. The resort offers over 80 trails for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, as well as stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Take a day trip to Taos

Taos is a historic town located about 70 miles north of Santa Fe. It’s famous for its adobe buildings, art galleries, and the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. It’s a great place to spend a day exploring and experiencing a different side of New Mexico.


Santa Fe, New Mexico is a unique and vibrant city that offers visitors an array of activities and attractions. From exploring historic sites and art galleries to hiking in the mountains and relaxing in natural hot springs, there’s something for everyone in Santa Fe. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable travel experience in the City Different.


  1. What is Santa Fe known for? Santa Fe is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and natural beauty. It’s a popular destination for art lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those interested in Native American history and culture.
  1. What is the best time of year to visit Santa Fe? The best time to visit Santa Fe is in the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer can be hot and crowded, while winter can be cold and snowy, but both seasons offer their own unique charms and attractions.
  2. Is Santa Fe a safe city to visit? Yes, Santa Fe is generally a safe city to visit. However, as with any city, it’s important to take basic safety precautions such as staying aware of your surroundings, avoiding dark and isolated areas at night, and keeping your valuables secure.
  3. What is the cuisine like in Santa Fe? Santa Fe cuisine is a unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican flavors. Some of the signature dishes include green chile stew, enchiladas, and tamales. The city also has a vibrant farm-to-table movement, with many restaurants sourcing their ingredients from local farms and ranches.
  4. What outdoor activities are available in Santa Fe? Santa Fe offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, mountain biking, and hot air balloon rides. The surrounding mountains and national forests provide ample opportunities for exploring the natural beauty of the region.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.