Exploring Santa Fe: 5 ideas of what to do in New Mexico's Capital

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1/16/20243 min read

Planning a trip to Santa Fe? You're in for a treat! Known for its rich history, vibrant art scene, and stunning natural beauty, Santa Fe offers a plethora of attractions to explore. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, this enchanting city has something for everyone. In this article, we will highlight five must-visit spots that will make your trip to Santa Fe truly unforgettable.

1. Meow Wolf

No trip to Santa Fe is complete without a visit to Meow Wolf, an immersive art experience like no other. Step into a world of wonder as you enter this interactive art installation, where reality and fantasy blend seamlessly. Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return is a mesmerizing labyrinth of secret passages, surreal landscapes, and mind-bending art installations. Explore the multiverse, solve mysteries, and let your imagination run wild in this one-of-a-kind attraction. It is a great spot to go with a date, with kids, or even by yourself as a solo traveler.

2. Santa Fe Plaza Area

Located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Plaza area is a historic landmark and a hub of cultural activity. Surrounded by adobe buildings, the Plaza is home to numerous shops, galleries, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll through the Plaza, browse the Native American jewelry and crafts, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. Don't miss the chance to visit the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States, which now houses a museum showcasing New Mexico's rich history. You can typically find many vendors selling handmade turquoise jewelry from 10 to 3pm if the weather is good.

3. Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

A masterpiece of religious architecture, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a must-see for art and history enthusiasts. This stunning Romanesque-style cathedral dates back to the late 19th century and features exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and beautiful religious artwork. Step inside and feel a sense of tranquility as you admire the grandeur of this sacred space. Attend a mass or simply take a moment to reflect and appreciate the beauty of this architectural gem. This is a great spot to visit while you are at the plaza.

4. Santa Fe Railyard

For a taste of Santa Fe's vibrant contemporary art scene, head to the Santa Fe Railyard. Once a bustling transportation hub, the Railyard has been transformed into a cultural center that showcases the best of Santa Fe's art, design, and cuisine. Explore the contemporary art galleries, visit the SITE Santa Fe contemporary art museum, or indulge in a culinary adventure at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the area. Don't forget to check the schedule for any live performances or events happening at the Railyard during your visit. Saturday is a great day to come to the railyard, with the Santa Fe Farmers Market bringing local farmers and artisans together. It's a great time to see what local stuff is available and support small businesses.

5. Zozobra

If you happen to visit Santa Fe in early September, don't miss the unique and thrilling experience of attending the annual burning of Zozobra. Known as "Old Man Gloom," Zozobra is a giant marionette that represents the hardships and worries of the past year. Witness the dramatic spectacle as Zozobra is set ablaze, symbolizing the release of negative energy and the beginning of a new chapter. Join the locals in this time-honored tradition and feel the sense of renewal and hope that fills the air. This time is also right in the middle of chile season, so it is a great time to get some fresh roasted chile in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or even Hatch if you fancy a 4 hour drive south.

As you plan your trip to Santa Fe, be sure to include these five must-visit spots on your itinerary. From immersive art experiences to historic landmarks and cultural hubs, Santa Fe offers a diverse range of attractions that will leave a lasting impression. Embrace the magic of this enchanting city and create memories that will stay with you long after your trip ends.