Santa Fe has a rich history and culture that makes it one of the most diverse and interesting places to visit. Santa Fe is the City of Holy Faith otherwise known as The City Different. 310 days of sunlight yearly. Santa Fe is the third-largest art market in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles. Santa Fe has more than 225 restaurants, 250 art galleries, 70 jewelry shops, 13 museums and one world-famous opera.
Santa Fe Plaza Since the founding of the city in 1610, the Santa Fe Plaza has been its cultural hub, hosting bullfights and fandangos. Today, flanked by numerous ancient buildings like the San Miguel Mission and the Palace of the Governors, the Plaza continues to be the epicenter of Santa Fean affairs, from live music to the Santa Fe Fiesta in September. Any night of the week, the plaza is buzzing with activity for you and yours, from restaurants, to galleries and souvenir shops. Save a little money to do some trinket shopping while here: Santa Fe Plaza is riddled with vendors selling authentic Native American crafts, but be wary of the inflated prices. Many of the top attractions are located within walking distance of this lively area. In addition to the mission and the Palace of the Governors, you can also make a short walk to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Canyon Road Canyon Road has more than 100 galleries within its one square mile, making it the densest concentration of art galleries in the world. If there is any doubt that Santa Fe is a prime destination for art lovers, Canyon Road trumps it. Stretching eastward from the Santa Fe Plaza, Canyon Road is home to a slew of art galleries selling renowned artwork from famed artists such as Fernando Botero and cultural treasures like hand-woven Navajo rugs and Southwestern wood carvings. The street itself is also a feast for the eyes: many of the galleries found here are housed in historic adobe buildings laced with brilliantly-colored flowers, and the spicy odor of chili peppers oozes from the doorways of top-notch eateries like Geronimo Restaurant and Compound Restaurant.
Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe is the end of the Santa Fe Trail, which travels 800 from western Missouri. The capital city, Santa Fe, is the ending point of the 800-mile Santa Fe Trail. Blazed in 1822, it was the trade route between Mexico and the United States until the 1846 Mexican-American War. It laid the path for the railroad that came in the 1880s.
St. Francis Cathedral If you are an architecture buff, take some time to check out the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Located a block east of the Santa Fe Plaza, this breathtaking Romanesque cathedral stands out among the adobe skyline. Constructed in 1869, the main purpose of the cathedral was to help bring Catholicism to the Southwest. Sitting next to the cathedral is the small adobe chapel -- all that remains of a previous church that was destroyed during the 1680 Pueblo Rebellion -- which contains the oldest representation of the Madonna in the United States. If you are planning a summer trip to Santa Fe, make sure to stop by the cathedral during the June and July annual Feast of Corpus Christi. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is open daily to the public, but visitors should check the website for a detailed schedule of religious services. Entry to the cathedral and the chapel is free, but donations are welcome.
La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza Like many of the elite hotels in Santa Fe, La Fonda has a rich history â€” this landmark property has been welcoming Santa Fe visitors since 1929. And according to guests, the hotel has aged well: Many describe La Fonda as charming and enchanting, marveling at the pueblo-style architecture and Native American artifacts. The guest rooms also feature this type of decor, as well as modern comforts such as flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Travelers also rave about the friendly and attentive staff and the mouthwatering cuisine served at La Plazuela. Just as its name suggests, you can find this hotel on the famous Santa Fe Plaza; a location that has attracted such visitors as fur trappers, gold miners, businessmen and families for centuries. However, some guests warn that the central location of La Fonda can mean the surrounding streets stay a bit noisy through the night.
Turquoise Butterfly Turquoise Butterfly is an artistic retail business located in an old, historic, adobe building along the Santa Fe River. Here you will find unusual jewelry, pottery, clothing, furniture, southwestern art, and one-of-a-kind gifts. Turquoise Butterfly believes in supporting the talented artists in the area as well as finding items that you will only see when you visit the store. Come take a step back in time as you walk through the mosaic columns and into the heart of art!