10 Things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico

10 Things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The pandemic saw the authorities implementing a shelter-in-place order to prevent the spread of the virus. The order resulted in international and domestic travel restrictions. It also compelled people to stay home to avoid getting infected.

After the situation improved, international and domestic travel activities resumed. Despite the improvement, people still have to take precautions while traveling. These precautions can help them avoid getting sick while traveling internationally or domestically.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of the places people can visit. Santa Fe is a beautiful city located in northern New Mexico. It is known for its strong Hispanic and Native American influences, which is among the reasons people travel to the place. 

The state has already lifted its mask mandates, making it a good place to visit. The state is located in the southwestern part of the continental United States. Aside from its culture, there are many things to do in the New Mexico capital. And here are some of those things.

Things to do – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Traveling to New Mexico can be an exciting and adventurous experience. Located in the southwestern part of the state, Santa Fe is a bustling city that offers a variety of activities for all types of tourists.

Visit the New Mexico History Museum

New Mexico History Museum

The New Mexico History Museum is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and locals. The New Mexico museum consists of three interlocking buildings in the Santa Fe Plaza: the adobe Palace of the Governors, the Pete V. Domenici building, and the Chávez Library Building.

The living history museum has over one million documents and objects in its collection. Some things you can see during your visit are a rare collection of 18th-century hide paintings, photographs, icons, and devotional art. There’s also an exhibit about the state’s printing and literary traditions in this museum.

Hang out at the Santa Fe Plaza

10 Things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe Plaza (Photo by metroweekly)

The Santa Fe Plaza is a national historic landmark that traces its origins to 1609 when the Spaniards established it as a defensive location. The plaza is located in the city center and has several historic buildings and spots to visit.

The downtown Santa Fe plaza is a good place for tourists to find artwork by Native Americans, including jewelry. The plaza is bounded by the Palace of the Governors, Washington Ave., Lincoln Ave., San Francisco St., and Palace Ave. The plaza also hosts a Santa Fe Trail market and a Civil War memorial. 

Tourists can also find a monument in the plaza commemorating the state’s annexation.

Learn About Artistic Traditions at the Museum of International Folk Art 

The Museum of International Folk Art has a diverse and unconventional display showcasing over 130,000 art pieces. Located on Museum Hill, the place is one of Santa Fe’s museums managed by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Visitors can find Asian, Hispanic, North American, and European creative and contemporary art pieces at the museum. It also has a considerable collection of Spanish Colonial art. The fantastic folk art on display has also delighted art lovers who loved the quirky, colorful pieces. 

The museum’s unique exhibits reflect one of its guiding principles: gaining understanding through folk arts.

Explore Canyon Road

Canyon Road is another prime destination in Santa Fe. Art collectors visit its numerous art galleries displaying works from famous artists. Historic adobe buildings host many of these galleries. Brightly colored flowers adorn these buildings, making them a feast for the eyes.

Visitors can also pass by the souvenir shops selling wood carvings and handmade Hopi pottery. They can also dine at the numerous restaurants in this area, including the Kakawa Chocolate House and Geronimo Restaurant.

The best way to experience the Canyon Road arts is by walking along its streets, taking in the art, and admiring its picturesque buildings. It’s a wonderful place to see beautiful creations from both local and renowned artists.

Check Out the Santa Fe Farmers Market

santa fe farmers market
Photo by santafefarmersmarket.com

The Santa Fe experience is never complete if you do not check out the Santa Fe Farmers Market. The Saturday market has over 150 local vendors and growers selling various products, including dried beans, flowers, cheeses, coffee, and breakfast burritos. Since the traditional Spanish market gets crowded, it’s advisable to visit the place early.

You can visit the crafters at the Railyard Artisan Market if you’re looking for handmade products, such as ceramics and jewelry. The Railyard Artisan Market is close to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. The Railyard Artisan Market is open on Sundays.

Explore the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

If you’re a fan of Georgia O’Keeffe, you should visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. It hosts the most extensive collection of works from the artist. The blazing landscape of Santa Fe inspired the artist, who earned the reputation of being one of the best southwestern artists.

The museum has nine galleries hosting around 100 watercolors, 140 oil paintings, and 700 drawings. It also operates affiliated sites in the state, including the former home of the artist in Abiquiu.

Catch a Show at the Santa Fe Opera House

Opera lovers should visit the world-renowned Santa Fe Opera House. The open-air theater is the top performing arts center in New Mexico and can seat 2,200 spectators. Patrons can arrive up to three hours before the show for tailgating fun – if that’s your cup of tea.

The venue hosts a variety of operas each summer. Gorgeous views of the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains surround the venue. It’s a perfect place to listen to live music in Santa Fe.

Admire the architecture of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Construction of the cathedral started in 1869 and was completed in 1886. Its square towers, rounded arches, and Corinthian columns are characteristic of Romanesque Revival architecture.

It hosts Our Lady La Conquistadora, which was brought from Spain in 1626. It is the oldest statue of the Virgin Mary in the United States. The Brazilian baptismal font, delicate woodwork, and imported stained glass windows reflect the simple yet impressive interior of the cathedral.

Explore the Wheelwright Museum

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is one of the most unique museums in New Mexico. 

Established by Mary Cabot Wheelwright, it has a collection focusing on little-known genres and solo shows by living Native American artists. So, you won’t find another museum like this anywhere else in the state.

Go Skiing in the Mountains of Santa Fe

Aside from the museums and the art galleries, Santa Fe is home to some fantastic ski resorts. Whether you want to experience the thrill of downhill skiing or prefer cross-country and telemarking, there is a little for everyone here.

Ski season starts in late fall and ends in early spring. 

Visitors have several options when skiing in Santa Fe. They can visit Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, or Taos Ski Valley.

Aside from these ten things, you can also visit the Rio Grande, join a wine-tasting tour, drop by the Baca Street arts district, or check out native American art at the Santa Fe Indian market. 

The city offers a lot of things for visitors who want to experience Santa Fe’s unique culture and history.

Tips for Visiting Santa Fe

Visiting Santa Fe in New Mexico is an excellent option for anyone who wants to have a fantastic vacation. You can use these travel tips after the end of the pandemic.

  • Plan your trip in advance
  • Find out about the history and culture of Santa Fe
  • Go on a guided tour
  • Visit the museums and galleries
  • Take a walk around the city

Santa Fe is a city rich in history and culture. There are plenty of things to do there, from exploring the museums to skiing in the mountains. If you’re looking for an exciting and fun-filled vacation destination, consider Santa Fe.


About Faye Gonzales 1659 Articles
Meet our chief explorer, Faye Gonzales. With over a decade of travel experience, Faye is not only a passionate globetrotter but also a loving mom who understands the unique needs of family travelers. Her insights into family-friendly destinations and travel tips make her a trusted guide for parents seeking memorable adventures with their children.