Santa Fe (New Mexico)

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States New Mexico Santa Fe

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Introduction

St Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe

St Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe

© Utrecht

Santa Fe is the capital of the state of New Mexico. It is located in the central north of the state and has about 74,000 inhabitants (city, metropolitan area about 184,000 people). It is New Mexico's principal tourist destination, renowned for its confluence of scenic beauty, long history (at least by American standards), cultural diversity, and extraordinary concentration of arts, music and fine dining. With an elevation of 7000 feet, it is not only the United States' oldest state capital but its highest, sitting at the foot of the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

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Sights and Activities

  • The New Mexico History Museum, located in the historic Santa Fe Plaza, consists of the newly opened museum, the Palace of the Governors, and the Portal Native American Artisans Program, where New Mexico Native Americans sell authentic arts and crafts. The Palace of Governors, built in 1610, is the oldest government building in the United States.
  • Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is one of several located on "Museum Hill," a few kilometres or so from the central Plaza of Santa Fe. Built in the shape of a traditional Navajo shelter, called a hogan, its one high-ceilinged main room is the perfect size for a show concentrating on a single artist or theme. Downstairs is a re-creation of an early 20th century trading post selling jewelry, pots, rugs and other crafts by Navajo, Hopi and other tribal artists.
  • The State Capitol Building, corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and Paseo de Peralta (south of downtown), ☎ +1 505 986-4589. Self-guided tours M-F 7AM-6PM, call for guided tours. One of the country's most unusual and striking state capitol buildings; usually open to visitors during working hours. It's known locally as "the Roundhouse," and even a casual look will tell you why. Free.
  • Loretto Line Tour Company offers 90-minute tours of the important sites in Santa Fe in a motorized open-air tram (shaded from the direct sun, and generally suitable for 9 or 10 months of the year). The drivers are experts in history, archaeology, architecture and the multiple cultures of Santa Fe. It's a great way to get oriented and decide what you want to explore in greater depth on your own.
  • No one who has been to Santa Fe will be surprised if you decide to get married there. It's a romantic, beautiful town with enough diverse activities for all the guests from both sides of the aisle. A favorite spot is Loretto Chapel which has its own romantic and mysterious story. It was designed to resemble a famous French chapel, but the builders forgot to design in a staircase to the choir loft. Do you know the story? If not, see the TV movie, or visit the web site. Better yet, come see for yourself!
  • Santa Fe Opera, 301 Opera Drive (off US 285 on the north side of town), ☎ +1 505 986-5900. The opera house is partially "open air," so that opera goers get attractive views of the Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos as an additional backdrop to what's on stage. The Santa Fe Opera is known around the world for staging American and even world premieres of new works, the operas of Richard Strauss, and promising new artists on their way up (and, to be fair, one or two aging superstars each season who are on their way down, not up). Opera season is the summer, with opening night (tickets are almost impossible to get) usually around July 1 and the last performances in mid-August. (Bring a light jacket/wrap and an umbrella to the later performances; the open-air nature of the house can make August performances nippy and drippy, although seats are protected from the rain.) Many performances sell out well in advance, so book early. (KHFM radio, frequency 95.5 MHz, airs a "ticket exchange" that may be helpful in finding tickets to sold-out performances, if you find yourself in town on the spur of the moment during opera season; they stream their broadcast online, so you can check the ticket exchange even before you arrive.) People-watching here can be as much fun as the opera itself; you'll see folks in the most expensive formal wear sitting next to others in jeans, which is typical of Santa Fe. Dressing up at least a little from jeans is a good idea, though. Pre-performance "tailgate dinners" in the parking lot, as though you were attending a football game or such, are part of the tradition and color; you can bring your own.

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Events and Festivals

Santa Fe hosts a seemingly unending series of community fairs, festivals and celebrations, of which the most characteristic is the Fiesta de Santa Fe. This grand city-wide festival is held over the weekend after Labor Day in mid-September, after most of the summer tourists have left (and has been described as Santa Fe throwing a party for itself to celebrate the tourists leaving!). The celebration commemorates the reconquest of Santa Fe in 1692 by the Spanish after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Fiesta opens with a procession bearing a statue of the Blessed Virgin known as La Conquistadora to the Cathedral of St. Francis. Revelry starts with the Thursday night burning of Zozobra, also known as "Old Man Gloom," a huge, animated figure whose demise at the hands of a torch-bearing dancer symbolizes the banishing of cares for the year. Prepare for BIG crowds - this event is not for the faint of heart and can be downright scary for small children! The crowning of a queen (La Reina) of the Fiesta and her consort, representing the Spanish nobleman, Don Diego de Vargas, who played a key role in the founding of the city, is a matter of great local import. Revelry continues through the weekend and features such events as the hilarious children's Pet Parade on Saturday morning and the Hysterical/Historical Parade on Sunday afternoon. A Fiesta Melodrama at the Community Playhouse effectively and pointedly pokes fun at city figures and events of the year past. The Fiesta closes with a solemn, candle-lit walk to the Cross of the Martyrs.

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

Summers are from June to mid-September when the average temperatures during the day mostly in the 26-30 °C range while nights drop to 10-13 °C during this time. Winters from December to February see average highs of 6-9 °C while nights are in the -10 to -7 °C range. Alltime highs and lows are 38 °F and -27 °C! Average annual precipitation is around 14 inches, with most of it falling during the wetter summers. Though winters see regular snow with around 10 to 18 centimetres a month from December to March.

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Getting There

By Plane

American Eagle operates flights out of Santa Fe Municpal Airport (SAF) to and from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and to and from Los Angeles (LAX). The Albuquerque International Sunport is only an hour's drive from Santa Fe, and offers additional flight options.

By Train

A commuter rail line, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, connects Santa Fe to Albuquerque and surrounding communities (from downtown Albuquerque you can catch a shuttle to the airport, ABQ). There are currently three stations open in Santa Fe: the 2 Santa Fe Depot at the Railyards on Guadalupe Street near the Sanbusco Center, the South Capitol station off Cordova Road between Cerrillos Road and St. Francis Drive, and the NM 599 station at I-25 and NM 599 southwest of town. The Santa Fe Depot is the most useful for sightseeing, as it puts you in the historic downtown area within relatively easy walking distance of the plaza, with a shuttle circulating around the downtown area if you don't want to walk. The South Capitol and NM 599 stations are meant more for commuters and are of little use to sightseers. The Rail Runner runs daily, although service can be limited outside the weekday rush hour periods. Fares are based on how far you ride; a day pass will usually be in the range of $5–$10. Tickets can be purchased online or from ticket agents on the train.

The major Amtrak route across the Southwest, the Southwest Chief, stops at Lamy about 15 miles south of Santa Fe off US Highway 285. The once-daily trains stop in Lamy mid-afternoon, and a shuttle van service can take you to Santa Fe. The station in Lamy has an old cafe car serving lunch, food vendors on the platform, and picnic tables beneath shady cottonwoods. Travelers with bicycles may find the shuttle van to Santa Fe is unable to transport their bicycles unless special arrangements have been made; an alternative is to send any luggage ahead via the shuttle and ride the bicycle - there's a federally designated rail trail along an unused rail line between Lamy and Santa Fe, but between the Amtrak station and US 285 you must travel via the road, then north on US 285 to the trailhead.

By Car

Santa Fe lies along Interstate 25, which skirts the city. Be suspicious of weather conditions if coming to Santa Fe on this road. Santa Fe is nearly 1500' (half a kilometer) above Albuquerque, and on I-25, most of the elevation change is on a single long, steep hill known as "La Bajada." La Bajada hill is hairy to drive during winter snowstorms and is occasionally closed for periods of several hours. East of town, I-25 North goes over a moderate pass along the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains before heading out into the plains; this too can be closed during blizzards.

If conditions are good and you're not in a hurry, consider using back roads as an alternative to I-25 if coming from Albuquerque. State road 14 passes along the east side of the Sandia Mountains and through the quaint little towns of Madrid and Cerrillos before joining the interstate just south of Santa Fe.

Travelers following the Route 66 itinerary should note that Santa Fe was on the "original" Route 66, although it was bypassed during the 1930s as a result of some curious political shenanigans and the much shorter, "modern" Route 66 didn't go anywhere near here. See the "Original alignment in New Mexico" section of the Route 66 article for tips on how to get here "authentically." Coming from points east, you might also consider entering town via the Santa Fe Trail itinerary, which shares roads with the Route 66 itinerary near Santa Fe.

By Bus

There is no long-distance scheduled bus service into Santa Fe. The nearest Greyhound stop is in Albuquerque, at the Alvarado Transportation Center in downtown. From there, the most convenient option to Santa Fe is to take the Rail Runner train, which stops right next to the bus depot.

Both New Mexico Park and Ride and the NCRTD provide commuter bus service on weekdays with routes that connect Santa Fe to surrounding communities. Additionally, the NCRTD operates the Taos Express weekend service to Taos and the daily Mountain Trail route up Hyde Park Road between Santa Fe and Ski Santa Fe.

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Getting Around

By Car

Outside of the downtown area (consisting roughly of the blocks surrounding the Plaza as well as the adjacent Railyards district and Canyon Road), a car is definitely your best bet and will be all but necessary for visiting any of the more far-flung attractions (e.g. the Opera, the mountains, any of the nearby pueblos). However, if you're only staying for a couple of days, you can certainly get by without a car with what the small but vibrant downtown has to offer; it is very pedestrian-friendly and walked, often, by many people late into the evening, particularly in summertime when the tourists flood in.

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Limited, but improving, public transportation is available via Santa Fe Trails, the city's bus service. Phone: +1 505 955-2001. Bus fare is $1, a day pass costs $2, and a 31-day pass costs $20; youth under 18 ride free, half-fare for seniors/disabled. Buy fare or passes from the bus driver (cash only, exact change required).

By Foot

Many of the hotels, restaurants, shops and boutiques, and historic sites are located in and around the Santa Fe Plaza, providing the opportunity for leisurely explorations on foot. The Santa Fe visitor's website offers guides to several free walking tours.

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Eat

Santa Fe, and the rest of New Mexico, is known for its huge and spicy plates full of Southwestern food. Restaurants in Santa Fe run from expensive haute Southwestern to down-home fast-food style plates, where you will be asked "red or green" (chile). You can try a mix of both red and green chile peppers by asking for your dish "Christmas". However, Santa Fe also has a number of excellent restaurants offering other cuisines—possibly too many of them, in fact, as the highly competitive marketplace forces even some very good ones out of business before their time. It is almost impossible to overstate the dining possibilities here; they far outstrip those in most American cities ten times Santa Fe's size. As with several other New Mexico towns, restaurants in this description are broken into the sub-categories "New Mexican" (which, note, is not the same as "Mexican" by any means) and "Other." Meals (exclusive of drinks and tips) will usually cost $10/person or less at the "Budget" places, $10 to $25 at the "Mid-range" ones.

There are so many good New Mexican restaurants in town that a description here can barely scratch the surface. A note on red and green chile: half of the writers on New Mexican food claim that green chile is hotter than red, while half claim it's the other way around. In reality, the best authority on the spiciness of the chile at the particular restaurant you eat at is the restaurant itself, so if you're concerned about the chile being too hot, simply ask; you'll get a straight answer far more often than not. One thing that's definitely true, however, is that green tends to be fleshier than red, and adds a bit more substance to the dish, independent of the heat level.

  • Tomasita's, 500 S Guadalupe St (just south of downtown in an old railroad station), ☎ +1 505 983-5721. M-Sa 11AM-10PM. Considered by many to serve the definitive "traditional" New Mexican food. Expect to wait, as it's enormously popular. Entrees around $9–11, but splurge a little and get the sangria too.
  • Blue Corn Cafe, 133 Water St (secondary location at 4056 Cerrillos Rd), ☎ +1 505 984-1800. 11AM-10PM daily. A curious combination of New Mexican cuisine and a microbrewery.
  • Maria's New Mexican Kitchen, 555 W Cordova Rd, ☎ +1 505 983-7929. M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa-Su noon-10PM. Margaritas are a specialty here, but the traditional New Mexican cuisine is also good, if a bit heavier than at Tomasita's. Parking, though ample, is a pain to get to; approach from the east, on Camino de los Marquez rather than Cordova.
  • Tabla de Los Santos, 210 Don Gaspar Ave (inside the Hotel St. Francis), ☎ +1 505 992-6354. M 7:30AM-11AM, Tu-Th 7:30AM-2PM and 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 7:30AM-2PM and 5PM-10PM, Su 7:30AM-1:30PM and 5PM-9PM. New Mexican cuisine with great tasting pork chops and chile rellenos. Great views of the Plaza.
  • La Casa Sena, 125 E Palace Ave, ☎ +1 505 988-9232. M-Sa 11:30AM-3PM and 5:30PM-10PM, Su 11AM-3PM and 5:30PM-10PM. An example of "Southwestern" cuisine—the merging of traditional New Mexican preparation and presentation with more modern, creative ingredients (sometimes a little too creative). Reservations recommended.
  • Coyote Cafe, 132 W Water St, ☎ +1 505 983-1615. 11:30AM-close daily. Another highly-regarded "Southwestern" dining experience, although there has been a recent tendency for chef Mark Miller, (however Mark Miller sold the Restaurant to a group of employees); to use his restaurant to engage in puffery on behalf of his big-city franchises elsewhere. It's still an excellent restaurant, if an expensive one -- $50 per person for dinner, including wine/dessert and tip, is not unusual. Reservations recommended.
  • Luminaria, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail (inside the Inn at Loretto), ☎ +1 505 984-7915. 7AM-2PM and 5PM-10PM daily. Enjoy views of the Loretto Chapel and Old Santa Fe trail while dining.

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Drink

Two of the ubiquitous alcoholic beverages in Santa Fe are the familiar margarita and the possibly-less-familiar sangria, a wine-based concoction incorporating fruit, more commonly associated with Spain and Central America. Most of the better New Mexican restaurants in town have their own house sangria; it goes well with New Mexican cuisine, and is claimed by some to be a useful antidote if the spicy food gets the better of you. It's considered much more of a day-to-day beverage here than in many other places. Visitors should note that the high altitude may increase sensitivity to alcohol.

Much of the beer consumed in the community is imported from Mexico, and there are also a few microbreweries. If you're sticking with non-alcoholic beverages, a tip: Many locals advise against having soft drinks with New Mexican food, instead preferring iced tea. This preference is based on the belief that carbonation in drinks (including beer) tends to accentuate the spiciness of the chile peppers and cause the spicy component to hang around in the throat, while iced tea mutes it.

  • Secreto Lounge, 210 Don Gaspar Ave (inside the Hotel St Francis), ☎ +1 505 983-5700. One of the best places for people-watching in all of Santa Fe. The crowd tends to be more sedate here than at some other places. Two great guys to look for here, Daniel and Chris, both award winning mixologists.
  • Inn on the Alameda, 303 E Alameda St, ☎ +1 505 984-2121. Included in its rates is an afternoon wine and cheese reception, and with its location at the base of Canyon Road, it offers an easy way to relax after a day of gallery-hopping.
  • Second Street Brewery, 1814 2nd St, ☎ +1 505 982-3030. Su noon-10PM, M-Sa 11AM-11PM for food, later (closing time unspecified) for the bar. Brewpub, with live music most evenings Thursday-Sunday and art exhibits (this is Santa Fe, after all) at other times. They've been fined in the past by the state of New Mexico for permitting consumption of alcohol off grounds, so they may be sticklers for keeping your drink on-site. There's also a secondary location, 4 Second Street Brewpub at the Railyard, at 1607 Paseo de Peralta #10 (behind the Farmer's Market).

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Sleep

Most Santa Fe hotels, motels and B&Bs are in one of two areas: downtown (near the Palace of the Governors and Plaza) or on Cerrillos Road, the commercial main drag. The distance of the Cerrillos Road hotels from the downtown attractions isn't significant from a purely physical point of view; the most distant ones (near Villa Linda Mall) are still within a couple miles of the downtown area, which can be reached quickly by car or shuttle bus. However, the atmospheric distance is enormous. Downtown has the fabled Santa Fe ambience of a sleepy old Western village frozen in time and transported to the 21st century (with, of course, a few modern amenities and nuisances added, like cars), while Cerrillos Road has the "ambience" of a shopping district in a suburb of a major city. In compensation, hotels on Cerrillos Road tend to be less expensive on an amenity-for-amenity basis. When deciding where to stay in Santa Fe, give particular thought to the balance of ambience and economy that fits your needs.

"Budget" lodging (if any) will start at less than $75 a night, "Mid-range" from $75 to $150, and "Splurge" greater than $150, with some of the luxury suites, etc., ranging far upward. A warning on the "Budget" and "Mid-range" classifications: Santa Fe hotels and motels are prone to very substantial seasonal variations in availability and price. A hotel that may look like "Mid-range" during off season (spring, fall exclusive of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta week, usually in early October) may be "Splurge" material during ski season and the summer, particularly around significant events such as the Santa Fe Indian Market, Fiesta, opening weekend of the Santa Fe Opera, etc. Of course, the converse is true as well, meaning you can stay at a "Splurge" hotel in the off-season months of November through February at a really low price. Check carefully on rates when booking; most of the more important hotels/motels have informative web pages, and better hotels should give you the best price themselves, instead of letting discounters underprice them.

Budget hotels and motels in Santa Fe are few and far between. The economy-rate chains all have franchises in town, but it's not clear that most can really be considered "budget" lodging. There are a number of bed and breakfast establishments beyond the ones shown here. Rates vary not only seasonally but also with the room, as each establishment will have a range of room sizes and accommodations; larger and more luxurious rooms are likely to reach the "Splurge" category. In addition to B&Bs, one can also rent furnished homes, large or small ("casitas") which allows you to prepare at least some of your own meals, and enjoy a little more space, both indoors and outdoors. Several of the classic downtown hotels/lodges approach "Splurge" status, particularly during peak periods, both for their locations and their quality, but a splurge is frequently worth the expense for those who want an authentic Santa Fe experience.

  • Comfort Suites Santa Fe, 3348 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 473-9004. An entirely non-smoking hotel. Complimentary breakfast buffet.
  • Holiday Inn Express Cerrillos, 3450 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 474-7570. This one is a long way from downtown, and the "ambience" of Cerrillos Road is nothing to write home about, yet not bad.
  • Santa Fe International Hostel, 1412 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 988-1153. Check-out: noon. An independently owned, traditional hostel and boarding house offering dormitory accommodations and private rooms. It has been around for several decades and is still going strong. Offers a lot of free food, well beyond a continental breakfast, pay phones, laundry facilities, maps, a lounge, and internet use (for an additional daily fee). Dorms $20, private rooms $25-35 plus $10 each additional person, apartment $45-55.
  • Santa Fe Sage Inn, 725 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 982-5952, toll-free: +1-866-433-0335, fax: +1 505 984-8879. A no-frills "motor lodge" with surprisingly quiet and comfortable rooms given the low rates. Closer to the downtown attractions than other Cerrillos Road lodging. From $50.
  • Alexander's Inn, 529 E Palace Ave, ☎ +1 505 986-1431. Vacation rentals in the downtown area.
  • AQUI Santa Fe Luxury Vacation Rentals, 17 Bishop's Lodge Trail, ☎ +1 505 984-8885, e-mail: caroline@aquisantafe.com. A small but select group of luxuriously furnished and equipped houses and casitas, some with art collections, all with gourmet kitchens, Frette bedding, fireplaces, patios or gardens. From $200/night.
  • Casa Cuma Bed & Breakfast, 105 Paseo de la Cuma, ☎ +1 505 216-7516, e-mail: info@casacuma.com. Check-in: 3PM to 5PM, check-out: 11AM. Nice B&B with mountain views, full hot gourmet breakfast and just 4 blocks to the Plaza.
  • Pueblo Bonito Inn, 138 W Manhattan Ave, ☎ +1 505 984-8001. Secluded behind its thick adobe walls, Pueblo Bonito Inn is a true historic bed and breakfast.
  • Zona Rosa Suites, 429 W San Francisco St, ☎ +1 505 988-4455. One, two and three-bedroom suites, each appointed with a Kiva fireplace, saltillo tile floors, and viga ceilings.
  • Dunshee's B&B, 986 Acequia Madre, ☎ +1 505 982-0988, fax: +1 505 982-1547, e-mail: sdunshee@aol.com. A small bed and breakfast near the Canyon Road art district.
  • El Farolito Bed and Breakfast, 514 Galisteo St, ☎ +1 505 988-1631, toll-free: +1-888-634-8782, e-mail: innkeeper@farolito.com. Within easy walking distance of downtown and the Plaza. Authentically furnished casitas and great gourmet breakfasts -- the chicken-and-apple-sausage quiche is worth the trip in and of itself.
  • El Paradero Bed and Breakfast Inn, 220 W Manhattan Ave, ☎ +1 505 988-1177, toll-free: +1-866-558-0918, e-mail: info@elparadero.com. On a quiet downtown side street. Gourmet breakfasts and afternoon teas.
  • Casa Del Toro Santa Fe Bed and Breakfast, 229 McKenzie St, ☎ +1 505 715-6861, toll-free: +1-866-476-1091, e-mail: casadeltoro@swcp.com. A compound of adobe cottages. Hot breakfast served every morning.
  • Santa Fe Motel & Inn, 510 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 982-1039, toll-free: +1-800-930-5002, fax: +1 505 986-1275, e-mail: info@santafemotel.com. Near the Railyard District. Complimentary hot breakfast, free wireless.
  • Hampton Inn, 3625 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 474-3900. Notable for accepting (attended) pets.
  • Quality Inn, 3011 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 471-1211. They claim to offer free transportation to the train station, which is no small distance away. Check it out.
  • Inn at Santa Fe, 8376 Cerrillos Rd, ☎ +1 505 474-9500.
  • Don Gaspar Inn, 623 Don Gaspar Ave, ☎ +1 505 986-8664, toll-free: +1-888-986-8664, fax: +1 505 986-0696. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11PM. A short walk to the Plaza, galleries, spas, unique shops, and wonderful restaurants. The gardens and courtyards surround the three houses that comprise the Inn and cover half the block. The Inn offers 10 spacious suites and rooms. $105-$355.
  • Inn on the Alameda, 303 E Alameda St, ☎ +1 505 984-2121, toll-free: +1-888-984-2121, fax: +1 505 986-8325, e-mail: reservations@innonthealameda.com. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 12noon. As the closest hotel to the art galleries of Canyon Road, the Inn offers an ideal location for exploring all the attractions of the Santa Fe Plaza area, with its setting at the edge of one of the city's nicest residential areas. resulting in a more peaceful hotel stay. Spread across three acres, this is downtown Santa Fe's most value-added property, with a lavish complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese reception served daily, free parking and wi-fi access, and parking and local and toll-free calls all at no charge. Two pets under 100 pounds are accepted in dedicated pet rooms with a non-refundable nightly deposit. Seasonal rates range from $159 to $599, with January and February being the most affordable time to splurge on a stay at this cozy inn.
  • Hotel Santa Fe, 1501 Paseo de Peralta, ☎ +1 505 982-1200. A little more distant from the Plaza than some of the others, hence a little less expensive, and still within comfortable walking distance of most of the good stuff. Singles from $99 depending on season.
  • Hilton Santa Fe, 100 Sandoval St, ☎ +1 505 988-2811. An old standard, one of the few downtown hotels that doesn't raise its rates during the tourist season. No longer an "elegant" hotel, but not bad at all. A great place for conferences too. Singles from $129.
  • Hotel St. Francis, 210 Don Gaspar Ave, ☎ +1 505 983-5700. Atmospheric, and close to the downtown attractions. Good, if sedate, people-watching at the bar. On the National Registry of Historic Places. Reflects a Franciscan Missionary style.
  • Lodge at Santa Fe, 750 N St. Francis Dr, ☎ +1 505 992-5800. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Just north of the city but only 3-5 minutes from the Plaza. Every summer they feature the Juan Siddi Flamenco Theatre Company live performances. Complimentary shuttle downtown, an onsite restaurant, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, complimentary Wi-Fi, and event spaces.
  • Bishop's Lodge Resort, 1297 Bishop's Lodge Road (north of town), ☎ +1 505 983-6377. Closed for renovations until 2019. A full-service resort in the beautiful Tesuque Valley features horseback riding, spa, tennis courts, summer children's programs,and more in a peaceful setting away from the hubbub of the Plaza, but not so far away as to be inconvenient. Complimentary shuttle to and from the Plaza. Rates from $199, seasonal variations.
  • Eldorado Hotel & Spa, 309 W San Francisco St (two blocks west of the Plaza), ☎ +1 505 988-4455. A large and spectacular property convenient to the downtown attractions. Rooms are well done and atmospheric. The Old House restaurant was honored as Zagat's top pick for dining in New Mexico. Lively lounge with frequent live entertainment, and many amenities. Nidah Spa is in the hotel.
  • Inn and Spa at Loretto, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, ☎ +1 505 988-5531. Art galleries and a full service day spa, in addition to the lodging. From $229, with substantial seasonal variations.
  • Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, 113 Washington Ave (just northeast of the Plaza), ☎ +1 505 988-3030. This four-star Santa Fe luxury hotel offers fine dining, a business center, and Southwestern style boutique accommodations. Rooms from $200, seasonal variations.
  • La Fonda Hotel, 100 E San Francisco St (on the Plaza, at the end of the Santa Fe Trail), ☎ +1 505 982-5511. The quintessential Santa Fe hotel, with the Plaza on one corner, beautiful Saint Francis Cathedral across the street, and several interesting and not-too-touristy shops on the premises. They have their own parking garage, no small advantage in the downtown area. Rooms from $219, with (atypically for downtown hotels) no seasonal adjustments; occasional package deals.
  • La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, 330 E Palace Ave, ☎ +1 505 986-0000, toll-free: +1-866-331-7625. 157-room boutique resort and full-service spa offering adobe-style rooms and suites, many with fireplaces and patios. Downtown and two blocks from the historic Plaza, art galleries, and shopping.

There are several commercial campgrounds in town (Los Campos de Santa Fe RV Resort, Rancheros de Santa Fe, Santa Fe KOA, Santa Fe Skies RV Park), but the camping is much more rewarding along the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin. There are several campgrounds in Santa Fe National Forest on this road, and there is also good camping at the very pretty Hyde Memorial State Park between forest and city. If you're planning on using the national-forest or Hyde Park campsites, make sure you have enough clothing and bedding to stay warm; they're in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and get cold at night.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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References

  1. 1 Mid-2008 estimate, U.S. Census Bureau

Quick Facts

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Population
64,040[1]

Accommodation in Santa Fe (New Mexico)

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This is version 30. Last edited at 13:21 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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