The Santa Fe area is home to everything from historic sites to cultural centers, and art galleries to unique shopping venues. Because there is so much to see and do in Santa Fe, a quick one- or two-night weekend might not be enough time to experience everything you want. That is why planning a long weekend, expanding over a total of four nights, is sometimes the best vacation plan when wanting to see this top-rated city.
The Santa Fe area is home to many attractions including those featuring local arts and culture. There are around 300 galleries showcasing works of art from around the world. It is also home to the third largest State Museum system in the country, with museums featuring local, regional, national and global culture, history and traditions.
During your long weekend, you will have time to explore the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where you will see picturesque streets and lanes that are surrounded by adobe houses and Spanish colonial churches. Some of the top attractions in Santa Fe to explore include:
- Canyon Road – Home to small cafes, art galleries and shops
- El Rancho de Las Golondrinas – A living history museum that dates back to 1710 and is home to 33 historic buildings
- Farmers Market – Home to more than 150 local growers, vendors and artisans
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Featuring more than 1,100 of her original paintings and drawings
- Museum of Indian Arts and Culture – Featuring artifacts and artwork showcasing the history of Indian Arts and Culture in the area since 1909
- Plaza – The market square that was built by Spaniards at the end of the Santa Fe Trail and is home to shops, galleries and restaurants
Accommodations found throughout Santa Fe include everything from high-end hotels to small, quaint bed and breakfasts. Those wanting to be closer to nature can enjoy camping in either a tent or RV at one of the many campgrounds in Santa Fe.
The top places to stay in Santa Fe include:
- Aqui Santa Fe
- Bobcat Inn
- Casa Cuma Bed and Breakfast
- Fort Marcy Hotel Suites
- Inn of the Five Graces
- La Fonda on the Plaza
- The Lodge at Santa Fe
- Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
- Silver Saddle Motel
Places To Dine
If you love spicy Southwestern cuisine, you will definitely not have any trouble finding a place to dine. Only in Santa Fe will you be offered red and green peppers with every meal, including breakfast. If spicy is not among your cuisine palates of choice, that is not a problem. Many of the area restaurants offer cuisine options including Asian, French, Italian and Indian. You are sure to find something to enjoy.
Top restaurants in the Santa Fe area include:
- 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar
- Anasazi Restaurant – specializes in Native American and traditional Southwestern cuisine
- Cleopatra Café – specializes in Greek, Egyptian and Lebanese
- Flying Star Café
- Harry’s Roadhouse
- The Pantry Restaurant – specializes in New Mexican and traditional American cuisines
- Santa Fe Baking Company and Café
- Shohko Café – specializes in Japanese cuisine
Santa Fe is home to many unique shops and markets, making it possible to find gifts, souvenirs and home décor without having to go to a large mall or drive too far. You will find everything from fashion accessories to furniture and cowboy boots to concho belts. Some of the best places to shop in Santa Fe include Rainbow Gate, Mindy and Clyde Cupboard Company and Coyote’s Paw Gallery.
Located just an hour’s drive north of Albuquerque, Sante Fe is easy to get to by air, car and train. Plus, the city has many local transportation options that make it easy to get around without the need to rent a car. Shuttle service is available to both the Albuquerque airport, the Santa Fe Airport and the train station in Lamy, New Mexico.
Once in Santa Fe, you will find that most everything you want to do is centrally located and easy to walk to. The city also offers the Santa Fe Ride’s Paratransit Program, which will take you just about anywhere in the city you want to go.
Being one of the country’s top mountain bike towns, there are many bikeways and trails throughout Santa Fe, making it possible to safely and efficiently get around town via bicycle.
If you do drive into Santa Fe or choose to rent a car, there is metered parking spots located throughout Santa Fe, as well as several city parking garages.
As you can see, there are so many things to do and see in the Santa Fe area that you are sure to find yourself adding to your list of things to do even after you arrive for your weekend getaway. Making plans to stay for a long weekend, will help ensure you get to see and do everything you want to do.
Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.