15 Best Things To Do in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe located in New Mexico is an interesting town, and every year it attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. With its variety of museums and a rich tradition, it is sure to astonish you. When planning for your holidays, you can add this town to your list of places to visit. The interesting architecture, loads of fun activities and fantastic restaurants will make your trip worth it. This list of top tourist attractions in Santa Fe will help you plan your trip and make sure that you do not miss any spot to visit.

Let's explore Santa Fe points of interest and 15 best things to do in Santa Fe:

1. Santa Fe Plaza

The Santa Fe Plaza has been the epicenter of the town and almost all major events happen around in. From bullfighting to fandangos, you can experience a number of these festivals and events. The plaza is surrounded by several important buildings such as the Palace of the Governors and the San Miguel Mission. This plaza is a National Historic Landmark, and you can visit the Spanish and Indian markets hosted here regularly. Anytime the plaza is filled with buzz, and you will find a lot of lively activities going on. In the evening this place sprawls with people enjoying the various restaurants and exploring the number of souvenir shops around this place. If you ever visit this town, then you need to come to this plaza to feel the spirit of this town.

2. Canyon Road

The name might make you believe that a road is being talked about but this place is far from simple. For those who are, interested in art, this place is perfect for them. This place is home to a number of art galleries, and they even sell artwork from famous artists such as Fernando Botero. You will also find regional pieces of art such as hand-woven Navajo rugs and wood carvings from the Southwest. You can spend hours here by visiting any of the fifty galleries that line this road and amaze at the variety of artwork exhibited there. You will find everything from paintings to jewelry, and you will simply marvel at those creations. An art lover’s haven, this place will help you spend quite a few hours happily.

3. Santa Fe Opera House

Santa Fe Opera House - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

This opera house is famous all over the world and every summer it hosts several operas. If you happen to visit this town and you find they are presenting an opera then, do watch it. They present operas on various themes such as comedies, tragedies, drama, to name a few. The venue has a capacity of 2200 seats, and it is located in a picturesque setting. It is an open-air theatre surrounded by the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. Thus, captivating operas and amazing views. You can also get tickets for tours of behind the scenes which usually take an hour.

4. Museum of International Folk Art

This museum is one among the New Mexico History Museum Group and is the most unique on the list. Apart from Southwestern art, this museum has more than 100,000 artifacts and exhibits from all over the world. The exhibits have varied origins including North American, Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Spanish origins. You can see various artifacts such as household items, paintings, ceramics and colorful toys. Do not worry that your kids will get bored, as the large collection of colorful toys will surely make them interested. The perfect place to spend some quality time learning about different regions and cultures. 

5. Palace of the Governors

Places to visit in Santa FeImage Source: wikimedia.org

This structure was constructed in 1610 and was the spot where the Native American uprising was successful in 1680. Currently, this is a museum showcasing the state’s history of the last 400 years. Among the artifacts is a stagecoach which dates back to the Santa Fe Trail and an altarpiece that was made for a church in 1830. This museum also showcases artifacts of Native American, Mexican and Spanish origins. Go outside, and you will find Native Americans selling handicrafts and local items. Visitors have commented that a trip to this museum was interesting as well as very informative. You will be able to learn a lot about the olden times and about the country’s history. 

6. Santa Fe Farmers Market

Visiting the local market is often the best way to know the town better. This market is open on Saturdays all throughout the year, and you can enter this market for free. You will find a number of vendors selling locally grown produce that are fresh and other things such as local cheese and beautiful flowers. You will also find a snack bar at the market that sells many local food items and coffee. With the variety of delicious foods made with fresh produce, you will be spoilt for choice. The market is generally full of people and if you wish to avoid the crowd then visit the market early in the morning. 

7. Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

If you are interested in historical architecture then this cathedral will take your breath away. This cathedral is a prominent spot in the town, and it stands tall among the town’s skyline. The main purpose of this cathedral was to bring Catholicism to the Southwest. Visit this during the sunset, and you can witness the cathedral casting a golden glow that is mesmerizing to look at. The cathedral is open all days, and a visit to the inside of the church will truly amaze you. 

8. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by the landscape of Santa Fe, and her paintings are evidence of that. This museum is housed within a church and is the largest collection of artworks of the artist in the entire world. Apart from Georgia O’Keeffe, many other artists also have their artwork displayed here. If you love art, then this place will interest you into staying here for few hours.

9. Skiing

You may be a bit surprised to know that you can ski here in Mexico, but you will find some of the best skiing spots here. From late fall to early springs, the skiing season is open, and you can try your hand at skiing. Some of the mountains are the Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, where you can ski. Al the spots have basic amenities like restaurants, bars, and shops. So a visit to this spots is totally worth your time if you want to spend some time skiing. 

10. Bandelier National Monument

If you are in a mood for exploration and outdoor activity then visiting the Bandelier National Monument is a must. This spot is a settlement before the independence and was governed by the Native Americans. Located at the base of Frijoles Canyon there are several caves which you can explore by climbing the wooden ladders and entering them. This monument is surrounded by 30,000 acres and more of open space, wilderness and wildlife. The perfect place for a family outdoor activity and learning about the earlier settlements of the Native Americans.

11. New Mexico Museum of Art

The oldest art museum in Mexico this has more than 20,000 artifacts exhibited here. The exhibits range from paintings to textiles and also include photographs and unique installations. Visitors have rated this museum highly and consider the exhibits to very interesting and fascinating. If you plan to go to a museum that displays a large number of unique exhibits, then this is the place to be.

12. Liquid Light Glass

This establishment began in 1986, and as the name suggests, it is a hub for glass blown art. Here you will find glass ornaments, sculptures, vases and much more. It is located in Baca Streets Arts District which is a developing neighborhood for shops and boutiques. You can visit this place to watch the founder Elodie Holmes create some amazing artwork from the glass. You can even take a class where you will be taught the art of glass blowing, and you will be able to create such sculptures and glass items in no time. 

13. Astronomy Adventures

operating for over a decade now, Astronomy Adventures has been conducting stargazing tours for tourists in Mexico. They offer educational and interesting tours where you can amaze yourself at the beautiful skies full of twinkling stars. The tour will be led by a friendly and professional guide who will tell you all about the interesting things you can see in the sky. Such a tour on a pitch black night is something you will always remember. 

14. Kokopelli Rafting Adventures

Enjoying white water rafting is something you cannot miss in Mexico. Kokopelli Rafting Adventures lets you experience rafting in the Rio Grande River for challenging outdoor activity. This trip will surely be a memorable one and with you will be enjoying the outdoors to the fullest. They have several trips to choose from to suit your requirements and so visit here to get an adrenaline fix. 

15. Kakawa Chocolate House

If you love chocolate, then this place must be high on your list of places to visit. This is an artisanal chocolate company that makes and sells exotic and exquisite handmade chocolates. You will also get homemade ice-creams and rich chocolate elixirs. They make their chocolates by fusing Colonial and Mesoamerican chocolate recipes with a modern twist and seasonal ingredients to create unique chocolates and delights that are only found here. This is undoubtedly the best place to satisfy your sugar urges.

These are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Santa Fe. If you visit this town, you will surely leave with a lot of memories and a wish to return again.

Author
Author: Meghana Agashe
Oscillating between reality and day-dreaming, Meghana is a journalist by education and a travel-blogger by profession. The eternal love for exploring different places and cuisines, the urge to interact with people across cultures and the thirst for a...

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Must see places in Santa Fe ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Santa Fe and point of interests to visit.

  1. Canyon Road

    # 1 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 471 times in trip plans
    Canyon Road

    Address: Canyon Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The canyon road is the cultural and art center of Santa Fe and is a mile-stretch which occupies a number of art galleries, small boutiques that sell art and jewelry and small restaurants and eateries ...Read more

  2. Cathedral Basilica Of St Francis Of Assisi

    # 2 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 449 times in trip plans
    Cathedral Basilica Of St Francis Of Assisi

    Tags: Religious Site, Cathedral

    Address: 131 Cathedral Pl, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 08:30 am - 05:45 pm Details

    The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was built in the late 19th century after a pre-existing 17th century church was destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt. Today the cathedral is popular for i...Read more

  3. New Mexico History Museum

    # 3 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 361 times in trip plans
    New Mexico History Museum

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 113 Lincoln Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The New Mexico History Museum showcases Santa Fe’s history and has a huge collection of artefacts, photos and maps encompassing the history of the Native people, Spanish explorers, outlaws, the ...Read more

  4. The Santa Fe Opera

    # 4 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 610 times in trip plans
    The Santa Fe Opera

    Tags: Stage Show, Opera House

    Address: 301 Opera Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87506, USA

    The Santa Fe Opera House combines classic Opera performances with a view of Santa Fe like no other. The opera company was founded by John Crosby and till today provides a platform for Opera performers...Read more

  5. San Miguel Chapel

    # 5 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 658 times in trip plans
    San Miguel Chapel

    Tags: Church, Religious Site

    Address: 401 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    The San Miguel Mission is the oldest church in the US and is a Spanish Colonial church built in the early 17th century. The church was damaged during the Pueblo Revolt and was repaired in the early 18...Read more

  6. Kakawa Chocolate House

    # 6 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 396 times in trip plans
    Kakawa Chocolate House

    Tags: Specialty Shop

    Address: 1050 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The Kakawa Chocolate House is popular for its dark chocolate varieties and serves a variety of flavors from truffle, caramel, mendiants to chili among others. Stop by at the place to indulge in some f...Read more

  7. New Mexico Museum Of Art

    # 7 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 319 times in trip plans
    New Mexico Museum Of Art

    Tags: Art Museum, Museum

    Address: 107 W Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The New Mexico Museum of Art offers a rare collection of art work by famous painters and photographers. The museum has a Searchable Art museum with over 20,000 art works from the southwest (majority o...Read more

  8. Wheelwright Museum Of The American Indian

    # 8 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 234 times in trip plans
    Wheelwright Museum Of The American Indian

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian showcases changing exhibitions which vary from archeological, Native American- Mexican art and artefacts, to fine stone jewelry, portraits, photographs, e...Read more

  9. Santa Fe Farmers Market

    # 9 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 48 times in trip plans
    Santa Fe Farmers Market

    Tags: Market

    Address: 1607 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 07:00 am - 01:00 pm Details

    The Santa Fe Farmers Market is the perfect way to grab a bite of freshly made delicacies when in the city. Take a walk through the market tasting farm-fresh produce and gorge on breads, hot coffee and...Read more

  10. El Rancho De Las Golondrinas

    # 10 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 128 times in trip plans
    El Rancho De Las Golondrinas

    Tags: Museum, History Museum

    Address: 334 Los Pinos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    The El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a living history museum where you can travel back in time to see a part of New Mexico in the 18th century. Don Juan Bautista de Anza rested here with his force in 1...Read more

  11. Lensic Performing Arts Center

    # 11 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 163 times in trip plans
    Lensic Performing Arts Center

    Tags: Performance, Stage Show

    Address: 211 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    The Lensic Performing Arts Center was opened in 1931 and has a capacity of seating 821 people in the audience. The center is stated by many as the ‘premier stage in Santa Fe’ and is largel...Read more

  12. Liquid Light Glass

    # 12 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 159 times in trip plans
    Liquid Light Glass

    Tags: Specialty Shop

    Address: 926 Baca St, Santa Fe, NM 87505, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Liquid Light Glass is a glass studio where you can see the masters spin magic as they blow glass and give it its fabulous color and design. The place shows glass-blowing demonstrations which are open ...Read more

  13. Oldest House Museum

    # 13 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 110 times in trip plans
    Oldest House Museum

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 215 E De Vargas St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The The Oldest House is considered to be around 350 years old ( supposed to be built around 1747-1760) and a fine example of Spanish Pueblo architecture. The house is located in the Barrio de Analco H...Read more

  14. Harrell House Natural Oddities

    # 14 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 91 times in trip plans
    Harrell House Natural Oddities

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 552 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    The Harrell House of Natural Oddities is a museum and science shop where you can see Dinosaurs, Insects, fossils and minerals, buy science kits, books, games and art and jewelry all under one roof! If...Read more

  15. Keshi The Zuni Connection

    # 15 of 900 Things To Do in Santa Fe | Added 52 times in trip plans
    Keshi The Zuni Connection

    Tags: Specialty Shop

    Address: 227 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Keshi store sells exclusive, one-of-a-kind jewelry, pottery, art and minerals shaped into beautiful deigns and forms. The store is popular for selling fetishes made from minerals and unique potter...Read more

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Top Santa Fe Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Santa Fe. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Taos Highlights Small-Group Driving Tour
    Taos Highlights Small-Group Driving Tour12 Reviews

    Duration: 3 Hrs

    This 3-hour small-group driving tour highlights the top 4 tourist sites inTaos: *UNESCO World Heritage site - the traditional...

    Book Now
  • Save 1% Taos Winery Tour
    Taos Winery Tour1 Reviews

    Duration: 3 Hrs 30 Mins

    Experience the first and oldest grape growing region in the country!By visiting three wineries and their vineyards, taste you...

    Book Now
  • Taos Historic Downtown Walking Tour
    Taos Historic Downtown Walking Tour5 Reviews

    Duration: 1 Hrs

    A quick and easy way to get a handle on this funky little town. We cover the pivotal historical points that make this place u...

    Book Now
  • Save 7% Pecos National Historical Park
    Pecos National Historical ParkNew on TripHobo

    Duration: 3 Hrs

    Tour the ancient ruins of Pecos Pueblo, located about 1/2 hour away from downtown Santa Fe. Learn about the culture and histo...

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Find more places to see in Santa Fe

  • Palace of the Governors

    105 W Palace Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • El Zaguan

    545 Canyon Rd

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • New Mexico State Capitol

    411 State Capitol

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • San Ildefonso Pueblo

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Federal Building

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Gregorio Crespin House Historic Site

    132 E De Vargas St

    Historic and Protected Sites
View On Map
  • Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

    710 Camino Lejo

    Museums
  • Poeh Museum

    78 Cities of Gold Rd

    Museums
  • Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

    108 Cathedral Pl

    Museums
  • Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

    750 Camino Lejo

    Museums
  • Museum of International Folk Art

    706 Camino Lejo

    Museums
  • New Mexico History Museum

    113 Lincoln Ave

    Museums Landmarks
View On Map
  • Chili's Grill & Bar

    3795 Cerrillos Rd

    American Bars
  • The Draft Station

    60 E San Francisco St

    Burgers Mexican Bars
  • Santa Fe Capitol Grill

    3462 Zafarano Dr

    American Mexican Bars
  • Agave Lounge

    309 W San Francisco St

    American Seafood Bars
  • Loyal Hound

    730 Saint Michaels Dr

    Bars American Fast Food
  • Fire & Hops

    222 N Guadalupe St

    Restaurants Bars
View On Map
  • Camel Rock Casino

    17486 US 84/285

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Golden Buffet

    10B Cities of Gold Rd

    Casinos and Gaming Restaurants
  • Pojoaque Gaming

    10 Cities of Gold Rd

    Casinos and Gaming Hotels and Motels
  • Pgi-Ppec Personal Office

    5 W Gutierrez

    Casinos and Gaming
View On Map
  • Hyde Memorial State Park

    740 Hyde Park Rd

    Natural Parks
  • National Park Service

    2500 Cerrillos Rd

    Natural Parks
View On Map
  • Frank S Ortiz Dog Park

    1160 Camino de Las Crucitas

    Dog Parks
  • Middle Of No Where

    Dog Parks
  • Amelia White Park

    981 Old Santa Fe Trl

    Dog Parks
View On Map
  • Dale Ball Trails

    Hiking
  • Spur Trail

    Hiking
  • Santa Fe Rail Trail

    Hiking
  • Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail

    Yucca St

    Hiking
  • Exit 284/Old Pecos TR/S

    Hiking
  • Red Dot Trail

    Hiking
View On Map
  • High Desert Angler

    460 Cerrillos Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Santa Fe Japan Connection

    3649 Mimbres Ln

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Capitol Fly Fishing

    2501 W Zia Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • New Mexico Department Game & Fish

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Fish Tales Bait & Tackle

    2010 Cerrillos Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Nm Game & Fish

    668 Camino Del Obispo

    Hunting and Fishing
View On Map
  • Loretto Chapel

    207 Old Santa Fe Trl

    Buildings and Structures
View On Map
  • Conservation Solutions

    833 E Palace Ave

    Monuments and Memorials
View On Map
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What To Do in Santa Fe: Day-Wise Ideas

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