The state of New Mexico is probably one of the last places you’ll think of when going on a vacation but don’t get us wrong, the Land of Enchantment is an amazing place. There is a reason why it has that moniker and it’s because there’s just so much to visit in it. The reason why it isn’t popular as other destinations is because the U.S. is just filled with so many great hotspots that other places are being overlooked. However, New Mexico is a great place filled with so many great sights and cities to explore. One of the top spots that you should go to is the city of Santa Fe, also called as The City Different.
Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and it is also the fourth-largest city in the state. Tourism plays a major role in the city’s economy and countless visitors are attracted to the city all year-round. There are a lot of activities to partake in including hiking, snowfall and many other cultural fares. Before we get to these exciting adventures, let’s look at the history of the city first.
The area that it no known as Santa Fe was previously occupied by the indigenous Tanoan natives. Most of them occupied numerous villages nearby Rio Grande. For years, the city was occupied by the natives and they lived off of the nearby wildlife and local fauna. It was only colonized in 1598 when the first European effort was led by Don Juan de Onate. The area was under the rule of the colonizers for several centuries and there were also numerous revolutions that occurred throughout the years.
In 1846, was against Mexico was declared by the U.S. and it was led by Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearny. The city and the state was subjected to wars and political turmoil for several years. It was a rough time for the city and the state but alas, it was one of the eras that was a part of what made it into what it is today.
Jean Baptiste Lamy arrived in the city in 1951 and at the time, he was the bishop of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Then in 1888, he built the Santa Fe Saint Francis Cathedral which helped Catholicism in the region up until is passing. This was the start of a good era for Santa Fe and it also marks the beginning of the foundation of the city’s current history sites.
The city’s population began to grow bigger then by 1912, the city’s leaders enacted the City Beautiful movement. Along with this, city planning and historic preservation began occurring. The plan turned the city into the tourist attraction that it is today. It took several decades for Santa Fe and New Mexico to become developed. It was also ravaged during the second World War. Still, it recovered and became even better.
With its short history uncovered, let’s now take a look at the important aspects of your trip to Santa Fe.
- 1 How To Get To Santa Fe
- 2 Budget For Santa Fe
- 3 Best Time To Visit Santa Fe
- 4 Things to Do in Santa Fe
- 4.1 Explore a unique art museum (Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return)
- 4.2 Visit a living history museum (El Rancho de las Golondrinas)
- 4.3 Visit a gas museum
- 4.4 Visit more galleries (Canyon Road)
- 4.5 Watch a Flamenco show (El Farol)
- 4.6 Go shopping (Santa Fe Plaza)
- 4.7 Sign up for a cooking class (Santa Fe School of Cooking)
- 4.8 Don’t forget the booze (Santa Fe Margarita Trail)
- 4.9 Try to get closer to nature (Santa Fe National Forest)
- 4.10 Look up
How To Get To Santa Fe
Your best bet at getting to Santa Fe if you are coming from far off areas is via airplane. The Santa Fe Regional Airport (SAF) is your best option when going directly to Santa Fe. The port is open to private aircraft and a few airlines including American Airlines and United Airlines. However, these airlines don’t offer direct flights to Santa Fe so you may have to book connecting flights along the way. Once your flight lands on the airport, you are already in Santa Fe so exploring the city is easy.
From the airport, your best bet at exploring the rest of the city is through a taxi service. The New Mexico Black Car provides a very reliable on-demand taxi service that offers rides for all of SAF arrivals and departures. Even better is that you can book reservations via their website or via their telephone.
Another great ground option for ground travel is the RoadRunnR Shuttle & Charter service. It is located in the main terminal. Like New Mexico Black Car, it provides transportation services for SAF arrivals and departures. There are cheap shared shuttle service options and there are also private rides as well. You can book trip in advance via their hotline.
Aside from this, there are several other public transportation options available such as buses and taxis. These are abundant in populated areas so you always have some way of getting around Santa Fe regardless of what time of day it is.
If you want to travel around Santa Fe at your own leisure, you can rent cars via two car rental services including Avis and Hertz. There are several other car rental services located throughout the city. We believe that this is the most convenient option considering Santa Fe is rather small. You’ll find it very easy to get from one point to the other. This will also be the better option if you are traveling in a large group.
Budget For Santa Fe
Your Santa Fe trip isn’t going to cost you thousands of dollars. In fact, you can get by with at least $127 per day. With this budget, you’ll spend at least half on the accommodation. Since Santa Fe is a huge city, you should try to find great bed and breakfast deals around. Not only are B&Bs great and fully furnished, they are also generally cheaper.
For food, you’re looking at spending at least $35 per day. There are many cheap but tasty dishes in Santa Fe but you should definitely keep an eye out for food stalls situated throughout the city. This is a cheap way to get your belly filled with great food.
Best Time To Visit Santa Fe
It can get hot in Santa Fe so you generally want to avoid visiting during the summer. The best time to visit will be from September to November. During these months, the weather is a lot cooler and the winter crowds have yet to flock the streets of Santa Fe. The room rate are their usual as well. What’s even better about these months is that you can join in on amazing festivities such as the Santa Fe Fiesta in September and the Albuquerque International Balloon and Santa Fe Film Festival in October.
If you visit during the summer, however, you’ll get to experience the cheapest rooms in Santa Fe. Rooms can cost up to 50% less during the summer as this is the peak season for tourism in the city as well. The weakest time for tourism is from January to March. At this time, rates are at their highest but the lines at attractions are at their shortest as well so you’ll get to enjoy everything easily.
We’ve told you all there is to know about your upcoming visit to Santa Fe so now it’s time to take a look at some of the things you can do and the best spots to be to up your Instagram feed.
Things to Do in Santa Fe
There are countless places in the world that are worth traveling for miles because of the breathtaking views and activities that they can offer that you can’t get to experience anywhere else in the world. Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of which. But what makes this place all the more worth the buzz is that it even has activities and spots that are perfect for your Instagram feed. In case you are wondering what Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe are waiting for you, here’s a rundown of some of the activities that you can try out.
1Explore a unique art museum (Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return)
Museums are often included in almost everyone’s travel itinerary. We can’t blame everyone, though, as museums are a great place to gain more knowledge of a certain place’s past and whatnot. But we’re not talking about some history, science, or some common art museum here. Rather, we’re talking about Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return, an extraordinary immersive art museum. And if you’re into a unique IG feed, you shouldn’t miss this place.
To give you a better idea (and not to spoil too much), this one isn’t the usual art museum that we’ve gotten used to seeing. It has displays, made by more than 100 Santa Fe artists, that are much more colorful and brighter. Not to mention, each exhibit is so immersive that you would even feel as if you jumped down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland and visiting it is one of the best Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe that we highly recommend. Also, this place doubles as a music venue so be sure to keep an eye on their concert calendar.
The Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return is an amalgamation of the art and culture scene in Santa Fe. As each piece of art is contributed by local artists, you can appreciate the lively culture and creativity that the city has always been known for. When you visit this place, make sure to bring a lot of battery for your camera as there will be a lot to capture in the museum so you need to pack quite the heat.
2Visit a living history museum (El Rancho de las Golondrinas)
Speaking of museums, here’s another museum that you shouldn’t miss; El Rancho de las Golondrinas. El Rancho de las Golondrinas features countless talented interpreters who help bring the museum to life. Every performance sheds light to the Hispano heritage of Northern New Mexico. But what makes El Rancho de las Golondrinas included on this list of Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe is its structure. It has newly built and restored structures that were made to create every performance historically accurate. Plus, it has walls that are perfect for the ‘Gram. In fact, its adobe buildings are often used for fashion shoots and even films such as Jane Got a Gun, MacGruber, and The Missing. So strike a pose and snap a photo; you’ll definitely achieve those feed goals, especially if you want a fashionable feed.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas holds events from time to time so be sure to visit their website to check out their list of activities and events for the month that you are visiting. These events will serve as a great highlight for your trip to the museum.
3Visit a gas museum
Yes, apparently, there is a gas museum named Embudo Gas Museum, and visiting it is one of the top Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe. Basically, it’s just an old gas station. But it is the best place to be if your Instagram feed is more on HDR, antiques, and the likes. The old gas station is well-reserved and the whole place has the perfect vintage vibe. It’s really worth the drive if your into a vintage IG feed.
This museum is perfect for those that love cars and those that are into vintage stuff. While these are just cans of gas, each piece holds a part of history in them so this will be an educational experience for you as well.
4Visit more galleries (Canyon Road)
For more and no-fail Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe, why not visit more galleries? Santa Fe’s Canyon Road has more than 100 art studios, galleries, and more boutiques where you can find IG-worthy pieces. The best part of it is that there are some fine arts that are up for sale if you’re looking to take home some artworks. Don’t worry if you’re not planning to buy anything. You can still stroll through the galleries, take in the beauty of every artwork and even take some pictures for your Instagram feed.
The art pieces for sale at this gallery could fetch for as low as $10 to as expensive as $1,000 depending on the art, the artists, and the size of the painting. Regardless of whether or not you are an art connoisseur or just someone that would love to add a little flair to his home, you’ll certainly find something worth getting at this gallery.
5Watch a Flamenco show (El Farol)
Once you’re done strolling through the Canyon Road, don’t forget to head on to El Farol, one of the most historic and iconic Santa Fe restaurants. Established in 1830s this restaurant lets you witness fantastic Flamenco performances of dancers from the famous National Institute of Flamenco as you fill your tummy with the good food that the restaurant has to offer. You’ll surely get to snap IG-worthy photos of the performances. In addition to that, you can also get to jam to the live music that the restaurant frequently features. Thus, make sure to check their calendar here to see who will perform as you visit the restaurant.
Other than the amazing performances, you will need to definitely try out the food in this place. This is one of the top spots in the city wherein you’ll get the best of the culinary offerings that Santa Fe offers. Of course, the dishes themselves are more than worthy of gracing your IG-feed.
6Go shopping (Santa Fe Plaza)
Shopping is, of course, one of the best activities to do when traveling as you can take home some unique items from your trip as memorabilia or gifts. But shopping in Santa Fe is more fun; there are even some Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe Plaza, particularly if your feed is all about prints.
In case you don’t know yet, there are shops in Santa Fe Plaza that sell the finest traditional pieces of jewelry, pottery, rugs, and more. Shiprock Santa Fe and Malouf on the Plaza are two of the shops that we can highly recommend. Shiprock Santa Fe sells a curated collection of Native American jewelry, Navajo blankets and rugs, and Pueblo pottery. It has a rug room where you can even take photos for the ‘Gram.
Malouf on the Plaza, on the other hand, features pieces of jewelry items made by Native American artists. It also has a high-end contemporary fashion boutique where you can buy local apparel that will up your Instagram game.
7Sign up for a cooking class (Santa Fe School of Cooking)
Enrolling in Santa Fe School of Cooking is also one of the Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe that we can recommend, specifically for those who are into food photography. If you love cooking and food photography, this place is for you. Here, you will learn more about Southwestern cooking. Perfect the taste and plating of your favorite Mexican dish and show it off in your hometown or take a photo of it to flaunt it on your IG feed. Don’t worry if you won’t be staying long in Santa Fe as Santa Fe School of Cooking has classes that will surely fit your schedule.
This is one of the most amazing culinary experiences in Santa Fe. You’ll definitely want to keep note of the dishes you’ll learn at this cooking school. Once you head home, you’ll find yourself cooking these amazing dishes again and again.
8Don’t forget the booze (Santa Fe Margarita Trail)
Santa Fe is known for its margaritas. Because of this, the city has come up with a “trail” that’s solely dedicated to both tourists who are margarita lovers and those who just want to taste Santa Fe’s famous margarita, the Santa Fe Margarita Trail. And if you love margaritas, this is the best place to be. In fact, there are over 30 margaritas waiting for you in Santa Fe Margarita Trail.
But first, make sure to do these things first: first is to download the margarita trail app here. This will guide you to the participating restaurants. Then, visit any participating restaurant to get your official passport for the Santa Fe Margarita Trail for $3. You can also purchase it from the Tourism Santa Fe Visitor Center. Once you have this, you can get to enjoy a $1 discount on your margarita. You can also collect stamps to earn rewards along the way. Collect photos of your margaritas and enjoy the ambiance of different bars and restaurants to post in your feed. It will be all worth it.
Before you take on this margarita trail, keep in mind that the drinks themselves will have high-alcohol content. You are bound to get drunk if you are planning on completing this trail through and through. Be sure that you are well and are full on your belly so you can enjoy this challenge from start to end.
9Try to get closer to nature (Santa Fe National Forest)
There’s nothing more Insta-worthy than nature. It’s not just a sight to see but it is also a relaxing view. If you are planning to use nature as your backdrop to your OOTDs or whatnot, heading to Santa Fe National Forest is of the most Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe
Established in 1915, Santa Fe National Forest has more than 1,500,000 acres for you to enjoy. Here, you can hike and set up a camp. You can also go biking, horseback riding, rafting, etc. take in the panoramic views of nature or take aesthetic photos of your surroundings for your feed or do whatever you want, Santa Fe National Forest has a lot of activities for you to choose from that won’t disappoint. Don’t worry, it’s just a short drive away from the city.
This is a camping trip that will be worth remembering for the rest of your life. Before you partake on this camping trip, check out the weather conditions for Santa Fe. It would be a shame to visit this place when the clouds are completely covering the picturesque sky.
Santa Fe, New Mexico has a long list of Instagrammable spots and activities for you to see and try out. Even when you look up, Santa Fe won’t fail you as its skies are also worth talking about, especially during sunset.
Yes, seeing the sky is actually one of the most Instagram-worthy things to do in Santa Fe too. This is because once the sun sets, you can expect to see the nicest vivid hues of pink and orange in the sky. It’s not just worth-seeing but it is also worth capturing for a nice IG post. And the best part of Santa Fe sunsets is that you don’t have to go to the nearest beach or whatnot compared to other cities as you can enjoy its beautiful skies no matter where you are in Santa Fe.