A warm and welcoming city

Quick notes:

  • Santa Fe is known as a home to painters, writers, and other artists

  • The city existed 13 years before settlers came to Plymouth Rock

  • The city’s lodging, food, and art reflect a fusion of cultures that have co-existed for centuries

A visit to New Mexico’s capital city, Santa Fe, offers travelers access to a warm and vibrant culture that is unique among southwestern cities. Santa Fe food, Santa Fe art, and Santa Fe history resonate through the city.

There’s a reason it is listed as one of the 14 best places to travel in the U.S. by Forbes Magazine. In addition to great weather year-round, the city offers welcoming lodgings and plenty of things to do.

Santa Fe History and Culture

Santa Fe’s history stretches back more than 400 years. It was settled in 1607, by the Spanish Conquistador Don Pedro De Peralta, early enough that its borders contain the oldest standing building in the United States. The Spanish, Mexican, and Territorial influences from its earliest days continue to resonate throughout the city, particularly in the central plaza that is at the heart of the city.

Hospitality and lodging

Travelers should expect to find a range of warm and welcoming lodging options when they visit Santa Fe. Bed and Breakfast experiences are easy to find, as are rooms in traditional but luxurious hotels. Interesting spots can also be found in boutique hotels that feature adobe fireplaces that burn fragrant pinion wood in the winter and are filled with Native American rugs, rustic but cozy bedding, and comfortable overstuffed furniture.

Food and Drink


Santa Fe Cuisine resonates with spicy, earthy flavors that reflect the cooking of its earliest residents. Featuring chile peppers, red and green chile that is unique to the region, corn-based ingredients, and fine chocolate, diners typically experience a fusion of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences.

Some of America’s finest chefs continue to use regional ingredients with as much innovation as possible, and unusual dishes are available in restaurants throughout the city. You can enjoy this innovation at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and choose between a casual eatery, a food truck at the Plaza, or a white-tablecloth fine dining experience with multiple courses.

In Santa Fe, locals also know how to pair exciting menus with equally delightful beverages. High-grade sipping chocolate is a city specialty, but tourists also have plenty of opportunities to try a cocktail, regionally-made wines or beers, or Margaritas. Margaritas are so frequently served and beloved by the city that there is a Margarita Trail that locals and tourists love.

Fine arts a central part of life in Santa Fe

With a profusion of warm, sunny days and a high desert landscape full of unique quality light, painters have been drawn to capturing New Mexico’s high desert outside of Santa Fe. While Georgia O’Keefe is one of the most notable area painters, for decades, others have joined her, including Dennis Hopper, Bruce Nauman, and Nancy Holt.

Upon entering the city, travelers are surrounded by the presence of fine artwork everywhere.

The presence of so many artists has resulted in one of the largest art scenes available in the United States. There are more than 250 galleries open and prosperous on Canyon Road, Lincoln Avenue, and the Railroad District. Fine art can be found in most major buildings and restaurants.

Santa Fe art extends beyond painting and photography

While painting and photography can take center-stage in Santa Fe, they’re joined by artists in multiple other mediums and representing a range of cultures. There is also a thriving literary scene present with roots that date to the early 1900s when D.H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, and others joined Georgia O’Keefe in the city because they were equally inspired by Santa Fe’s culture and warmth.

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