Destination Guide

The Travel Well Guide

Santa Fe

City: Santa Fe       State: New Mexico       Country: USA
Santa Fe is the capital of the state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and is the seat of Santa Fe County. It is the principal city of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Santa Fe County and is part of the larger Santa Fe-Española Combined Statistical Area.The City of Santa Fe was originally occupied by a number of Pueblo Indian villages with founding dates between 1050 to1150. The Santa Fe River provided water to people living there. Santa Fe was the capital of Nuevo Mexico, a province of New Spain explored by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and established in 1515. The "Kingdom of New Mexico" was first claimed for the Spanish Crown in 1540, almost 70 years before the founding of Santa Fe. Coronado and his men also traveled to the Grand Canyon and through the Great Plains on their New Mexico expedition.Among the oldest buildings here are the San Miguel Mission and the Palace of the Governors, both of which date from the very beginning of the 17th century. The chapel's adobe walls are stunningly simple. The later Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi has touches reminiscent of the Alhambra in Spain's Granada. The central part of the city has a unified look because in the early 20th century the city governors decided to promote a unified version of the region's architectural styles: this has come to be known as the Spanish Pueblo Revival look, and derives chiefly from the older buildings such as the adobe homes and the local churches, with their earth-toned walls. One exception, because it was built earlier, is the Loretto Chapel - a pretty French-style Gothic revival monument, with a peculiar story about how the staircase to the choir loft was completed by a mysterious stranger.In order to attract tourism the governors also decided to attract artists to the city, which was not difficult because of the area's natural beauty and the quality of the light here. Among the most famous artists to make their home here was Georgia O'Keeffe, and the museum here is devoted to her works and those of her associates. Santa Fe is third only to New York and Los Angeles as an art market, especially for work that reflects the regional traditions. The city's museums include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indians, the Museum of New Mexico, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/ Laboratory of Anthropology, and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.

Climate | When to Visit

Visit during: February to October

Directions | How to Reach

By Air: Santa Fe is served by the Santa Fe Municipal Airport. Santa Fe had received airline service in the past, most recently by turboprop aircraft. Many people fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport and connect by other means to Santa Fe.By Rail: Along with the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, a commuter rail line serving the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the city or its environs are served by two other railroads. By Road: Santa Fe is located on I-25. In addition, U.S. Route 84 and U.S. Route 285 pass through the city along St. Francis Drive. NM-599 forms an expressway bypass around the northwestern part of the city.

miscellaneous | Important Information

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