Santa Fe, New Mexico: one of America's most diverse, fascinating places
Learn everything you need to know about Santa Fe
Santa Fe, which means Holy Faith in Spanish, is New Mexico's fourth largest city behind Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Rio Rancho. Situated at 7,000 feet in the foothills of the southern Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe was founded between 1607 and 1610, making it the second oldest city, as well as the highest and oldest capital, in the United States.
Art, culture, traditions
In 1912, Santa Fe officially achieved statehood and today its unique offerings of art, culture, and ancient traditions make it a world-class tourist destination, drawing more than 1 million visitors each year. In 2005, Santa Fe became the first U.S. city to be chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization as a Creative City, one of only nine cities in the world to hold this designation.
Santa Fe has long been a center for arts and culture. Due to sales, it now ranks as the country's third largest art market with nearly 300 galleries and dealers. There also are more than a dozen major museums showcasing an array of art, culture, history, and traditions, as well the world-class Santa Fe Opera.
Today, Santa Fe is recognized as one of the most intriguing urban environments in the nation, due largely to the city's preservation of historic buildings and a modern zoning code that mandates the city's distinctive Spanish-Pueblo style of architecture, based on the adobe (mud and straw) and wood construction of the past. Also preserved are the traditions of the city's rich cultural heritage.
The city has also earned a reputation with food-lovers. Whether you're hankering for basic New Mexican food, creative Southwestern cuisine, or authentic Italian, French, Asian, and other world cuisines, the city offers more than 200 choices.
Four seasons define the weather here. Santa Fe averages 300 sunny days per year, with 14 inches of rain and 17 inches of snow annually. Because of the altitude, temperatures can change by 30 degrees in a single day, and sometimes all four seasons seem to pass through in a 24-hour time period. May usually brings mild to cool days and cool evenings. Also, the temperatures in hotel meeting rooms can vary widely. Dressing in layers will help you stay comfortable both inside and out.
Ski Santa Fe opens from Thanksgiving through Easter, and you can hike and bike here year-round. You can also enjoy river rafting, horseback riding, fly-fishing, ice-skating, swimming, and hot air ballooning.