A Visitor’s Guide To Santa Fe: Places To Stay, Eat & Play


Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of earth’s must-visit cities. The City Different achieved the fifth highest score in the world from Conde Nast Traveler readers last year, and this year, National Geographic awarded Santa Fe first place in the highly-competitive Sense of Place category in their prestigious World Legacy Awards.

Our city is on everyone’s bucket list because it has it all: from a rich, storied history, multicultural and beloved arts scenes, and a savory, regional cuisine to an outdoors that offers four seasons of absolutely majestic adventure.

Santa Fe is an atypical city in most ways. The layout is deceptively small and tucked in between three mountain ranges, with centuries of nuanced and multilayered culture. Because of this, visitors often underestimate the depth of the city’s offerings. While they all have a thrilling time, they still miss out on many treasures even during an extended stay.

We began this guide as a primer on hotels,  restaurantsmuseums and attractions so you can more easily plan an unforgettable trip here to see The House of Eternal Return and so much more. Pro tip: Try to book tickets through the Santa Fe Municipal Airport, which is the most convenient place to start your journey.

Would you like a summer specific version of this page? Please feel free to visit, Meow Wolf’s Ultimate Santa Fe Summer Guide | 55 Things to Do!

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People have been making art in Santa Fe for centuries. If you’re interested in indigenous cultures, modern visionaries like Georgia O’Keeffe, or mind-melting sci-fi experiential art created by a sexy, young art collective (cough, cough) and more, consider one of the locations on this list!

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Have you ever felt like you had a close, friendly relationship with a skull? If so, what do you talk about? Do you wonder what the space above the clouds looks like? Have you noticed that sometimes places you’ve visited change when you think about them later?

If any of the above questions relate to you, you should get acquainted with the work of world-famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

O’Keeffe is an artist who began with familiar objects and then explored and re-explored them until they led her into the unknown. The O’Keeffe Museum has a collection of immediately-recognizable works, as well as rare, lesser-known gems that may give one a fuller picture of Georgia’s creative life.

Additionally, we encourage you to take a short road trip to O’Keeffe’s home and studio, located an hour north in Abiquiú. Experience the iconic place where she created some of her acclaimed works, surrounded by centuries of history and breathtaking landscape. The home and studio are open to the public for tours seasonally with advance reservations, details on the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum webpage.

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is quite the presence in Santa Fe. The MoCNA is dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation of contemporary Native art, history and culture. Their collection is representative of the diverse art forms across Native North America.

The MoCNA is the steward of the National Collection of Contemporary Native Art, which is comprised of more than 7,500 works going back to 1962. Located downtown, guests couldn’t ask for a better excuse to view this diverse and continuously evolving showcase of Native talent.

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, part of the Museum of New Mexico system, tells stories of the Native American people from the very ancient to modern times. There is so much to take in that the museum regularly changes its exhibitions, maximizing its reach among the vastly diverse native cultures throughout the Southwest. Pueblo, Navajo, Apache and many more indigenous cultures are represented within the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s walls.

Museum of International Folk Art

The Folk Art Museum, located on Museum Hill, always has something on view that will blow your mind. The museum currently is exhibiting No Idle Hands: The Myths and Meanings of Tramp Art. Did you know that hobos from around the turn of the century carved elaborate, fantastic sculptures out of old wooden cigar boxes? The last time I was there I saw an exhibition of hand-painted kites, large and small, collected from festivals across the planet.

Their permanent collection is excellent as well. They have an installation of carved angel and devil figures from around the world, assembled in a glass case to create a heaven and hell scene that you can stare at for hours and still find something new.

Several of the exhibits are attributed to specific artists, but there’s something special about the anonymity surrounding many of the pieces. The place feels as though masses of people are shaping the work, leading the viewer down all kinds of fun Jungian, mythological and comparative religion roads. Definitely worth a visit.

New Mexico History Museum

Our long history can be a difficult thing to communicate to people from outside of Santa Fe. The Palace of the Governors, which now hosts the New Mexico History Museum, is a good place to start if you want to understand the depth of culture here.

The Palace of the Governors was built in the early 17th century as the seat of Spanish government throughout the American Southwest. This adobe building, with its magnificent courtyard, is the oldest continuously used public building in the United States and is chock full of artifacts that go back even further.

This is one of the most iconic locations in our city, and has the rare distinction of being a National Historic Treasure. You can find native artists lined up and down the portal outside selling only authentic and traditional wares, often not found anywhere else.

Image Attribution: By Asaavedra32 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico Museum of Art

Drawing from American and European art, the New Mexico Museum of Art has a treasure trove of more than 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, photographs, new media and even concept art. The museum is part of the Museum of New Mexico system and puts much of its creative focus on Southwestern art. The creative culture of New Mexico spans thousands of years, and this is a memorable way to get acquainted with it. With the mission statement “art is for everyone,” the museum creates authentic art experiences for the public with the goal of creating a deeper appreciation of art in general.

Santa Fe Children's Museum

The Santa Fe Children's Museum, located on Old Pecos Trail, is a place that offers art and education to kids and their families. There are plenty of indoor activities to keep the little ones busy, but the space also has a large outdoor garden, which is meant to be a natural learning space for children.

They offer both one-off and regular programming. "Seeds and Sprouts" on Thursdays is a hands-on lesson in gardening and seasonal growing cycles. The museum has its own resident corn snake, Cornelius, who is eager to make public appearances every Sunday. The museum even has free admission from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. The children's museum reopened last year with special focus in the hands-on learning department.

SITE Santa Fe

SITE Santa Fe, located in the popular Railyard District, is an art museum that challenges itself to present the "most innovative visual art of our time." SITE offers exhibitions year-round, as well as lectures and performances. These are presented alongside its biennial contemporary art exhibitions, nine of which are under its belt.

The building is currently under renovations for the summer, but will be back in October with a brand-new facade. The location in the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District means theaters, restaurants, shops and the award-winning Farmers Market are just across the street.

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

The Wheelwright Museum is an essential stop for anyone wanting to appreciate the breadth of indigenous history and culture in New Mexico. The Wheelwright was founded in 1937 in a partnership between Hastiin Klah, a Navajo medicine man, and Mary Cabot Wheelwright, a wealthy Bostonian with a fascination for world religions.

In addition to educating the public about indigenous cultures, the Wheelright is known for its unique exhibitions of Native American art as well as the Jim and Lauris Phillips Center for the Study of Southwestern Jewelry. At a mere $8 for general admission (free to Native Americans, students, military and children under 12), the museum can provide some essential context for understanding the confluence of cultures across New Mexico and the Southwest.


Santa Fe is home to more than just great sunsets, great artwork and great food you can’t find anywhere else. Our small city is home to many strange and wild attractions that make it extra special to visit or live here. Here are a few of the standout places you can visit in between trips to the mountains. If you would like more information about enhancing your Santa Fe experience visit www.SantaFeSelection.com.

Harrell House Bug Museum

The Harrell House Bug Museum was a DIY sleeper hit inside of Santa Fe’s DeVargas Mall. Starting from a tiny kiosk, Wade Harrell grew their exhibit of strange and wonderful creatures to its current size. The kid-friendly collection is home to more than 2,400 specimens that range from insects, spiders and scorpions to a two-foot long whip spider and beetles that are larger than your face.

As the bug museum grew, Harrell added a collection of more than 150 live animals, including reptiles, fish and arthropods.

The exhibit is a huge draw for kids, who can explore it using flashlights and magnifying glasses. There’s also a hands-on element as kids can hold some harmless live bugs. If you’re in Meow Wolf, be sure to check out Wade’s room inside the exhibition. Betcha can’t guess which one it is.

Santa Fe Climbing Center

New Mexico is a state of high adventure and places like the Santa Fe Climbing Center help you get into the action. The Climbing Center is the only indoor rock climbing gym in Northern New Mexico, with areas for bouldering, top rope, lead climbing, as well as an area for kids climbing. The Center is located across Cerrillos, behind the Denny's and does offer guided outdoor trips, classes, climbing teams and youth camps.

Santa Fe School of Cooking

Feed a person New Mexican cuisine and they'll eat well for a day. But teach someone New Mexican cuisine?

With a history spanning more than a quarter century, the Santa Fe School of Cooking teaches classes on all the styles that make New Mexico dinner tables so hard to leave. Traditional New Mexican, Native American, Mexican, Spanish and vegetarian fare are all on the menu. Classes are entertaining, educational, and majorly delicious.

School for Advanced Research

Here's a hidden gem even many Santa Feans don't know. The School for Advanced Research, whose history begins way back in 1907, studies broadly-defined anthropology with a special focus on Native American artists and writers.

The Indian Arts Research Center located there offers tours of one of the best collections of Southwestern Native American pottery, clothing, drums and jewelry in the world. Tours cost $15 for non-members and are held on Wednesdays (June through September) and Fridays at 2 p.m.

The grounds of the SAR are worth exploring too. On Wednesdays at 10 a.m. guests can tour the historic property owned by Amelia Elizabeth and Martha Root White. Their estate (formerly called "El Delirio," or "the madness") has stunning architecture, gardens and a pet cemetery that is famous in Santa Fe history. Tours of the grounds for non-members are $15.

Skate School Santa Fe

Skate School Santa Fe was founded in 2003 with the mission of teaching traditional skateboarding fundamentals. They’ve hosted more than 60 contests, events and races. Riders from their team have competed and won events throughout North America, South America, Australia and Europe. Don’t worry if you’re not feeling “pro” enough yet, the school employs instructors who teach group or private lessons to people of all skill levels.

Their indoor facility features a 36-foot wide ramp, quarter pipes, banks, boxes and street terrain. Skate School is home to a pro shop as well as a skateboard museum that covers more than 60 years of this fascinating subculture.

Historic Sites & Landmarks

History is so close to the surface of modern Santa Fe. For better or worse, the events that have shaped who we are are remembered down through the generations. With this respect as their guide, visitors can encounter the past all along Santa Fe’s winding, European-style streets.

Loretto Chapel

This chapel is home to the legendary "Miraculous Staircase," a staple of Santa Fe architectural and spiritual history. The staircase is a story known by everyone who lives here. In 1873, Bishop Lamy called five Sisters of Loretto to Santa Fe to build a school for girls. The sisters made the trip by covered wagon from Kentucky. The chapel was built, but its architect died before a staircase to the choir loft was finished.

That, combined with the small size of the chapel and the height of the loft relative to the ground floor left the sisters with a bit of a head-scratcher. According to legend, a carpenter equipped with nothing but a hammer and a carpenter's square answered the sisters' prayers and built the iconic staircase. He left without taking any payment or even as much as a thank-you for his work.

The sisters attributed this assist to divine intervention, claiming the work was done by none other than St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. The staircase is certainly an inspired sculptural addition to the chapel as its helix, spring-like shape is held together with wooden pegs. Consider that the railing is a later addition to the staircase and imagine how harrowing the climb must have been for the choir.

The chapel is also known for its weddings. People interested in tying the knot at Loretto can click the website link above. The chapel also is home to Loretto Tours, offering open-air trolley rides of downtown Santa Fe as tour guides relate our town's 400-year history. Visit the website for more information.

San Miguel Chapel

San Miguel is the oldest church in the continental United States, with a history that goes back to at least 1628. It was built under the directorship of Franciscan friars over top of an ancient kiva belonging to Analco Indians (you can see down into the kiva through the floor near the altar). The church was partially destroyed during the 1680 Pueblo Revolt (you can still find burn marks on the vigas). The church is home to several religious artifacts that guests can see to this day. In addition to tours and mass, the chapel is also available as a music venue that hosts lectures and concerts.


Hotels are a beloved part of Santa Fe history, going all the way back to the days of the cowboys. In that time and since, our city has perfected ways to augment and enhance the already-astonishing beauty of Santa Fe’s architecture and natural surroundings. Consider one of these hotels as a place to hang your hat after a long day of seeing the sights.

El Rey Court

Built in 1936, the El Rey Court Santa Fe is truly one-of-a-kind. The hotel is located along the original Route 66 and embodies the culture, history, and art of the Southwest. El Rey Court features 86 unique rooms and suites that are as different as New Mexico itself. No two rooms at the El Rey Court are alike and each individually decorated room includes Southwestern décor, original artwork, and modern amenities such as a mini-fridge and coffeemaker. Situated on five acres of lush gardens, yet only minutes away from Santa Fe’s vibrant shopping, dining, and nightlife scene, The El Rey's verdant grounds are an ideal escape from the noise of everyday life. Come on down to El Rey Court and let them be your trail guide to a different type of Santa Fe experience.

Four Kachinas Inn

Traditional Santa Fe hospitality meets modern convenience at Four Kachinas Inn on Webber Street. This bed and breakfast features six uniquely decorated rooms and they all share fine linens, air conditioning, private entrances, television and WiFi. The Inn boasts a collection of original Native American, Spanish Colonial and regional art. Close to downtown Santa Fe, you’ll feel right at home in our desert city.

Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast

According to USA Today, one of the best Bed and Breakfasts in Santa Fe is none other than the Hacienda Nicholas on East Marcy Street.

This historic building with its thick adobe walls is located just a short walk away from the Santa Fe Plaza. Though you get a taste of the past at the Hacienda Nicholas, there are modern amenities for you to enjoy, not the least of which is Absolute Nirvana, a luxurious spa that specializes in Indonesian spa and facial treatments. They also offer a wide variety of massage services, including Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone and Thai massages.

This eco-friendly B&B will serve you organic coffees and homemade breakfasts cooked in an unforgettable Southwestern style using local ingredients. In the evening, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine along with appetizers. The Hacienda Nicholas is an excellent place to use as you explore New Mexico.

Inn of the Turquoise Bear

If you are looking to enjoy true Santa Fe comfort and style, Inn of the Turquoise Bear is the perfect place to make a reservation. The beautiful bed and breakfast, which provides meals and tea times, dates back to the mid 1800s and was once home of Witter Bynner, American poet, writer and scholar. From the property you are able to take in amazing views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Curl up by a kiva fireplace in one of the 11 bedrooms, enjoy the beautiful pines and relax while walking around the serene property gardens.

Inn on the Paseo

Inn on the Paseo is a charming bed and breakfast located close to Santa Fe’s historic plaza, an area full of restaurants, shops and the unique charm for which the city is famous. The inn has two houses on its property, one that dates back to the early 1900s and one from the 1920s. Both maintain the architectural and decorative integrity that one would expect of turn-of-the-century homes, lending this bed and breakfast period authenticity. Each of the 18 rooms is decorated according to its own southwestern theme, maintaining historic paint palettes and creating a one-of-a-kind visitor experience.

La Fonda on the Plaza

La Fonda's history in Santa Fe goes back 400 years. For real, city records suggest the hotel sits on top of a site that served as the first inn when the Spanish founded Santa Fe in 1607.

La Fonda used to be built of adobe, back when Santa Fe was entertaining everyone from gold prospectors to fur trappers in the 1800s. La Fonda's current incarnation was built in 1922. The architects, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and John Gaw Meem, are both very important to the history of Santa Fe and to the field as a whole. In 2016 La Fonda received the Historic Hotels of America award for Best Historic Hotel (76-200 rooms).

The location doesn't get much better than this. The La Fonda sits right on the Santa Fe Plaza.

And for accommodations? The hotel and its 180 rooms are an authentic New Mexico experience, featuring hand-painted furniture and original artwork from creatives in our community. La Fonda's kitchens serve up New Mexican and Southwestern food and the Bell Tower Bar gives guests the opportunity to enjoy the sunset as they sip a cocktail from the top of the building.

The Madeleine Inn Bed and Breakfast

The Madeleine Inn Bed and Breakfast, called “one of Santa Fe’s architectural gems,” dates back to 1886 when it was built by a local railroad tycoon. You’ll have easy access to the Santa Fe Plaza, historic Canyon Road and the Santa Fe Convention Center, but you may not want to leave as you are surrounded by the Madeleine’s lush gardens.

Inside, the inn features beautiful stained glass, fireplaces adorned with ornaments and many architectural flourishes and antiques from the period. Explore The City Different with the Madeleine’s itinerary and delight your tastebuds with local coffees and authentic Southwestern breakfasts. Wine and Cheese Hour follows in the evening and the Madeleine enjoys access to Absolute Nirvana, a luxurious spa that features Indonesian spa and facial treatments.

The Parador

This beautiful, 200-year-old farmhouse is ideally located in downtown Santa Fe. An easy walk to the Plaza, the Railyard District, and Canyon Road, The Parador is both a historic inn and an organic farm. The double adobe farmhouse provides Los Poblanos amenities, including artisanal products from this family-run, organic lavender farm. In addition, two suites are available in the “Brakeman’s House”, a building adorned with period antiques that can be found on New Mexico’s list of Historically Significant Properties.

Pueblo Bonito Inn

Named after an ancient Anasazi archaeological site located in Chaco Canyon, Pueblo Bonito Bed & Breakfast Inn has all the modern amenities located in historic downtown Santa Fe. Just a stroll away from the state capital building, these rooms were once part of an estate owned by U.S. Federal Court Judge John McFie. Later, they were turned into apartments for artists. Today, these tastefully appointed rooms have WiFi, a breakfast and afternoon tea service and an impressive list of historic preservation and hospitality awards stretching back over the inn’s 25+ year history.

Santa Fe Sage Inn

More than 145 rooms and suites bring guests right to the heart of Santa Fe’s downtown and historic Railyard district. Bold Native American patterns decorate the rooms and the inn has all the modern amenities including WiFi, pet friendly rooms, a 24-hour fitness center, a business center, a heated pool and a complimentary shuttle service. Breakfast is served every day from 7 to 10 a.m., fueling you up to explore the City Different.

Villas de Santa Fe/Diamond Resorts

Villas de Santa Fe is a great, centrally located hotel on the north side of downtown. From the property you can decide whether to venture into the mountains to ski or hike, shop the plaza, or discover a plethora of historic sights, of which Santa Fe and its surrounding area are full. Each guest room features classic southwestern decor and is equipped with a full kitchen in case you want to test out making a few New Mexican green chile dishes of your own. After a full day of exploring in the snow, grab a book and cozy up next to the fireplace. If you are visiting during the summer, the pool is the perfect way to relax after hiking under the aspens. There is something for everyone here and you are sure to enjoy every minute of it.

Outdoor Activities

The mountains of Santa Fe are a jewel hidden in the Southwestern U.S. People travel here from around the globe to ski, bike, hike, fish, raft, climb, golf and more as they experience breathtaking views of the mountains. Santa Fe’s great outdoors is a four season experience that benefits high adventurers, casual day trippers and their children.

Cerrillos Hills State Park

Cerrillos Hills State Park, a little south of Santa Fe, gives visitors a different kind of vibe than Santa Fe's mountainous state parks. Cerrillos was a mining town back in the day (by "back in the day" I mean a "span of more than 1,000 years"). Self-guided hikes along 5 miles of trail lead you past historic mine sites. Interpretive signs along the way tell the story of how the area’s natural history influenced cultures through 1,000 years of Cerrillos Hills mining history – from native peoples and turquoise to the territorial mining boom of the late 1800’s. Soak up some amazing history and enjoy scenic views of the Sandia, Jemez, Ortiz and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges.

Day use fee is $5 per vehicle.

Visitor Center: 37 Main Street, Cerrillos at the corner of First and Main streets. Open 2-4pm daily, sometimes longer on weekends and by appointment. Call 505-474-0196

Coronado Historic Site

The Coronado Historic Site marks the approximate location of Kuana, the northernmost village visited by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado as he toured 12 villages searching for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold. The site has the ruins of the Tiwa community, as well as an ancient kiva and murals that were excavated in the 1930s.

The price is right. Admission is a mere $5 for adults and free for children 16 and under. A combination ticket for the Coronado and Jemez historic sites is $7.

Hyde Memorial State Park

Hyde Memorial State Park, settled along the Little Tesuque Creek, showcases one of the best features of Santa Fe: the mountains. Visitors can hike or try their skill at mountain biking. Whatever your fancy, there are epic views in this wilderness. Continue up the road a ways to reach the Santa Fe ski basin or to hike the Aspen Vista Trail, whose trees all turn gold in mid to late September and early October.

Weird Nature Fact: Turns out the aspen trees inhabiting our mountains are all clones.

Jemez Historic Site

History is so present in New Mexico that we can't even say it's "just beneath" the surface. Sometimes, as is the case with Jemez Pueblo, history is right on the surface. Jemez is home to a 500-year old Indian village. The nearby San José de los Jemez Church was constructed in 1621.

This trip through history is cheap and perfect for families. Adults can get in for $5 and children under 16 can tour the site for free. A combination ticket with the Coronado Historic site (see above) is $7.

Santa Fe Botanical Garden

New Mexico and Santa Fe in particular are home to an abundant, diverse ecology that can’t quite be found anywhere else on earth.

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden celebrates this fact with 14 acres of land on their Museum Hill campus that features flora highlighting the unique and arid climate of Santa Fe. From roses to orchards to an ethnobotanical garden featuring plants grown by the cultures of Northern New Mexico for tool making, herbal healing, basketry and crops. The Garden offers an eclectic mix of adult and children’s programming, including concert series, Shakespeare in the Garden and a winter lights event, GLOW.

The Botanical Garden’s second location, Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, is a 35 acre nature preserve located in La Cienega and hosts a wide diversity of plants and wildlife.

Food & Drink

You could spend a long time in Santa Fe and never reach the end of its 400 incredible restaurants. We’re a plum assignment for chefs and bartenders from around the world who are eager to make their mark on a city that has been known for its food for hundreds of years.

Beyond our standout, standalone restaurants, many Santa Fe hotel properties have extraordinary cuisine too. We encourage you to explore the establishment details to get a full picture of their offerings.

Cacao Santa Fe

Cacao in Santa Fe has got you covered for your chocolate and coffee fix. They specialize in hand-crafted truffles that alternate between Southwestern and Hawaiian flavors and designs. Their selection of beans and bars spans the globe, and they also carry chocolate-themed gifts. True choco-fanatics can even sign up for one of their educational hands-on workshops located in Santa Fe or Maui.

The Cacao tasting bar can introduce you to chocolate elixirs that range from tropical to spicy in flavor. They’re accompanied by single-origin coffees that include selections from Hawaii, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Africa and beyond. You can also enjoy a variety of espressos, pour overs and loose leaf teas.

Duel Brewing

Duel brewing has been slinging tasty adult beverages for Meow Wolf’s thirsty crowds since we opened in 2016. Their nearby location on Parkway Drive is a favorite stop for Meow Wolfers coming off their shifts at the art exhibit. Duel’s Belgian-style concoctions are described in loving detail on their website, meaning you can find the perfect flavor palate as you unwind. The beers are supported by a fantastic food selection that runs from standard bar munchies to incredible sandwiches.

El Farol

Anyone on an art history tour of Santa Fe will want to check out El Farol restaurant, a classic Santa Fe locals' favorite from the 19th century. Not only are the food and cocktail menus top-notch, the walls of El Farol were painted by Alfred Morang, one of the artists responsible for Santa Fe's distinction as a fine art destination.

Guests can enjoy Spanish-style tapas as well as paella, steaks and daily specials as they take in entertainment including live music and Flamenco dancers.

Kakawa Chocolate House

If you’re looking for the Cadillac of chocolate, Kakawa Chocolate House on Paseo de Peralta is a must-taste in Santa Fe. Kakawa creates artisanal chocolate and chocolate elixirs that have roots reaching down through history. The elixirs draw together chocolate-making influences from Mesoamerican, Mayan, Aztec and 1600s Europe, cultures. They accommodate a variety of tastes, from sweeter, creamy concoctions to spice that will knock you right out of your shoes. The theobromine in chocolate expand lung capacity and provide energy if you are adjusting to the Santa Fe altitude at 7,200 feet above sea level.

This all relates to Kakawa’s stated mission, which is to “re-introduce you to chocolate.” This anthropological approach also incorporates presentation. Their truffles, for example, could be described as sculptural. The first bite is always taken with the eyes, after all.

Pantry Restaurant

Occasionally one of our restaurants achieves legendary status. You can't really qualify the respect people around Santa Fe have for the Pantry restaurant. You have to go see it for yourself and try some of their authentic New Mexican cooking. Pantry has earned every scrap of praise people have heaped on it over the years.

The Pantry was founded in 1948 by George Myers. The restaurant tells their own story best:

"With such storied roots in Santa Fe, it is impossible to say how many business deals, political decisions, and relationships have been started in the dining rooms at the Pantry. Since its inception there have been seven different owner operators or stewards of the Pantry, who have nurtured it and brought it to where it is today, including its current owner the Singley Family who plans to continue the Pantry tradition for many years to come."

The Tea House Santa Fe

The Teahouse has been a part of Canyon Road through the neighborhood’s ascent as a fine arts community. Guests can sip their drinks indoors or sit outside under the trees as they people watch along this iconic street in Santa Fe.

The Teahouse has a selection of teas from China, India, Japan and Sri Lanka, as well as local teas made right here in town. The Teahouse serves amazingly delicious pastries, soups and food all day long, joined by an impressive dessert menu and a selection of beer, wine, and cider.


Whether you call it “self care” or “hot tubbing,” Santa Fe has enough health and wellness facilities to keep you comfortable, relaxed, and content for the duration of your stay here and some time beyond. Many of the entries on this list come with their own hotels, meaning you’re never far from a dip or a massage.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

The waters of Ojo Caliente have a history that spans millennia. One account from a Spanish explorer is more than 500 years old. He writes:

"The greatest treasure that I found these people to possess are hot springs which burst out at the foot of a mountain... so powerful are the chemicals contained in this water that the inhabitants believe that they were given to them by their gods. These Springs I have named Ojo Caliente, or hot eye."

The spa waits at the end of a brief, scenic drive through northern New Mexico and is also home to a variety of lodgings such as cliffside dwellings and cottages. Spa services including mud baths and massages as well as scenic hikes await everyone lucky enough to make the trip.

Sunrise Springs Spa Resort

We mentioned Sunrise Springs earlier in lodgings. The location is also home to an impressive array of massage and wellness services. Guests can enjoy everything from hot stone massages to art courses designed to enhance a sense of flow and guided meditation for couples.

This all takes place on the Spa's 70-acre grounds, featuring gorgeous gardens and natural springs with a view of Santa Fe's mountains.

Ten Thousand Waves

Ten Thousand Waves (or simply "The Waves," as it's known in town) is a Japanese-style spa that offers public, private and women-only hot tubs. All of their pools are little architectural marvels that draw on the natural beauty of their surroundings to create a supremely relaxing environment.

Ten Thousand Waves also offers a substantial menu of spa and mindfulness services. The nearby Izanami restaurant boasts an array of small, delicious izakaya dishes as well as a sake selection that cannot be matched anywhere else in the states.


Santa Fe is blessed with an abundance of theaters. We have cinema that can cater to every taste, from ridiculous popcorn flicks to high art. We also have one of the most gorgeous performing arts theaters in the country. If you’re looking for either some light entertainment or a romantic night to remember, Santa Fe has you covered. Also, see this link if you are looking for a a good list of attractions for all of New Mexico.

IAIA Institute of American Indian Arts

IAIA and the Cinematic Arts & Technology Department is creating a modern Immersive Laboratory in the Digital Dome that will update and augment existing virtual reality facilities. New speakers and audio equipment will create a spatially accurate three-dimensional sound system. Computer vision infrastructure equipment will assist in the development of automatic projection mapping and calibration systems for immersive displays. Wireless motion capture suits, depth sensors, biofeedback instrumentation, and other interactive components will aid in the development of immersive natural user interfaces. 360 degree video/audio recording technology will be integrated into a flexible immersive production pipeline for students and researchers.

The primary research objective is the development of simulation and real-time interactivity for immersive technology through the use of gestural interfaces and biological sensors. Fulldome projection and interactivity are being extended to arbitrary display surfaces and head-mounted displays. A universal production pipeline for immersive displays is being developed, which includes 3D graphics and 3D sound.

The IAIA digital dome is "one of its kind" in the world with astounding capabilities for interactivity/simulation and high resolution video. It is used as a film screening space, performance space (music, video, audio, interactivity), and Immersive Interactivity Laboratory. With their new high resolution production equipment (6k video capture, 4k spherical video capture, spherical sound recording, and more) they are able to produce high quality Fulldome film content on par with international dome/planetarium film productions.

Jean Cocteau Cinema

The Jean Cocteau is where Santa Fe icon and medieval murder junkie George R.R. Martin holds court. The building itself has roots in Santa Fe that go back to 1976, but sat vacant for a time in 2006 until George purchased the building in 2013. We adore the Jean Cocteau because it serves as a shrine to geek culture--the only place in Santa Fe where you can see Back to the Future one week and Godzilla the next. The Cocteau often hosts events such as author talks with the likes of Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, and John Hodgman, and has its own bar. When you’re not watching a film or bumping into nerd royalty, you can browse its collection of books — all signed by the authors.

Image Attribution: Thomson M [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lensic Performing Arts Center

The Lensic Performing Arts Center holds its own in a city full of beautiful architecture. The theatre has been a part of Santa Fe since 1931 and it opened as a nonprofit in 2001. Film, music, plays, and ballet all shine within its walls and The Lensic also offers its facilities to local nonprofits, meaning it’s an important staple of the Santa Fe community.

Loretto Line Tours

Santa Fe’s centuries-long history can be daunting to an outsider, but the Loretto Line is there to fill you in on our art, architecture and archeology— everything that has made Santa Fe the city it is today.

The most popular sightseeing company in Santa Fe since 1992, the Loretto Line hires enthusiastic, professional guides to pilot open-air trams that give guests a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.

The tours leave from the Loretto Chapel, home to the Miraculous Staircase (see above). From there they travel through historic downtown Santa Fe, to Canyon Road, to Museum Hill and beyond. It’s an eight-mile loop packed with essential and exciting information about the City Different.

Teatro Paraguas

New Mexico is a confluence of a few different cultures and even our theater reflects that. Teatro Paraguas on Calle Marie in the Siler District is a theater that promotes performing art in both English and Spanish. Their bilingual presentations include the poetry and plays of Hispanic, Latinx and multicultural writers. Playwrights from New Mexico often take center stage at Teatro Paraguas, and the theater continues its celebrations of diversity through its children’s theater program.