The 10 Best Things To Do In Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a treasure trove of culture, art, and history, nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It’s a place where the scent of piñon wood lingers in the air and adobe buildings glow under the southwestern sun. As someone who’s wandered these storied streets and explored its nooks and crannies, I can tell you there’s a certain magic here that’s hard to find anywhere else. Let’s dive into the top 10 things that make Santa Fe a must-visit destination.

1. Meander Through the Historic Plaza

The heart of Santa Fe beats in its historic Plaza. This Central gathering spot is more than just a picturesque square; it’s a living museum. As you stroll around, you’ll feel the layers of history beneath your feet. From the Native American vendors selling turquoise jewelry to the vibrant sounds of street musicians, the Plaza is a sensory feast. Don’t miss the Palace of the Governors, where history buffs can get their fix of the city’s past.

2. Get Inspired at Canyon Road

Art lovers, rejoice! Canyon Road is a half-mile stretch that’s an art destination in its own right. With over a hundred galleries, studios, and boutiques, it’s easy to spend an entire day here. You’ll find everything from contemporary sculptures to traditional Southwestern pieces. And if you’re lucky, you might just bump into an artist or two and get a firsthand account of their creative process.

3. Indulge in the Santa Fe Opera

Imagine a night under the stars, with a backdrop of mountain vistas, enjoying world-class Opera. The Santa Fe Opera offers just that, with a season that runs through the summer months. The open-air theater is an experience unlike any other, and the performances are always top-notch. Whether you’re an opera aficionado or a newbie, it’s an unforgettable evening.

4. Explore the Bandelier National Monument

Just a short drive from Santa Fe, the Bandelier National Monument is a testament to the ancient Puebloan people who once called this place home. Hiking trails lead you through stunning canyons and past cliff dwellings carved into the volcanic tuff. It’s a place where history feels alive, and the connection to the land is palpable.

5. Savor the Local Cuisine

No visit to Santa Fe is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. The city is famous for its New Mexican dishes that blend Native American and Spanish flavors. Be sure to try the green chile stew or the blue corn enchiladas. And if you’re feeling brave, answer the state’s official question: “Red or green?” referring to your chile preference. Or simply go for “Christmas” and enjoy both!

6. Unwind at Ten Thousand Waves

For a slice of Japanese serenity in the New Mexican hills, head to Ten Thousand Waves. This spa and onsen-inspired retreat offers hot tubs, saunas, and a range of treatments that will leave you feeling zen. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring.

7. Discover the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe’s influence on American art is undeniable, and Santa Fe is home to a museum dedicated to her work. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum houses the largest collection of her art in the world. It’s a space that celebrates not only her iconic paintings but also her spirit and connection to the New Mexican landscape.

8. Take a Step Back at the Museum of International Folk Art

With an impressive collection of over 130,000 artifacts, the Museum of International Folk Art is a colorful and vibrant Celebration of global cultures. The exhibitions are thoughtfully curated, showcasing everything from textiles to toys. It’s a place that reminds us of the beauty in everyday objects from around the world.

9. Experience the Santa Fe Railyard

The Santa Fe Railyard is a hub of contemporary life, blending art, shopping, and dining in a revitalized historic area. Here, you can catch a glimpse of local life at the farmers’ market or explore the contemporary art at SITE Santa Fe. The Railyard is where Santa Fe’s past and present collide in the most delightful way.

10. Connect with Nature at the Dale Ball Trails

Outdoor enthusiasts will find their bliss on the Dale Ball Trails. This network of paths offers over 25 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and cityscape. It’s the perfect way to connect with Santa Fe’s natural beauty.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Santa Fe?

    While Santa Fe is beautiful year-round, the best time to visit is during the fall when the Aspen trees turn golden and the weather is mild.

  • Are there any free things to do in Santa Fe?

    Absolutely! Many of Santa Fe’s attractions, like wandering the historic Plaza or exploring the Railyard, are free. Plus, nature is always open with trails like the Dale Ball Trails.

  • Is Santa Fe family-friendly?

    Yes, Santa Fe is great for families! There are plenty of interactive museums and outdoor activities that kids will love.


In Santa Fe, every corner holds a story, every gallery a masterpiece, and every dish a burst of flavor. From the historic Plaza to the serene Dale Ball Trails, this city offers a unique blend of culture, art, and natural beauty. Whether you’re soaking in the sounds of the Santa Fe Opera or savoring the spicy kick of green chile, you’re in for an experience that’s as rich as it is enchanting. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover the best things to do in Santa Fe. Trust me, it’s a journey you won’t forget.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.