Santa Fe

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Photo Aileen O'Catherine

Where It Is:

Santa Fe lies 59 miles north of Albuquerque, at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the southernmost section of the Rockies. It lies in the north central part of New Mexico at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Because of its high elevation, Santa Fe can boast of real winters with snow despite being in the desert southwest. Its elevation also provides it with cooler summers, and with 320 days of sunshine per year, it is a favorite destination for both travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Getting There:

Santa Fe has its own municipal airport, and is served by American, Great Lakes and United airlines.
Most travelers fly in to Albuquerque, however, and either rent a car or take a shuttle bus north. Both Sandia Shuttle Service and Taos Express offer daily shuttles to Santa Fe and Taos.
The New Mexico Rail Runner has an express train that carries passengers between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Take a shuttle or taxi from the airport to the Rail Runner depot in downtown Albuquerque. The train has several runs to Santa Fe each day.


According to the 2010 census, Santa Fe proper has a population of about 69,000 and grows at a steady pace. Known as the City Different, Santa Fe is a vibrant arts center, and there are more than 300 galleries to explore. As a cultural crossroads, it melds the traditions, culture and history of Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures. Santa Fe is also known as a food destination, and has more than 200 restaurants with many cuisines, although southwestern cuisine is a popular choice. The city has many spas that are a destination in and of themselves.

Real Estate:

As of the 2010 census, there are 31,266 households in Santa Fe, with 37,200 housing units, 27% of which are multi-unit structures. The homeownership rate is 61%. The median value of an owner-occupied home is $310,900.


With over 200 restaurants to choose from, there is no difficulty finding a bit to eat when visiting. Some popular downtown spots known for New Mexican cuisine are Tomasita's, The Shed, Cafe Pasqual's, Blue Corn and The Plaza.


A frequent stop for shopping is along the Governor's Palace off the Plaza downtown, where Native Americans sell jewelry, pottery and more. Santa Fe is a shopper's paradise, with brand name fashion as well as cowboy couture. Some of the most popular annual shopping events are the Contemporary Hispanic Market and the International Folk Art Market.


Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the United States.
Santa Fe has post offices, libraries, recreational centers, parks, a Veterans memorial park and recreation programs. Santa Fe is a family-friendly community, and has year round activities outdoors.
The city provides senior services, youth and family services, and human services along with a community center.
Santa Fe has a Convention Center.
The bus system runs throughout the city and shuttles take train riders from the Rail Runner to the downtown plaza.


Santa Fe elects a mayor and city council. Some of the initiatives the city currently has underway include a living wage, affordable housing, and transparency in government.
Santa Fe has a Convention and Visitors Bureau and a Chamber of Commerce.
Christus St. Vincent hospital provides area services.
Area newspapers include the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Santa Fe Reporter.


Santa Fe schools are run through the Santa Fe School District. There are several colleges, to include St. John's, the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Santa Fe Community College.

Santa Fe:

Santa Fe is the kind of destination where people find they want to stay--both longer and permanently. Known as the City Different, it has a rich history of Hispanic, Anglo and Native American cultures that meld together in the area's art, architecture, food and lifestyle. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, Santa Fe has four distinct seasons and beautiful weather, with 320 days of sunshine per year. Precipitation is about inches annually. The average winter low is degrees Farenheit, and summer highs average 86 degrees.

Santa Fe has a huge travel and tourism industry, with over 1 million visitors annually. Santa Fe is often ranked in the top on lists for travel destinations, and the tourism industry brings in more than $1 billion each year.

There are many things to see and do in Santa Fe. Santa Fe has major museums and its area called Museum Hill contains the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, the Museum of International Folk Art, and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Santa Fe also has the New Mexico History Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Colonial Spanish Art and the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. The Santa Fe Children's Museum provides interactive exhibits for kids of all ages.

Since it is the state capital, government is the largest employer in the area. Nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory provides high-tech, scientific jobs.

Near Santa Fe, Los Golondrinas is a living history museum that provides a glimpse into what it was like to live in New Mexico in colonial times. And Shidoni Foundry and Sculpture Garden in Tesuque offer a chance to spend a day just a bit out of town.

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