Experience American History and Indian Art in Santa Fe
If your idea of a great travel destination involves American history and arts with plenty of sunshine, you should visit Santa Fe. As the capital city of New Mexico, Santa Fe is well noted for its colorful harmony of adobe and Spanish architecture blended in with numerous art galleries and famous Indian art markets. However, there is much more to Santa Fe. Read on to learn more about what to see and do in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Santa Fe Plaza
Experiencing Santa Fe begins with a walk about this downtown square where you can visit a number of landmarks, historic buildings, art galleries, museums and restaurants. You will also find good hotel choices nearby.
Adjacent to the Plaza is one of America’s oldest public buildings, the Palace of the Governors. Built in 1610, this adobe structure served as the seat of the New Mexico government for several centuries.
New Mexico State Capitol
The modern day house of New Mexico government is the beautiful State Capitol building. Distinctive for its round shape, the New Mexico State Capitol features many attractive art works of marble and turquoise as well as a stained glass skylight designed in Native American symbols. Surrounding the building are well-manicured lawns and gardens with flowering plants and trees as well as various statues reflecting Pueblo heritage.
Whether you are religious or not, visiting the city’s historic churches is a must-do to experience the colorful history and art of Santa Fe. One of the most significant churches here is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Built in 1886 in the Romanesque Revival style, this stunning church features many different art works and a lovely garden.
Regarded as the oldest church in the United States, the adobe structure of San Miguel Mission dates back to the early 1600s. Have a look around to see the unique buffalo hide painting, stone inscriptions and the old church bell. The Loretto Chapel is also well worth a look to see its spiral staircase that was built without nails.
Arts and Culture
With more than 250 art galleries and 16 cultural museums, it is no wonder that Santa Fe contains one of the nation’s highest concentrations of arts and culture. In the city center, you can visit museums like the Institute of American Indian Art, the Museum of International Folk Art, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and many more. Additionally, you can spend the entire day visiting one art gallery after another when you drive along the historic route of Canyon Road.
If you are able to plan your visit to Santa Fe in the summer, you can check out the city’s famous art markets. Hosted at the Milner Plaza in July, the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is considered one of the largest of its kind in the world. Held one weekend of every August at the Santa Fe Plaza, the Santa Fe Indian Market is a great place to find a bargain on Native American art works like pottery, paintings, beadwork, sculptures and basketry.
Santa Fe is not all about history and art. You can also enjoy sports and fun outdoor activities here as well like watching the Santa Fe Fuego team play baseball at the Fort Marcy Park. The 350-acre Hyde Memorial Park offers hiking trails, scenic overlooks, picnicking and camping in the summer and snow skiing and sledding in the winter. The Santa Fe National Historic Trail offers biking, hiking and horse riding trails.
Because Santa Fe is the highest elevated state capital in the United States, the city experiences much cooler nights than days although low temperatures rarely fall below freezing point. Summer weather ranges from pleasant to hot with rains in July and August while winters offer chilly temperatures and occasional light snowfalls.
If you can’t wait to see Santa Fe, you can begin a trip today by taking advantage of the great hotel deals that are available online.