Our latest Destination Spotlight is the unmistakable city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Established in 1610, it’s rich in history and is one of the oldest American cities settled by the European colonists in the U.S. For you trivia buffs out there it’s also the oldest capital city in our country.
Although the area has grown over the years and tourism has risen, Santa Fe has managed to retain its small-town feel and local, friendly charm. Unique pueblo adobe buildings line the center of this desert town and are a longtime New Mexico architectural signature. The Palace of the Governors is located in the town plaza and is a must-see while you’re here. This 17th-century adobe structure, which served as the seat of government for the state of New Mexico for centuries, is the oldest public building in America. For visitors, there are free docent tours and self-guided tours daily.
Nicknamed “The City Different,” Santa Fe is known internationally for its fine cuisine. Top chefs come from all over choose to work in Santa Fe because creative experimentation with food is encouraged and the city is small enough for chefs to learn from each other and share ideas. But Santa Fe has many food options besides just fine cuisine. If you enjoy Farmer’s Markets, the city has one that’s been going strong for 40 years and is a great way to sample authentic breakfast burritos, fresh fruits and lots of other local foods. If you love chocolate, stop by the artisanal Kakawa Chocolate House, as they specialize in recreating historic recipes for chocolate elixir drinks that date back to the Mesoamerican and Colonial periods — award winning and delicious!
Santa Fe has a world-renowned open-air opera theater which we’ve enjoyed several times over the years. We highly recommend the Santa Fe Botanical Garden and there are many other museums to choose from including the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of International Folk Art, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum and the famous Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe spent many years in Santa Fe and this museum houses the largest collection of her works in the world. For winter sports and ski enthusiasts, there are four major ski areas within a 2-hour drive.
A city of artists, chefs, wellness experts, writers and musicians, Santa Fe is rich in the cultural and performing arts and early Native American history. And set against the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, one can’t help but marvel at the scenery. The colors and light from the sunrises and sunsets as they fall against the landscape are unique to this area of the Southwest — so bring your cameras! It’s no wonder the early Native Americans called Santa Fe “Dancing Ground of the Sun.”
If you’re planning a trip, we suggest an optimal time to visit is between September and November when the weather is balmy but not too hot, and the city puts on numerous festivals.
Safe and Happy Travels!
Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America’s #1 Travel Radio Show
Photo provided by Robert & Mary Carey.