Introducing Santa Fe
Welcome to 'the city different,' a place that makes its own rules yet never forgets its long and storied past. Walking among the historic adobe neighborhoods, and even around the tourist-filled plaza, there's no denying that Santa Fe has a timeless, earthy soul. Founded around 1610, Santa Fe is the second-oldest city and the oldest state capital in the USA. It's got the oldest public building and throws the oldest annual party in the country (Fiesta). Yet the city is synonymous with contemporary chic, boasting the second-largest art market in the nation, gourmet restaurants, great museums, spas and a world-class opera. It's a beacon of progressive thought and creative culture. The UN named it 'most creative city' in 2005, a fitting honor for a city that is committed to the arts like few other places in the country.
At 7000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe is also the highest state capital in the US. Sitting at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo range, the city is a fantastic base for hiking, mountain biking, backpacking and skiing. When you come off the trails, you can indulge in chile-smothered local cuisine, then shop for turquoise and silver directly from the Native American jewelers who sell their work around the plaza, visit some of the most unique churches in the country, or simply wander along centuries-old, cottonwood-shaded lanes and fantasize about moving here.
The city is home to a motley crew of characters, including traditional and avant-garde artists, New Age hippie transplants, Spanish families that have called the city home for centuries, undocumented Mexican immigrants, retirees from both coasts, and more than a few Hollywood producers and movie stars. All have come for the relaxed attitude, the space, the unbeatable climate and that certain something that gives Santa Fe a singularly alluring essence.
Best places to stay in Santa Fe
Hot spring hunting in the Southwest USA
With clear desert nights, fresh mountain air and a sweet lack of city crowds, the Southwest USA is an ideal place for a restorative outdoor dip in a hot spring.
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Santa Fe destination guides
48 hours in Santa Fe
Bewitching, all-adobe Santa Fe dates back to 1610 and today it’s home to world-class galleries, dining, museums and even opera. It’s a city that makes its own rules, yet never forgets its long and storied past.
Southern USA Road Trip
Explore the American Southwest and discover what is surely one of the USA's kookiest corners. Beginning among the good vibes of New Orleans, head west into Texas, uncovering the multicultural mega-city of Houston and historic riverfront of San Antonio along the way.
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Roadtripping in Autumn can be an especially photogenic time, and the US affords some lush landscape to motor through. Here are 10 trips for fall across the USA from Lonely Planet's USA's Best Trips: 99 Themed Itineraries Across America: 1.