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3 Days in SantaFe


Santa Fe’s natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle, unique architecture, rich cultural heritage, and numerous recreational options make it one of the world’s most popular destinations. Whether you’re planning a quick getaway or a lengthy stay, our city offers an array of exciting, intriguing, illuminating, and satisfying summertime experiences you won’t want to miss.   


Every summer for more than 60 years, the Santa Fe Opera (seven miles north of Santa Fe on U.S. Highway 84/285, 800.280.4654 or 505.986.5900, has presented classic and innovative operas to audiences from around the world in a unique open-air setting. The 2018 productions include an adaptation of Voltaire’s Candide; the influential Doctor Atomic, by composer John Adams and librettist-director Peter Sellars; Puccini’s Madame Butterfly; and The Italian Girl in Algiers by Rossini and Angelo Anelli. Don’t miss an opportunity to engage in another Santa Fe Opera tradition: tailgating. Pack your own picnic or visit for information on preview dinners in the open-air cantina and catered box meals.


The Santa Fe Farmers Market ( is held inside and around the pavilion at 1607 Paseo de Peralta in the lively Railyard District. Vendors offer a wide variety of produce, locally made cheeses, and New Mexico–raised meats as well as arts and crafts. The market is open 7 a.m.-1 p.m.  Tuesdays and Saturdays and 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays through September.


Also in the Railyard is SITE Santa Fe (1606 Paseo de Peralta, 505.989.1199,, one of the most unique and influential contemporary art spaces in the United States. The building recently underwent a striking renovation and expansion by SHoP Architects that added an “education lab,” new gallery project space, a sky terrace with extraordinary views, and a 200-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art acoustics. Current exhibitions include works by Chicago-based Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz. SITE is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays, and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $10; students and seniors $5; admission is free all day on Fridays and 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays.


After appreciating produce and art, hop down the street for cocktails and nosh at Paloma (401 South Guadalupe Street, 505.467.8624, Dinner and drinks are served 5-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 5-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with live music on the patios on weeknights and a Daily Dos snack-and-beverage pairing for $12. Try the esquites, cauliflower tacos, sea bass Veracruz, tortilla soup, tres leches cake, and key lime pie.


In 2016, the timeless El Rey motor lodge on Cerrillos Road (505-982-1931, changed hands. Built in the 1930s along the northern leg of the original Route 66, the inn consists of 86 unique adobe rooms decorated with Southwestern décor and original artwork and surrounded by colorful gardens and a pool. Creative directors Jay and Alison Carroll transformed the hotel’s breakfast room into the hip La Reina bar, which serves beer, wine, signature tequila- and mescal-focused cocktails, and bar snacks 5-11 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays.


Since the opening of The House of Eternal Return installation (1352 Rufina Circle, 505.395.6369, in the spring of 2016, Santa Fe has been howling with delight. Brought to life by the Meow Wolf art collective, this fantastic immersive and interactive attraction combines the talents of some 135 local artists and is filled with technology, art, and whimsical environments that will enchant visitors of all ages. Just around the corner, you can enjoy lunch or dinner and some of the city’s best locally brewed beers at Second Street Brewery’s new Rufina Street Taproom (2920 Rufina Street, 505.954.1068, The west-facing deck is one of the best in town, and four-footed friends are welcome here as well.


Hiking is one of the number-one draws in Santa Fe. The extensive Dale Ball Trail System winds amid thousands of acres of piñon and juniper woodlands in and around the majestic Sangre de Cristos. As you hike the more than 30 miles of connected trails, you might spy cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, owls, a wide variety of birds, coyotes, or even bobcats and mountain lions. Park and access the Dale Ball Trails on Hyde Park Road, three miles northeast of downtown; on Upper Canyon Road, three miles east of Santa Fe; or the Cruz Blanco Trailhead, southeast of town. Call 505.989.7019 or visit for details.


If you prefer your adventures more wet and wild, try a rafting excursion on an area river with one of Santa Fe’s many companies. Santa Fe Rafting (1000 Cerrillos Road, 888.988.4914, and Kokopelli Rafting Adventures (1401 Maclovia Street, Unit A, 505.983.3734, www. offer trips for individuals and groups ranging from a mellow float to full-day and overnight adventures.