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3 Days in SantaFe


There’s nothing like autumn in Santa Fe. As the summer draws to a close, the unmistakable fragrance of piñon fires and roasting New Mexico green chiles fills the air. Temperatures begin to drop, and leaves of the majestic aspen and cottonwood trees begin to turn a glorious gold. Here are a few other essential experiences you won’t want to miss when you visit the City Different in the fall.


Santa Fe is widely known for its distinctive and diverse cuisine, with more restaurants per capita than many major cities. In 2017, some novel dining destinations have joined the ranks. New on the scene is Paloma (401 Guadalupe St., 505-467-8624), which serves traditional and nontraditional Mexican-inspired food and a variety of creative craft cocktails. On the outskirts of the downtown area is Dolina (402 N. Guadalupe St., 505.982.9394), a charming bakery and café that combines American classics like fried chicken and waffles with eastern European–influenced pastries and sweets, such as tvarohovy struhany. Across the street, in the former home of Bert’s Burger Bowl, chef Brian Knox tackles a local specialty at the fast-casual Taco Fundación (235 N. Guadalupe St., 505-982-8286), serving tacos stuffed with everything from mole, barbacoa, and al pastor to seafood and a variety of vegetable combinations.


At the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market (505.983.4098) — located in the thriving Railyard district — late-season tomatoes, potatoes, apples, peppers, onions, carrots, squashes, and pumpkins are the stars of the fall show. Vendors also offer local meats and cheeses and an array of arts and crafts. The market takes place in and around the pavilion at 1607 Paseo de Peralta on Tuesdays and Saturdays starting at 7 a.m. (until the end of September; 8 a.m. during the winter) until 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. on Wednesdays through September. 


In the park beside Santa Fe’s iconic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (131 Cathedral Place), until Oct. 29 you can catch a glimpse of some of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces from Madrid’s famed Prado Museum. More than 90 full-scale reproductions of works by Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French, and German painters from the 14th to 19th centuries are on display in the shade of the park’s tall trees.


At the New Mexico History Museum (113 Lincoln Ave., 505-476-5200), the Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest exhibition examines this cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s in New Mexico, exploring the influx of young people to the state, introducing visitors to the founders of the counter culture, and sharing first-hand narratives, photographs, and artifacts from area communes.


To appreciate the glorious foliage, drive up Hyde Park Road and stop at the Aspen Vista trail. Take a stroll down the seven-mile path or head further up the mountain to the Santa Fe Ski Basin. Here you can meander high above the city, at elevations of 10,000 feet and up, and take in some breathtaking panoramas. In the winter, come back for some of the finest skiing in the Southwest. Santa Fe’s ski area ( offers more than 40 groomed trails, powder-filled chutes, picturesque tree glades, and steep bump runs — all with unsurpassed vistas.