Santa Fe City Guide

 Located at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the United States, welcomes visitors from around the world with open arms. At an altitude more than 7,000 feet above sea level, the city is filled with architectural anomalies, ruins, and remnants of the past. Check out one of the many art galleries, visit a public market, or explore a museum or two. There’s plenty to do.


Black Mesa Golf Course, Santa Fe New Mexico 1

Despite its relatively high altitude, the city of Santa Fe and the surrounding desert area does experience four distinct seasons. The temperatures during each average as follows:

Fall – 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 Celsius)

Winter – 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius)

Spring – 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 Celsius)

Summer – 90 – 100+ degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 – 37.7 Celsius).

186 Santa Fe, New Mexico, St Francis of Assisi Basilica, Highest Building in Santa Fe

The evenings in Santa Fe are usually about 25 degrees cooler than the afternoon temperatures. Except for during the summer months, this means the evenings are significantly different, so you may want to pack a sweater or jacket for the latter parts of the day.

Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe

Don’t discount Santa Fe during the winter months. Snow falls in the mountains from late December through February, and sometimes as long as April. Skiing in the mountains is a blast and the hotel prices are generally cheaper during the winter months.


Santa Fe Plaza

If you’re staying in a Santa Fe hotel you may just find yourself right within the Santa Fe Plaza. The plaza is incredibly popular amongst tourists, and is the site of several parks, restaurants, museums, and monuments. If you are staying in the plaza you will find it easy to simply travel by foot from destination to destination.

The Governors Palace on the Plaza

Those staying outside of the plaza, on the other hand, have two options. You’ll either have to rent a car and look for parking in the Santa Fe visitor’s center (a feat you’ll only accomplish if you get up early in the morning), or you will have to take the bus to the plaza itself. The tour buses are safe, reliable, and stick to a very regular schedule that runs Monday through Saturday.

Saint Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe

Anyone with plans to travel across town, or to leave the city, will need to rent a car.


Don’t forget that you are in a desert climate. If you do opt to rent a vehicle, make sure the gas tank is always full and that you have a gallon of water in the car at all times. Tourists tend to forget to check their gas tanks and frequently find themselves stranded between destinations – a situation that can become very unhealthy during the heat of the day.

When touring Santa Fe, and the surrounding desert areas, make sure you drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen (including chapstick for your lips), and get plenty of rest each evening. Try to eat light meals and avoid alcohol for the first four days you spend in the area so that your body can adjust to the climate.

Dust storms become more frequent during the summer and fall months. If you are on the outskirts of a storm, simply turn your headlights on. If you are in the midst of a very strong storm, which are uncommon, turn your lights off and pull off the road as far as possible.


Those living in the Southwest of the United States already understand how important it is to conserve water. If you are visiting from anywhere else in the country, or the world, you’ll need to help conserve water as well.

Some things you can do to help include:

Taking very short showers;

Turning off the water while you brush your teeth;

Only washing your car at a commercial car wash; and

Reusing your towels.

While drinking water is important, most restaurants won’t serve it to you unless you ask for it. This is to eliminate wasted water glasses, so if you do order it, please try to drink it.


Canyon Road Galleries, Santa Fe, NM

There is certainly enough to see and do in Santa Fe. Start your day with a trip to Canyon Road. The road was at one point a trail used by indigenous people to get to the forest and water above them. The road now features a series of incredible restaurant, art galleries, and shops. Most of the businesses you’ll see will be located in old adobe homes – a testament to the incredible architecture within the city.

You should also make a special effort to visit the Guadalupe District. This area of the city was once the Railyard District, filled with historic warehouses that have since been converted to art galleries, studios, bookstores, and a myriad of other specialty stores. You’ll also find a gorgeous urban park at the corner of Cerrillos Road and Guadalupe Street – the product of years of work and dedication.

Not sure what to see next? Ask the concierge at your Santa Fe hotel for help. There is certainly no shortage of things to see or do in the city. Enjoy!

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