A trip to Santa Fé is a real treat for art lovers. The city delights the senses with visual experiences unlike anything you’ll find in the rest of the United States. If you love art or just want to discover something new, this guide will help you make the most of your stay in the New Mexican capital.
Santa Fé Municipal Airport Sets the Scene
The city’s artistic side is on show from the moment you step off your flight at Santa Fé Municipal Airport. There are artworks on the walls near the baggage claim and dramatic sculptures decorating the corridors of this small travel hub. Visit Hipmunk.com to read my guide on securing the cheapest flights to Santa Fé Municipal Airport before you set off.
Discover Santa Fé’s Best Galleries
Art lovers could spend days wandering around Canyon Road, a street with more than 100 galleries in a three-quarter mile stretch. Don’t miss Ventana Fine Art, a gallery that made The Guardian’s list of the city’s top 10 art and architecture sights. Its works by Paul-Henri Bourguignon, John Nieto, Rebecca Tobey, and more are striking, but the building itself shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s Santa Fé’s oldest red-brick building, and a treasure preserved by the Historic Santa Fé Foundation.
Palace Avenue is another strip worth exploring. The New Mexico Museum of Art and the Chuck Jones Gallery are close together, and the Worrell Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts are just off the main drag.
Stunning Architectural Delights
As we saw with Ventana Fine Art, the buildings of Santa Fé are just as special as what’s inside them. Whether the “miraculous” staircase inside the Loretto Chapel was really created without a nail or not, as legend says, it’s beautiful either way. The Palace of the Governors, the oldest public building in the United States, is a stunning example of adobe architecture.
Even Santa Fe’s hotels have more character than the modern, bland buildings seen in many state capitals. The Hotel St. Francis, built between 1888 and 1923, is the city’s oldest hotel and the only one to hold a place in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Hacienda & Spa at Hotel Santa Fé was built with a nod to the historic pueblo-style architecture. The dramatic design adds to the appeal of this luxury hotel.
Awesome Arts Events
If you don’t mind braving summer crowds, it’s worth visiting Santa Fé during the International Folk Art Market. The three-day annual event sees more than 150 artists from all over the planet coming together on Museum Hill to showcase their handiwork. Many of these artists earn less than $3 a day in their homelands, so buying up will help you earn a dose of good karma. The festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors every year. Book your trip early, as Santa Fe hotels fill quickly during this busy time.
Have we left anything out? Make sure you share your favorite art experience in Santa Fé with our readers in the comments below.
Lauren Katulka is a happily married freelance writer contributing to a range of websites including Hipmunk.com, SoundsofOz.com, and many more. When she’s not playing around with words, she loves roller skating, spending time in the kitchen, watching indie films and cuddling her Devon Rex cat, Gizmo. She is working on the #HipmunkCityLove project.