In this beautiful city, you can embark on an unforgettable journey through one of the most culturally rich and stunning landscapes in the country. From high desert plateaus to snow-capped peaks, Santa Fe offers a wealth of indoor and outdoor activities that are perfect for lawyers and other legal professionals seeking a unique Eduvacation℠ experience. This list of the top things to do in Santa Fe will help you get the most out of your visit.
Beyond the world-famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, this list of must-see adventures we’ve curated includes exploring Taos Pueblo, taking a walking tour, immersing yourself in local art, and much more! So get ready for a breathtaking exploration of one of the most gorgeous destinations in the American southwest.
1. Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
Explore the rich history and culture of the Southwest at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. With an extensive collection of over 75,000 items including pottery, sculptures, jewelry, textiles, and even a 151-foot-long hunting net made of human hair, you’re sure to be captivated for hours.
In addition to its awe-inspiring exhibitions, the museum also hosts events such as pottery demonstrations and engaging lectures. Don’t miss this opportunity to delve into the rich heritage of this region.
2. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
The majestic terrain of Santa Fe served as an inspiration for famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and her depictions of New Mexico are housed in the museum’s collection. Plus, there’s a complimentary audio tour, so make sure to bring your headphones!
3. Museum of International Folk Art
In addition to your museum tour, don’t miss out on the unusual and diverse pieces of culture here. Similarly, your kids won’t be bored with the vast assortment of vibrant toys from around the world to occupy them.
4. Palace of the Governors
Step back in time at the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the nation. Built in 1610 and serving as New Mexico’s first capitol, this historic site played a key role in the Pueblo Revolt, where indigenous people successfully drove out Spanish conquerors in 1680.
Not only can you immerse yourself in the rich history of the Southwest here, but you can also find unique, handcrafted souvenirs from Native American artisans. From exquisite jewelry to useful trinkets, there’s something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind destination.
5. El Rancho de Las Golondrinas
Take a step back in time at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas, a living history museum that brings the Southwest’s rich heritage to life. Here, you can explore historic buildings and meet villagers dressed in period clothing, giving you a unique glimpse into the past.
However, the real highlight of this museum is its weekend events. From lively celebrations and dances to soulful live music, you’ll get a true taste of what life used to be like in the Southwest. Don’t miss this chance to experience history in a whole new way!
6. The De Vargas Street House
Also known as the Oldest House, the De Vargas Street House gives an excellent impression of what life would’ve been like in Santa Fe hundreds of years ago. The tours here are free and self-guided. However, there are only two rooms and a gift shop in this tiny museum.
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7. Meow Wolf
Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return offers visitors of all ages a surreal, explorable art experience. In other words, it transports you on an immersive art experience you’ll never forget!
Meow Wolf is the perfect place for art lovers who want to try something new.
8. SITE Santa Fe
For a contemporary art experience, SITE Santa Fe is one of the best places in N.M. Their exhibitions feature site-specific works created by artists from all over the world. Similarly, the public and educational programs further enhance New Mexico’s various communities’ rich cultural life.
9. Canyon Road
Finally, Canyon Road is a great place to go for a day trip and to explore all things art and galleries. Here, you’ll see over 100 galleries, shops, and restaurants all within a half mile. Moreover, many serious art collectors visit the Road to add to their collection of traditional or modern pieces made by international and local artists.
Santa Fe Railyard
10. Santa Fe Farmers Market
The Santa Fe Farmers Market is one of the nation’s oldest, most prominent, and most profitable markets. Besides offering locally cultivated produce, you can also be sure that at least 70% of the ingredients used to make the food products here are grown in New Mexico.
Furthermore, since reselling here isn’t allowed, you can be sure that all the growing, cultivating, and manufacturing are from the same folks who sell you their products.
11. Santa Fe Trail
For a unique experience, we recommend the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, especially if you’re going to Albuquerque. Also, the Santa Fe Trails offers direct connections to Routes 2 and 4, which go directly to downtown Santa Fe.
12. Sky Railway
The ideal way to commemorate any special occasion in Santa Fe is with a private charter via the Sky Railway. If you’re looking for a scenic ride during your visit, you won’t be disappointed! Check out their events that include live music & elevated cocktails here!
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Indoor and Outdoor Activities
13. Santa Fe Opera House
Enjoy an open-air viewing at the Santa Fe Opera House! Aside from timeless favorites like The Flying Dutchman, this theatre also hosts productions like Pelléas et Mélisande and Madama Butterfly.
Despite many visitors not being familiar with New Mexico as a skiing hub, the state boasts of some of the best ski resorts in the Southwest. Here, the ski season typically lasts from late fall to early spring, with up to 300 inches of snowfall each year.
Just a couple of hours from Santa Fe, there are three significant ski resorts: Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort. Plus, you don’t have to worry about food or drinks during this excursion because the resorts have all the amenities you might need, including access to rental equipment and private ski lessons.
15. Earn Continuing Legal Education Credits with Destination CLEs
Santa Fe isn’t just a tourist attraction—it’s also one of the best locations for lawyers who want to take an exciting vacation while completing their CLE requirements.
With Destination CLEs’ New Mexico Balloon Fiesta Tour, lawyers can earn up to 15 CLE hours on Trial Topics, including the required Ethics credits. But that’s not all—Destination CLEs has also prepared a trip to Taos Pueblo as well as a booking for you in the Gondola Club so you can watch the world-famous Balloon Mass Ascension from one of the best spots in Santa Fe!
Register here to book your spot on this trip before it fills up!
16. Liquid Light Glass
Most people have never tried blowing glass, and they probably never will. However, in N.M., you can try your hand at this incredible art form and enjoy a glass-blowing class at Liquid Light Glass.
If you enjoy Japanese-inspired natural hot springs, we highly recommend checking out the Ten Thousand Waves Spa for some R&R while you’re here. The Spa is located close to the national forest, just outside of downtown Santa Fe.
Santa Fe consistently ranks at the top when it comes to biking in the U.S. In fact, La Tierra’s network of more than 25 trails is one of the best and most easily accessible by bike. Plus, since it’s just a short drive from Santa Fe Plaza, it’s absolutely worth checking out when you’re in the area.
19. Pecos National Historical Park
Adventure seekers who love hiking trails, fishing, picnics, and tours definitely shouldn’t miss out on a trip to Pecos National Historical Park. Also, before you enjoy the great outdoors, you can visit the bookstore, museum, or watch a short introductory film here.
20. Bandelier National Monument
As a national monument that safeguards the ancestral Puebloans’ houses and land, Bandelier National Monument is an excellent place for historical reflection. By crawling inside prehistoric cave houses and observing petroglyphs engraved into the soft rock, you can gain fascinating insights into their way of life.
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21. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Take some time to visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi if you enjoy architecture. This magnificent Romanesque cathedral, located just one block east of the Santa Fe Plaza, definitely stands out against the skyline.
This cathedral helped the spread of Catholicism in the Southwest beginning in 1869.
22. Loretto Chapel
Although Loretto Chapel is a lovely old chapel, the miraculous staircase is why most people go there. The Sisters of Loretto allegedly prayed a novena for nine days to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, asking for assistance in constructing a staircase to the choir loft. After nine days, a competent carpenter emerged out of nowhere, made a spiral staircase, and then left without being thanked or paid.
23. San Miguel Chapel
The San Miguel Chapel, originally built in 1610 and located south of the center of Santa Fe, is considered America’s oldest church, even though just a small portion of the original building remains.
By the way, even if you’re not religious, all the churches in New Mexico are extraordinary architecture!
Food and Shopping
24. Santa Fe Plaza
The historic Santa Fe Plaza is a National Historic Landmark and continues to be the location of numerous Native American vendors who come to sell artwork and custom jewelry that showcase tradition and beauty.
This Plaza is truly a must-go destination in N.M. for the live music and amazing food choices.
25. La Fonda
A genuine Santa Fe monument, La Fonda on the Plaza has a history that goes back to 1607 when the Spanish first settled the area. Today, you can enjoy a drink on the rooftop of Bell Tower Bar while enjoying breathtaking views of the city and watching the square.
Are you ready for a Southwest Adventure? If so, make sure you bookmark this list so you can refer back to it when planning your trip!
This handpicked list includes the top 25 things to do in Santa Fe, from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences. Whether you’re a legal professional seeking an Eduvacation℠ getaway or just looking for a change of scenery, Santa Fe has something for everyone.
So, what are you waiting for? Let this list be your guide to a truly unforgettable journey in one of America’s most stunning destinations.
Click here to start planning your next trip now!
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