Things to Do

Museum of International Folk Art — One of several museums on Museum Hill, this gem includes a wing full of designer Alexandre Girard’s collectibles and A+ small, curated exhibits beyond.

SITE Santa Fe — Contemporary art space in the Railyard with rotating exhibits, often free to see, and strong curatorial point of view. Check their events page for free happenings, especially during the summer Opera season.

Ten Thousand Waves — One of the best Japanese onsen spas in the USA (their Izakaya resto is also incredible; see Food & Drink). You can book a private onsen suite here for $75 per person. It’s dreamy.

Santa Fe School of Cooking — Specializes in teaching traditional New Mexico cooking techniques in short classes. You can learn to make tamales, rellenos, and tacos and attend a slew of chile workshops to boot. Also has a terrific cooking supplies store on-site.

Further Afield

Georgia O’Keeffe House — You can and must visit Georgia O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiù, about an hour outside of town. Guided tours all start from a Welcome Center on the main highway. Reservations are required—and often book up months in advance. There is no public transit or shuttle provided, and Uber / Lyft don’t operate out here, either. Net net: You’ll need a car to get here but it’s worth it; you can also drop by Ghost Ranch after, to see where the artist also painted for years. (The Georgia O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe itself is only okay; her house is the star.)

Ojo Santa Fe Spa Resort — Spend the day dipping in and out of salt-water pools and hot tubs at this awesome spa resort about 20 minutes outside of Santa Fe. Day passes cost less from Mon–Thur; locker and towels provided.

Monastery of Christ in the Desert — You’ll need a rugged car to get to this striking, intimate Benedictine monastery designed by George Nakashima in the mid ‘60s. It’s a half-day scenic drive to get there and back, through the absolutely stunning Chama River Canyon Wilderness area.

Favorite Hikes

Picacho Peak Trail — One of several trails within the excellent Dale Ball trail system on the eastern edge of town, this wonderful (and popular) 3.8-mile hike heads up, up, up through growth forest, to end on a peak with superb panoramic views.

Dorothy Stewart Trail — Intimate 1.9-mile wooded trail with easy elevation through forested hillsides near Museum Hill and lovely views along the way.

Borrego Trail — Delightful loop trail with quaking aspen and towering fir views in the lush Santa Fe National Forest. The trailhead starts off Hyde Park Road, northeast of town, not far from Ten Thousand Waves. Some elevation involved.

Little Tesuque Trail — Easy trail through ponderosa pines and piñons, next to a creek—sometimes roaring, sometimes not—just south of Tesuque Market. Go during the week if you can; the very limited parking gets filled up early on weekends. And: Go to the nearby Tesuque Market for lunch or dinner, after (see Food & Drink).

Further Afield

Las Conchas / East Forks Trail — Gorgeous alpine scenery, rocky outcroppings, and a mostly flat trail along a winding creek popular with fly fishers. Doing this is a day trip. The Las Conchas trailhead is past Los Alamos. You’ll need to show government ID (a driver’s license is fine) to get through the military base and to the trailhead.

Diablo Canyon — The dramatic entry into this 5.9-mile trail is the reason to do this: A sandy path cuts through soaring rock walls—popular with rock climbers—before opening up into flat lands with panoramic sightlines, then trailing through sheltering trees. Go early or late; this trail can get especially hot.

Tsankawi — This trail within Bandelier National Monument ladders up and down a mesa inset with ancestral Pueblo cave dwellings that you can poke into and gets a fraction of the crowds that descend on the monument’s popular Main Loop Trail. The trailhead is located before Bandelier’s main entrance and doesn’t have a ticket gate. Stop at the park’s main gate, first, to pay your entry, then retrace your steps to get here.

Shops & Markets

Farmer’s Market —A local market happens every Tuesday & Saturday in the Railyard. Go early for the best produce and fewer crowds. Don’t miss the stand that sells local ‘intergalactic bread’.

Collected Works — Indie bookstore near the Plaza with a stellar selection of classics, new titles, and local guides. They’ll gladly order books in for pick-up, too.

Op Cit — Used bookstore hidden in the DeVargas shopping mall with stacks of fine art & photography books.

Shiprock — High-end boutique of Native American arts upstairs on the Plaza. Especially strong on Navajo rugs and worth visiting just to admire the craftsmanship.

Santa Fe Dry Goods — Jewelry and couture, exquisitely curated to match Santa Fe style.

Back at the Ranch — Handmade cowboy boots in unique colors and designs.

Cashmere + Chocolate — Luxuriously soft cashmere throws, arm warmers, and hats all made in New Mexico.

REI — Because you may need hiking and/or camping supplies while you’re here. Bonus: Staff are happy to share local tips and advice.