Bandelier National Monument
See These Premier Santa Fe Attractions
Make the most of your next stay in Santa Fe with a tour of these eight exceptional destinations. From the Santa Fe Opera to Native American arts and so many things in between, you're sure to enjoy a visit to New Mexico's capital city.
1. New Mexico Museum of Art
See the best of Santa Fe during your next visit. Known as a quaint and unique city, Santa Fe is home to world class attractions. Give yourself a few days in Santa Fe to explore as much as you can – starting with the New Mexico Museum of Art. Originally the Museum of Fine Arts, this is a premier art-based attraction in Santa Fe.
Established in 1917, the New Mexico Museum of Art features Pueblo Revival Style architecture, something you'll much of as you explore Santa Fe. Many of the exhibits here paint a picture of life in the southwest – the permanent collection is over 20,000.
2. Loretto Chapel
Now used as a museum and wedding chapel, the Loretto Chapel in downtown Santa Fe is a real gem and sight to behold. When its construction was completed in 1878, the Loretto Chapel was a popular destination for Catholics in the area. Any visit to the Loretto Chapel should include, at the very least, a glimpse of the famous Miraculous Staircase.
The Miraculous Staircase is largely known for two reasons: the mystery of it's builder and designer, and the fact that it has two 360-degree turns with no visible means of central support, and was built with no nails, screws, or glue.
3. Hyde Memorial State Park
Found just eight miles northeast of downtown Santa Fe, the Hyde Memorial State Park is a premier outdoor recreation area in the region. It is just one of the many spectacular aspects found within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Open year 'round, Hyde Memorial State Park will yield full days of fun for all members of the family no matter the season you visit.
Summer visitors to Hyde Memorial State Park will find exceptional hiking paths, picnic areas, wildlife viewing, volleyball courts, and even a playground for the kiddos. If your visit to Santa Fe is during winter, you'll find some of the best available cross country skiing in the state.
4. Institute of American Indian Arts
Explore Canyon Road in Santa Fe
Established in 1962, the Institute of American Indian Arts is a top school in Santa Fe. With its focus on Native American art, the IAIA features a robust student body, and is home to the very insightful Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.
A four-year tribal college, the IAIA even compete in sports as the Thunderbirds. Embark on a campus tour at the IAIA, or simply enjoy the history and beauty of the architecture.
5. Canyon Road
Even at just a half-mile long, Canyon Road will guide you through the very popular and must-see Historic District of Santa Fe. Neatly situated within the same Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Canyon Road will help yield excellent shopping, premier dining, and a slew of annual events.
For art lovers, Canyon Road is home to a number of top galleries – don't miss the Selby Fleetwood Gallery, the Brad Smith Gallery, or the Zaplin Lampert Gallery, just to name a few. And be sure to keep an eye out for the giant horse head statue.
6. Bandelier National Monument
Head northwest from downtown Santa Fe just 40 miles to find Bandelier National Monument. In total, Bandelier NM is spread across 33,677 acres. Though unrealistic to try and see everything within this monument, some of the can't-miss sites within Bandelier NM include the Alcove House with its reconstructed Kiva, and the Bandelier Museum.
Hikers enjoy frequent trips to Bandelier NM – the park is home to an array of excellent hiking paths. At 1.2 miles long, the Main Loop Trail not only yields great hiking, but takes you through historic sites, too. You'll see the Big Kiva, Talus House, Long House, and the Tyuonyi.
Experience a Visit to the Loretto Chapel
7. Santa Fe Opera
As you explore Santa Fe, be sure to include a touch of high class and culture to your travel agenda. Head for the Sante Fe Opera. With its roots firmly tied to the original Opera Association of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Opera company has produced and presented operas every year since 1957.
Visit during the summer opera season and check out a live performance at the Crosby Theatre. You'll also find the Stieren Orchestra Hall, and the Dapples Pavilion.
8. The Tea House
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., The Teahouse is one of the premier spots to be in Santa Fe. Bringing you a wide selection of exceptional teas from across the globe – India, Sri Lanka, Japan, and China – and a wide variety of locally grown teas, The Teahouse rarely leaves guests disappointed.
You can find The Teahouse on the Canyon Road, within the same Historic District where many of the best art galleries and restaurants are located. Whether you're looking to start your day off with a warm drink, or hoping to settle you stomach after dinner, do not pass on The Teahouse.