This is not an exhaustive guide, rather a list I have culminated over the years for friends who visit Santa Fe. These are things that I do and establishments that I frequent and are based upon my own budget and lifestyle. Enjoy!

Activities in or very close to Santa Fe

Hiking - trails all around!

  • You can drive up to the top of the mountain (ski basin) in about 30 mins from downtown and hike around - many trails along the road up the mountain where you can stop to hike through the Santa Fe National Forest

  • Galisteo Basin - more of a desert-y hike through open beautiful landscape - very hot in summer - go early or late and remember water

  • Rio En Medio - great hike through forest that crosses over a small stream multiple times and at one point you will come to a waterfall - about 40-45 minutes hike to the waterfall

YogaSource - My yoga home. A truly wonderful community of teachers and practitioners - highly recommend

Museum Hill - The International Folk Art Museum is a very special place - there are several other museums in this complex that are fantastic

Georgia O’Keefe Museum - not to miss

Meow Wolf -  Nothing else quite like this experience. They also have concerts there in the evenings

10000 Waves - Japanese bath house - if you enjoy a bathhouse and Japanese vibe this is wonderful - there are public pools and saunas and you can also reserve a private bath - they also have spa services if you want to treat yourself


  • Farmer’s Market - Such a great market with many veggie options but also flowers, herbal products and other gifts - Saturday and Tuesday AM during the summer months

  • Across the tracks from the Farmer’s Market there is a Flea Market at Museo Cultural on Saturday and Sunday through May 27th. Flea market moves to Rufina in Summer

  • Violet Crown - great movie theater with food and beverages in the Railyard

  • Jean Cocteau Cinema - very old one screen theatre owned by George RR Martin - lots of signed Sci-Fi books and they have a little bar and organic popcorn

Day Trips

Cliff Dwellings 30-60 minutes away from Santa Fe

  • Tsankawi - low traffic hike at satellite cliff dwelling site to the larger Bandelier site

  • Bandelier National Park - Ancestral dwellings of ancient pueblo people  - a US National Monument

  • Puye Cliff Dwellings - ruins of an abandoned dwellings on Santa Clara Pueblo - guided tours

Pueblo Feast Days - check the calendar for dates - Feast Days are very special events - Pueblos are open to the public for dances and feast - visit the guidelines on visiting a pueblo before your planning your trip

Abiquiu - about an hour away

  • Georgia O’Keefe’s house - make reservations online to visit the gorgeous home of GO'K

  • Horse rides at Ghost Ranch - fun and beautiful ride through beautiful landscape

  • Plaza Blanca (aka The White Place) nearby Ghost Ranch - a place GO'K often visited and painted - beautiful hiking

  • El Faralito - famous hole in the wall New Mexican restaurant in nearby El Rito - classic Northern New Mexican

Cloud Nine Trails - horse rides through the beautiful Pecos National Forest with very skilled guides and friendly horses

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks - amazing bizarre landscape about an hour away from Santa Fe - beautiful hike and views

Ojo Caliente Hot Springs - an hour away - hot springs! Many public pools - also a lovely hike above the springs too - restaurant and bar on site but you can also pack a lunch - spa and massage and private baths -  the Milagro spa wrap is nice - you are wrapped in wool blankets and hang out in a dark room - very relaxing but not great if you are claustrophobic bc you are wrapped tight like a burrito

Las Vegas - pass through LV and you will come to Montezuma where there are a couple of spots not to miss:

Taos is about an hour away

  • Taos Pueblo - amazing very old Pueblo. National Heritage Site.

  • Harwood Museum has some wonderful Agnes Martin paintings to see

  • Some restaurants and bakeries to check out:  


Shiprock - gallery and store upstairs on the plaza downtown - not to miss for Native American folk and fine art

Modern General - A “general” store - inspiring books and objects for your home - it is a cafe as well

Alembic Apothecary - open on weekends only - apothecary carries locally made herbal products

Santa Fe Vintage Outpost - Americana and Santa Fe vintage vibes

The Ark - metaphysical store - crystals, tarot cards, galore - they have a great book selection as well

Walking around downtown can be fun - there are many fancy jewelry shops but there are also some gems tucked in - some culinary - walk through La Fonda hotel - great wall paintings throughout and an interesting slice of old Santa Fe


Paloma - great contemporary Mexican food, cocktails, vibes

Dolina - breakfast and lunch and excellent pastries

Paper Dosa - delicious South Indian food

Fire and Hops - gastropub - great food and rotating menu of beers

Plaza Cafe Southside - great breakfast - local favorite - green chile apple pie!

Bodega Prime - delicious and v. cute - breakfast and lunch only

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen - sweet vibe - delicious and organic

Cafe Pasqual’s - local favorite

Love Yourself Cafe - don't let the facade fool you - excellent, healthy food and tonics - vegetarian - great brunch

Izanami - Japanese restaurant at 10000 waves - very large sake list

Shake Foundation - burgers, fries, shakes - outdoor seating only - closes early

Santa Fe Bite - famous green chile cheeseburgers

Clafoutis - breakfast and lunch French cafe - excellent croissants and other pastries, crepes  - French owner and chef

Jambo - African/Caribbean food 

The Kitchen at Plants of the Southwest - closed for winter but opens again April 11 - Prix Fixe 2 course lunch and a daily changing menu - Tuesday thru Saturday. 11:30-1:30 or until sold out - reservations are encouraged - at a nursery - unique vibe

Cafe Fina - about 20 min drive from downtown but sweet little spot if you felt like taking a drive

New Mexican Food

Atrisco Cafe - our favorite local spot for classic New Mexican

The Shed - very popular downtown classic - make reservations for dinner

La Choza - also popular - reservations recommended - sister restaurant The Shed

Tomasita’s - in the railyard - sister restaurant to Atrisco

Tia Sophia - breakfast and lunch only

Maria’s - famous for Margaritas - huge margarita and tequila menu - great food as well

Coffee/Tea/Chocolate/Ice Cream Spots

Kakawa - delicious drinking chocolate and truffles - they also serve ice cream

Opuntia - teahouse and food - very sweet spot - they sell plants too

Teahouse - great tea selection on Canyon road - they also have food

Sky Coffee - in the railyard - great coffee

Ohori’s - 2 locations in Santa Fe - old  

Modern General - coffee/tea also food and general store

La Lecheria - Ice Cream! In Lena Street Lofts and also downtown


La Reina - lovely bar recently opened at classic old motel El Rey Inn - open Thurs-Sun 5-11pm

Tonic - tiny spot downtown - great jazz on weekends - stays open late which is a rare thing in Santa Fe - has snacks

Santa Fe Spirits Tasting Room - local distillery serving one of a kind cocktails in a quaint little adobe

Secreto Lounge - in the beautiful Saint Francis Hotel - great cocktails

Maria’s - margaritas and New Mexican food

Dragon Room - old school Santa Fe

Radish and Rye - excellent bourbon cocktails - also a restaurant but you could go for just drinks

So. many. breweries.