Santa Fe New Mexico Communities

Santa Fe is the oldest Europen community west of the Mississippi as well as North America’s oldest capital city. Meaning “Town of the Holy Faith,” this refuge is nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. At 7000ft, this elevated desert is physically part of the American landscape. Its influences, however, are not entirely American, as the Pueblo, Spanish and Anglo cultures have integrated, mixing past and present, creating a mystifying “Land of Enchantment.”

Very few people inhabited Santa Fe during 1607, and it was brought to life by conquistador Don Pedro de Peralta during the years of 1609 to 1610. Santa Fe is home to many the Palace of Governors, the oldest public building, and the Santa Fe Fiesta, the nation’s oldest community celebration. This celebration first took place in 1712 to honor the Spanish recapture of New Mexico in 1692. It was during this time Peralta and his men began planning Santa Fe at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It is located on Kaupoge, the ancient Pueblo Indian ruin whose name means “place of shell beads near the water.” Locals and those new to the city will find many activities in Santa Fe. It’s easy to find relaxing activities such as attending a Pueblo dance to shopping at the Farmer’s Market. There are even those for the physically inclined such as rafting the waters of the Rio Grande. It is possible to ski and hike up and down the continent’s grandest mountains, or play at golf courses scattered at its base. Classes for the artistically inclined are available, in pottery, painting, photography, dance, and calligraphy. You may even find courses on archaeology techniques and studying classic works.

Built on an old Pueblo village, you’re sure to find many historic sites dripping with thousands of years of history. This rich history permeates everything from the Native American ruins to the Colonial churches and remnants of the Wild West frontier days. You can also find a Civil War battle site that was a pivotal point in the war’s outcome. There is even a cattle ranch that once belonged to a 1930s Hollywood star. Take a walking tour of Santa Fe's diverse architecture, ride a vintage train car into high-desert country, or peer into deep space on an astronomy adventure. Learn about the spirits that haunt Santa Fe on a ghost walk and meet the many birds of our region on a birding tour. Trek through mountain wilderness with a friendly llama or ride a horse or a Harley into the sunset.

You can explore the surrounding areas in a number of ways, by riding through the mountains on llamas or horses, or taking a vintage car out into the desert. Admire Santa Fe’s diverse and beautiful architecture through a walking tour of the city, or learn about the local haunting spots through a ghost walk. You can and wander through the gently fragrant fields of lavender at the National Audubon Society Center or attend a win festival in the country’s earliest wine producing region. You can visit the Indian Market, which is home to the largest collection of Native American Art.

Santa Fe is the country’s hottest spot for art, and here you can find unique works and great shopping. There are many galleries that host year round exhibits and host a number of studio tours. Many museums regularly host work done in the Southwest and traveling shows from around the world.